I See You - When Alzheimer's Takes A Loved One - Heart 'n Home Hospice & Palliative Care, LLC

I See You – When Alzheimer’s Takes A Loved One

Watching a loved one change as Alzheimer’s slowly takes their mind, is a difficult thing.  First, they start to misplace items or forget little things. Before you know it, they are forgetting how to handle complex tasks. Then, sooner than you’d like, you see the fear in their eyes when they don’t know what is going on. The simple task of buttoning their shirt becomes too difficult as their muscles have lost their coordination and the ability to control their movements.  In the end, their voice is often lost as they lose the ability to speak coherently.

This disease wears heavy on both the loved one and their family.  Confusion, anger, frustration, and exhaustion each make regular appearances.  Confusion when the loved one can’t remember who their family members are. Confusion on the family’s end when they don’t know how to help their loved one.  Anger from the loved one when they aren’t understood.  Frustration when the family doesn’t know where to turn for help.  And exhaustion takes hold of all parties as they end challenging days.

It’s not uncommon for families to wonder what is going through the mind of their loved one as Alzheimer’s takes over.  Sometimes it seems like they are in their “own world” or “stuck in another time.” But as unknown as this disease is, one thing is for certain; the journey with Alzheimer’s is a difficult one.

Below is a poem that one of our Volunteers wrote as she watched this disease take hold of her grandmother.  She imagined the thoughts that might be going through her grandmother’s mind. In memory, she shares this poem with us all.

I See You

I see you looking at me
rolling those condescending eyes
when I don’t understand a clock, time
slipping away
the annoyance when I forget
I see you laughing at me when I do something “crazy” looking
at me past”
my blank, uncomprehending stare
I see you

I see you talking about me
whispers I can’t understand
Always talking about me
Paranoid, you say
I can’t respond
But, I see you

I see your look of relief
when you finally send me
to a nursing home
filled with dragging slippers
halting walks
half-eaten brains
I’m just another zombie to you
walking around without purpose
walking around waiting
waiting for the inevitable end

I see you when you visit
Each shorter, longer in between
fiddling with your keys
always shifting your
gaze when you sit there with me
with the shell of who I used to be

I see the burden I put on you
The struggles you go through
All because of me

I see those red eyes
tears falling like rain in the midst of a heavy storm
I see you pacing at midnight across the red hardwood floor
the panic in your eyes when I forget more and more

But I also see me brushing, braiding
your blonde hair
I see you running
through a field, racing yourself without a care
in the world
I see you growing up
right before my eyes

For it is not a body that makes up a person
Or a brain
it is a soul
So even when my body is frail and my mind is gone
my soul lives on
never forgetting
I see you, and I love you
-Alex Bolesky

At Heart ‘n Home, we understand the struggles that persons with Alzheimer’s and their families go through.  If you have questions about this disease process we have some resources available to you.  Click on the links below to view and download these resources. And as always, we welcome you to contact us if you need some extra support.

7 Stages of Alzheimer’s Disease
Alzheimer’s Disease


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