Moms With Alzheimers Need Mother’s Day, Too

My Parents

At least I think they do.

I returned a few days ago from spending a week with my parents in Florida. My mother is in a “Memory Support Center” — a too-hopeful title for a place where people who suffer from Alzheimer’s Disease and other dementias can benefit from assisted living and nursing care, plus daily activities for supporting what memory they still have.

Mom was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease about nine years ago. It’s been a very long and sad road, especially for my dad who has been at her side, on and beyond what most caregivers, even spouses, provide. He has been there for her through too much thick and even more thin. My sisters and I have worried that her debilitation would be the death of him.

What do you do for a mom who has Alzheimer’s disease and apparently has no memory of even her children?

You do the same as you would do if she remembered every moment of your lives together. Because honoring her and loving her doesn’t change, just because she doesn’t seem to get it. So my sisters and I sent flowers. And when I visited last week, I gave Mom a teddy bear with angel wings and a halo.

And then you do what you need to do to support prevention or cure for this “long good-bye,” so others won’t suffer the same way. To honor Mom, my sisters and I donate to the Alzheimer’s Association, and we walk in the annual fundraising walk each year. We’re doing what we can do.

I hope your family is never touched by this horrible disease. If it is, you may be interested in some of the material found on this blog. If you’d like to share more information about your experience with it, feel free to leave comments in the Alzheimer’s section.

And if you don’t deal with it — count your lucky stars.

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Trisha Torrey
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