Alzheimer's can break your heart. I know. My mother had it. The first signs were subtle-a light bill left unpaid, a name forgotten. The later signs were gut wrenching - being found a mile away from home by a good samaritan, forgetting who her children were.
When a loved one loses their short term memory, some funny things can happen. My brother had good news to share with Mom; he's going to be a dad! So he told her, and she was overjoyed Then, he told her a few minutes later, and she was overjoyed again. So, it's not all bad, and we are learning to love her in a new way. When the present becomes a tough place to be, we ask Mom to tell us a story about the past-- say, when she and my Dad met. She can still tell a good story. So getting old really isn't for cowards, and my Mom is brave as they come.