Monday, October 07, 2013

My mother has Alzheimer's

My mother, who was fine but with memory problems, seems to be progressing rapidly through the beginning to middle stages of dementia. We are trying to deal with the thousand and one problems that this entails. She hasn't been formally diagnosed, but Alzheimer's is only truly diagnosed via autopsy. The symptoms, though, are typically Alzheimer's.

As far as I know, I don't hold power of attorney yet, but I need to get it, and I'm worried about whether my mother (who is aware there is something wrong but not necessarily aware of the severity of her illness) will consent. I need to be able to make arrangements to go to her appointments and set up care for my father, who is elderly and frail and has Parkinson's. My mother is his caregiver. My mother is also our de facto babysitter, and she doesn't know that she can't do this anymore.

I am planning and working and having occasional bursts of intense sadness and grief. My sons will never have another day of Grandma time. My daughters will never spend the day with my mum and dad and be spoiled and happy and delightful. We are working with my parents' church community for support because they are known there, and we don't know very many people at our church. They've been amazing.

I am so sad.


Anonymous said...

I'm so sorry to hear that. You and your family are in my thoughts and prayers.

Isabelle said...

Oh Kyra. I'm so sorry... I haven't seen your mother in some time, but I still have a very special place for her in my heart for being so lovely and kind to me when I was constantly underfoot during our teenaged years. I can't even imagine what it must be like for you to see her slip away like this. :(
Sending you lots of hugs. If there's anything I can do to help, just let me know. I mean it.

lissla lissar said...

I will. She's still lovely, she's just scared, because she knows there's something wrong, but (this is the really horrible part of dementia) she can't really understand all the time what's wrong. Mum isn't very far gone yet, but we're very concerned about her driving, and she frequently has trouble understanding instructions. A couple of days ago she didn't understand that I asked her to stir the pasta. She doesn't really understand her banking. We think she's gotten lost in her own neighbourhood several times.

We are having major family conferences by phone a lot, and are waiting for her to be assessed. I think I've gotten them to agree to switch power of attorney to me.

I'm spending a lot of time a) crying, and b) frantically going through everything I need to do and everyone I need to talk to.

Sally Thomas said...

Continuing my prayers for you.