My grandmother passed away from Alzheimer's in the 1990s.
Although I was not her direct caregiver, I saw how devastating the disease was
from visiting her and the effects it had on other family members. I am now a
writer researching Alzheimer's for a book project. I have hit the library, consulted the internet,
talked with several doctors, and still cannot come up with a definitive answer
so I am asking for your help. Here are my questions:
1. The opening of the book is a situation where the
character is living alone and undiagnosed, and wanders away from home. Later
chapters have this character, for a few hours or days at a time, functioning
somewhat normally. Her speech is mostly coherent and she is capable of routine
tasks under the care and supervision of others. Is this realistic, or based on
the late-stage wandering, would she be less cognitively aware and suffering
more physical symptoms?
2. The character
lives rurally on her farm. In attempt to help her feel normal, her niece (the
primary caregiver) will allow her to drive short distances on the farm under
supervision. Is this realistic?
It is my sincere hope that my book, although fiction, will
draw attention to the plight of Alzheimer's patients and their loved ones. I
appreciate any input you can share.