My mom, Carol, was diagnosed approximately 10 years ago with Alzheimer’s disease.

My mom, Carol, was diagnosed approximately 10 years ago with Alzheimer’s disease. After 5 years, following her diagnosis, of living at home with the help of family and caregivers, my mom had begun to wander away and had become lost more than once. Her memory and daily skills were failing rapidly. It was at that point that my dad, along with the family, had to make the excruciatingly painful decision to place my mom in a facility where she could live safely and receive excellent care. 

This has been a very difficult journey for my brothers and I and especially my dad.  My mom had been a beautifully coifed, meticulously dressed woman who, throughout her entire life, was involved in community service and engaged in many different organizations. She was a petite version of Jacqueline Kennedy — educated, beautiful, up to the minute in current fashion, conversationally versatile and engaged in her community no matter where she lived — in Waukegan, Illinois or in Jupiter, Florida. She was a committed mom to my brothers and myself as we grew up; a role model to us as a volunteer in her community and synagogue; and an involved and wonderful grandmother to her grandchildren.

Visiting my mom at this time reveals a very different and sad description of my her. Our family’s adjustment to my mom’s transition during the progression of this devastating disease has been very painful. However, we are a dedicated and loving family who, in spite of these radical changes in mom’s personality and appearance, still love and respect her. We know we cannot bring back our mom, but we hope and pray that research for Alzheimer’s disease will, one day, find a cure.