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Prior the pandemic my 86 year old mother was mentally alert, she drove, loved alone, saw friends , entertained (she was talented chef) …. Now she forgets to take her meds (she’s a diabetic), is scared to drive, gas trouble walking, seems anxious and scared… the Covid isolation was very difficult because she was use to visiting me in NYC but my husband is a first responder (was exposed) so she couldn’t be near us for a year. This is all so hard to grapple with as my mother was a dynamo before. We have done a brain scan (clear other than normal aging) , blood tests, etc …. Other than the diabetes we can find another physical issue . She’s finally visiting today and I’m hoping getting the chance to be with us will help. I was told by my GP that the pandemic caused severe memory loss in the elderly. Any thoughts or advice would be greatly appreciated.

It may be a combination with other things. My sister (77) had a difficult fall recently, and it has really affected her confidence as well as her mobility. I (73 until tomorrow) had 2 bad falls 3 and 4 months ago, related to an eye operation, and they did the same for me. You could just check what else has happened that might have affected her, besides the impact of COVID.

It’s worth asking, because it may need to prompt some changes. My sister has had discussions with the family because it’s not safe for family members to lift her up from the floor, which she expected last time. I have learned to watch my feet carefully and walk slower on uneven ground. Mother may not want to ‘confess’ about an incident like this, but discussions can be useful.
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Reply to MargaretMcKen
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Shersher Jul 17, 2021
Thank you. This is very helpful. She did have a fall several months that has greatly effected her confidence
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I meant to say quantity for quality in previous post- sorry for that
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The damage to our elderly is IMO the worse thing that happened during COVID. Makes me cry. We sacrifice quality for quality, not so sure t our elderly would have voted that way. Yes , love her and hug her, and laugh with her. Put the bad stuff in the past, hug her from me. My mom died during COVID from heartbreak- hug her again from me!!!
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Shersher Jul 17, 2021
Thank you so much and sending you deepest condolences
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From personal experience, most "elderly" friends, family and neighbors have suffered with cognitive decline. The collateral damage of a over year of shutdowns and confinement will take years to acknowledge. Economic difficulties, social isolation and mental health problems are just a few that have affected us all.

Take care of yourself first, as you cannot sacrifice your health for others.

Best wishes
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Shersher Jul 17, 2021
Thank you . It’s been quite hard. I’m am also burned out due to dealing with a husband on the frontlines for most of the pandemic . Not sure how to manage my own self care as well.
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Hi,
The isolation resulted in a lot of seniors losing their routines which were keeping them rooted in time and place. My guess is that if there was some mild underlying memory loss it was exacerbated. If things are not looking familiar to her, or she's lost some of her executive ability, that could explain her seeming afraid. Good for her for being aware that driving is a challenge. It sounds like she's going to need extra support to ensure she's taking her meds, handling her schedule so that she can have interaction, making sure she's eating when she needs to, and someone should probably get access to the finances and online accounts to make sure that taxes were paid and bills are set up to be autopaid. Would she be amenable to moving into assisted living, possibly nearer to you? Could she afford it? If she doesn't have a POA and living will now is the time to talk about her wishes. Discuss with a CELA to get the paperwork going. Best wishes...
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Shersher Jul 17, 2021
Thank you for the much needed advice!
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I think you said it best when you said that your GP stated that the pandemic has caused severe memory problems with the elderly. The isolation that mostly the elderly had to endure did more harm to them than the virus itself. It's heartbreaking to hear stories of loved ones who were once vibrant healthy people, now just shells of themselves because they were not allowed to, or were afraid to be around their loved ones.
Us humans are made for social interaction and touch, and when you take that away for over a year, the damage is horrific. I believe that we're just now seeing the tip of the iceberg as to the untold damage the isolation has caused, and will continue to see the damage for years to come. It's very sad.
Enjoy you time with your mom, and give her a great BIG hug!
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Shersher Jul 17, 2021
Thank you so much for your words. Gave me peace 🙏🏻🙏🏻🙏🏻
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