My father was born in Bridgeport, CT, and lived in the vicinity all of his life. He started to show signs of PSP in 2001--loss of balance (stumbling backward), left hand shaking slightly, complaining of vision problems (double vision at times or blurred at others), lessening attention span, voice beginning to get slightly guttural, slight problem swallowing, annoyance at being with groups of people (he was a very social person normally), long term memory excellent--short term memory lessening. Before the diagnoses of PSP, he was misdiagnosed with Parkinson's and "old age"; he saw 3 different doctors before being correctly diagnosed by Dr. Anthony Quan Hong. Eventually he was unable to walk without assistance (first with a walker and then by being held up). He attended Adult Daycare at the Jewish Home for the Elderly in Fairfield, CT, where he made many new friends and had the best care from the staff. He continued to attend family events and had his buddies from the KMAG group (Korean War Veterans) visit as much as possible. In August of 2005, he developed pneumonia and spent a few days in the hospital. He was sent to Northbridge Nursing Home in Bridgeport, CT, for therapy to help with his recovery; his status at the Jewish Home was activated as that is where the family wanted him to be permanently. On 9-9-05 my father passed away from cardiorespiratory arrest due to aspiration pneumonia. We are blessed that we were able to fully communicate with him until the end--only on the day before he died did my mother say his voice was becoming hard to understand. He could recognize each of us without effort and told his 2 granddaughters on 9-5-05 "I'll miss you."
My mother, Janet, provided information for this remembrance and includes these words: "George was a brilliant man whose mind held an untold amount of information on practically every subject. His associates depended upon him for solutions and his friends looked to him for information regarding events in their pasts. He enjoyed being with people, sports, crossword puzzles, reading, the history of the Civil War, his dog, his children and grandchildren, walking on the beach, Bing Crosby, M&Ms. He had a marvelous sense of humor. So many people who sent messages of sympathy or were present at his funeral repeated over and over 'what a good person George was' and how much he was loved. George was a wonderful husband and father and grandfather. He loved his family and often wished he could do more for all of us. He hated his illness and always had hope that 'it would go away soon.' Being very independent, it was very difficult for him to accept that, more and more, he could do very little for himself. He is now at peace."
God bless all of us who are loving someone who suffers.
Meg Haffner and family