“Memory loss is not a normal part of aging?” Seeing that title in my email this morning triggered high anxiety while I tried to ‘remember’ where I just put my reading glasses when making coffee.
Reunited with my ‘wandering’ reading glasses, I read on.
(United Press International)
“Mild cognitive impairment (MCI) is more disruptive to day-to-day living and relationships than once believed, U.S. gerontology researchers discovered. …
(Karen Roberto, director of the Center for Gerontology at Virginia Tech) said family members reported distress at having to take on the other person's responsibilities or at the changes in the marriage or parent-child relationship.”
(Caregiver’s Home Companion)
“The care partner experiences a loss of independence and a loss of time for personal interests,” said co-researcher Dr. Rosemary Blieszner, associate director of the gerontology center. “The definition of MCI has been that it does not significantly affect daily life -- but sometimes that is not true.”
(South Florida Sun Sentinel)
“The researchers also asked the families the type of information they would like to have. In response, the Center for Gerontology published a brochure for families, "Mild Cognitive Impairment – What do we do now?"
The brochure contains information on how to recognize symptoms … when to seek a professional diagnosis … strategies for compensating for memory loss … advice to the care partner on how to care for oneself … how to prepare for the future.”
I suspect “memory loss” lurks among those monsters under the bed of every aging adult. Caregiving and living with Patti’s Multiple Sclerosis, we never saw it coming.
The family member who begins to demonstrate symptoms of memory loss is the least conscious and maybe the least willing to embrace professional discussion.
That step into caregiving through the thunderhead of surrendering personal independence challenges and reconstructs any family.
Caregivingly Yours, J Patrick Leer