“Grandad in the Clouds” Sarah Jacob – In Their Shoes

My personal experience with the Alzheimer’s journey is one that I truly thought I was prepared and equipped for.

I have been provided with rigorous training during my student nursing programme and career, and I also experienced first-hand the challenges residents and their loved ones endure during the unpredictable and sad journey.

In April 2016 my father in law was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s.

Considering all of my experience and training, I was not prepared for the feeling of utter helplessness, I felt lost.

I knew very well how he would deteriorate, and the psychological and physiological symptoms that would prevail. 

However, the man I knew was gone, the gentle giant with kind eyes and silly songs was lost.

That devastated me, and no amount of text books and training prepared me for this. What I can say is that through this journey my father in law did not seem to suffer, and that was a welcomed relief.

I would like to think that until the end he knew he was loved, and he is now fondly and lovingly referred to as Grandad in the clouds. 

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