Why can’t I make lively intellectual conversation with my role model anymore. Mum sounds so vague. Dad who did not forget a thing is now forgetting to pay his bills. My very sociable mother is now a recluse. Why does my Dad not come to the phone anymore?
Have you felt like this when you visit or call home ? For a fleeting second an uneasiness grips you but you tend to toss it aside. Each passing time you observe other incidents and the uneasiness stays with you longer. Something is wrong. I cant put my finger on it.
Today with the mortality rate increasing rapidly, more and more people live longer than they used to. As the life span increases so do medical problems. With the collapse of the joint family parents tend to live on their own. They manage their lives well. Many are financial independent too. They live their own lives not bothering too much about the children.
Children are busy sorting their own lives. Their visits to them get few. But the parents do not mind. They live their lives. But there comes a time when age catches up with them. So when you do meet your parents at leisure the behavior of one or both parents feel strange.
Fifteen years ago Dementia and Alzheimer’s were not commonly heard of because people died early. Now that most live above the age of 80 such problems manifest. Dimentia and Alziemer’s creeps upon both you and your parents. In the parents mind there is confusion, insecurity, sadness. In the children’s mind denial. Both try to push changes under the carpet hoping it will go away. But it won’t. It will only get worse.
Dementia and Alziemer’s need to be recognized and treated. And the children who may also be senior citizens being as bewildered and confused as the ageing parent needs counselling.
What to look for: Forgetfullness like being unable to remember what they had for the last meal, a change in the personality of the person, unable to remember figures, withdrawal from social activities are some signs you have to look for.
What to do: It is best to consult a geriatrician.
Any medication? Yes the doctor’s do prescribe medicines to slow the process. By: Smita Aiyar