Grandma is 88 years old. Her hair is snowy-white, skin wrinkled and teeth all
but gone. She is also quite deaf. Otherwise she is strong and active, often
arguing with my mother over who should mop the floor.
The doctor said she has Alzheimer's disease. In other words, she is
senile. It is a sad fact but true.
The one glaring symptom of her disease is that her memory is very bad. She
cannot remember things or gets them all mixed up. So she forgets where she has
kept things and often will frantically search for them. Then she forgets what
she is searching for, which adds to her frustration. When she misplaces her
spectacles, she will don someone else's pair
and happily go about the house. How she manages to see with the wrong spectacles
As much as she cannot remember recent things, she can recall her younger days
vividly. She rattles off the names of people
she knew then and get my name and other family members' wrong. She cannot
remember whether she just had dinner but can remember an event that happened
fifty years ago. Sometimes she can be very difficult. Her being almost deaf does
not help matters either. We have to speak loudly for her to hear.
Sometimes she says we are scolding her. We shout to say we are not scolding
her, which makes things worse. We got her a hearing-aid. She would not wear it.
In between bouts of crankiness, she sometimes seems normal. But this seems to
get lesser as her disease progresses. So we do our best to keep her out of
harm's way. We lock the medicine cabinet and doors and hide dangerous things
from her. It would be disastrous if she swallowed a bottle of pills or got lost
while wandering in the streets. The latter has happened before. A kind neighbour
brought her home.
It is unfortunate the last years of her life has to be like this, but it is
so. We can do nothing but to help her along as much as we can.