I have been truly blessed. Many folks struggle with their in-laws, but mine have been wonderful. There have been times we haven’t seen eye to eye, but my mother and father-in-law have always been tremendously supportive and never interfered with raising the girls.
In 2011, Dad went to be with Jesus. His heart had been bad for a while and he was plagued with macular degeneration. I spent a good bit of time in his last year taking him to his eye appointments. It was during that last year that Dad especially began to notice Mom was having trouble remembering things.
I personally think it all started when their youngest daughter discovered she had a third type of cancer. Mom has always been pretty quiet, never really sharing her feelings. I’ve always felt as though the stress of watching Rosie struggle is what triggered her memory loss. By January of 2010 when we’d lost her, the symptoms of memory problems had just begun. It was in mid-Spring that we had to take over dad’s medicine and early fall when dad asked me to take over the check book. Dad was on about 20 different meds, some he took once or twice a day, others three or four. I’m assuming she was terrified everyday that she would give him the wrong medication. Dad said after we took over those burdens, her memory seemed to be better, but by the time we lost Dad in 2011, the signs of memory loss were getting much worse.
Mom still drove for about a year, but between her own macular degeneration and the memory loss, she pretty much gave it up by the middle of 2013. It was about that time that I started going down to the house every Friday to take her to her hair appointment. Before that I’d call her on Friday morning to remind her of her appointment, and she would walk downtown. But she started to forget to go immediately after my call.
During the Summer of 2014 she even moved in with us for a few months, but after being with us for a while she began to get better and wanted to live on her own. Unfortunately, being alone and worrying about the people she saw because of her macular degeneration really took a toll on her. During the winter it was finally impossible for her to live alone and after a few months of living with her other daughter, she moved in with us.
Mom has been here for about a month now and there are a lot of things we’ve learned about her condition. Much of it might be unique to her, but I thought I’d blog about my daily adventures with her so that others who might be dealing with the effects of dementia or altzheimers might be helped.
My first offering of tips can be found HERE. I wrote this page when mom moved in with us last time. Keep checking back to find even more things we learn as we go.