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My first trip through Alzheimer’s

November 25, 2013

Mom was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s in 1987.  She was only 62.  There were so many little signs:

  • staying just outside of conversations and not being on top of the discussion
  • forgetting family birthdays
  • getting lost on the way to a friend’s house
  • the smoke alarm going off from things left on the stove
  • forgetting which day she had made plans to be somewhere

Dad and I talked frequently about the changes we were seeing and finally arranged for an assessment. We “broke” her car when it was time for her to stop driving.  I set up full outfits on hangers so that he could take away the dirty clothes and give her a fresh outfit.  I took frozen meals to them and soon enough Dad learned to cook. We worked as a team to keep her happy and safe.

Mom would never allow anyone to live in her home caring for her.  So Dad was her primary caregiver.  His stress levels worried me.  By late 1999, Mom’s disease had progressed and we needed help.  Mom was scheduled for minor surgery.  We arranged for a live-in to move in during her recuperation.  We believed that Mom’s recuperation would be a perfect time for her to adjust.  Unfortunately, Mom died as a result of complications from her surgery.

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