My grandfather suffers from Lewy Body Dementia, a disease that affects an estimated 1.3 million individuals and their families in the U.S. He has been in a care facility since January 2010 and his health and mental capacity will only continue to decline until he is free from his body.
It would be easier not to visit, to try to remember him as he was - a brilliant, powerful man with a great sense of humour. Perhaps he doesn't even know I'm there anyway. But I know. I know that I love my grandfather, that I remember our good times together, that I respect him as the man he once was. I know that staff responsible for his care need to know that he has family watching out for him, asking about skin conditions, ingrown toenails, and other causes of discomfort.
So one of my goals is to visit him every two months. It's not often, but it's better than letting time slip by and forgetting he's still here.