I have debated in my head multiple times if I should write this post or not. I've come to the conclusion that as with all mental health stigmas, the benefits of posting outweigh the consequences.
My mother is clearly, and now officially, suffering from some kind of dementia.
The signs have been there for a long time. We've had family meetings to discuss what to do. We've seen unusual behaviour and witnessed increasing forgetfulness. We thought we were dealing with it, we thought we'd have more time. We were wrong.
This past Thursday was another busy day at work. I decided to check my personal email (which I rarely do) and found a disturbing email from my Dad. My mother had a very bizarre phone conversation with my Dad stating that she didn’t know where she was. He asked where she was and she said she was at the house but didn’t
know where she was going because he had moved and she didn’t know where to go. (A little background information: my parents moved about a year and half ago, and my mother has had issues ever since.) A few more conversations followed between my parents and it became clear that she didn't even know the layout of the house or remember where certain rooms were. My dad had an important meeting that night so my brother planned on coming over to be with her and make dinner after work. As I got home I texted my brother (for those who don't know I live in a different city that my parents and brother and don't have a car) to see if everything was okay as I hadn't had any other updates. He texted back that he was with Mom, as was my dad and there had been some more developments. Long story short, my mother had left the house on her own before my brother got there. She wandered her neighbourhood until she was approached by a kindly stranger who asked if she needed help. She said she didn't know where she was but had to get to an appointment. He asked her where she lived and she said she didn't know. Luckily, my mother had my Dad's business card in her purse and the man called my Dad and he walked her home. My dad and brother arrived shortly after.
Coincidentally, my father had already set up an appointment for my mother with her doctor for the next day (I'm guessing that this is the appointment she thought she was going to). My father and brother both accompanied her to the doctors. They had a very productive meeting. Cognitive testing, Cat Scans and blood work were ordered. Senior service website are being investigated.Home alarms, her current medications and dosage are being reviewed.
My mother's family has history of dementia. My grandmother was diagnosed with alcohol-related dementia and suffered terribly in the last years of her life. I can't bear to think that my mother will face the same fate. I hope there is an answer.
Thank you for letting me share this. Just writing the story out has helped me. My shoulders feel a little less tense now. If anyone reading has any thoughts or ideas please share with me.