It’s afternoon, pre nap, and mom wants instruction on what to do. I’m still cleaning up from lunch so I suggest she get her laundry started while I’m loading the dishwasher. Laundry is one of the few chores she’s still able to do. Or so I thought.
Mom gathers up some clothes, brings them into the kitchen where the washer and dryer live, and starts going in circles. She can’t find the laundry detergent. I show her, then go about my business of stashing leftovers in the fridge. She fills the cup just fine but I see her lifting a pan in the dish drainer and heading for the dishwasher.
“What are you looking for?”
“I don’t know where this goes.” She means the laundry detergent she just dispensed.
I turn her around and point her in the direction of the washing machine. But then I have to tell her what to do step by step– pour in the detergent, put in the clothes, close the lid, check the settings, push start.
From then on she was nothing but confused. We ran some errands and she was happy as a lamb sitting in the car watching the world go by. But she also thought all kinds of other people were in and out of here all day. And she wanted to know where everyone was sleeping. Was I going home that night? Nope, I’m sleeping across the hall. But what about her physical therapist? Where was she sleeping? And what about that other lady that was here? Where was she sleeping? There are all these people here in and out all day and she never knows where they’re all sleeping!
Except, you guessed it, there are not. No people. Just us. And definitely not her physical therapist.
Is this normal? Is this what normal aging is? Her doctor says this is all normal aging. No dementia. No Alzheimer’s.
Unfortunately, my plan of video recording these instances is not working out. I don’t have my camera going all day. By the time I dig it out and hit record the interaction is over. Maybe at minimum I can have a written list of incidences to show the neurologist. I haven’t decided when to make that appointment yet, but I for sure want ample evidence to present so I don’t waste his time or ours. Whether he diagnoses her with dementia or not, it’s more important to me that he has as much information as I can give him; not to make my case that she does have dementia, but so that he can make an accurate diagnosis.