The woman in the picture below was 70 years old when it was taken. She still worked and walked 7 or 8 miles a day, every day, whatever the weather. She'd travelled over 50 miles (2 buses) to arrive at the appointed place and time, dressed for the occasion.
That was 3 and a half years ago. Now she has no memory of that day or indeed many other days. Almost every scrap of her independence is gone. Alzheimer's is a proper cunt of a disease.
Bless you all for your kind words. I think the worst part of it is that she is occasionally aware of what's happening. Physically, she's hale and hearty but her short-term memory is almost non-existent. Day to day stuff that we take for granted is impossible for her. She literally couldn't boil an egg and this is a woman once famed for her home-baking. That's how we knew she was going downhill; the Tablet and Caramel Shortbread, once highly prized, started to be discretely binned. Tea and toast is about all she can manage these days.
In a way, I'm kind of lucky. I've never been terribly close to my mum so I'm able to step back a wee bit and be a bit more pragmatic about things. It's still hard work but the support we've had from East Lothian Council and the local NHS folk has been astounding. Thank fuck for the professionals. And my Mrs, who is, as always, my rock.