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It's my dad. His health has been failing anyhow, he fell coming out of a doorway at church a few months back and caught himself with his face, then fell again, again yesterday, etc.

But worse than the physical decline, for his loved ones, is when he asks questions that are obvious attempts to cloak his confusion. "How's your wife?", for example, to whom I've been married almost 30 years, or "Who's this pretty girl with you?" when I bring my 14 year old daughter with me to see him.

We've all shed tears over it, and we all know it's still early in the process. He still knows me, still knows my siblings. If it didn't happen over about 10 years ago, he probably won't recall, or will garble the facts.

My folks split when I was 5, I was more close to dad than mom, and never quite got enough time as I grew up and lived in a different part of the state. We made up for it with a few precious years living in the same town, before my life took my family to a new area. Now he's 90 minutes away, which isn't much until you have a family and a schedule.

Anyhow, poor me, I know. This one hurts, though.


"You cannot legislate the poor into freedom by legislating the wealthy out of freedom. What one person receives without working for, another person must work for without receiving."
-Dr. Adrian Rogers
Posts: 5774 | Location: Mogadishu on the Mississippi | Registered: February 26, 2009Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Picture of Sailor1911
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Sorry to hear that. A cruel disease, for sure. Hang in there and do what you can to make your dad's life easier.

Place your clothes and weapons where you can find them in the dark.

“If in winning a race, you lose the respect of your fellow competitors, then you have won nothing” - Paul Elvstrom "The Great Dane" 1928 - 2016
Posts: 3212 | Location: Wichita, Kansas | Registered: March 27, 2011Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I saw this same thing in my in-laws. As a cop, I would be cruising along an otherwise deserted residential street at 3:30 AM and find an elderly man or woman standing in the street. Disoriented and dressed in underwear, PJs or bathrobe, they were unable to tell me where they lived. We had to then go door to door and wake up the whole area in an effort to find family. If we could not, we had no choice but to hospitalize them.
A common age related disease and death is bad enough. Dementia goes beyond disease by robbing the person of his past and his intellect.

End of Earth: 2 Miles
Upper Peninsula: 4 Miles
Posts: 10777 | Location: Marquette MI | Registered: July 08, 2014Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Membership has its privileges
Picture of P-220
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Sorry you are going through this. We are going though it with Mom right now. Still in its early stages, but sometimes it hits hard.

I will cherish the time we still have with her, and remember the better times.

It is a cruel, cruel disease.

Niech Zyje P-220

Posts: 35675 | Location: 45174 | Registered: December 09, 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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introducing yourself by your name and as his son helps them out a lot , each and every time you meet.

Safety, Situational Awareness and proficiency.

Neck Ties, Hats and ammo brass, Never ,ever touch'em w/o asking first
Posts: 50853 | Location: Henry County , Il | Registered: February 10, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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It's really tough and the sad part is there isn't anything you can do about it. All you can do is see him as often as you can and make the best of it.
Posts: 20158 | Registered: June 12, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Picture of urbanwarrior238
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Thoughts are with you and your family. It touches so many. Dealing with it with Wife's mom.

'I am the danger'...Hiesenberg
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Posts: 979 | Location: Counting the days until my Parole from Kalifornia | Registered: March 02, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
The success of a solution usually depends upon your point of view
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I am so sorry you have to deal with this.

“Banning guns is like banning forks in an attempt to stop making people fat.” - Vince Vaughn

Posts: 3317 | Location: Jacksonville, FL | Registered: September 10, 2010Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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My dad suffered severe mental decline over the last 5 years of his life. I believe smoking and alcohol contributed to his decline. At the time, we lived 1,000 miles away and I didn’t see him for quite a long time. The last time I saw him he was in a wheelchair and didn’t have a clue who I was.

He died a short time later. While we were never close, I felt so very bad for him. What a shitty way to waste away.

This message has been edited. Last edited by: mcrimm,

I'm sorry if I hurt you feelings when I called you stupid - I thought you already knew - Unknown
When you have no future, you live in the past. " Sycamore Row" by John Grisham
Liberalism is a failure to find pathways to intelligence in your brain. - David Lawrence
Posts: 2674 | Location: Kalispell Montana & Florida’s Emerald Coast for the Winter | Registered: December 24, 2013Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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introducing yourself by your name and as his son helps them out a lot , each and every time you meet.

This is good advice. He has a handicap,gentle reminders do help. Routine is great here as well.
Posts: 8972 | Location: Stuck at home | Registered: January 02, 2015Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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especially when they are in a nursing home,

they see people all day and they don't know one from another.

It's not uncommon to see fear on their face as people approach them ,
but when I said Hi Mom , I am Leo your youngest son,
relief, joy , some elation and appreciation came across her face, she wasn't cautious , fearful or apprehensive. she was glad her boy came to see her.

Safety, Situational Awareness and proficiency.

Neck Ties, Hats and ammo brass, Never ,ever touch'em w/o asking first
Posts: 50853 | Location: Henry County , Il | Registered: February 10, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Eye on the
Silver Lining
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There is something I read.. a meme or something which really did a great job of helping me both sides of this situation. I actually think it might’ve been a post on here from someone’s wife who headed up a unit? It sounds stupid, I know, but it brought me comfort. I’ll try and dig it up, but I see my mom heading this way and trying to deflect her memory loss onto my dad. Doesn’t help that she’s losing her hearing and refusing to wear her aids.
I hope you are able to handle this with love and grace. It can be so hard to see your guide in life forget who you are, when you always thought you were one of their most important people, and they are one of yours. My heart goes out to you.

ETA: this is a timely post for me as well. Thank you for reminding me to be patient and kind, instead of frustrated and annoyed. I take my mom almost everywhere with me when I travel (she loves it and wouldn’t go on her own) and sometimes I feel overwhelmed. I need to remember how much she did for me when I was small, and how much she included me in everything, too.


"Trust, but verify."
Posts: 4127 | Registered: October 24, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Picture of Leemur
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I’ve seen it in three members of my family and one of my wife’s. You have my sympathy.
Posts: 12432 | Location: Shenandoah Valley, VA | Registered: October 16, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
On the DL
Picture of V-Tail
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I am two and a half months shy of 83, and this is something that concerns me.

There is no history that I know of on my mother's side of the family.

My father died when I was barely five years old, I did not really know him, but his brother and sister (my aunt and uncle) both were taken by Alzheimer's at ages much younger than I am now.

I stay as active as I am physically able to, I still run the equipment rental business, I am still a certificated flight instructor, I shoot whenever I have time to get to the range, I reload my ammunition, I tend our lawn (mowing, trimming, edging) -- the lawn not because I want to, but because for the five or six years since our good guy left the business, I have been through several "services" and have not yet found one that is dependable.

I try to stay aware of any signs of dementia; to date, I seem to be my normal ornery self, as do my friends of fifty years or more from the Navy, with whom I stay in touch and visit with occasionally.
Posts: 23777 | Registered: January 03, 2010Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Finding the
sweet spot
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I’m sorry. I’ve been through this with my Mom, and now her sister. It’s crushing sometimes to see them start to fail physically and mentally.

My Mom never fully realized my daughter was actually my child. She’d always ask who she was and how old, and hold her, but she was just another cute baby to her. I remember walking into my brother’s house on Christmas Day 2015, and hearing her say my name for the last time. She died early December of 2016. I hope you can find comfort for n memories of better times.

Just because you can, doesn't mean
you should.
Posts: 952 | Location: KCMO | Registered: September 20, 2009Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Very sorry to hear.
Runs on both mine & my wife's family, grandparents on both sides.

The Enemy's gate is down.
Posts: 8341 | Location: Spring, TX | Registered: July 11, 2011Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Today marks 6 years since my Mom died. My Dad followed on January 10th. Both had severe dementia; my Mom stopped speaking about four months before.

It is very hard.

Cheers, Doug in Colorado

NRA Endowment Life Member
Posts: 609 | Location: Colorado | Registered: February 17, 2009Reply With QuoteReport This Post
His Royal Hiney
Picture of Rey HRH
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I'm normally depressive. If i have to be old and alive, I'd rather I was checked out mentally. It's the transition that's the hardest. My dad for a long while carried his passport with him to bed. We didn't know why. My mom figured it was so when he woke up at night, he could figure out who he was.

It was a lot better for him when his alzheimers was full blown.

"It did not really matter what we expected from life, but rather what life expected from us. We needed to stop asking about the meaning of life, and instead to think of ourselves as those who were being questioned by life – daily and hourly. Our answer must consist not in talk and meditation, but in right action and in right conduct. Life ultimately means taking the responsibility to find the right answer to its problems and to fulfill the tasks which it constantly sets for each individual." Viktor Frankl, Man's Search for Meaning, 1946.
Posts: 15903 | Location: Bay Area, CA | Registered: March 24, 2011Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Picture of sgalczyn
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My dad started before he passed in january....FIL lived with us last 3 -1/2 yrs on the down-spiral.

Mom & dad in a memory facilty----so i see a wide range of the severity.

One thing I tell myself----Nope---aint gonna be me---I am not taking that trip or letting my family see me like that.

"No matter where you go - there you are"
Posts: 3857 | Location: Eastern PA-Berks/Lehigh Valley | Registered: January 03, 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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My mom is 75 and headed this way, has been for years, esp. since a minor stroke (TIA) 10+ years ago. She also had other health issues and medications that have taken their toll.

She has shown poor judgement and puts too much trust in the wrong people/things. We moved her to an assisted living place in 2012, which she likes.

I am always a quick phone call away, but she never remembers to call me in advance before doing something stupid that results in my having to spend 10x as much time cleaning it up. We agree over and over to call first, she promises, then has a stupid excuse (you were traveling and it was later where you were - no mom, my phones have do not disturb, call anytime I will see it when I see it).

Now I have POA and will handle all the accounts and money, and the mail comes to my house to prevent her from sending check after check to whatever chartible (mostly fraudulent) solicitation she gets, or from bying useless overpriced junk from Publisher's Clearinghouse.

The most difficult thing is I know the situation, I know her capabilities and incapabilities. I know she can remember stuff from long ago, but short term and day-to-day task memory sucks. Yet between lawyers and doctors, they all try to say how "good" she is doing and "not really that bad" and trivialize everything. No she's not, and I know the reality.

My aunt figured out that when my mom can't remember something, she picks a story that she thinks is consistent to hide the fact she can't remember. And she continuously offers to call various places on the phone to fix things she has screwed up like she's capable of it. I tell her NO, you aren't calling anyone about anything involving legals issues or money. I will take care of it.

I tell her what's a fraud and a scam, but she'd rather believe a stupid piece of mail than the only person within 1000 miles that is looking our for her best interest.

This message has been edited. Last edited by: Lefty Sig,
Posts: 2150 | Location: Indiana | Registered: December 28, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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