Gord and Brenda
Gord was diagnosed with A-typical EOD at the age of 57. My husband was in great physical shape, had enjoyed a successful career in sales, and was a father and grandfather. Before our diagnosis we changed up our lives to accommodate his anxiety and depression. He repeatedly passed memory tests with our physician until we paid to have cognitive testing done and were told his deficiencies were great.
We were both self-employed and although we had saved for our retirement we were not prepared for one income and the increase in our living expenses. I took a full time position at 60 to afford the cost of long term care for Gord. Placement was based on availability, with no regard to our personal situation. I worked full-time, he was in NW Calgary, we lived in SW Calgary. Exhaustion and hypertension was my new normal.
Gord died September 22, 2013, he was 64. He wanted to die. The facility he had been placed in was very old, the smell was revolting, there was no access to fresh air and he was at least 15 years younger than most of the patients. We did everything we could to get him moved to a different facility. This proud man was living completely without dignity, missing his family and his life, trying so hard to always be the best he could be. Heartbreaking for all of our family.
There are many compassionate and kind people working within AHS. I felt so often their sympathy to our situation and our age. But there were always waiting lists – for day programs and for care. The system and the employees of AHS simply do not have the resources to support those living with Early On-set Alzheimers or their families and partners.
Critical Issues: Education, Early Diagnosis, Research, Age Appropriate Day Programs and Long Term Care Facilities.