Alzheimer’s and Dad’s Memory


Sometimes I feel almost like dad doesn’t really have Alzheimer’s disease as he does so well day by day.  Then other days I can see the obvious signs.  Today was one of those days.

I found dad alone in the lounge when I arrived for today’s visit.  I noticed dad had his light jacket on and no shirt, just his undershirt.  I asked him why he wasn’t wearing a shirt.  He looked at me with a questioning look.  “I have a shirt on”, he said.  I opened his jacket and showed him the undershirt. “Oh” was all he said.  I guess he dressed himself today.

When I visited dad on Tuesday he told me he hadn’t had any visitors this week and I wrote about that in my last blog about “Almost Visitors”.  Today when I signed in, I looked through the sign-in book.  I saw my sister’s distinctive writing as she signed in for herself and her daughter and grandchildren.  I was surprised.

I asked dad if he remembered that Sis and her daughter and grandchildren were just there on Monday.  He said no, he didn’t think he had seen them.  They stayed about an hour according to the “sign-in book”.  It made me sad that he didn’t remember the visit from sister and her family.  And it reminded me that the Alzheimer’s disease is real and has lasting effects on dad.  (And I have to set the record straight — my last post was all wrong – his “Almost Visitors” were Actual Visitors and I was the only one who missed out on that visit.)

While I was there today, I showed dad pictures of items my brother had brought from his house.  I wanted him to help me determine where some of them came from.  There were 2 pictures in dad’s living room and I thought maybe my uncle had purchased them.  I asked dad if he remembered those pictures.  No.  He did not remember those pictures at all.  Not only didn’t he remember who purchased them.  He didn’t remember even seeing them before.

I will note that the family rarely spent any time in the living room.  It is a dark room and dad and mom usually sat in the “den/family room” all the time.  Still, it served as another reminder of dad’s memory.

The third thing that reminded me that dad doesn’t remember much from recent events was when I asked about his lunch out at a nice local restaurant yesterday.  They went to a seafood restaurant that I thought he would enjoy.  He didn’t remember the outing at all.

I know I can show dad pictures from the 1950’s and 60’s and he can tell me everyone who is in them.  I can ask about when my uncles were in the war and dad can tell me where they were and stories of those times.  But he can’t remember seeing his daughter and grandchildren this week.  He can’t remember pictures from his home where he lived 25 years and he can’t remember where he went out to eat yesterday.

I left from today’s visit feeling sad.

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About letstalkaboutfamily

I am a retired and was the primary caregiver for both my parents before they passed. I have children and grandchildren. This blog is an attempt to connect with other caregivers and share ideas and experiences. I hope you will let me know what worked for you if you had an experience similar to mine. The main issues I am going to talk about are elder care, death and dying, assisted living, family relationships and hoarders and hoarding. Other topics will come up as I address the issues and my relationship with other family members.
This entry was posted in Alzheimer's Disease, Caregiving, Dementia, Elder Care, Eldercare, Family, Memories and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

8 Responses to Alzheimer’s and Dad’s Memory

  1. Terry says:

    my brother is the same way. he can’t remember what he had for lunch but he can tell you things from way back

  2. boomer98053 says:

    The short-term memory suffers the most when dementia is involved. It seems to me that if the scientific community knows that long-ago memories are still intact, and short-term not, why is there not a conclusive treatment that comes about as a result of that knowledge? Let’s face it – it’s valuable information! Anyone? Why can’t you treat Alzheimer’s when you can treat most cancers?

    • Wouldn’t that be great if they could? I’d sign dad up for that in a minute. The only good thing about all this is that dad doesn’t worry about anything at all. I guess he can’t remember what to worry about.

  3. jmgoyder says:

    I completely understand.

  4. I pray that we can help be my Dad’s memory. I pray that my mother’s heart softens with love and patience, instead of hardening with fear and grief and confusion. A memory book can be a concrete reminder that my dad has had a full life and still is living in his life with all of us who love him. That what he wants us to remember will be engraved on our hearts.

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