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I'm 15, My mom has EO Alzheimers
Posted: Monday, December 2, 2019 2:10 AM
Joined: 12/2/2019
Posts: 3

I'm 15 and my mom has early-onset Alzheimers( I think i'm spelling it wrong). I'm not sure how I found myself on this website, but I'm here and I made the account and everything. My mom is doing pretty well but definitely getting worse. A couple of days ago, the day before thanksgiving, my mom freaked and thought she was at work( we were at home) and we kept telling her no no you're at home and that all her stuff was here and our dog and she thought we were playing some kind of joke on her. Also, she doesn't work anymore and hasn't for at least a year, so i'm curious as to how she got that idea. It kinda scares me that she could just forget everything that has happened in this house, she raised me and my two older sisters here. She asked me if I was her daughter earlier today, that was strange to hear coming from my mom. I talk to my friends about it but it's not their fault that they can't understand. No one probably cares but it feels good to tell people who might actually be able to relate.
Posted: Monday, December 2, 2019 2:33 AM
Joined: 3/12/2017
Posts: 96

Clouds, there are LOTS of people here who care!  I can only imagine how hard this must be for someone so young to be going through this--and that goes for your sisters and your mom as well. It's good that you're mature enough to realize she can't help some of her reactions to what she thinks is going on, but it's still hard to deal with. Some others you might talk with would be a counselor at your school, or ask your doctor or your mother's doctor for a connection with a counselor. Your friends might not really understand what's happening, but keep contact with them, you need that connection.
Posted: Monday, December 2, 2019 5:17 AM
Joined: 3/6/2017
Posts: 2209


I am so sorry for what you are going through with this wretched disease and for the implications it has for your life going forward as a young woman. 

Your mom's confusion around work is not that unusual among those with Alzheimer's. Often they sort of time travel back to different periods of time in their lives. Often they fixate on something that was a responsibility for them- work, the care of young children or their late parents. Sometimes it's best not to directly contradict them, but to relieve their anxiety by offering a "fiblet" that gets them off the hook- it's the weekend, the little ones went home or the parents are at their cabin at the lake with no phone access. 

Sometimes identifying important people in their lives is derailed by this time travel glitch- in her mind, at the moment, she may hold an image of you as a much younger child. My dad spent a lot of his time around 1976 which was a happy time for him. He knew who I was, but he couldn't relate to the really old-looking woman who claimed to be his wife of 60 years. 

For support, you are always welcome here. You are also welcome to call the 800 number associated with this site and ask to speak to a care coordinator- this service is free. When my dad was diagnosed, my mom and I attended a local IRL support group with a professional leader; I wonder if such a leader might know of other younger people who have this in common with you. I also got my mom a therapist to give her a safe place to share and vent; I think it would be a terrific idea for you if you could manage it. 

I like this quick read for understanding Alzheimer's-


Posted: Monday, December 2, 2019 8:19 AM
Joined: 6/19/2018
Posts: 97

You are 15. This should not be your burden to handle alone. Is there another adult in your household? Dad? Stepdad? Boyfriend? If so, talk to them and ask that they be honest with you. They may be trying to shield you. Let them know it's not working.

If there is not another adult, is there family who can help? Aunts? Uncles? You need an adult to navigate what is ahead.

If there are no adults, call the 800 Alzheimer's number and explain what is happening. They should be able to guide you in where to look for help next. And you do and will need help. You cannot do this yourself.

You are 15. You are in school. Make an appointment with your guidance counselor and speak about what is happening. You are going to need emotional support through this.

If you attend church regularly talk to your pastor. Pastors are often aware of the appropriate community help and can guide you in accessing it.

There is help for you and your mom. Keep asking until you get it. (I am so sorry you are dealing with this when at 15 your biggest worry should be what to wear to school tomorrow.)


Posted: Monday, December 2, 2019 10:27 AM
Joined: 6/20/2016
Posts: 2305

I also agree with letting your guidance counselor know what the home situation is and that you need help emotionally and functionally maneuvering here.

The counselor can look for ways to support you and try to assist in taking some of this burden off you.  Also, please come here, we are happy to support you and answer questions.
Posted: Monday, December 2, 2019 11:07 AM
Joined: 12/2/2019
Posts: 3

I didn't realize I didn't mention my dad. My dad and I live at home with my mom and he is a great Dad and doing his best considering the situation. He and my Aunt handle all the medical stuff and everything so its not on me to handle at all.
Eric L
Posted: Monday, December 2, 2019 11:35 AM
Joined: 12/5/2014
Posts: 1288

Clouds - This is coming from a Dad, a teacher, and someone who has watched a LO struggle with this disease. I hope you have a good guidance counselor at school. Let him or her know what is happening. Things can get extremely stressful with this disease. You are also at perhaps the most difficult age in adolescence. I assume that you are a sophomore in high school. In my experience, it's the toughest age to teach. So much is going on. It's really the transition year between between a kid (cause freshman are still kids) and being a young adult. Hormones are going haywire and school gets more serious and it's can make you insane. You need someone in your corner. A good guidance counselor can help and be on your side. They will let teachers know that your home situation is complicated. They can find resources for you to help you.

My wife was nearly 40 when her Mom didn't recognize her for the first time. She was the mother of 3 kids. She had watched her Dad pass away from cancer. At that point in time, she had lots of "life experience" and it still hurt her very much that her Mom could look at her and ask her "Do you know when she'll (my wife) will be home tonight?" I can't imagine how hard it would be to go through that at 15.

I'm going to let you in on a little secret. I'm a pretty laid back guy most of the time. About a year ago, I had to visit my doctor because I just couldn't control my anxiety anymore. This dementia stuff is hard. Hopefully your Dad is very understanding. Being 15 is already hard. If you ever don't feel like yourself, please let your Dad know so he can help you. If not, let your sisters know.

Aside from maybe my own parents (my grandpa had dementia), my wife, her brother, and myself have no peers that can even remotely understand what our situation was with MIL. Even my Dad, who sort of gets it, he didn't do the hands on care with his own Dad. Most of the folks who are caregivers for dementia are even older than we are (early 40s). Your friends are probably great, but they just won't get it. Heck, my friends don't get it. Our parents are all around the same age and enjoying retirement (or still working and enjoying being empty nesters).

I hope that you have a good school counselor. It might be helpful to see if you can find a therapist that can help. I also hope (this is the Dad part coming out) that you'll be able to do your best to completely focus on the rest of high school and have fun like a high school kid is supposed to.
Posted: Monday, December 2, 2019 3:50 PM
Joined: 8/10/2016
Posts: 2199

Clouds if you hang out here you will learn a lot about dementia.  Sorry your family is having to go through this.  Glad you have a good dad.  All of you are going to need each other.  Your dad could also use the 800 272 3900 number if he ever needs to.  The number is available 24/7. Remember to ask for a care consultant.  Many on here have found them helpful.  Hope all of us here can help make it a little easier for you.  Take care
Posted: Monday, December 2, 2019 8:52 PM
Joined: 9/5/2017
Posts: 38

Clouds- I have a daughter your age.  The message below is from her.

Hello I am also 15 (this is my mom's account she saw this and showed me your message) and my father also has early onset alzheimers. I understand how you feel about telling your friends about it because they can never quite put their feet in yours shoes, although they try their best to. My friends still come over and by now they are pretty used to some of the odd and unpredictable things my dad does. One day he confused one of my friends for me. We were playing mario kart on the sofa. He thought she was me and told her he liked my new hairstyle. My friend and I look nothing alike. It was funny and sad at the same time.

My dad still recognizes me as his daughter, and I'm quite thankful for it, but he has had some issues recognizing my mom. I'm a little surprised because she's with him 24/7 meanwhile I'm often at school and doing sports so i would think he may remember my mother a little better. Anyways, just know you're not the only teen going through this.

Posted: Monday, December 2, 2019 11:54 PM
Joined: 12/2/2019
Posts: 3

WOW! I have a really big smile on my face right now. I know the situation sucks but its pretty cool to know that there are other people my age going through this.
Michael Ellenbogen
Posted: Tuesday, December 3, 2019 9:16 AM
Joined: 11/30/2011
Posts: 3158

I have nothing to add but I just wanted to say you are a brave girl and I wish you the best of luck to you and your family. 

Posted: Thursday, December 5, 2019 5:11 PM
Joined: 9/5/2017
Posts: 38

Yeah it is kinda cool! I didn't really think there were a lot of other people in the same situation
Posted: Sunday, December 8, 2019 4:20 PM
Joined: 10/21/2016
Posts: 2558


You are not alone.  We are all sending blessings your way.  Check with your local Alzheimer's Association to find out about local support groups.  We had an 18 year old girl attend our group and we were a resource for her when she needed help.



Loving daughter Tami
Posted: Sunday, December 8, 2019 4:42 PM
Joined: 12/5/2019
Posts: 5

Hi Clouds!  I send hugs your way.  It must be very hard to deal with this instead of looking forward to other things.  I can say it seems that if people haven't been through it, they just don't understand it, regardless of their age.  Please continue to reach out here and talk to us, reach out to counselors, we are all behind you and want to see help you smile when you can!!
Gig Harbor
Posted: Sunday, December 8, 2019 7:35 PM
Joined: 3/10/2016
Posts: 634

Clouds there is a man on the Spouse page who goes by the name of John1965. His wife has early onset and he has a daughter in high school. Perhaps you could reach out to him to message his daughter and your dad could message him. He was saying how lonely he is because his friends are not dealing with this with their wives. I hope this site helps you. You are so young to have to deal with this. I met women on this site who live in my town and we formed a group. Thru word of mouth we have invited others to join us. It is so nice to have someone to talk to or text at the end of the day.
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