Alzheimer’s and dementia are generally devastating for not only the patient, but the patient’s family as well. But every now and then, there’s a brief moment of clarity that shines a light back onto what once was!
Such was the case when Elaine Rusk asked her father, Norm, if he knew he had Alzheimer’s. His answer is as heartwarming as it is hopeful – and it left his daughter smiling from ear to ear.
Norm is a perfect example that just because he can’t remember things all the time, doesn’t mean he’s gone altogether!
In 2014, when Norm was 89 years old, he was diagnosed with the disease. Instead of panicking, Eliane decided to take the leap and become her father’s full time caretaker. Now they spend all day together – taking in the great outdoors (with Norm in a wheelchair), playing games and rediscovering a hobby that he once loved!
All throughout her childhood, Eliane can remember her father painting gorgeous pieces of watercolor art. As the years passed and Norm’s life became more and busy, the hobby died off. But as soon as Norm moved in with her, Eliane knew it was time to bring it back.
She stocked up on paintbrushes and watercolors, and presented them to her overjoyed dad.
Although there are bad days, just like any Alzheimer’s patient, Eliane told The Sun Chronicle the time she shares with Norm is something she’ll treasure forever.
“To me, it’s like a sacred time. We’re in the moment together.”
That’s why his reaction to being asked if he knew he had the disease is some heartwarming!
During an on-camera moment with her dad, Eliane asked if he knows he has Alzheimer’s. Without missing a beat, Norm looks at her, smiled and said:
“Yeah. I know I got it!”
Caring for someone with Alzheimer’s or dementia can be frustrating, sad and tiring, but today, Eliane knows it’s all worth it. Her father is still there, through the cloudiness and confusion!
That’s the only reassurance she needs!