Caregiver of these beautiful souls

I became a nurse aide in 1994. I worked in a few nursing homes caring for all stages of patient care. I started a job back in 1998 of a local nursing home when I lived in Pennsylvania. I worked in the skilled unit at first but was the substitute for the Alzheimer unit when the full time aide was off. I loved working with these beautiful souls. I eventually was placed in the Alzheimer unit full time around 2000. My unit was primarily a first stage care unit but we had some that were early stage 2 patients. The residents grow to become like a grandparent and family to you. You learn about their lives, their professions, and who they were before the illness struck. Many don't realize how special Alzheimer patients are until you sit down and spend time with them. They aren't little children. They are grandparents, parents, former teachers, people who have a brain disorder. They are people and sometimes can be combative but they love and laugh just as you and I. I moved and had to leave my job when I met my husband who lived in another state. I cherish the memories of those lovely people and realized how blessed I was to spend with them and care for them. Hopefully, one day, a cure can be found for this disease. Besides being a caregiver, my great grandmother and my grandfather had Alzheimer's disease. My great grandmother lived to be 105. She was unaware of her surroundings before she passed. My grandfather became very aggressive against my grandmother whom he loved dearly and had to be placed in a nursing facility. He smiled every time he saw my grandmother. There was a bond between them even though he didn't really recognize her. His face lit up every time she came into the room. She died 2 months before him. One aide told me that he cried every night for weeks as if he knew she had passed. He died shortly after her.

Pat Grosse
Elyria, OH