Dementia and Alzheimers Disease is no match for the WBTS

by LDH 4 Replies latest jw friends

  • LDH

    After 50 years of cleaning houses and pioneering, my aunt has Dementia and/or Alzheimers Disease.

    Now, in her old childless age, (husband passed away 5 years ago and she lives alone) you would think that she would enjoy the company of family. Even though she is geographically 3000 miles away, there are still phones and letters.

    Her disease has progressed to the point where she can not remember the names of people she's known for years, much less care for herself physically.

    A couple of years ago my dad told me she had some stuffed animals sitting on the sofa and was having a 'Bible Study' with them. She was convinced it was me and my daughter. She was trying to 'bring me back into the truth.'

    So every once in a while I call her to say hello and check on her. Her first question?

    "Lisa are you still disfellowshipped? If you are you know I can't talk to you. Aunty follows the Bible. You should come back to the Kingdom hall so we can be a big happy family." <vomit break>

    Now isn't it amazing that this woman who can't remember almost anything of importance has had this SEARED into her brain. It's a flight-or-fight instinct at this point of her life. If I'm disfellowshipped, she is endangering her very spiritual welfare by talking to me.

    This is classic brainwashing at it's worst.


  • Big Tex
    Big Tex

    Could be, and probably is.

    But just to be devil's advocate for a moment, oftentimes dementia affects short term memory first and sort of works backward. The long term memory is often the last thing to go.

    My wife's uncle and mother had it and suffered through 10 years before they finally passed away. Her mother would look at Jennie, our daughter, and call her Christina (my wife's name).

    Could be programming, probably is. But it could also be the disease talking too.


  • LDH
    The long term memory is often the last thing to go.

    I would accept this explanation if she recognized her sisters. As it is, she's very violent toward them (latent rage perhaps?)

    It's sad that her mind's trigger tells her to ask these things as soon as she hears my name.


    Pavlov's Dogs Class

  • cruzanheart

    And I knew an old Greek Witness (George Tsigaris, from the Teaneck, New Jersey area) who got Alzheimer's in his old age and very happily celebrated birthdays and holidays with his grown children and their families. It was quite the scandal. My mother spoke of it in hushed tones and wondered if maybe "the Truth" wasn't as ingrained into his heart as it should have been. Yep, that's my mom: when SHE got Alzheimer's the staff at the nursing home asked me if she'd been a stripper in her early days because every time she heard music she started dancing and taking her clothes off! Of course, she went through the ornery stage, LDH -- I think that's when they're trying so hard to keep control and they know they're losing it so they're angry at everyone around them. Once she relaxed and let go, she turned into a happy child who wouldn't eat her vegetables and insisted on two helpings of dessert. She was happiest when I brought her a Butterfinger McFlurry from McDonald's, or a chocolate milk shake.


  • rebel8
    I would accept this explanation if she recognized her sisters.

    I might be wrong....but I think the part of the brain responsible for recognizing faces is separate from the part of the brain responsible for long term memory. I think recalling very old events while being unable to recognize familiar faces is a common characteristic of Alzheimers.

    That may not make it any easier for you to cope with though.

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