I think one of the most difficult aspects of my Mom having Alzheimer’s is her alternate reality. It’s a reality that belongs only to her and there she keeps all these memories and events that no one has but her. It was very difficult for me to accept and I still struggle sometimes because she has this reality with all these memories that simply aren’t real. Sometimes there’s a hint of truth in there but once her mind finishes with that little bit of truth the reality of it is almost unrecognizable. She’s lost all her children childhood memories, so she has created her own memories. I do my best to never take those memories from her because she needs them. I just let her talk as she tells all the intricate details of these most time very lavish memories. In her memories she is very adventurous and this has never been my Mom’s personality. Maybe she’s living out what she wanted to do and be in her alternate memories, whatever the case I don’t want to take that from her.
Family members who aren’t around my Mom on a daily basis have yet to realize or should I say accept that her stories aren’t real to anyone but her. They get all caught up in the stories and even ask questions. I have to constantly remind them that this is a person with Alzheimer’s and those stories simply aren’t true. People really have a difficult time understanding this disease because I think many fear the reality of it for themselves. Visitors are constantly turning to my Mom during conversations asking her to verify past details of stories and she just kinda sits there. Sometimes they ask her if that isn’t right and she will nod, yes. I know that she has no memory or recollection of what they’re asking her but they’ve put her on the spot and she never admits to having no memory of the occasion. I do wish people would get a grip. If you’re going to visit with someone that you know has been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s at the least do some reading and know what you’re going to be dealing with. It just annoys me that they come in treating my Mom like there has been no change in her life. It’s selfish and ridiculous on their part. Stop asking her questions she can’t possibly answer, it’s only making her condition more evident to her and everyone else in the room. Stop putting her on the spot! Show her how much you care and do some research, please!
Brenda Morgan, Brenda Cares Corner
Life, God and the Bible
Ordained Christian Minister