Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Alzheimer's 101: Ignore This Disease At Your Own Peril

August 2012 @ White Sands
Like the vast majority of Americans, these past few years, The Pink Flamingo has been dealing with a major financial crises, the worst in my life.  No, I didn't cause it.  It was completely unanticipated and struck without warning - almost. Yes, there were warnings, but like so many other people in my position, I ignored those warnings. I am learning most of us do when we're dealing with Alzheimer's Disease and the ruin of and disaster it causes in a person's life. 

The ruin it causes, the disasters that the disease often causes does not come from the disease, but from ignoring the disease.  The disasters come from predators who are out there, preying on the elderly, the trusting, and those who have families who are choosing to ignore the symptoms of the disease and the societal problem of an entitled group of men and women who legally can get away with it.

Looking back on things, it is obvious that my father had symptoms of the disease nearly a decade ago - symptoms we ignored because he always lost thing.  He had a tendency to take a short-cut when traveling.  A ship's navigator in the South Pacific during WWII, he can barely read a map at times. Unfortunately, the financial predators have a profile, and go for the kill.  It has taken three years of detective work (on again and off again, of course) for his accountant to agree with me, that close to a million dollars has managed to disappear - without a trace.  No, my father did not do it.  we know who did.  I can't prove it because my trusting, honest father, who knew that a quarter of a million dollars had gone astray, sought out the very men and women who were scamming him, and asked for their help.  He left all of his financial records with them, ignoring my pleas that he let me keep them.

That's Alzheimer's Disease.

It is the reason we must be diligent about our parents, and the elderly, not to allow them to be scammed. There are things a person can do, but the problem is that parents, especially if they are staring to have some cognitive problems, don't want help.  That alone should be a flashing hot pink neon sign that things are not good.  There will be a time when you must take control.  No, it isn't fun.  It's traumatic, but if you don't, they could lose everything.

All rights reserved, SJ Reidhead