Your child is sick, maybe with a cold or the flu. You feel utterly helpless as your child suffers; you would give anything to make it all better. In a day or two, all is better. Now, imagine if this dragged on for years, getting worse and worse with every passing day. This is what it is like to have a parent with Alzheimer's; descending steadily into oblivion, robbed of the very things that make them who they are; their memories. With Alzheimer's there is no getting better in a day or two, things only get worse, much worse. There is a loss of independence and dignity. Suddenly they have regressed into a weird second childhood, only this one is not a trip to the fountain of youth. All you can do is stand by watching helplessly as your loved one hallucinates or tries to express themselves with communication skills that have gone haywire. Worse is yet to come. This is what it is like to be the caregiver of a loved one with Alzheimer's. This is hell.
If you know someone who is caring for a loved one with Alzheimer's reach out to them and let them know you care. You can't catch Alzheimer's from someone who has it. But you can make a difference in the life of someone.