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why can mom remember some things and not others
Posted: Tuesday, April 15, 2014 7:29 AM
Joined: 3/11/2014
Posts: 95

I don't understand!  We've been dealing with this for seven years, five with a diagnosis and medicine.  Her changes are subtle.  Because I see her more often I don't always see changes like my sibs do.  Why can she remember going to a birthday party yesterday but not remember if she ate today.  why can she remember walking to Goodwill a month ago but not remember she is supposed to call me when she needs a ride?  why can she remember that I'm trying to get her to move out of her house to AL but not remember that she wears the same clothes every day for two months.  I don't get it!!!  This in between stage is lasting a long time.  She doesn't take her Aricept regularly because I'm not there to give it to her.  I suppose I should start going every night and giving her the medicine personally to see if it will make a difference but the other option is just taking it away since she's been on it for 5 years.  What have you all done?
Posted: Tuesday, April 15, 2014 7:53 AM
Joined: 8/30/2012
Posts: 264


I think you are lucky that her changes have been so subtle over that long time.  I would not take away the Aricept as it seems to be working.  My Mom could not take it, or others like it, and went from stage 4 to late stage 6 in less than 2 years.  I do think you need to make sure she has help with her medicine and takes it when she is suppose to.  I think if she forgets to take it, she may also forget she already took it and take it again sometimes.  That can be dangerous, depending what she is on.

I assume they will do that when you place her in assisted living.

As far as why she remembers one thing and not others, who knows.  I was under the impression that Mom's long term memory would stay in tact, but she never mentions my dad, who died 9 years ago, but she was married to for 48 years! But then she will remember that my daughter visited with me a week ago, and not remember that she ate 2 hours ago!  Crazy disease that affects everyone differently.

Posted: Tuesday, April 15, 2014 8:11 AM
Joined: 3/11/2014
Posts: 95

I fill her pill box each week and monitor it but then I find little stashes of pills in drawers and know that she didn't take them after all. I can't even tell if her better days are when she DID take the meds or DIDN'T. I will start going out every night and give her the meds but that will be an issue as I travel.  She is refusing to go to an apartment and I just can't make myself take her and drop her off so I don't know what we are going to do about that.
Posted: Tuesday, April 15, 2014 8:49 AM
Joined: 2/14/2014
Posts: 749

I know - it's a "puzzlement", isn't it?  My mother does the same sorts of things - remembers something I told her when we spoke but doesn't remember that we spoke.  Some days she remembers what time breakfast is at her assisted care facility and other days cannot remember.  The last time I visited, my mom mentioned something that I had actually forgotten about "Jennifer," a friend of mine from college (35 years ago), and when I said, "I can't believe you remember that about Jennifer!" my mother asked, "Who's Jennifer?"


Ah, the many mysteries of Alzheimer's and dementia...



dutiful deb
Posted: Tuesday, April 15, 2014 9:05 AM
Joined: 1/1/2012
Posts: 1893

My mom is in this stage, too, and it does seem to last a long time. But I can see that her ability to retain memories is getting worse all the time.


I think it's like a bad connection, where you can turn on a light switch and the bulb will flicker before it lights up, sometimes will stay on a long time and at other times it stays on just a few minutes, until one day you flip the switch and nothing happens at all. The connections in the brain that are being ravaged by the diseases that cause our loved one's dementias, are also slowly being dimmed. It's not a case of everything being shut down at once; it's more like a slowly dying electrical connection.


That, I believe, is why it  is referred to as "the long goodbye."

Posted: Tuesday, April 15, 2014 11:05 AM
Joined: 7/30/2013
Posts: 6034

I can't answer about the memory issues. I can't figure it out either! As for the medicine, your mom needs someone to monitor it every day to make sure that she takes it. Maybe you can get a health care aid out there each day to follow this. And don't leave her medication with her - any medication. She could swallow a whole bunch of Tylenol and damage her liver, for instance.


Are you trying to get her into assisted living or memory care? Who has power of attorney for healthcare? The POA holder can force the issue. Mom will NEVER want to move. It doesn't matter how bad off she becomes. They never want to move. But they are like little children at this stage. Sometimes, you have to become the parent and just tell them what is going to happen whether they like it or not. Your goal now is to ensure her safety and health. Right now, it doesn't sound like she is safe living alone. Her health may be in jeopardy as well. She will NEVER be happy about it, but she may come to accept it in time. Good luck.

Posted: Tuesday, April 15, 2014 7:35 PM
Joined: 3/11/2014
Posts: 95

I am her POA and healthcare rep.  She gets very angry at me when she mentions me taking her car and if I mention the Senior Living apartment.  It's really an AL facility but I am stressing that it is independent living unless she needs them to help her.  There are many independent seniors that live there too.  I have made an appointment with her neurologist to discuss meds. I know when she is taking them because she has diarrhea. I am leaving town for two weeks so I am not changing her medicine routine until I get back and she sees the Dr. then I will have to start going every evening to give her the meds and hire someone to do it when I'm gone if I can't suck it up and take her to AL against her will.