As I drove along the highway, I noticed it was what my mom likes to call, 'A blue, white and green day.' That epitomizes Florida to her. Vibrant blue sky. White puffy clouds. Luscious green foliage. My dad had spent nearly 12 years here living out his retirement dream. Until the hell that is dementia entered our lives.
The holidays are a popular time for reuniting with siblings and parents. Like me, many sons and daughters no longer live in the same city as their parents, so this may be the first time in months when adult children are seeing their parents. Once together, it's common that health changes in mom or dad are more evident and the topic of aging, and its related issues, becomes a topic of family conversation.
Caring for a loved one with Alzheimer's or dementia can be a sad, lonely and often frustrating struggle. It could be Mom or Dad, or a grandparent or beloved uncle, who begins to lose his or her grip on the world. They may speak and act strangely, forget familiar names and people, wander or get lost, regress to their childhood, or withdraw fully into themselves.