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How it all Began – Our Journey -Laurel Hed

On Behalf of | Dec 7, 2020 | Firm News

Although we know that everyone’s journey is different, there are also many similarities. So, in 500 words or less I will give you the highlights of our journey so far with mom and Alzheimer’s Disease.
My father died in 2006 so my siblings and I all pitched in to help mom. She really did well in those early years after dad’s death. She was very well known for her homemade buns which she baked for my brother’s catering business. She was involved in church groups and sewed beautiful quilts. She did have to learn to pump gas, drive through a car wash, and haul things to the transfer station.
Around 2010 we started to notice some changes. Mom would become almost paranoid about baking buns——-“what if someone should get sick from eating them?” I would go home every couple of weeks and began noticing her pills weren’t being taken. She would often wait for my visit to do her shopping, put gas in her car and go to the transfer station.

By 2012, I was organizing her medications in a pill tray and attending all her appointments. Within the next couple of years there were increased changes with her home. Mom kept a very neat and clean home, but not so much anymore. She always had good intentions but would get sidetracked and forget she was even cleaning. She would have very old food in the fridge and freezer but still wanted to keep buying the same food. We worked together on the things she was having the most struggles with and put a Senior Companion in place once a week to take her shopping and to the library. Meals on Wheels would come five days a week. My older brother started to assist with her finances, and a life alert was put in place. I continued to visit every other weekend. All of this helped my mom to maintain her life at home a bit longer.
In 2014, my mom had a cognitive screening completed by her primary physician and she did quite well. So, we continued as we had been with supports in place and family checking in.
In 2015 an MRI was performed which showed some changes in the white matter of her brain and she was diagnosed with mild cognitive impairment (MCI). Soon after, Aricept and Namenda were added to her medication list.

In 2016 she was tested by a Neuropsychologist. There was noticeable decline over the last and an Alzheimer’s disease/dementia diagnosis was determined.
We were encouraged to continue with the supports and to also start the conversation of assisted living. Her goal was to be able to stay home one more summer, which she was able to do. Then, as with so many people, the crisis happened, and my mom ended up in the ER. She knew then it was time to move. We had looked at assisted living options earlier and she chose the one she liked and September of 2016 she moved to assisted living.

Mom is now in a safe environment and we are grateful for that. Much has happened since 2016 and life with my mom is more of a day to day way of life. We are reminded of how fragile life is and appreciate every moment we have with her.