Having a close friend or relative dealing with memory loss is never a comfortable situation. At The Pavilion, we see first-hand how Alzheimer’s and dementia can affect family members and friends. If your close friend does stumble into this predicament, it may impact your friendship, but it does not have to destroy it! The following is a personal story of someone dealing with a close friend being who was showing signs of Alzheimer’s disease. Names have been changed to protect their privacy.
"My dear friend and roommate, Oswald had started acting differently than when we had first moved in together. At first, it was small things like forgetting where he had put his keys and leaving the lights on. Then, his loss of memory issues started to worsen. He would have trouble placing the car into park and following simple street rules, such as stopping at stop signs. Oswald began secluding himself whenever company came over, and he was losing his appetite. He had lost almost 50 pounds!
I thought he had fallen into a depression from old age. I finally convinced Oswald to keep his doctor’s appointment to check in on his health. At his appointment, he was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s Disease. I told him I would always be there for him and do my best to take care of him, as I was aging as well.
Oswald’s disease was progressing quickly. He had no appetite for any healthy food, he would strip his clothes and forget how to put them on, and then things took a turn for the worse. He started forgetting who I was, and this confusion began to anger him. I told him it was his brain playing tricks on him, but he did not understand. He would get so mean and call me names that hurt my feelings. I could barely stand it, so I started searching for Alzheimer’s support groups.
I soon discovered The Pavilion, and I knew it was best for my health and for Oswald’s that he makes the transition to memory care. At first, I did not visit Oswald because I was hurt by his actions. I later learned in the support group, that it was not my dear friend that was acting mean and hurting my feelings. It was merely the disease that was causing memory loss, confusion and anger. I now know that my dear friend is still there and he deserves kindness and joy. It is not his fault or mine that he got sick. Thank you to The Pavilion for helping me find my patience and my friend again."
Having a close friend or relative experience severe a memory loss disease can create challenging care requirements. The best things you can do for your friend is to make sure they are receiving all the attention and care they need. This could be skilled nursing, respite care, or even a memory care community. It will also help them to maintain good health if they are treated with respect and reside in a calm environment, not conducive to outbursts.
Another essential part of dealing with a friend with memory loss issues is to be just that, a friend. Visit them and tell them stories, play games together, sing songs together, and try some arts and crafts. There are various activities you can do with a loved one in memory care. It is essential to make sure your friend is receiving proper care, but do not neglect yourself. Talk to a specialist or join a support group to help support your emotional health.
Do you have a story about memory loss you would like to share with The Pavilion?
Comment your story below!