Maureen shares what first went through her mind when her father was diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease.
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Maureen Canright: My name is Maureen Canright. I am a caregiver for my father, who was diagnosed with Alzheimer's about a year ago. I moved in with him last November. It was a very difficult transition and an experience initially until I fortunately got connected with Banner Alzheimer's Institute, which I've gone through all of the programs, attended all of their outings and have gained enormous confidence and education in this illness. With both my father and his brother and my mother's grandmother having Alzheimer's, it's very important for me to find all I can about it. EmpowHer: What went through your mind when you first learned your father had Alzheimer's disease? Maureen Canright: Well, actually it was almost a relief to find out what it was. It was difficult to diagnose. I don't know that it was difficult to diagnose. I had a difficult time communicating with all of the myriad doctors that we had to see. There is not much information that's provided to a caregiver or a family member from the doctor. You go and you see a neurologist, who says, yes, you have Alzheimer's and writes a little thing down and gives them a slip and says, yeah, come back in six months. Well, that's fine, but what do we do for six months? How do we live? How do we communicate? How do we talk? How do we live? And do it as gracefully as we can without constantly fighting. Number one lesson; never argue with an Alzheimer's patient. But by the time you learn that, you have already had plenty of arguments, because you don't understand that it's Alzheimer's, you don't understand that they are not getting it, you don't understand that their short-term memory is gone, because they look normal and can act normal, sometimes you think it's you.