With one exception, all of my Grandparents have lived to a ripe old age, and I've been close to all of them.
It's unusual given that I'm in my forties that I still have grandparents, although we lost my much loved Grandad a few months ago.
My remaining Grandmother has Alzheimers, and I try to visit her as often as I can, but sometimes it's not a pleasant experience. Last week she was fine, although very tired and forgetful, our conversation kept repeating itself. The week before was heartbreaking. She was very upset, and in constant distress. She still knows what is happening to her, she isn't in the full grip of the disease, although it's changing her very quickly. She had an almost pleading tone to her sobs as blurted out "I just want to die, I don't want this," over and over again.
She's terrified of going into a home. As yet, it's not going to happen. On that side of the family, it's just my Aunt and I, no one else, and caring for her is becoming ever more difficult for my Aunt. She herself is in her sixties, and still working part time.
There's a photo of my grandad on the mantle. She's left the frame there, but stuck a piece of card over his face as "He's upped and buggered off with another woman." He's been dead twenty five years.