Well, not exactly, but my week has been more stressful than the usual stress of mothering 3 children. This week I have been trying to locate a good residential care home for my mother. I have been thrown into a new vocabulary talking about Dementia, Alzheimer’s, mild cognitive impairment, assisted living, independent living and it goes on and on. It is a strange world I have been in and quite sobering at times. I will say I feel quite young this week–I keep hearing how young my mom is at 78 and then I think well, if 78 is young — hey, I was just born!
The mind is one fascinating thing. It is amazing how we have come so far with modern medicine and yet that brain is still such a mystery. I just read a story about new memory erasing drugs (Eternal Sunshine of A Spotless Mind ring a bell?) and here my siblings and I are trying to do all we can to keep my mom’s memory from deteriorating. After seeing how the mind can lose information with aging, I would want to stay very clear from some new memory erasing drugs. They are mainly looking into it to use with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), but I still can’t think that trying to erase a memory could be healthy no matter how horrible that memory is — there has to be a better way. Especially when you consider how much they don’t know about the mind as it is–why take the chance?
My sister and I visited a care facility for Alzheimer’s/Dementia and other memory disorders and on our tour we were told that the facility was designed in what was called a “race-track” format as sometimes Alzheimer’s or Dementia sufferers find walking around a circle very therapeutic. I was watching a little lady walk around and around and thought how much my 20 month old would be so entertained doing the same thing. Aging is going back to where you started in so many ways isn’t it?
I also find it interesting that I have had the hardest time focusing and remembering this week — I am convinced Dementia can be contagious. If I can pick up an Irish accent while in a conversation with an Irishman, could I start forgetting something if I’m talking to someone whose losing their memory?