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Sourje Tir. Sometimes We

08.11.2018   22:53

Forget…

By ARVIN DEMERJIAN

I’m sure most of us have heard of Alzheimer’s Disease and dementia, but the two often get confused. For those with family members with a dementia case, it can sometimes get frustrating and exhausting to explain things over and over again. My grandmother recently came from Lebanon to live with us here, and she has been getting quite forgetful.

This past weekend, my parents and grandmother visited other family members and celebrated a one-year-old’s birthday. The following day, my grandmother explained to other family members that we had gone to an engagement party. Whenever we correct her memory, she says “yes inch kitnam.” This always makes me laugh, especially in the mornings when she asks me where I slept, forgetting that I have my own room. She often forgets that we have a bathroom upstairs too, as well as forgetting that my sister goes to school at UCLA.  She doesn’t forget everything though, only the newer memories. She can easily tell someone a story from decades ago but can’t remember what she did the day before.

Alzheimer’s falls under the umbrella of dementia and makes up nearly 80% of dementia cases. Alzheimer’s is a brain disorder that slowly destroys memory and thinking skills. It is a cause of dementia, and progressively worsens as time goes on. There is no cure for Alzheimer’s, but there are studies being done to find a way to prevent and slow its progression. Doctors have told us to keep showing my grandmother family pictures, to do puzzles with her, and keep her mind active in order to help slow the progression by a little. To put it in perspective, over half of the US population has been affected by Alzheimer’s disease in some way. It has become an epidemic.

Although a very tragic and serious disease, this has become somewhat of a call to action for me. I have already learned some things from my grandmother that I didn’t know before. The recipes she would always make while I was growing up, her stitching (tserakordz), and all her funny stories. I can’t wait to keep learning from my grandmother, about her hobbies, our culture, and more about our family.

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