If you're looking for a nice blog about an innocent granddaughter caring for her sweet ol' Nana while she battles Alzheimer's disease, just stop reading now. Seriously, leave our blog and keep Googling. You'll find that story somewhere, but I can guarantee we aren't the family for you to follow. Nope, not one bit.
Now our story, on the other hand, is similar to so many others but we don't care to only share the simple joys and give you unrealistic hope about Alzheimer's or caring for someone with it. Instead, we share the good, the bad, and the unsightly. Even when it leaves us with a little less dignity for sharing too much of our truth.
This story is real. It's raw and honest and laced with profanity when it's called for. It's ours, so frankly I don't give a shit if you even like it or not. My only hope is that someone out there can use some of Nana's words of wisdom, find peace knowing they are not alone, and maybe enjoy their experience just a little more while they can.
We are the Barnat's (Craig and Gina with kids - Sara, Melissa, Dana, and Ben). We lost our beloved Papa (Gina's father) on April 12, 2016. Since then it's been a whirlwind of trying to tie up loose ends and prepare for Nana's long term care.
Nana goes by many names. Among the most popular, Nana, Mom, and Barbara.
Nana is 81 years old and is in a later stage of Alzheimer's. She needs 24/7 care and assistance with everything. Physically, she's still pretty active and capable of walking and basic activities, but mentally she has severe challenges.
Our Papa was her keeper and with his recent passing, we promised Papa we would take the best care of Nana.
For April, she was living with Breanna - one of her 20 children (that is not a typo!). As Breanna expected her first baby in late May, we transitioned Nana to a more permanent living environment with us.
With the help of my parents in San Diego and my uncles outside of Washington D.C., I was able to stay home as her full-time caregiver for one year before we transitioned her to a permanent Alzheimer's care facility. It's been a crazy experience and we have a lot to share.
Thanks for stopping by and following our journey. We hope this blog provides some inspiration, reassurance, and humor in what could otherwise be a devastating situation. It may not always be pretty, but it's sure to be a wild ride!
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