My mother, Ruth, was always a very strong and vibrant woman. She was active, and when she had spare time, made sure she visited with family and friends. Then, one day, family members and several of her friends noticed mom was forgetting things. Her memory lapses became more noticeable each week. Was she losing her memory? Was it normal? At first, we were not sure. Her memories came and then slipped away. Her forgetfulness continued for several weeks. Gradually, performing daily activities were difficult for mom. Just putting on a dress was an ordeal. One day, my wife gave her a gown. The next day, she forgot my wife gave it to her. She said, “What gown?” Our family members were convinced mom was really losing her memory.
Finally, out of concern for my mom, my wife and I decided to ask her if she would like to move in with us. She was living alone and my dad had died 15 years ago. To our surprise, mom said “Sure” with a big smile. She was thrilled to be around family, especially her grandchildren, who were out of school for the summer. Now, my wife and I held the role of caregivers.
Mom was always glad to see her sons, daughters and grandchildren. Sometimes she would call me David. That’s my brother’s name. David died several years ago. My sisters visited mom often. Once in a while, mom would get upset with them because she asked why they did not visit her last week. She forgot that they did.
Finally, my wife suggested we take mom to our family doctor who was also trained as a geriatrician; a doctor who specializes in the care of older adults. Mom was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease. After a while, we could no longer care for mom the way we wanted to. It was a difficult choice, but we found a senior living community that included a community for people with Alzheimer’s disease. Yes, this was the best place for mom. She even enjoyed being there because someone was around her all the time.
If you or someone you know is experiencing what my family experienced with my mom, maybe it’s time to have them see a geriatrician. Receiving the right diagnosis is important. My family learned that a senior living community that specializes in caring for people with Alzheimer’s disease was the best place for mom. For additional information about Alzheimer’s disease, contact Assisted Transition of Greater Cincinnati & Northern Kentucky.