Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Every one's Parents are getting older

My parents are getting older. Every one's parent's are getting older but I worry about things like Alzheimer's Disease. How will I know what to look for as they grow older?
I ran across this site called Alzheimer's Foundation of America.
I found out that the disease is not a natural part of aging and that it's more that just forgetfulness.
Memory loss--especially of recent events--forgetting where they put things and forgetting new information are signs of the disease. Confusion and struggling to complete familiar actions, such as making coffee, what to do to get ready for bed, i.e. brushing teeth are also signs. Also, having trouble finding appropriate words, completing sentences, and following directions are also signs. A big indicator also is poor judgment when making decisions. This along with
changes in mood and personality can actually cause arguments--further pushing parents and potential caregivers apart. Increased suspicion, rapid and persistent mood swings, withdrawal, and disinterest in usual activities and not being able to perform difficult tasks like balancing a checkbook, are also huge indicators.
I remember there was a time where my mother kept asking me if I took little odd things from the house or if I took $5 from her purse. During that time I was living in another city. She stopped asking me so I just thought she was being silly. However, mom often becomes quarrelsome. I thought maybe she was cranky from being diabetic. She said she had not had breakfast when I asked her if she ate. It was 1 p.m. and she was too focused on shopping to care. I have had to learn to ask mom questions in non-threatening ways in order to get a response and not an argument.
While I don't know how I will talk to my parents about this (they told me to mind my own business when I tried to help them with signing up for Medicare)I will however, support this cause.
I plan to shop for mom's holiday gift at the site's eStore. Dad too. Maybe this will open up the subject.
All of the proceeds will benefit the Alzheimer's Foundation of America, so it's a win-win situation and it will help me out of a tight spot.
Seeking a cure to Alzheimer's is important and making sure those who suffer from the disease get quality care is just as important. I think the holidays are a good time to give a gift donation or buy a gift from the eStore.
I'm going to do this because it's easy to mistreat someone who is suffering from this disease. They my exhibit the crankiness--which leads to arguments but it's scary to watch the people who raised you to brush your teeth every night go without toothpaste because they kept forgetting it at the store and then decide it isn't important. The only thing is that both of my parents are still living and what one forgets, the other one will remember--for sure. Because of this, it will probably be harder for me to figure out what is going on.

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