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The Pain Of Having a Parent Forget Your Name

Couplejosh-appel-423804-unsplashDear Candid Caregiver: My heart is breaking! My mom and I have always been close, even shopping together and having lunch quite regularly, so it was devastating when she was diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer’s at age 53. Mom seems to have a particularly aggressive form of the disease, so just three years down the road she’s now judged to be in the late stage of her disease. Two years ago, I quit college to move back home and take care of her, which I was glad to do under the circumstances. Many changes have been challenging, of course, particularly six months ago when it became necessary to move her into a memory unit. She has good care, but now she’s begun forgetting my name. When she does remember it, I’m so thrilled that it frightens me because I know that the day is coming when she won’t recognize me at all

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You handled that well, Rick. I, too, believe that they know on a deeper level. My dad's dementia had a different cause, but he had moments of clarity that convinced me that even though the surface seems so damaged, deep down he knew far more than others would have guessed. I believe that the same is true for Alzheimer's.

Thanks for taking the time to comment. This is important information for others.

I well recall the day that Dad forgot my name (due to advancing Alzheimer's disease). It hurt! I had heard that this was coming, but I didn't want to think that day would ever happen. I realized that Alzheimer's disease was a very effective thief which could rob someone of his/her memories of his/her own family. I answered Dad by explaining my name was "Rick" and just kept it at that. I like to think that even though Alzheimer's stole Dad's memories of me, he still knew at some deeper level that I was somehow important.

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