I had lunch recently with a couple of seniors that are the same age as my Mom…86. They have a few health problems but for the most part, live independently, drive, do yard work, exercise at the YMCA, and are computer literate. They are just getting to the point that they no longer want to cook or clean, but don’t we all?
They asked me what the warning signs were when my Mom spiraled into dementia at age 84. Well, for one thing I was living in Maine and she was living in California. But, even over the phone and on Skype I could see a few signs.
Cognitive decline — not able to drive a car
Agitation — cussing at family members
Disorganization — not paying bills
Disorientation — got lost driving to the dentist
Memory Loss — she would forget to walk up the block to get her mail, for weeks on end, until the postman would come knock on her door with a bundle.
Two symptoms did not appear until I had moved her here and she was a resident of a nursing home: Paranoia and inappropriate sexual behavior.
For a complete list of symptoms and when to see a doctor go to mayoclinic.org.
All of these actions started about 4 years after my Father died and she moved to California from Arizona and lived alone.
The seniors I was talking to felt the key point was the lack of connection, being too isolated. Not that my Mom didn’t have opportunities to interact with others, she just refused.
Interestingly, before my Dad died they were both active in their community, both were well read, both attended church, both were on the computer, and doing “mind” games.
This is the hard part about dementia, it is a cruel disease with no direct symptoms, and there is no cure.
There is no one thing that can be done to prevent the disease, and no one thing that you have done that will cause it.
As God says, he knows the plans he has for us. I am trusting in him to carry me through whatever is ahead for me. This is one of the many promises that God has made that still amazes me.
I am sharing this post on Thought Provoking Thursday.