Alzheimer’s is not easy to cope with, and it became difficult to reply to the barrage of questions asked by my grandchildren who wanted to know why their Papa acted the way he did. I thought long and hard in order to come up with a reasonable explanation, then this is what I said:
‘Your Papa has an illness called Alzheimer’s and that makes him act the way he does. It’s a bit like having a broken leg, you know. But with Papa, a small piece of his brain is broken and doesn’t work the way it should. Because of this, he can’t remember what you told him yesterday. Because of this, he forgets how to use the television remote. Because of this, he often falls asleep when you are in the middle of telling him something important. Because of this, he forgets people’s names. BUT, the part of Papa’s brain that is for loving, still works well, and I know that he loves you all very much.’
Then I showed them the diagram below of a healthy brain, and one showing what Alzheimer’s disease does to a brain.
The image on the left is of a normal, healthy brain. The one on the right, shows signs of Alzheimer’s Disease,