If I get Alzheimer's, just off me

My grandmother’s got it bad, and so does my boss’s MiL. The upshot is that to pay for care, both husbands are likely to have to sell their houses. My granddad is paying STG£500 a week to keep my grandmother in a home.

If this should happen to me in a few decades’ time, I do not wish to place the burden of care nor cost on my SO. I want her to be able to enjoy the rest of her life. If I’m at the stage where the quality of my life is dirt, or I’m entirely unaware of my surroundings, then I’d rather not be alive.

What do other people think?

I’m inclined to agree, though I guess it would be difficult to say exactly at what point during the degeneration to choose.

On a brighter note, I’m really hoping that with advances in the understanding of how these diseases work, we’ll be the last generation to lose loved ones. I don’t know how realistic this hope is, but all my fingers are crossed [sub]which makes my typing something of a spectator sport…[/sub]

It’s a terrible thing, it’s true.

By the time my great-grandmother died, at age 95, she was bedridden and couldn’t even consistently recognize her own daughters. My grandma and her sister, who visited and cared for her regularly, were doing this while in their mid-to-late seventies themselves.

I’m with you jjimm. Ditto if I’m in a coma for more than 6 months.

My mom died of ALS, which is the horrible inverse of Alzheimer’s: the mind stays whole while the body withers. Let’s hope they find out how these things work soon.

Alzheimer’s really is a horrible disease. So is ALS. I’d much rather have a nice heart attack in my sleep thanks. Because of the range of illnesses out there and the unpredictability of our lives, I think people need to plan for their long term care early… this is as important as getting a will and a health care proxy. There is ‘long term care’ insurance but you need to get it before you get sick.

Hubby’s grandfather is in a nursing home now with Alzheimers. They are hoping medicaid will start picking up the tab as he’s broke and his wife died this summer. I’m not sure what the monthly cost is but I know he has a balance well in excess of $20,000 due that’s stuck in limbo since Grandma’s estate is in probate and he has no assets of his own.

Hubby’s father was diagnosed at 54 and no longer works. They are trying to get disability for him. This has certainly altered their retirement plans :frowning:

My great grandmother died in her late nineties. She had a few strokes too but the Alzheimer’s was the worst part of her illness. She knew who no one was as she was living in 1914 most of the time so she called you who she thought you were - her daughter became her mother for example. She also only spoke French because that was her native tongue - she learned english after she immigrated - so it difficult to care for her unless you spoke very old french… not what they teach in school.

My aunt had alzheimer’s - and she slowly regressed (over 8 years) from being a 65 year old english professor to being a 4 year old. She had to have a keeper, but she has always so very happy. Then, right as she began to lose control and started to be violent, she had a massive stroke and died within hours.

As long as I’m happy, I’m fine. But if I’m in horrible pain and/or misery, I don’t need to stick around here for anything.

My wife’s grandmother is now at the point where she no longer recognizes family members, she screams at everybody for no reason whatsoever, and she’s is starting to get too violent for me trust her being around my daughter.

It’s really awful, and it’s very painful for everyone involved.

I was thinking about this myself just this past weekend, jjimm, and I have to agree with you. If I got that far, I think I’d use a moment of lucidity to do myself in. Driving my family both crazy and into the poorhouse while not actually being there is just too terrible a thought.

My grandmother took years and years to die of Alzheimer’s. And her son, my uncle, cared for her the entire time. It was terribly sad - she devolved from a wonderful, intelligent woman to someone who couldn’t recognize her own children to further when she lost the ability to speak. She’d just sit and cry for hours. Death was a blessing in her case.


Me too… My mom died a little over a year ago from Alzheimers. It was so hard on my dad, he tried to care for her at home long after she should have been placed into a nursing home. Almost killed him, too. Mercifully, she only lasted a couple of months in the nursing home. It was of course hard on me, I went every day at supper time…she couldn’t feed herself…and she couldn’t talk, recognize me, bathe, get out of bed, anything, on her own.

A horrid disease that kills everybody around. I sure as hell don’t want to go through that, or put anybody else through it.

Pass the bullets, jjimm.

Cripes. I’m sorry.

My dad died of Parkinson’s Disease. It was awful. I didn’t realize that it had the mental deterioration that it did. Perhaps that was better. The only upside was that he was always a pleasant, happy-go-lucky kind of guy, so he never reached the angry/confused state I’ve seen elsewhere.

Sorry, jjimm, alzheimer’s is hard.

I’ve been terrified of alzheimer’s for years. A close family friend was diagnosed in the beginning of the eighties, and it was difficult to watch her come apart. She was young, too-- I don’t think she was quite forty. Visiting her at Riverview Hospital provided plenty of fuel for nightmares that still persist today. Although it’s a horrible place, I think I’d probably still have the nightmares if she had been placed in the best private care facility. Near the end, everything was so close to the surface. She was so defenseless-- to see this woman that was so bright and funny reduced so much. No intellect, but so much emotion. The last time I saw her, she seemed terrified when I came into the room. I figured she didn’t remember who I was, so I reintroduced myself and tried to hold her hand in a comforting way. Suddenly she grabbed my hand and tried to move it down to her crotch. When I pulled it away, she starting sobbing and didn’t stop until after I’d left. What do you do? (I was only twelve or thirteen at the time, although I doubt I’d be able to handle it any better today.) Her poor husband and children. :frowning:

My mother has been increasingly forgetful and confused lately, and at every lapse I get more worried that it’s alzheimer’s. So far it seems that it’s “just” age and the effects of other ailments/medications, and I feel a weird unfocused guilt at being grateful for that.

I don’t think there’s another disease on the planet that terrifies me as much as alzheimer’s. If I were ever diagnosed, I’m pretty sure I’d make preparations to kill myself, and then fret every day, wondering if it was ‘safe’ to put it off another day.


My Dad plans to take up cliff climbing when he starts to lose it. He figures when he can no longer figure out how to make a safe knot, down the cliff he goes! No worrying about how long to put it off. He then instructed us to wait a few weeks to find him so that the coyote pick him clean so we don’t have to see a bloody corpse.

I plan to instruct my children similarly.

My maternal grandfather had alzheimers and towards the end he thought he was back on his ranch with servents and the whole nine yards. He thought he was that young commanding figure of his youth. He would call for his horses and announce he was leaving to go inspect the property.

He kept repeating questions after getting the answers but somehow he did remember my mom even on his death bed. My grandparents lived in Mexico and we are in Las Vegas. When she walked in the room his face brightened and he told her he was so happy to see her. She asked him if he knew who she was, he replied that he did and called her by name. Which is pretty impressive since she was also the youngest and having been gone for so long. He asked to hold her hand and talk awhile. He died holding her hand that night with all of his children in his room. :frowning:

Sorry I meant to add she was the youngest of nine, 5 of them girls. Anyway having alzheimers and ALS are bad- My family has experianced both.

If I am ever diagnosed with ALS or Alzheimer’s I will kill myself.

They are too brutally slow a killer to allow my family to suffer for so long. I’d rather have the quick shocking death for my family to cope with and no insurance policy, than the loooooooooooooong, lingering suffering for everyone and drain the fianances.

In cases like this I believe very strongly in a right-to-die.

My great grandfather was almost exactly the same as you describe Nvme77, and he had Alzheimers a few years ago. He was always a very assertive person which caused problems, but his wife just couldn’t take it, she felt like he was dead to her.

I worked in an adult day care center with Alzheimer’s patients for a little over 2 years. It was the most emotionally draining time I can think of in my life.

It is a horrible, awful disease that robs a person little by little over an agonizingly slow period of time.

I could tell you tons of stories about different clients we served. One was a prominent lawyer at one time in Birmingham. His daughter dropped him off every morning at day care and he sat by the door, crying, waiting for her to come back.

We had a man and a woman that considering themselves to be dating and would sit on the couch all day holding hands. The woman’s daughter decided this was “inappropriate” and she stopped bringing her mother to the center with no warning to either of them. The man went to that couch every day for 3 months asking when Margaret was coming and when we told him she wasn’t coming he would sit there and cry. His memory was gone so every day was the same thing. He didn’t remember the next day that she wasn’t coming back so he would ask again and again and again. He died after 3 months.

I have sat one day and listened to their stories about their children, wars they fought in, jobs they had, world events they witnessed and then the next day have to take them to the restroom when they soiled themselves and couldn’t remember their own name.

It is my prayer constantly that with enough research that there can be some kind of cure or at least medicine advances to slow down the process and give these people a little more time.

You definitely have my thoughts jjimm and I completely understand where you are coming from when you say you would rather die.