I have a short-term memory loss question. - AgingCare.com

I have a short-term memory loss question.

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My mother wanted to return a pair of shoes. We plan to go on Sunday. I have told her SUNDAY is the day repeatedly. She lost the shoes (in the bag) in her house. No small wonder either... so much stuff.
Anyhow, I said, "Put the shoes in my car. Leave them there. We will return them on Sun and will know where they are."
She left them in the car.
She has called me and asked me FIVE (yes 5) times where her shoes are, today alone.
YET, she can remember to tell me to watch HGTV to call in for the $25K sweepstakes without fail.
How IS that???

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Sibling it is sad but you do have to lie..I cringe when my husband or kids say something to my Mom that I know will be a repeated by her a zillion times..
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At this stage,MIT may help to put up a large block calendar and write "return shoes" in the Sunday block, perhaps also, "the shoes are in Nikki's car." She may still call, but you can reference the calendar and this just gives you another tool to avoid frustration. The calendar has become less useful for my mother now than it used to be, but it still reassured her to see something on the calendar. My Mom cannot remember that I was laid off a few months ago, but she can remember my bad accident last week, in which my car was totaled by a distracted bus. She calls to ask about the insurance coverage which will be the value of the car, which is just slightly more than I owe on the car. This is a disappointing situation for me and it is difficult to remain patient and explain why I will no longer have a car over and over throughout the day. It is almost like she wants to torture me by making me explain that I will not be able to get a new car loan because I am unemployed, whence she interrupts to tell me she didn't know I was unemployed, ... Broken record. Maybe I'll just start telling her they are going to replace the car, duh, brainstorm! Perhaps then she will let it go. You just have to lie to them about everything.
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What you are experiencing is just the nature of dementia or any kind of brain impairment. It may help you feel more comfortable with it if you learn more about dementia, but it is a very painful disease to watch progress.
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My Dad who has long since passed used to call me both at home and work, . thank God it was before cell phones and say "I can't ever talk to you anymore because I don't have your phone number" I lived 2000 miles away so I wasn't his care taker and I could be very patient with him and kept repeating my number. He'd write it on a scrap of paper, then talk a bit and he'd ask again. My sister called me when she arrived at my Dad's and said "what is going on with daddy? There are at least 20 pieces of paper all around the living room with your phone number written on them when I explained what happened my sister and I couldn't stop laughing. She kept saying I can't believe he called you that many times to tell you he can't call you. He'd also get fixated on one thing and would ask it repeatedly until a new fixation came along. So I guess you're going to get more and more repeats but I love that she remembers the HGTVContest!
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Nikki,
Five times in a day? Yes, you need to do some reading up on dementia. As the disease progresses it will become five times in five minutes or less. I would suggest you check into caregiver support meetings or classes at the Alzheimer's Association, they are very helpful. It is a very hard disease to watch especially if you do not know what to expect and it is different for everybody. Best wishes as you begin this heart wrenching journey.
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Watching it is terrible. My mother has come to a point where she seems lost, and I feel lost being with her. And I try to figure out who is more lost, her or me, and if it is me feeling lost that makes her seem more lost. People shouldn't have to go through this alone, but family and friends just seem to evaporate. Thank goodness for the caregivers. They might not be able to fix things, but I do think they make it less frightening.
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She seems to do well for awhile, then I 'sense' a dip of sorts...
Like picturing a graph. You see the line go up, then drop down... level out, drop a little more, up even less... until you realize that the ultimate end point is very low compared to where your loved one started at, maybe a year or two before.
When she asked what turned out to be 6 times about her shoes today, each time she began the question, my heart sank a little as I heard her innocently repeat herself about where her shoes were. Yes, it happened 1x after I posted this question this evening.
Again.
It's a little heartwrenching watching your only surviving parent slowly get "erased", for lack of a better word, and knowing that it really won't get better... then wondering how long until it dips again and falls even lower until it gets to the point where she is a shell or a ghost of my mom.
Sometimes I think that will never happen and that something will take her before she becomes a 'shadow' of who she was.
Other times, I fear she will go through the whole lengthy process; one where the biggest sufferer is the one who loves her and watches the decline..... I don't understand why things like this happen to people.
I don't understand cancer.
I don't understand child abuse.
I don't understand starving people or tortured people.
Nor do I understand suffering of animals for that matter, or dementia.
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My MIL went on a Mystery Ride at her ALF this morning. But by this afternoon she forgot where they went. So it is still a Mystery Ride. She did remember to go to the beauty parlor though, for a cut & color. There's no rhyme or reason to what sticks with their brains. Maybe it's from using hair coloring for the last fifty years.
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Nikki, people can focus on some things to the point of obsession. Other things they forget. My mother usually remembers everything I want her to forget and forgets everything I want her to remember. It is the nature of dementia.
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I have soooo much to learn about dementia..... It seems she can remind me, and I mean after shopping and being in the car for 2 hours, to watch Wed night! They are giving away a code!!! Then, 5x in one day, no lie, she calls to ask where her shoes are.
It's scary to me.
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