My grandma has Alzheimer’s disease and it’s really hard for my family. Alzheimer’s is a disease where you can forget things. Over time it gets progressively worse and it is getting harder for my grandma, Beverly, who is in her 70s. Sometimes she doesn’t know what she is talking about. For example, she says, “I want to go home,” but she is already in her home. Another example is she forgets my name and will call me my cousin’s name.

My grandma has a woman come over and help her during the week. She makes sure my grandma doesn’t wander off. She also helps my grandma clean the house and take care of herself. She does not come on the weekends because my grandpa does not work on the weekends.

advertisement | advertise on newsday

For support, my grandpa goes to a group that talks about Alzheimer’s. The people there talk about one of their family members that also has the disease. They talk about their own experiences. This group helps my grandpa because he can get new ideas about ways to help my grandma.

Sometimes my grandma gets really frustrated or upset when there are loud noises or if there is a mess. There are many times when she is very happy and wants to do something. For example, I was going on my uncle’s boat and she says, “I want to go.” I was surprised because in the past she always said, “No, I am too scared.”

So, if one of your family members has Alzheimer’s, here are some tips: Don’t get frustrated with them, and remind them of the past.