I'm 72 and I know that my mind is slipping. I have some suggestions for anyone dealing with an aging loved one.

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I'm 72 and I know I'm slipping. But so far still able to live on my own. Things not to do... Don't tell me, "I already told you that." after I ask a question. If I remembered the answer I wouldn't be asking the question. It's frustrating because I'm being reminded that I'm slipping and I also didn't get an answer to my question. If I start to tell something I've already told, it's okay to say, "Oh yeah, I remember you telling me that." and then for heaven's sake, please be willing to talk about the subject I just brought up so I don't feel so dumb. If I'm struggling to remember a word, it's okay to furnish it for me. Treat me with respect and not as a child. Love me and be there for me. If I do end up in a home, come see me. Even if I don't know who you are, I'll still know someone is there, even if it's just for a moment. My mom, my grandmother and all my grandmother's sisters had dementia so I knew this was coming and have taken steps such as getting the POA's done and letting them know what I want ahead of time and put it in writing. Making sure my will is in order, who to call, stuff like that. And most important... It's not going to kill you (although you may feel like killing your loved one) to listen to the same stuff or being asked the same question over and over. Just remember, it could be your turn to have this next. Think how you'd want to be treated.


Insightful, touching and emotional advice. I think this is a great idea and hope that others add their own thoughts.

I think it's also a good idea for us as caregivers to think this way so we can share our thoughts with our families or future caregivers.
My father was a great story teller. Daddy had an amazing life and was a well known mountaineer in the Pacific Northwest - leading and participating in many mountain rescues- including one on Mt. McKinley, the highest peak in America. From a child I could listen to my father talking of his adventures for hours on end. Which was a good thing, as even in his 40's daddy would repeat himself - a lot!

Daddy never really got dementia but in the two weeks before he passed he did suffer from delusions. I imagine it was largely due to the vast amounts of morphine and Ativan hospice folk had put him on to ease his pain and his anxiousness.

I would sit with my dad and tell him his stories- I easily knew them word for word - and would pray for a word of acknowledgement from him or even a smile. Sometimes I was rewarded but mostly not.

What I wouldn't give now to have my father here again - for just one more story. Daddy has been gone a little over five years and I miss him still as much as if it were yesterday when I lost him.

Whaleyf, thank you for your wise words and your strength in reminding us that no matter how frustrating it may be for the caregiver- it's nothing compared to what our loved one is going through. Bless you!
Whaleyf,, what a great post. Thank you for reminding us all of this. And best of luck in the road ahead!
whaleyf, excellent post. So far I am lucky that my boss and also my sig other minds aren't as sharp as they use to be.  I am in good company.  So we find ourselves pretty much laughing trying to remember famous people's names :)

If my boss asked me something about the past, and I can't remember it, I just tell him that the file drawer in my brain is stuck right now, it will open around midnight :P

My Dad was starting with dementia, so I would tell him there are that I, too, cannot remember things, and that is ok. That use to make him feel better.
Dear whaleyf,

Thank you for reminding us all of the "golden rule." For my own parents and grandmother I have tried my best. I hope they will forgive me if sometimes I slip and have moments of frustrations and impatience. If we are all lucky then we too will live to our 70s and beyond. To me everything you are saying is common sense, so I hope I get that when or if this happens to me.
Thank you that was really nice whaleyf. It's good for me to learn any new tips that I can use to make me a better and more patient caregiver to my mom. Bless you!
Thank you Whaleyf for this.
Whaley - so how are you doing?

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