A Day in the Life of a Dementia Patient

on shore

Another Day at the Beach with Mom’s Sister Lillian and Aunt Freda

I can’t help but think, it must be torturous for the afflicted dementia patient, when they have to say to you that they don’t know what they are doing. When asked if they feel that something is happening to their brain and they say yes, they do know something is happening but they don’t know what. When you’ve been a highly intelligent person who had a career her whole adult life, and then start losing your memories and mental abilities, the ability to write and read, or make sound decisions, all happening little by little. I would imagine that it’s like watching the train coming down the track in slow motion.

Last night, before going to bed, I checked in on Mom. I found her standing in front of her closet, looking inside but not knowing why she was there or what she was doing. It took me almost 20 minutes to talk her into getting back in bed. She did and we all got some sleep this night. The alarm goes off at 5am so that I can get ready for work, I walk down the hall and find her in front of her closet again, this time with no night gown on. I asked her what she was doing and she didn’t know. After investigating the situation, I found that she had wet the bed, but the point is, she couldn’t relate that message to me. The only thing that she could tell me was that she didn’t know.

I find that every day is a new day and every week that goes by, she sinks more deeply into the void. The same void that I saw in her father’s eyes so many years earlier. The eyes, the window into the soul…there was nothing there and my mother is slowly  moving toward that point. Not medications nor science can change that, it’s just a waiting game, for all of us to watch. Luckily, at some point she won’t know that something is wrong…or will she? Will she be void from the outside and very aware on the inside? Does science know that answer? I don’t know.

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