Welcome to Alzheimer's Education, Resources & Services
Alzheimer’s Disease is a progressive, degenerative brain disease that slowly destroys memory and other mental abilities. As the disease progresses, so does the loss of reasoning, ability language, decision-making ability, judgment and other critical skills.
It is estimated that as many as 5.1 million Americans may have Alzheimer’s Disease, and the incidence of the disease is rising in line with the aging population. The risk of developing the illness increases with advanced age. Current research from the National Institute on Aging indicates that the prevalence of Alzheimer’s Disease doubles every five years beyond age 65. It is also estimated that about half a million Americans younger than age 65 have some form of dementia, including Alzheimer’s Disease.
This disease poses real challenges for both the person with the disease and to their caregivers—both at home and in the institutional setting. In the United States, there are at least 15 million family members caring for persons with Alzheimer’s Disease, at least 60% of nursing home residents suffer from Alzheimer’s or some other dementia.
Alzheimer’s Education, Resources & Services, Inc. (AERS) is a non-profit corporation which seeks to provide education about Alzheimer’s Disease to family caregivers, staff of care facilities and other medical professionals, as well as the general public. AERS also provides information and counseling to family caregivers and supports the efforts of local caregiver support groups.
Crabby Old Woman
What do you see, child? What do you see?
What are you thinking when you’re looking at me?
A crabby old woman, not very wise,
Uncertain of habit, with faraway eyes?
Who dribbles her food and makes no reply,
When you say in a loud voice, “I do wish you’d try!”
Who seems not to notice the things that you do,
And forever is losing a stocking or shoe.
Who, unresisting or not, lets you do as you will,
With bathing and feeding, the long day to fill.
Is that what you’re thinking, is that what you see?
Then open your eyes child, you’re not looking at me.
As I’ll tell you who I am, as I sit here so still,
As I rise at your bidding, as I eat at your will.
I’m a small child of ten with a mother and father,
Brothers and sisters that love one another,
A young girl of sixteen, with wings on her feet,
Dreaming that soon now a lover she’ll meet;
A bride soon at twenty; my heart gives a leap,
Remembering the vows I promised to keep;
At twenty-five now I have young of my own,
Who need me to build a secure, happy home.
A young woman of thirty, my young now grow fast,
Bound to each other with ties that should last;
At forty, my young ones, now grown will soon be gone,
But my man stays besides me, to see I don’t mourn.
At fifty, once more babies play around my knee.
Again we know children, my loved one and me.
Dark days are upon me, my husband is dead,
I look at the future, I shudder with dread,
For my young are all busy, rearing young of their own,
And I think of the years and the love I have known.
I’m an old woman now, and nature is cruel.
‘Tis her jest to make old age to look like a fool.
The body is crumbled, grace and vigor depart.
There is now a stone where I once had a heart.
But inside this old carcass, a young girl still dwells,
And now and again my battered heart swells,
I remember the joys, I remember the pain,
And I’m loving and living life over again.
I think of the years, all too few, gone too fast,
And accept the stark fact that nothing can last.
So open your eyes child, open and see,
Not a crabby old woman;
Look closer……see ME.