When Memory Fails: Preparing for Dementia
Forgetting where you live
Fifteen years ago, I was working at the Walgreens on the corner of Kessler and Michigan. An older man stumbled in. He was clean and well-groomed. Nothing seemed out of place about him.
“Can you help me?” he had asked. “I can’t seem to find my way home.”
Dread filled my stomach, and grew through our conversation. It became obvious that he had a memory issue. He didn’t remember his address or phone number. He did remember that he lived with his son, and I was able to find four people with the same name in the phone book. Three calls later and I had found the right one.
We waited thirty minutes for his son to pick him up, during which time the man became more agitated and angry. As I looked at this man I remembered the stories my mother had told me about my great-grandfather, and the things I’d seen myself with my grandmother. You see, Alzheimer’s disease runs in my family, and it scares the hell out of me. The fear of losing my memories, those things that make me who I am, is something I cannot quite articulate.
Memory is a way of holding onto the things you love, the things you are, the things you never want to lose. ~ Kevin Arnold, The Wonder Years
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