Anyone else feel that they are losing brain cells because of caregiving?

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About 3 years ago this subject was posted on the forum by another writer, and I though I bring back this issue, and start with a clean slate.

For me, I though I was losing brain cells while helping out my very elderly parents who decided that living by themselves, while being in their 90's, was the best thing ever.... NOT. All the sleepless nights I had.... the panic when I saw their caller ID on the phone.... Mom shooing out caregivers.... and driving by my parent's house [lived in same neighborhood] and seeing Dad up on a ladder cleaning the gutters.... YIKES !!

Since my parents hadn't passed that long ago, my brain hasn't recovered. I know this is just probably age related forgetfulness being I am now 70. I had dove into every article and book about dementia, and overloaded myself with info so I could react to my parents should they had gottten dementia. So now the tiniest thing when I can't think of something, I think oh great, I never got to enjoy my retirement, now THIS???

Anyone else going through this?


My brain isn't as sharp as it used to be when I was younger. My attention span is a lot shorter if I'm not really interested in something. It may be because I'm in an overstimulated, over-stressed state all the time. It has taken a toll on me. I can relate to what you're saying. I hope we can get something worked out in our generation so that younger people don't have to buy helmets and tote around finger pistols. We never know how big of a toll it will take on us until we're in it waist deep. Then we try to back away, but they are so dependent on us that it is hard.
My short term memory is shot!
When I get around "normal" people I act stupid and talk non stop! I'm almost 55 and my kids are noticing it.
Dread "going to town" for fear of making fool of myself. It just feels so good to have conversations with "normal" people, it's like I get over stimulated or something. I hate it
Bella, I have to ask -- did your father's friend move him back to the cabin this past weekend?

My mother is so isolated that when she gets out she is trying to start conversations with anyone and everyone. I don't know how satisfactory her phone conversations with people are, since she doesn't appear to hear/follow what I'm saying on the phone. If she hasn't talked to me for a while, she gets "squawky." She asked if I noticed her voice sounded different, and I said yes. She briefly was concerned about throat or esphageal cancer, but that hasn't become a new obsession (thank goodness!).

If anyone asks me how my mother is, I have a tendency to go on and on. I really have to stop that!
At one time, I was beginning to get worried. Later, it got better. I needed stress relief, more good sleep (I got cpap), better nutrition (lost weight) and Coconut oil (works for me.).

I would also consider how YOUNG people seem to be as scattered as older ones a lot of the time. I see friends and family members who who are 20-40 years old and they can't keep up with keys, can't be relied on, because they forget so much, and never seem to have anything together. Maybe, their phone holds everything, so they have no need to use those brain muscles. lol
LOL Bella, I always spewed like a volcano whenever I was around other people, unfortunately since I never got out all I had to talk about was mom and dementia and caregiving!

Oh CTTN55, I see you have the same problem ;)
Oh when will my brain recover??? It's been over a year since my last parent had passed but I still haven't recovered physically or emotionally from those 7 years of so much darn stress.

There are some things I am still very sharp about, but it's the other things that I find my brain had gone on vacation without me. My typing is a mess, I will proofread and think who took over my hands !!!

I realized in the past I did feel much better and sharper whenever I did physical labor. But as I got older over those 7 years age related decline was catching up with me. My gosh I use to be able to work all day out in the yard. Now a days, 15 minutes will do me in, and then when squatting down to pull weeds, I couldn't get up.... now what?

Then again, I maybe too critical of myself, and over thinking this slow down on brain power.
Sooo, it's 7months later since I responded on this post...and I'm still ditzy as ever, wondering if my brain cells will ever come back.

And yes, CTTN55, my dad moved back to cabin with DH help. (3 months later he asked to go back to AL, after an ER visit and nurses coming to check on him at home.) While in the hosp. I desperately spoke with a sociol worker and begged for help stating I couldn't do it anymore. He got 2 weeks in home nurse care then asked us if we cared if he went back to AL. We got him moved back in within the next 2 weeks. 👍🏻 

I've really had a break from all the worrying since he moved back in late September BUT I'm not the same person. I feel different, can't pinpoint it exactly. Big blah and don't look forward to the future.

Only thing that's keeps me going is a new grand babygirl any day now.
I was thinking exercise, ff. Even a little gentle exercise will help.

The other thing I read just today in the NY Times was that those people who eat leafy greens like spinach, kale, collard greens, daily, score 11 years younger on the cognitive scale. I am partial to brussel sprouts and broccoli myself. I hope they qualify!!!

But, sadly, overall, we are in decline to some degree or another.
Dear freqflyer,

Thank you for posting this. Please be kind to yourself. You are an amazing person for caring for your parents into their 90s. I think it does take time for our minds and bodies to come to terms with our grief and many years of caregiving.

Since my dad passed, I feel that way too. I lost my glasses, my hat, my keys. I make multiple trips to the store. I go for one thing and I can't even remember to buy that one item!

Keep focusing on self care. :-) And thank you for caring about all of us on this forum. I appreciate your answers so much.
Bella7, so glad your father is back in AL!

Sunnygirl1, I think you have a really good point about the Millenials and their forgetfulness/reliance on their smartphones, etc. We are the "bridge" generation, because we remember life before smartphones/Internet. We remember making our own amusements, spending a lot of time outdoors, READING books, etc. I think all of this technology is hurting our cognition in ways they haven't even discovered yet.

Keep the conversation going (or start a new one)

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