It's a fact. Your parents age. Generally speaking, (if you are lucky, I guess) you outlive them. I understand that it's more than likely that I will some day bury my parents. And while I'm not exactly thrilled at the notion, it is not the thing I hope I never have to do.
What I fear, more than that, more than illness, and even more than death, is them losing themselves before their body gives out. I don't mind the notion of having to care for my parents in their old age: of being sure they are eating, and taking their medicines, and getting out and about when they want to, and keeping them company when they want it. I see it as my responsibility. I know how hard they worked to take care of me when I was dependent, and I am happy to return the favor. It's the thought of walking into their room and meeting blank eyes, the thought that I might have to re-introduce myself to those I love the most, that bothers me.
It doesn't run in the family, Alzheimer's. My grandparents died because their bodies failed. My grandfather is in his late 80's and despite a stroke that has left him wheelchair bound, he is entirely "there." I hope it's something that we as a family do not have to endure. I have seen what it does to those suffering with it, how it confuses and agitates you to not know where you are, or who you are. I have witnessed how cruel it is to those trying to support its victims- making sacrifices and being met with hostility and sadness day after day.
I hope I don't ever have to remind my parents of who I am.