…. is something I ask myself everyday around 5/5:30. It seems like clock work my mother will head off into her room, put her shoes, hat & sometimes coat on to go who knows where. I know we all have internal clocks, but I watch this in amazement and ask myself, what’s going on?
Sometimes she’ll ask what shoes to put on, what coat to wear? OR as I’m writing this now, she’s asking me “Don’t I want to go with us?” Yep, I’m going there, “Who’s us?”….wait for it….no answer. This is the time of day the person in her mind is MUCH stronger than I am. I’ll tell her I’m not going anywhere, but it’s as if I’m not saying anything to her. She keeps looking for Pamela Rivers, maybe she can help. I don’t mean to be a smartie pants but sometimes you have to get a laugh out of a stressful situation. This daily routine in my mother’s personality I’m sure is attributed to sundowning. When Sundowning occurs those affected are more confused, irritable, and/or may have more hallucinations.
This merry-go-round of go with us, who’s us, I’m not going anywhere, is a daily grind only later to be followed up with, “Do you want to go home with me?” Any Caregiver will know early signs of Alzheimer’s usually shows up in repetitive questioning. As symptoms get worse so do the amount of times you’ll hear the same question. As a day goes on, the question may change, but it’s repeated frequently.
A geriatric specialist, put it this way; “You can compare the disease to a tape recorder that’s turned off; nothing gets recorded. No matter how many times you present new information, they may not remember it because it never got recorded. But the recorder was on when they were young, which is why they’ll remember old information, songs, people and places.”
As time goes on, you learn to have patience with the repeating or it becomes common place that it’s ignored. There are days I personally don’t know how much patience I’ll have because it’s me, myself and I without any buffer, to answer repeating questions, deal with agitation and then answer repeating questions….again.