Both of my in-laws died of Alzheimer's. I watched their minds deteriorate to the point they didn't recognized close family members. But both, shortly before dying had a moment of clarity.
My father-in-law no longer spoke and slept most of the time. But within weeks of his death, he was laying in bed resting and holding my mother-in-law's hand, when he
opened his eyes, looked at her and said, "You know, sweetheart... we've had a wonderful life together." Clear as day. Then he returned to how he'd been, quietly sleeping all the time.
My mother-in-law was so disoriented when Alzheimer's finally got a hold of her that she thought my wife was her older sister and eventually thought she was just the woman who came to do her laundry. (This really saddened my wife.) But within weeks of her death, she was sitting with other patients in the nursing home when my wife walked into the room. My mother-in-law put a big smile on her face and introduced my wife, saying "Here's my daughter, Jennifer!" Shortly afterwards her mind returned to full-time forgetfulness.
Has anyone else heard of, or experienced, these types of moments of clarity that appear way out of character for an advanced Alzheimer's patient?
Post Edited (IMJustCurious) : 6/25/2011 2:11:10 PM (GMT-6)