The Moments of Clarity with Dementia

magnifyMy Mom is doing better on the prescribed medications. My siblings and I are all noticing that some days, my Mom is very clear and chatty. I can’t say I perceive this as a memory improvement, but a demeanor improvement. On my last visit, my Mom revisited an ongoing topic — she has asked me several times “Why did Dad go first?”

I tell her the story about him saying the men go first. I wrote about this in October, 2012 — my Mom asked me “Who is going to help me when your father isn’t around to help anymore?” I told her that him dying first feels like how we moved from place to place — Dad always went first when we he was reassigned. We would stay behind and my Mom managed to sell the home if we owned it, pack the house and transition the family to the new residence.

My Mom chuckles at my analogy.

Many people marvel that my Mom can still be so with it. In my Mom, her dementia presented a combative woman who wouldn’t respond to reason and behave in very unbecoming ways. I recognized that her agitated behavior coincided when she didn’t seem to really know or understand what was going on. If human nature responds with fight or flight — my Mom is a fighter for sure.

On the new medications, you would just notice that my Mom has absolutely no short-term memory and has difficulty managing her day. She still gets dressed, albeit in the same outfit daily and likes to go run errands when I visit. She is much slower and naps a lot more now. I have not had any recent instances with jumbled or nonsensical sentences. Remarkably, she is also not challenging the presence of the personal aides and on several calls to my Mom she will report that she has a “friend” visiting.

The planner in me wonders how long this stage will last. Right now the daughter in me has decided that I will just enjoy being able to spend time with a loving mother. Savored.



4 thoughts on “The Moments of Clarity with Dementia

  1. Hi there,

    I am a fellow caregiver and just came across your blog.

    I have been a young(ish!) carer for my mother-in-law, who suffers from dementia, for the last three years now.

    I am in the process of creating a new poetry site primarily aimed at carers, but also people with dementia as well –

    The blog is an honest account of my experience of caring over the last few years in poems – some silly, some exasperated, some happy, some sad – of my last three years caring for my mother-in-law, who suffers from Alzheimer’s disease, and is aimed at helping to support other caregivers in a similar position.

    If you would be happy to link to me, I would gladly return the favour!

    DG x

  2. This is a fascinating post, and I am curious what medications your mother is on? We have found that adding lexapro into the mix of donezepiil and namenda has really helped my husband function with Mild Cognitive Impairment/Early Alzheimer’s (as I discuss in my own blog

    1. My Mom has an Exelon patch and is on Respidal. The neurologist and geriatrician felt my Mom had passed the window for Aricept and namemdia – that was over a year ago. Each person is so different.

      I need to check out your blog. Thanks for writing.

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