As I started collecting Alzheimers quotes for this post, something struck me. I didn’t want to just have a list of quotes, but I wanted to know WHY that person said it.
I also wanted to know if the person saying it had Alzheimers or was the loved one or caregiver who had to watch them go through this horrible disease.
As an in-home dementia caregiver I sometimes wonder what my Mother In Law is thinking. Doing this research I found some clues to what it must feel like to have Alzheimers.
I also found some solace in hearing how others felt about their role in caring for their loved ones who were slipping away, right in front of their eyes.
1. I want to tell you how much I miss my mother. Bits of her are still there. I miss her most when I’m sitting across from her.Candy Crowler, CNN Chief Political Correspondent (daughter of Alzheimers parent)
2. It occurred to me that at one point it was like I had two diseases — one was Alzheimer’s, and the other was knowing I had Alzheimer’s.Terry Pratchett, Best Selling Author (who had Alzheimers)
3. I don’t know anything about it because I don’t feel any different. The stuff I can’t remember is great because it’s a lot of stuff I don’t want to remember anyway.Glen Campbell, Singer Songwriter (who had Alzheimers) source
4. At the moment I’m just falling, falling … just falling as it were, I think of things and then they go away forever.Iris Murdoch, Author (who had Alzheimers) source
5. She is not sailing into the dark. The voyage is over, and under the dark escort of Alzheimer’s, she has arrived somewhere.John Bayley, Husband of Iris Murdoch (who had Alzheimers) source
6. When people say, ‘You have Alzheimer’s,’ you have no idea what Alzheimer’s is. You know it’s not good. You know there’s no light at the end of the tunnel. That’s the only way you can go. But you really don’t know anything about it. And you don’t know what to expect.Nancy Reagan, Wife of Ronald Reagan (who had Alzheimers)
7. The great tragedy of Alzheimer’s disease, and the reason why we dread it, is that it leaves us with no defense, not even against those who love us.P. D. James, British Author (included in a study about authors and Alzheimers as the “non Alzheimers” control)
8. Alzheimers strips bits off of you regularly until there isn’t much of you left.Terry Pratchett, Best Selling Author (who had Alzheimers) source
9. Suffering is always hard to quantify especially when the pain is caused by as cruel a disease as Alzheimer’s. Most illnesses attack the body; Alzheimer’s destroys the mind and in the process, annihilates the very self.Jeffrey Kluger, Editor at Large for TIME magazine, (memory loss in family)
10. It seems that when you have cancer you are a brave battler against the disease, but when you have Alzheimer’s you are an old fart. That’s how people see you. It makes you feel quite alone.Terry Pratchett, Best Selling Author (who had Alzheimers)
11. …she thought of her mother’s mind as if there were balloons floating inside and sometimes she grabs one. “Sometimes she grabs them all and the stories come out.”Candy Crowler, CNN Chief Political Correspondent (daughter of Alzheimers parent) source
12. The thing about Alzheimer’s is that it’s it’s sort of like all these little, small deaths along the way, before they actually physically die.Lucinda Williams, Musician (daughter of Alzheimers parent) source
13. When her Poet father said that the part of his brain that enabled him to write poetry was no longer working properly… This was my dad, the poet. It was like someone saying that he couldn’t see anymore. It was part of him that was just gone. It’s like a part of him died.Lucinda Williams, Musician (daughter of Alzheimers parent) source
14. You just get up each day and put one foot in front of the other and go. You know, each day is different.Nancy Reagan, Wife of Ronald Reagan (who had Alzheimers)
15. My father started growing very quiet as Alzheimer’s started claiming more of him. The early stages of Alzheimer’s are the hardest because that person is aware that they’re losing awareness. And I think that that’s why my father started growing more and more quiet.Patti Davis, Child of Ronald Reagan (daughter of Alzheimers parent)
16. I think the best thing I ever did with my life was stand up and say I’ve got Alzheimer’s.Terry Pratchett, Best Selling Author (who had Alzheimers)
17. To put it simply our brain span should match our lifespan.Meryl Comer, Emmy Award-winning Broadcast Journalist (wife of Alzheimers husband) source
18. People do not realize that Alzheimer’s is not old age. It is a progressive and fatal disease and staggering amounts of people develop Alzheimer’s every day.Melina Kanakaredes, Actress and Alzheimers Activist
19. Never let the brain idle. ‘An idle mind is the devil’s workshop.’ And the devil’s name is Alzheimer’s.Unknown, Falsely Attributed to George Carlin
20. Alzheimer’s it is a barren disease, as empty and lifeless as a desert. It is a thief of hearts and souls and memories.Nicholas Sparks, Author of The Notebook which features an Alzheimers protagonist
21. I often hear people say that a person suffering from Alzheimer’s is not the person they knew. I wonder to myself – Who are they then?Bob DeMarco, Founder of the Alzheimers Reading Room (son of Alzheimers parent)
22. Alzheimer’s disease locks all the doors and exits. There is no reprieve, no escape.Patti Davis, Child of Ronald Reagan (daughter of Alzheimers parent)
23. To care for those who once cared for us is one of the highest honors. Caregiving often calls us to lean into love we didn’t know possible.Tia Walker, Author The Inspired Caregiver
24. I lose a little more of Mom every day. I want so badly to promise my daughter that she will never have to lose me in the same way.Leeza Gibbons, Entertainment and News Media, Founder of Leeza’s Care Connection (daughter and granddaughter of Alzheimers)
25. With Alzheimer’s patients, you have to be very careful what you say when you’re looking at them over their bed. Because once in a while, they understand it.Nancy Reagan, Wife of Ronald Reagan (who had Alzheimers)
26. You always underestimate – rather than be disappointed.Malcolm Young, AC/DC Rock Band (who had Alzheimers)
27. Fear is an insidious and deadly thing. It can warp judgment, freeze reflexes, breed mistakes. Worse, it’s contagious.Jimmy Stewart, American Actor (who had Alzheimers)
28. It’s extremely hard to mourn the loss of my lifetime companion, my mother, while she’s still alive.Nancy Elizabeth Faram (daughter of Alzheimers parent) source
29. Alzheimer’s is brutal. I mean, it’s associated with losing your memory, but you don’t just forget who people are; you also forget how to talk, how to eat, how to do everything. That’s hard to wrap your head around until you actually see it.Seth Rogan, American Actor (son in law of Alzheimers parent) source
Bonus… Yes Mom, I want to hear a story about your childhood because it makes you happy not confused!Tara Jacobsen, Writer at ArtsyFartsyLife.com (daughter in law of dementia parent)
Writing this post was heart wrenching. I found myself tearing up reading John Bayley’s words about his brilliant wife after she had passed.
I hope that you find some Alzheimers quotes that make you understand a little bit more or feel a little bit better. Sometimes I think that is all we can hope for.