During the 11 years that Margaret Albus lived with Alzheimer’s disease, the worst moment came in the middle of one night, when she called out to her daughter, panic-stricken: “I just want to know who I am.”
“I am almost crying now,” said Becky Albus, a 53-year-old optician who was looking after her elderly parents that weekend. “I would have done anything not to let her be scared.”
Margaret Albus died on Dec. 31, 2009, at the age of 86. But she had mentally slipped away a decade before. She had seven children.
“It’s the disease of the long goodbye. It’s a perfect description,” said another daughter, Elaine Albus, 51, a team leader for a Minnesota business improvement company.