Separate Fear From Fact
Mom losing her keys a little more often is not a sign of impending dementia or Alzheimer’s. Mom begins losing her way home on a route she takes daily is something to discuss with the family physician. Dad repeating his favorite stories at every special family occasion is not a cause for alarm. Dad repeating the same thing over and over within the span of one short conversation is something to be noted. Normally cool and calm dad becoming a more irritable may bear watching more closely.
Cool, calm Dad suddenly accusing other family members of stealing his personal possessions is something to be concerned enough about to make an appointment with the family physician.
Forgetting a point you intended to make or what something is called is pretty common. However, forgetting how to use everyday common items or not remembering their function is an important signal that should not be ignored. For example, if mom begins putting her toothbrush in the freezer or, instead of simply turning the dial, you discover dad striking the thermostat, it’s time to get your loved one tested for dementia or Alzheimer’s as quickly as possible.
Patience. Patience. Patience.
It’s not easy to watch a parent’s behavior change. There are few things in life that prepare us for the day mom or dad shows up for breakfast with their shoes on the wrong feet. The same sweet voice that urged you to shower and brush your teeth daily may become the same voice now yelling their defiance and refusal to shower themselves.
Always try to remember, it’s only the disease talking. Resist allowing your feelings to be hurt by anything that may be said.