I have only recently come to fully accept that mom suffers from Alzheimer’s. I know that dementia takes different forms and the one mom has is on the Alzheimer’s track, but never once have I admitted to myself or anyone for that matter that mom actually has Alzheimer’s. I’ve always said she has dementia as if to shield myself from the truth; dementia camouflaged Alzheimer’s. It’s a truth that I didn’t want to, couldn’t admit to, until now.
Why now? I really don’t know. Maybe it’s from re-reading an article on dementia vs. Alzheimer’s and the fact that dementia is a symptom of Alzheimer’s and that Alzheimer’s is not part of the normal aging process. It’s a disease.
I have seen a bit of decline in mom on one level mostly – speech. It has become frustratingly and increasingly more difficult for her to express herself. Word finding has also become worse. And she knows it. She says she’s stupid. I reaffirm to her that she is not, that she still has all the same knowledge she has always had but it is now difficult to retrieve.
She’s embarrassed. I told her don’t be. She’s not doing certain things because she wants to. It’s the dementia.
While I have personally accepted that mom has Alzheimer’s, I cannot and will not say that word to her. I still can’t. Not yet. Probably never.