Alzheimer’s is a devastating condition to have not only because it’s progressive but also because you slowly lose your memories until there is almost nothing of the old you left.
If affects not just the person with the illness but also the people around them.
However, not everything is dark when one is sick, as evidenced by this touching story of an Alzheimer’s patient who became best friends with the four-year-old kid of his carer.
Watch the video of their sweet friendship below.
Video credit: Rumble
Two years ago, Laura Luna, 42, started her job as the caretaker of 76-year-old Doug Cheek who had Alzheimer’s. But one day, the mother-of-three had to bring her son Royal because childcare wasn’t available.
Laura was concerned about how her new employers would react but she had nothing to worry about as there was instant “chemistry” between Doug and Royal.
Doug’s wife Tay, 76, also noticed how the two had bonded and thought it would be good for Laura to keep bringing Royal along. Two years later, the two are inseparable and Royal calls Doug his “best friend.”
Laura, from Los Angeles, US said: “I was called to Doug’s home one day as there was an emergency so I had to bring Royal, at first I was worried in case about what Doug and Tay might say as I had just started the job and didn’t want to seem unprofessional.
“But they just gravitated towards each other and had instant chemistry, it was so nice to see.
“I think having someone young around has helped Doug as it gives him a sense of responsibility as he loves teaching Royal new things and reading him books.
“Tay asked if I could bring Royal again as she noticed Doug was much happier than usual so I agreed as Royal hasn’t got any grandparents who live nearby so it would be nice for him to have a grandfather figure.
“It has been really sweet to watch their friendship unfold, they almost speak their own language and have a secret handshake.
“When organizing Royal’s fourth birthday party, the first friend he wanted to invite was Doug, they really are best buds.
“They love going to the beach, playing a memory card game and reading which helps keep Doug’s brain stimulated.
“I have overheard Royal tell his friends about Doug and always asks why we can’t all live together which is super sweet.
“When Royal starts school, I think Doug will be a bit lost without him as he always says ‘goodbye, I am going to miss you’ when we are leaving on an evening.”
Doug had been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s five years ago. This is why he gets confused most of the time but somehow, Royal’s presence manages to help somehow.
Laura said: “Some days are tougher than others, it’s not always rainbows and unicorns. When Royal is having a hard day and crying or upset about something it can throw Doug off too.
“Some days can be more challenging than others, but that’s to be expected.
“I have noticed that when Royal and Doug are having a hard day, we go to the beach and jump in the waves and everyone’s mood shifts.
“Royal doesn’t understand what is wrong with Doug but he says ‘I know you have an owie on your brain, but I am going to help you’.
“It is great to be able to teach my son how important it is to always be of service to others through this care taking job it has taught Royal to be compassionate and empathetic.
“Tay calls me her lifesaver and says their lives have changed since we have met and even the doctors have noticed Doug is happier.”
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