Do you have a parent that can’t do many of the tasks he/she used to do easily? Is your mother or father requiring more of your help? You are not alone. My mother is 94 years old and for the past ten years I have noticed a steady decline in her abilities. It is hard to watch a vibrant, capable person undergo changes that they struggle with and may deny.
Thanks to the advancement in medicine more people like my mother are living longer healthy lives. Those in my generation who are into our sixties and seventies have raised their children and we are ready to enjoy retirement. However, we are sometimes faced with caring for an aging parent. This parent may have physical health problems, but the ones most vexing are the mental ones. We hear a lot about alztheimer’s and sometimes joke about it when we have a “senior moment,” but we know the reality of it is sad and awful. What we don’t hear about as often is the more common form of memory loss that affects far more of the eldery population: Dementia. This form of memory loss is often explained by your brain has accumulated so much information it can’t hold it all. The truth, however, is that the electrical synapses or cells in the brain are breaking down. While you can remember events from the past clearly, your short term memory starts to deteriorate.
It was only after relating my many stories to friends about difficulties with my mother and hearing stories back about problems with their aging parents that I decided to share my story. Believe me, I don’t have all the answers. What I would hope to achieve is to create a forum for those of us who are having to make these difficult decisions for our parents where we can share or vent. I will post resources that I have found helpful and I encourage others to do the same.
This is my mother’s experience and my story.