Was Our Family Much Like Yours Regarding Our Loved One?

We were probably very similar.
My mother, Sheila, was in her early 70s when we first noticed that something was different and disturbingly “not right” about her.
She wasn’t taking care of the house, or herself. She wasn’t keeping up with the finances and her tax records were sitting in piles...barely touched. She seemed confused and paranoid. She was stressed trying to care for her second husband, who was on hospice care. And, she was socially isolated a few miles inland in Biloxi’s Back Bay.
Did we notice something was wrong? Certainly.
Did we think it might be some form of dementia? Yes.
Did we discuss it among ourselves? Sure.
Did we all agree what to do...and did mom go along? Not exactly.
But, did we think it was Alzheimer’s? Mom didn’t have any (known) major health problems other than elevated cholesterol. No other family member had the disease. So, why would we consider that?
We didn’t know what was progressing in her brain until Hurricane Katrina destroyed their home 14 years ago. The trauma of losing everything she owned and cherished exacerbated and accelerated her decline.
Almost three years later, the signs became obvious: she increasingly exhibited and suffered from many symptoms of this horrible, terminal disease.
Fortunately, mom had made me durable power of attorney, health care representative (advanced directive), executor, and trustee while she was lucid enough to take those vital actions. I could make the critical decisions for her care.
It doesn’t always go even that smoothly, as the following article points out:

“If a relative shows signs of Alzheimer’s, don’t just do nothing. Talk about it.”
Your family’s conversations will need to be done with patience, calm, and loving concern, not confrontation, words, or commands that may upset your loved one or cause them to get defensive or combative.
Want more information? Would you like a complimentary initial conversation? Contact me here:
Cohen Caregiving Support
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Caring Regards,
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