Sunday, March 8, 2015

Dementia, thief of the golden years

DEMENTIA, I had heard about it but never knew anyone personally suffering from this thief. That was until my wife's mother was diagnosed with it. She lives in California so the only contact on a regular basis was through my wife's sister who sugar coated everything, saying that her eighty year old mother was only slightly forgetful. Near my wife's birthday, her mother and another sister sent my wife a gift card. My wife called to thank them. My wife's mother answered the phone and sounded normal until my wife asked for her sister that lived with her. She told her that she didn't live here and would have to call her. We knew she did, and when her sister came into the room where her mother was sitting and speaking, she asked who she was speaking to? She acted as if the sister had just dropped by for a visit giving her the phone. My wife was devastated when the sister that lives with her told her the truth. Hearing the state of mind that her mother was in, my wife wanted to go to visit her before she forgot who she even was. It had been seven years since they last saw each other. She seemed normal when we arrived in most respects but kept asking the same questions over and over. My wife's greatest fear happened the second day there when she couldn't remember who she was calling her, "HER" instead of by her name. When the sister mentioned her name to her mother, her mother said something about having a daughter by that name. Personally, she kept asking me how work went whenever I entered the room, like I lived there and still worked.  Her mother kept packing up to go home, she lived in this home for over fifteen years. Where home was, when we asked, she replied giving different places she lived in during her life. I felt bad living so far away. My wife's sister has had to carry the burden of tending to her mother on a daily basis. One day the mother is present and the next minute, I don't know where she is. Her mother keeps falling down and unable to get up. I helped her several times. Finally, she was admitted to the hospital while we were there. They found she had a urinary track infection and was suffering with atrophy as well from not moving very much, that was why she was falling all the time and unable to get up.  Maybe, some day we will find out what causes this and maybe find a solution (prevention) of this problem 

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