The truly terrible thing about degenerative conditions such as Alzheimer’s and dementia is that they not only force the afflicted to suffer, but often exact a great toll on that person’s family as well.
Of course, every now and then moments pass when a patient appears to remember things; a sudden spark of clarity that strikes like a bolt of lightning and offers a sought-after window into the past.
It’s those moments that family members cherish when one of their loved ones is in the latter-stages of a battle with Alzheimer’s … just as Elaine Rusk.
Elaine’s father Norm has Alzheimer’s, and so struggles to recall things he would once have known effortlessly. But when Elaine asked him one day if he knew he had Alzheimer’s, his answer left her with a broad smile and a warm heart …
Norm was 89-years-old when he was diagnosed with the disease. Elaine decided to become her father’s full-time carer, ensuring he still had the opportunity to enjoy a life worth living.
Elaine wanted to spend time with her father, taking him outside in a wheelchair, experiencing the great outdoors, and playing games.
Ever since she could remember, Norm had been an avid painter of watercolor art pieces, but his life as a working adult had meant he didn’t have the time to pursue it properly. Elaine decided that when he moved in with her, she would reignite the fire once lost.
Elaine explained to the Sun Chronicle that the times she now shares with her father are the moments she will cherish.
“To me, it’s like a sacred time. We’re in the moment together,” she said.
Which is why her joy was so profound when he responded to the question of whether or not he knew he had Alzheimer’s disease.
Elaine recorded the moment she asked him, only for him to respond: “Yeah. I know I got it!”
It should go without saying that caring for someone suffering from Alzheimer’s is a very trying process. There are good days and bad days, and the idea that your loved one is slipping away from you, one day at a time, can be a testing notion to wrestle with.
And yet, it’s through such battles that true love presents itself in many different forms. Despite the confusion and the uncertainty, all it takes is one word to remind someone that their loved one is still there deep down, still fighting to recall the person they were and the connections they had.
Watch Elaine’s heartwarming video with Norm below:
Hats off to all those incredible people who care for sufferers of Alzheimer’s and similar diseases.
Share this article to spread some joy around the internet today. All of our thoughts and prayers go out to Elaine and Norm.