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[Jan's Dad]

If you think about it now, in retrospect, this probably all started about 5 years ago. Just started to not remember things, and it was minor things, but it progressed to the point where she had trouble organizing and executing a plan, thinking about what she has to do then doing it. It could’ve been the result of a mini stroke, there was some damage in her brain they recognized The last day when we were supposed to close our house, she had not gotten together the stuff that we needed to move, but she just thought we could come back and get it. She forgot to get most of her things ready; she just didn’t realize she needed to. She would get distracted looking at something and completely forget about it. That’s when I started to realize that something was probably wrong. She’s always been, you know, a pack-rat, and she just couldn’t grasp the fact that we were moving. She didn’t think she had to get rid of things. It soon became obvious that she had trouble remembering things. She forgot when we had things planned to do. She couldn’t recognize people. Almost a year ago, she started to think that we had a cat, and we haven’t had a cat for maybe 20 years ago. She thought her parents were still alive, and they’ve been dead for 15 years. She just started to wander off too. She would pack up her stuff and would be off to Wisconsin. She went down to the library thinking she was interviewing for a job. I woke up one morning and noticed she was walking in the door with a cup of soda. Somebody must’ve given her a ride somewhere, and at that point, I realized that I needed to do something. I wasn’t comfortable leaving her alone. I work in the woodshop here as a hobby, and I couldn’t leave her by herself. I couldn’t take her to the grocery store even. We would get in arguments. I had to put alarms on every door. One time in particular I couldn’t find her by the time I recognized that she was gone. Luckily, the village people found her and brought her back. We decided to put her in memory care at that point. She was smart though, and sometimes she would sneak off. Now she still recognizes Jan and she recognizes me. She is pretty stabilized at this point. When I realized something was wrong, I wasn’t scared; I was just saddened. It’s depressing that I don’t have a wife anymore—she isn’t the same person. You just don’t expect this type of thing to happen, but no, I wouldn’t say that I was afraid. It was too late by the time that we recognized she had Alzheimer’s. It is a rotten disease. I was reluctant to move her in there [special care area], but it was the right thing to do. What do I find pleasure in? Well, I fixed 6 little lamps this morning for a lady. It takes my mind off of things. What I’m finding is that it helps talking to people a little bit more and socializing. So I think that being involved with things more, even though I’m fairly antisocial, does help make things better. Some people find it impossible to let the person go into a nursing home. Well, most of the time you’re unable to handle them, and it’s the best thing to do.  

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