Should Parents allow Grand Children Visit a Grandparent with Alzheimers Disease – Yes

My Dad died with Alzheimer’s Disease and I must say, “It’s terrible to see them suffer in the end.” My heart would break each time I saw him and I was in my forties. I’ll never forget those piercing blue eyes staring blankly at me. I felt in my heart he knew I was there because when I felt his arms, I felt a sense of knowing he knew I was there with him because of a slight twinge in his muscles. I believe children should be allowed to visit a grandparent with Alzheimer’s because they may not be able to speak to the children and to say something but they may know they are there and they get pleasure knowing their grandchild is close to them. Alzheimer’s shuts the spirit of the soul down and I do believe it’s because of a loss of motor skills. I think they probably know us but cannot respond because the part of their brain responsible for speech no longer works properly.

I noticed before my Dad shut down totally, he would try to explain things to me but he couldn’t get what he was trying to say out. He’d try to explain but he couldn’t form the words to enable him to sensibily get his message across to the person he was speaking to. Early stages of Alzheimer’s causes many strange things to happen to the individual…they become paranoid and oft times think someone is in their homes, on their grounds, extremely depressed, think theirs something in their food, i.e., worms, dirt, etc. They become agitated and irritated very easy and they don’t recognize family members some days but other days they do. If they drive or walk somewhere, they’ll start losing their cars or forget their way back home from a walk. They’ll often repeat, “You didn’t tell me that before now,” when maybe you have told them to put their shoes on two or three times before they will put them on.

Dad lost track of the month, the day, and the year, and this would frustrate him terribly. It was like watching a spirit and soul die a little more with each few months. It is hard on a family and it breaks a heart to see their loved one deteriorating in such a manner. I never did feel my Dad didn’t know I was there because I felt such a closeness to him. I wouldn’t have ever admitted he didn’t know I was there because I felt a muscle reaction from him in his last stages as I spoke to him. I’m a firm believer “we” never know whether they can know us because “we” are not in their situation. One might think a brain has totally shut down but who are we to say that they can’t hear us and know that we are with them?

I know one thing for sure, if I do get Alzheimer’s Disease, I want my grand-children to visit me because “we” never know what a person with the disease is hearing, feeling, and seeing.