Dementia complicates even the simplest shopping trip

sunglassesEach week Mom and I will run errands together which is usually just a trip to the grocery store. My Mom is able to put together a list and she enjoys these trips.

The preparation for the trip takes longer now — and it wasn’t a quick task previously. Before the new medication, my Mom would be a frenetic whirlwind of activity and she needed small reminders about the task as she searched for a pencil, paper, got off-task and started looking for something unrelated, got redirected and then searched for her purse, lost the grocery list … and we repeated this cycle a few times until we were ready to walk out the door. Now, she just moves slower and forgets what she was doing and a gentle reminder gets her back on task.

Today was a sunny, hot day and as we emerged from the building to walk to my car, my Mom staggered as if she were struck and shielded her eyes. She tried to stand still with her eyes closed but was teetering so I gently put my hand on her back to steady her. “It’s too bright out here!” she exclaimed. I offered her my sunglasses, but she declined and slowly opened her eyes to adjust to the bright light. She agreed that we should stop and buy sunglasses today.

I’ve shared how difficult it has been to execute any purchase. When we arrive at the store, I am surprised how quickly she found a pair of sunglasses. They were a great color for her and would do a good job of shielding her eyes. After we purchased them, my Mom dropped them in her purse. We stopped by the food court before we left the building and as we walked outside, I suggested my Mom put on her new sunglasses. She opened her purse and was surprised to find them there — but immediately put them on.

I told her the color was perfect on her and I thought she would be pleased to check them out when we got to the car. She looks at herself in the mirror and comments that while they look nice, she’s surprised to see such big glasses on her face — “I hardly recognize myself, ” she comments.

It was great to have such a successful trip. I’ve shared a picture of my Mom in her new sunglasses. Thrilled. 

5 thoughts on “Dementia complicates even the simplest shopping trip

  1. another excellent blog……I am slowly experiencing the same with mom.
    I hope all is well with you all .
    steve and teri

    1. Thanks – Getting out and having an activity with a focus seems to be so exciting for my Mom. I wonder when or if a day will come when she doesn’t want to go anymore.

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