My mother’s recent diagnosis of Alzheimer’s

I have not been nearly as active on my blog and WordPress in general as I would like, and I want to share the reason with you.

I’ve been caring for my elderly mother at my home for the past 7 weeks. She had been hospitalized after a fall at her house in Indiana and I brought her back to Seattle with me to help her recover. I already knew it in my heart, but two days ago she was officially diagnosed with Alzheimer’s.  And it’s fairly advanced, on the border between moderate and severe.

She will be with me for another three weeks, and then I have to take her back home to my dad. I’ll probably stay there for a week or so, to help her get settled in back at home. So, for at least the next month I imagine I won’t be much more active than I am now.

It has brought lots of things to my attention that I didn’t know before. Namely that no amount of “senility” is normal in the aging process. Dementia is COMMON in the elderly, but it is never normal, and any signs of “senility”, memory loss, confusion, etc. is NOT normal, and should not be accepted as part of the normal aging process. If you notice these signs, get your loved one evaluated by a geriatric specialist as soon as possible.

I noticed signs of what I thought was the normal memory loss that comes with aging years ago. But, it was mild, and we just thought it was part of getting old. If only we had realized the problem then, we could have slowed the progression of the disease.

I have also learned that there is a direct link between depression and dementia. My mom has suffered from severe depression for years. They aren’t sure if depression causes dementia, or if depression in the elderly is an early warning sign of dementia, but there IS a link. If an elderly person you care about has depression, don’t wait! Get them evaluated for cognitive impairment by a geriatric specialist!

Listening to my mother talk about her own thoughts of suicide to the geriatric psychiatrist was heart wrenching to me. Listening to her try (and fail) to count backwards by 7 brought tears to my eyes. When I talked to her, I knew she had some dementia, but when I saw that she couldn’t even draw a clock face with the hands showing 11:10, I was shocked. She still reads like there’s no tomorrow, but she could not spell WORLD backwards.

After things settle down for me, and I can devote more time to my blog, I plan to write a more extensive article on dementia, but until then I will leave you with one more plea: Get your elders evaluated early, by a specialist. The basic test they gave her was called the Folstein Mini-Mental.  The earlier you get a diagnosis of dementia, whether Alzheimer’s or another form, the more treatment options are available!

Advertisements

14 thoughts on “My mother’s recent diagnosis of Alzheimer’s

  1. I cry for your Mom
    I am sad for you

    We stand and think
    that we know what to do

    But when it comes to it
    the only that can happen

    is for us to love them
    the best way we can

    There is no good thing to say
    When at the end of the day

    We have lost one we love
    Whether they are here or not

    • aww… you made me cry! thank you so much for such kind and incredibly supportive comment. You just gave me the hug I’ve needed someone to give me, and I thank you from the bottom of my heart. 🙂 oh, I’m gonna tear up again… 😉 thank you, thank you!

  2. Pingback: My mother’s recent diagnosis of Alzheimer’s | Little Blog of Letting Go | Hey Sweetheart, Get Me Rewrite!

  3. Dear Carrie,
    Clicking “Like” seems hardly appropriate, does it. It isn’t that I like your post at all. It makes me sad for you. How frightening for your mother to be in this murky twilight where she knows things are not right and knows they will get worse. This is the hardest time for her I expect. And then her husband / your Dad – how will the two of the cope? Classic Carrie though, here you are dealing with very tough things for you and your immediate family, and yet you invest some precious time in helping others. I did not know not to dismiss “normal” memory loss. I’ve learned a lot from your post today. So – I do “like” it and thank you for taking this time to continue your outreach on behalf of those with mental health issues of all sorts. I send you loving thoughts, Gemma

  4. What a wonderful post. Why wonderful? Because many don’t understand everything you wrote. I do. My Grandmother had dementia and probably Alzheimer’s as well, but she had a stroke before that could be properly diagnosed. When someone gets Alzheimer’s, they can go one of two ways: angry & mean or sweet and funny. Luckily for our family, Grandma became sweet and funny. She would just laugh all the time. Take care of yourself and your dad through this process. There were over 38 of us to take care of her, and it was still exhausting; caretaking is difficult and wears you out. Before she got really and had the stroke and ended up in the nursing home, and I was 10 + years younger, she always wanted me to take her shopping for new clothes, because I have a lot of patience in a lot of instances. My mother wouldn’t let me, or rather strongly suggested I not, because if something happened while we were out, I would likely torture myself over it. She was right; but, I always felt guilty for not doing it. Ironically, I have a post about Grandma’s dementia/Alzheimer’s scheduled to post tomorrow. It’s very light hearted.

    If you ever wish to chat about it or need to vent, feel free to email me at jackjosephsmom@gmail.com.

    Big hug!!

  5. You are in our prayers. I watched my Grandmother go through it and I worry for my Mom.

    If you have never tried it out, the web site Lumosity really does work with cognitive brain function.

  6. Carrie, the news about your mother weighs heavy on my heart. I’m profoundly sadden to read about the diagnosis. Your momma is so fortunate to have you in her life. While I’m certain that you have a lot of love and support right now, please don’t hesitate to send me an email should you need a little extra support. I want to be there as your friend, and help you with research should you need any assistance. We can exchange phone numbers, or talk on Skype. Thank you for taking the time to update us, and for educating and bringing awareness about this brain disorder that is becoming more and more common. This lecture offers the latest updates in diagnosis, treatment, and prevention. http://youtu.be/iB5QiNUo45I My thoughts are with you and your family.

    With much love and admiration,

    Victoria

  7. So sorry to hear this news, Carrie. I know it is an exhausting task, even though it is one you undertake with deep love. Wish there was something to offer that would make it easier or better for you. You are giving your mom a wonderful gift. Please take good care of yourself. Sending you much love, support, and hugs.

    Monica
    xoxo

  8. Dear Carrie, HUGS, what sad news, all i can offer you is love and i hope you will spend some really precious time with you mom. I am going to leave you with this poem and video i made last night and i sincerely hope you will be able to find peace, keeping you and your family in my prayers. GOD loves you so, so much.

    In the rays of the rainbows
    Vivid colours, awesome and majestic

    In the drizzling of the rain,
    clouds glistening
    Inbetween the clouds the sun’s rays are peeping through
    Here we will find GOD’s grace and beauty

    In hearts so sad and
    when all hope seems gone
    Bow down and pray
    GOD shines down and
    gives us LOVE
    to brighten our day!

    In the rays of the rainbows
    Vivid colours, awesome and majestic

  9. I hope this post can help all of you who are struggling and need a bit of love

    The Will of GOD

    Take into consideration all circumstances that were brought about by divine providence.

    It often illuminates the will of GOD for you in a specific situation.

    Struggle with GOD and beg HIM to reveal HIS will to you.

    Study the scriptures, meditate on them and seek the guidance of the Holy Spirit.

    In this way you will discover what the will of GOD is for you and when you experience a calm in your soul, you, will know that GOD has spoken to you.

    Then you can act accordingly.

    When GOD’s peace flows through your life and HIS Holy Spirit is in control, you, will experience peace.

    The storms in your life will calm down, you will have inner peace, you may not escape the tough realities of life, but you will be able to meet the challenges of life with quiet self confidence.

    “Where there is peace, there is GOD” – Greg Herben

    Believing that GOD is love, hems you in – behind and before and HIS love is waiting to find an expression in your life, is the best antidote for worry or fear.

    These two destructive forces cannot be in your life if you are filled with GOD’s love.

    regards
    Michelle

  10. Pingback: Ageing is a process which we must all go through, but that doesn’t mean it’s something we enjoy.

Have something to say? Say it! But please be polite. ;-)

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s