Friday, October 03, 2014


My mother has progressively worsening dementia. She was officially diagnosed after an ischemic stroke in March of 2014, but had been having symptoms long before that.

I’m not going to write a lengthy blog about what dementia IS or how to live with it or be a caregiver for it. I just want to share some “episodes” with you.

I know there are many books written about dementia.
Let me read you from MY book, inspired by my mother:

Mother, you don’t have any pants on.
Yes I do.
No you don’t
( Repeat 5 times)
I do too. I have TWO pair of pants on.
Take her hand and put it on her leg.
She looks up and says. . .
WHY did you take my pants?


Talk to her for 15 minutes and have to tell her 5 times that “My name is Karen and I’m your daughter.” She smiles a little and says "I know that but then it goes right up to the top of my head and out the side."


While in the hospital.
Will you take me for a walk down the hall and show me my house?
Mother, do you think your house is here in the hospital?
Yes. It is down the hall but I can’t find it.
Mother, this hospital is in Temple, Texas.
I know that!
Your house is in Belton.
Completely lost empty look.
Belton is 15 miles from here.
Lost look.
Do you think they built your house in the middle of the hospital?
NO. (Looks at me like I’m stupid) They built the hospital ON after the house was built! (Looks at me like she wants to say, Are you stupid!)


I went to pick her up for a trip to Wal-mart. She wasn’t dressed which was unusual. I got her clothes out and put them on the bed. She walked around a while and I handed her a bra. She could NOT figure out how to put it on. I helped her and then we had the same problem with her shirt.
She returned to normal after about an hour. Didn’t remember a thing.

She returns to normal, or what is normal for her, after each incident. In her normal state she can function in her home and absolutely refuses to admit she needs help. She'll be 92 this month.

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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    emoticon I am so sorry. My heart goes out to you, I had an aunt that had dementia during the last year of her life.

    I think it hit me the hardest when we were visiting her in her nursing home one day and she looked at my mom (her sister) and said, "I know I have a sister, but I can't remember what she looks like."
    1753 days ago
    You're doing your very best, Karen....and my very best wishes.

    1753 days ago
  • no profile photo COMPCHIC52
    you know you got to love the fact if she is not having bipolar moments. I know they do that with dementia. I think if my mom said show me my house down the hall I would just take her and say there it is. She would be happy and go with it. The pants thing made me laugh. You got to take those moments sometimes and just laugh. It will make you stress free. Maybe her too for both of you just to laugh. In Kays statement my mom thinks doctors test are wrong to but we really do know our own body better sometimes then doctors. Bless all ya`ll who are caring for your moms like you do. There is but only one momma. Laugh now and enjoy her now. emoticon emoticon
    1754 days ago
    I can relate...

    1754 days ago
    My husband has started the short term memory loss. I can relate.
    1754 days ago
  • GABY1948
    Sweet stories though sad. My mother and her mother before her had Alzheimer's. Not fun at all. My heart goes out to you....you are blessed that she is 92 and can do as much as she can!

    God Bless you both! emoticon
    1754 days ago
    I really appreciated reading this as it was a learning experience for me. As a nurse I never got to see anything but the acute problems when patients were hospitalized but now have a better idea of what families deal with at home. My maternal grandmother had dementia but she wasn't a big talker anyway so it was harder to see what the doctors saw. Eventually she stopped talking to us.
    1754 days ago
    These are typical incidents. Mother doesn't have dementia yet. She is a hypochondriac and doesn't believe the doctors when she just had tests. They didn't find anything. She is determined she has cancer, and she may one day.
    Her Parkinson's hasn't been progressing. She is getting older and more feeble. She will not give up trying to cook. Cooking was her hobby. Her 8 layer coconut cakes have been all over Ga. One time lately she was cooking and she forgot about it. She had a small fire. We need to take the stove out but the caregivers need it.
    What do we do?
    Karen, you are doing well with your mother. I get frustrated when she sleeps until 12 and has missed a couple of doses of meds. I guess we should just let her do what makes her comfortable.
    1754 days ago
  • GORDON66
    My dad has vascular dementia. Over 60 years of smoking will do that to you. Take care of yourself and bless you!



    1754 days ago
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