For more than a dozen years, until he passed away from Alzheimer’s in 2006, I lived with my mate Hendrik Wolff. He lived with memories I thought should be recorded for history. He had seen men beaten and seen them die. When I initially attempted to get him to talk about those times, his gentle brown eyes would fill enough to spill over. But early in our days together, he found himself ready to talk about the past.
January is Alzheimer Awareness month and with that in mind I wrote the following essay. Many people know someone who is coping with this disease.
There are many types of dementia but they are all diseases of the brain which invariably result in: difficulties with everyday tasks like handling money and decision making; problems with communication, such as language or difficulty in finding the words they want and especially personality and behaviour changes.