File Cabinets of Dementia

Every single day is different with my mom.  Today when we went to visit she was pretty sad and crying.  It took us a little bit of time to bring her out of it but after about 1/2 an hour of affirming how beautiful and wonderful she is mom put on her happy face.

mom on the patio

We sat outside and talked and just sat in the quiet area of the outside patio.  The patio area is subdued and comfortable.  It was a little bit cooler today but still the sun came out and warmed us up.  There are flowers and green bushes surrounding the area with a fountain that sits in the middle of the patio and it makes it sound like you could be sitting next to a river.

Mom was having a little trouble hearing today so I cleaned out her hearing aids and put new batteries in.  It is amazing that as soon as the hearing aids are working properly her face completely brightens up.  If your mom wears hearing aids make sure that that they are working properly all the time.  Hearing is really important and I will be talking about that again.

I am seeing how difficult it is for mom to live in the here and now because certainly the past is easier to recall.   To help me to understand more about mom I started to read a new book.  It’s called – A Loving Approach to Dementia Care by Laura Wayman, John Hopkins University Press.  I really appreciate the way the book describes memory loss with Alzheimer’s.

This is an exert from the book; Imagine a short-term memory file cabinet appearing every morning on the outer edge of your brain for the memories you will create today-what you ate for breakfast, where you parked your car when you arrived at work, and so on.  At the end of the day this cabinet will move in one notch, towards the center of your brain and be replaced by a new outer-edge file cabinet the next day (and the next, and the next).  These more recent files contain the short-term memories.  Each file cabinet as it ages, moves deeper and deeper into the recesses of the brain.  As these cabinets age, they become the long-term memories.  The ongoing destruction caused by the dementia begins to destroy these files, however, starting with today’s file cabinet.

That simple explanation has given me a better understanding of what is happening to mom.


3 responses to “File Cabinets of Dementia

  1. Reblogged this on Charlene's Bags & Embroidery and commented:
    Worth reading.


  2. Pingback: Dementia Care – Information From A Book That I Love | Dementia Mind

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