I started to notice a change in my mom ten years ago. So did my dad. At one point, he volunteered to get memory benchmarking just so my mom would go. She’s a smart one and would agree, then wiggle out of it later…finally, I just gave up. I can’t make her go.
I could not understand why she wouldn’t want to get this simple test done. Her mother had dementia the last few years of her life. When we watched as my father’s mom lived with dementia and the enormous burden it was on my grandfather and aunt, my mom would say “We have prepared our lives so you won’t have to take care of us when we are old.”
Three years ago she had a stroke. To this day, she still doesn’t believe it and will tell you she doesn’t know why her kids keep saying she did have a stroke. When I walk her through the two ER visits and the six months of follow-up appointments with the neurologist, she just stares at me, smiles (sometimes) and says she disagrees. She’s very proud to tell you she’s never even had a cold in the past twenty years. The reality is that she just never remembers having a cold much less a stroke.
We want to help my parents live a long and fruitful life. I can’t imagine anyone else watching out for them or knowing what they want better than their own children. We don’t mind helping, we’d be honored. What we do mind is having to fight our way in to help our parents. Determined.