Our family believes he is in the twilight of this progressive disease.
He was assessed with frontal lobe dementia about two years ago. We noted differences as many as five years ago.
Claudia Anderson and Sonya Moats are the private caregivers who provide my family, especially my mother, with help with my father.
Not meaning to do anything other than tell our story on the air during the event, I wasn’t expecting to write this personal viewpoint to go along with Mark’s radiothon.
I gave my family’s history with the disease to the radio audience. Stacy Hill was, and Claudia Anderson is, instrumental in my dad’s care.
Stacy oversees the Lantern, a memory-care residence where my dad lived for over a year. She explained the progression of the disease and how hard it can be for the primary caregiver.
My mother, Barbara Kaylor, decided she wanted to bring my dad home. This is a great burden on her and that’s where Anderson and Moats entered our family as supporting caregivers.
They share responsibilities of his care.
Hill, as a number of other professional caregivers who are accredited in the Alzheimer’s family circle, explained the disease and its stages. Anderson spoke of the day-to-day progression of how my dad’s functions have diminished since he has been back home ... for less than three months.
We all used the opportunity to stress the importance of research for a cure or better medicines to treat this disease that is erasing the years of my dad’s life, and took Mark’s mother, Patty Ann, at the age of 76, as well as millions of others … some young, some old.
We were just a small part of what could be an annual event for Mark Grissom as he honored the memory of his mother … because “memories matter.”