Not quite the plan

on finding my groove as a 30 something single girl and caregiver for mom with dementia

Personality change and dementia.

5 Comments

So, I am taking my Mom on a trip to a national park for a weekend in April.  It honestly is more for me than for her because I enjoy nature time a lot and do not get enough of it, especially in this caregiving life of mine.  And It has also just been a long winter and I thought a weekend in Spring to hopefully see some things starting to bloom would be lovely for both of us.

In response to talking about this trip, Mom told me, “I am outdoorsy.”

To fully understand the I-just-entered-the-twilight-zone nature of this statement, it is important to understand how non-outdoorsy my mother is.  She is not outdoorsy.  I am her slightly suspect daughter who finds appeal in things like camping and dirt.  I will never forget coming home from a multiday camping trip in the 7th grade in which I peeled off my dirty socks with glee as Mom watched in horror.  Mom does not hike or camp.  For Mom, a picnic on the beach involves a carefully set up picnic table well off the sand.

I cannot help but wonder what is happening in her brain to bring her to the moment of this outdoorsy idea.  Does memory loss extend to personality characteristics?  Can one forget your lifetime preferences and choices?  For a while when we were discussing possible dinner options Mom would say things to me such as “I like cheese.”  “I like pizza.”  Now I wonder how much those statements were to remind herself of her own preferences.

After Mom informed me of her newly outdoorsy self, I decided to push my luck.  I asked if she would go on a hike with me and received a clear affirmative response.  So come this April, I will be taking my 69 year old mother on what I believe will be the first hike of her life.

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Author: notquitetheplan

I am a mid-30s single girl, trying to climb the ladder, get a date... and make sure Mom takes her meds. It's not where I expected to be. But it's where I am and this blog is about embracing that.

5 thoughts on “Personality change and dementia.

  1. Good for you and Mom! As caretaker, you can’t loose track of your “preferences”. Bringing Mom along to share in that with you will be such a treat for her. Thank goodness she is still physically active. I will be curious to read your post on how the hike went this month with Mom.

  2. I can so relate to your twilight zone experience! And being an outdoor gal with a non-outdoor gal for a mother. I believe I inherited my outdoor gene from my mother’s mother. Because my mother’s idea of a picnic is to set the dining room table with red gingham linens and a crystal bowl of fruit as a centerpiece then stage all the chairs to face the window. And just the other day she referred to herself a city person, even though she has not lived in a city for since the mid-1950s. Best of luck on your outdoor adventure!

  3. Alzheimer’s can definitely impact personality and tastes, and changes can happen daily! I hope you two have a good time outdoors. Connecting with nature has so many health benefits.

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