Alzheirmer's isn't just about memory loss
The main thing they tell you to look out for is loss of memory.
About 8 years ago, my family started to notice odd things about my Father - but it wasn't a loss of memory. Many elderly people suffer from memory loss, it goes with the territory... Alzheimer's is more complicated than that...
The behaviour my Father was displaying was loss of logic:
- He threw out my Christmas decorations that I had left in bin liners in my living room (I was about to decorate my house) instead of putting the bins out as I'd requested when I was away one night.
- He left my mum and my two young daughters stranded one evening when he'd misunderstood the instructions he'd been given to pick them up
- He nearly ruined his car engine when he tried to put brake fluid in the oil compartment until (by some miracle) an off-duty RAC man spotted what he was trying to do
- He offered to mend a crystal rabbit belonging to one of my daughters when its head fell off and when he proudly handed it back, it was unrecognisable - all you could see was Super Glue.
But his memory didn't seem particularly bad.
My Father is now in a home in a terrible state and we'll never know whether not recognising all those 'annoying mistakes' in those early days could have made a difference to his world today.
Don't ever think that Alzheimer's is just memory loss - and don't worry that you suffer memory loss from time to time - That's not the biggest symptom of Alzheimer's. My Father hasn't forgotten who I am, he's just lost the sense of what a daughter is.
When a nurse recently asked him who I was he said "I don't know who she is but I know I love her".
That was enough for me.