I wanted to share this link to an “interesting” article that I read this morning that really opens the door for me to talk about my father’s current situation. Pat Robertson indicated that he would support someone divorcing a person with Alzheimers and equated having Alzheimers to being dead. Tell that to my father, Pat! And you can tell him, despite the fact that he has AD, because he is NOT dead, and he is actually declining due to the pain surrounding his wife’s departure.
My father had been married to his wife for about 12 years when she left him. It was not the most stable of relationships, even when he was well, and I think she could not handle his decline and the thought of being his caregiver given the troubled relationship. Moreover, she had always been an argumentative person and she couldn’t quite adjust her approach despite the fact that the things upsetting her were due to his Alzheimers (i.e. she would still snap at him when he forgot to do something). She had other options than to leave, though, ie counseling, support groups, self-care, education. My father who has Alzheimers (and according to Mr. R is DEAD) asked her to attend marital counseling and she refused. Her choice was selfish.
She took vows and had an obligation. My father doesn’t understand it and is sad and broken. And lonely. His kids are here to pick up the peices, as much as we can, but it does not compensate for the loss of his companion. Pat Robertson’s comments make me sick — to in any way validate my dad’s wife’s choices is horrific in my opinion. Pat is completely disregarding the slow decline of Alzheimers Disease and the many years that person is still very much aware and ALIVE. My dad is not dead and someone with his power should be very cautious about what they propose.