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Thursday, February 15, 2007

Tough getting older

It is tough getting older. Some people refuse to acknowledge what is really happening to them. For example, one elderly couple with a two story center hall Colonial type house, one partner now struggling with Parkinson's. Already fell down the central hall stairs, ended up looking worse than Sylvester Stallone in Rocky. Now throws his clothes down the stairs, carries his shoes, and holding the railing makes his way. Once down he dresses. He gets up earlier than her and doesn't want to wake her up.

Part of the effects of Parkinson's is short term memory loss. He went out and about to do some shopping (whether he should be driving like that is another story for another time). Came home from a successful shopping trip. Put the food, etc. away. Next day realizes he can't find his credit card and drivers license. Searches the house high and low. Turns pockets inside out. Retraces steps. The whole nine yards. Can't find them. Calls the credit card company finally to report the loss, arranges for new ones to be sent. All good things to do. Gets ready to go to the Registry to get a new copy of his license. Goes to change his shoes and finds his missing cards and license in the shoes he is wearing.

The night before, as he went to bed; he put his card and license in his shoes. Shoes went on the floor beside the bed. Gets a full nights sleep. Gets up in the morning, and as described, throws his clothes down the stairs, carries his shoes down and dresses down stairs.

Another symptom of Parkinson's is either tingling in his legs at odd times, or a loss of feeling in his legs and feet. So he went about most of the day with his shoes on, standing on the credit card and license he was looking for.

On the one hand it is humorous.
On the other hand, is this what is to come?
How does one deal with this loss of sense and feeling?
Sense and feeling that we are so dependent upon to go about our daily life.

How does one deal with this short term memory loss?
How does your partner help?
How does the family help?

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