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My Mom Fears Alzheimer's

By Blogger November 17, 2013 - 6:33pm

My mom is in her early 70s and her aunt died from Alzheimer's. For the past few years she has been stressing about the fear of getting the disease because she is becoming forgetful.

I have tried to encourage her to speak with a therapist as she is newly retired coming off of decades of crazy work schedules, raising a family, and having little time for herself. She is also at a point in her life where vitality is clearly being questioned.

We discussed recently that she would start logging information from our conversations around plans so that she would have all the details, and she could ask questions. She's feeling insecure and afraid.

I want to help her but can't be her therapist. Any thoughts on how to have this conversation with my mom so as not to freak her out but to help her realize the importance of taking action now to get help to determine if what she is feeling is anxiety of being newly retired or to address her concerns and fears so they don't consumer her.

I welcome your thoughts and ideas.

By Blogger December 13, 2013 - 11:52am

Thanks Susan. Excellent insights. My mom does do crosswords, but told her she needs to do more mind games. Treat her brain like it needs exercise. Fortunately, my mom is in retirement and volunteering, mingling and indeed staying busy. She also spends a good amount of time with her grandkids.

The good news is the doctor said she is fine and there is not evidence of dementia or Alzheimer's. I keep telling her to just live and be happy and write things down so you don't forget. I am only 42 and I forget and often write things in a notebook I carry nearly every where I go.

Thanks Susan.

Appreciate your support.

December 13, 2013 - 11:52am
By HERWriter Guide December 11, 2013 - 11:57am

Hi cbegun

I think every woman under 70 fears breast cancer and every woman over 70 fears Alzheimer's. Alzheimer's, in my opinion, is the most cruel disease for older people. Having physical impairments is so hard but having your mind robbed from you - and all the memories it contains - is so harsh.

Your mom needs to get busy again.

I wrote this for another member recently for helping us keep our brains intact:

Sudoku, crosswords, card games, watching Jeopardy, shows on science and nature - things that make you think as well as feel, can really help.

There is also a website designed for stimulating the brain called Lumosity. I think you may have to pay a small fee but it may be worth it.

Join discussion groups at the local library, listen to talk radio and be as active as you can with your friends and family.

It's called the "use it or lose it" rule for the body and mind.

Also - see if she can get another job is that's what she gets fulfillment from, but something enjoyable and relatively stress-free. I think so many people look forward to retirement and then when it happens, actually feel a bit empty and unproductive. Maybe she would like a part-time position somewhere?

She could also consider volunteering - something that is very fulfilling.

I think your mom needs less talk and more action. Of course, it's really important to be able to express how she feel and to have an open line of communication. She can read up about Alzheimer's and the risks of getting it. (I am writing an article at the moment and the single most important way of decreasing the risk is physical exercise so encourage her to do that). But encourage her to fill her day, whether it's at the gym, joining clubs, playing golf, tennis or swimming or walking - or even working part-time and volunteering.

Empty days are awful for people and can lead to over-thinking, paranoia and even depression.

I hope this helps and good luck with your Mom, I'm sure this is hard for both of you.



December 11, 2013 - 11:57am

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This support group is for all who need someone to listen to their frustrations, fears, and concerns when dealing with a spouse who has been diagnosed with a dementia. And for those of us who need someone to laugh with and cry with too. We all need to feel like someone out there can relate to our situation. We all need to share our highs and lows with someone who's been there and those who are still there trying to hang in there for our "best friend" our spouse.




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