Alzheimer's care-taking FAQ's

I get asked a lot of the same questions in regards to my experience with my Mother’s Alzheimer’s diagnoses and have decided to answer some of my Frequently Asked Questions in my own words on my own blog…

When was your Mom diagnosed?

She was diagnosed in early 2014, when she was 62. I was 20.

When and how did you notice that your Mom was exhibiting signs of Alzheimer’s Disease?

We knew that something was wrong at least a year before diagnoses. I was in college at the time and every few months when I would visit home, I would notice a difference in her personality and awareness. She would get upset during normal outings, such as paying for groceries at a grocery store.

What can other people look out for as signs?

The emotion that comes along with forgetfulness. When forgetfulness turns into anger, confusion and upset. Imagine that you all of a sudden do not remember what type of weather and clothing is connected to each season of the year, this would upset you as it used to come to you without thinking. This situation might scare you, and lead to upset, anger or confusion.

What advice would you give to someone else whose loved one was recently diagnosed?

Live every day one day at a time. If you start to pile on all of what might happen in the future, you will not appreciate your loved one in the now. I wasted a year of my life crying about my situation, instead of asking my Mom all sorts of questions about her life and spending genuine time with her. Worrying about the fact that I will never get to ask my mom for advice again, or my mom might not be able to meet my future children, does not do justice to the fact that she is still here with me today. Worrying about the future is not a productive way to spend my time, as it does not help me or help my Mom. I choose to be grateful for every day that I have with her, and live every day one step at a time, not fighting every progression of the disease.

So my loved one was diagnosed, now what!?

Do not go through this process on your own. Self research is tempting and unavoidable, however you can not trust every random article on the internet that you find. Ask the professionals. The Alzheimers Foundation of America offers a free 7 day a week consultation hotline with a social worker professional that is more than capable of answering all of your questions: alzfdn.org / 866-232-8484