|MAKING DAILY ROUTINES WORK
DEALING WITH DEMENTIA
Dad didn't have Alzheimer’s per se but his multiple open-heart surgeries had taken their toll on his brain power. His cardiologist said Dad's condition was old age combined with what is known as "pump head." You see, the heart bypass machine puts too much pressure on the brain, killing brain cells. Thankfully, Dad always knew who we were and usually where he was. However, he had great difficulty remembering what happened or what was said 5 minutes earlier.
We had to repeat things over and over to Dad. Each time it was like brand new to him. It did no good to say, "Don't you remember, I just told you that 5 minutes ago." For one thing, that would make him feel bad. And reminding him of what he couldn't remember didn't help him remember.
Mom had a hard time accepting Dad's memory loss. She couldn't resist saying, "Don't you remember what I just told you?" I'd say, "Mommmm!" It was often maddening and even comical. Every Sunday, on the way home from church, we would encounter a dip in this one section of the freeway. Dad would say each time, "Wow. Someone needs to fix that!" One time, Betty said, "Dad, you say that every time we hit that dip." He immediately retorted, "If you would remember, I wouldn't have to tell you each time." We all laughed until tears came down our cheeks. MORE>