Alzheimer is a non-curable disease that affects the brain and begins with a series of memory lapses. These gradually advance to severe memory loss, having problems with one’s speech and sometimes a patient has moments of confusion throughout the day. As it progresses, the condition deteriorates and the individual loses the ability to perform simple tasks using his or her body parts. At this stage, the person is completely helpless and eventually dies from the damage caused by the disease since it hinders normal body functioning.
In the case of a granny suffering from Alzheimer’s, a teenager would be embarrassed in front of his peers. This is because his grandmother would be constantly seen to be different, almost like an outcast in the society. This kind of talk from people a teenager calls friends has the power to change his mood and attitude, as he would not want to be associated with his granny who is considered sick. Effectively, the teenager would develop a tendency of hiding from friends and when in a group, shy away from discussing the issue. The teenager would be afraid of being associated with an old, sick and dying grandmother and would wish that the issue be swept under the rug but unfortunately, it cannot just be wished away.
Similarly, the teenager would become resentful due to the momentous responsibilities that would be expected of him. Caring for Alzheimer patients is a round-the-clock job. If not immediately, then after a while, the teenager would realize that. This would prove too demanding for him since he too would have made other plans of his own. In fact, the teenager would become angry whenever the granny needs attention as that would have been a lost opportunity to go and hang out with friends or play a favorite video game. Thus, the teenager would view his/her granny as a bother especially when forced to repeat to the grandmother various events that occurred which she cannot remember.
In addition, the teenager would panic because of a lack of knowledge of how to handle the granny’s situation. Sometimes, this confusion of the teenager is out of desperation of wanting to help without knowing where to start. He would feel powerless. Furthermore, the doubts in the teenagers mind would manifest into fear as he questions why his grandmother was the one affected and not someone else’s. The stress that would follow in knowing that no matter how much help the teenager may be to the granny, she would eventually die could drive him into depression.
Due to her memory loss, the grandmother might not recall simple things such as whether she greeted the teenager and therefore greet him many times in a day. This would require a lot of patience and compassion from the teenager in order to tolerate such behavior. When the Alzheimer’s reaches an acute stage, granny may forget even the easiest of things like the teenager’s name. Surprisingly, she might also forget if the teenager was her grandchild in the first place. This can be very disturbing and emotionally draining to have to keep repeating those simple facts, several times per day. Consequently, granny could forget even the most private of things such as using the bathroom and has to be reminded. This would make her look like the child and the teenager the adult. However, it would be necessary for the teenager to understand that her behavior is because of the disease. She too is human and in such times of need, much love and care should be shown to her to help her live the final days of her life in relative peace and comfort.