You spend this journey wrapped up in the Alzheimer’s, but the Alzheimer’s is not the only problem. In January of 2020, mom could still speak well enough to let us know things like “My knee hurts,” so we were able to address discomforts and problems effectively, for the most part.
Mom certainly had more than Alzheimer’s to battle. She had dental hardware mishaps that needed attending, trouble with her hearing aids, dry eyes, and the left knee. Add to that the emotional baggage that comes with the disease: loneliness, depression, anger, frustrations, fear, …
As mom’s ability to communicate jammed up in the disease, I’m grateful we were familiar her “regular” problems. I’m sure we didn’t always sort out every little ache and pain, but knowing the patient helps. Later, when we had sitters, nurses, and nurse’s aides, we were able to communicate the kinds of things that might come up.
The Alzheimer’s will take over, but it’s not the only problem. Older problems may persist, and new ones will manifest. Even though they lose cognitive and communicative skills as the disease progresses, trust them if they act like they are in pain. They probably are.
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