We are about to lose a sweet, loving Teddy-bear of a man who attended our Alzheimer Caregiver Support Group with his adored wife Carol. Since they had always done things together, he wanted to join her at the group meetings as well. He ate the snacks, sat by the door so he could visit the facilities whenever he felt the need and looked adoringly at his wife the rest of the time, asking questions occasionally when she spoke, wondering if she were talking about him. Until about three months ago when he forgot who she was, initially calling her his "cousin."
Since she was the axis about which his world revolved, when he lost her, Wally lost himself and he became unmanageable at home. It took 90 interminable days for the Arizona Long Term Health Care process to approve him for residential care and he was placed on a waiting list at the memory cere center, but just when the paperwork was complete, Wally became aggressive and violent and was admitted to the closed psychiatric ward of a local hospital where he has been for the past two weeks. Last week he stopped eating and drinking, his kidneys failed and he was moved to a hospice unit today with a two to three day prognosis. He breathed his last breath this afternoon with his beloved wife at his bedside.