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there are count­less hours of not know­ing what’s hap­pen­ing, and she isn’t even able to tell us. “We brought her home and now, [ Joel’s mother] and my mom share a large mas­ter bed­room. We in­stalled a hospi­tal cur­tain for pri­vacy as needed. They are do­ing fine to­gether. I imag­ine it works es­pe­cially well since both are quite far into their Alzheimer’s jour­ney.” Nei­ther of their moth­ers, once very ac­tive in both mind and body, are able to walk now. Wheel­chair-bound, the ladies rely on the care of their sons, care­givers, five-days-aweek hospice help, and a gen­er­ous sis­ter who lets the gen­tle­man take a break each Sun­day. “Once the care­givers leave, I give my mom one more dose of medicine around 7pm, and then change her around 10:30pm be­fore I go to bed,” Joel says. “She is then fine un­til the morn­ing.” See­ing the neu­rocog­ni­tive de­gen­er­a­tion in their moth­ers is lit­er­ally rob­bing the pair of two women that mean the very most. Re­calls Steve: “[My mother and I] used to have great con­ver­sa­tions, walks through our neigh­bor­hood, puz­zle mak­ing, meals, and shop­ping to­gether. She was an avid reader and en­joyed her book time. We laughed of­ten and en­joyed ev­ery minute of our time to­gether. We en­joyed mu­sic and pi­ano play­ing. We’ve been the best of friends my whole life.” Now, though, books are a thing of the past. In fact, it was her wan­ing abil­ity to read that helped tip off Steve’s fam­ily that some­thing had gone awry. “We no­ticed she kept the same books out,” he says. “Even­tu­ally, she stopped read­ing be­cause she couldn’t re­mem­ber the last chap­ter at all. Af­ter starting at the be­gin­ning re­peat­edly, she fi­nally just stopped read­ing al­to­gether.” Also wor­ry­ing was the fact that she be­came for­get­ful and would re­peat the same ques­tions over and over, of­ten even for­get­ting where she was go­ing when she was be­hind the wheel. Joel’s mother lead a full life un­til Alzheimer’s stripped her of every­thing she’d built with her fam­ily.

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