Monday, February 27, 2017

No one wants to think about losing a parent. But not planning for it makes it worse.

I sold my mom’s house in Florida in December. I didn’t discuss it with her, which is weird because we discuss everything. Or we used to, before her Alzheimer’s disease worsened. I’ve learned to edit myself in conversations and to consider what is worth stressing her out (if she remembers what I’ve said).

It’s all part of the guessing game I have been playing since 2012, when, at age 77, she became one of the 5.4 million Americans diagnosed with the cognitive disorder, according to the Alzheimer’s Association. She refused to discuss it with me, insisting that her forgetfulness was just part of the normal aging process. She remained in denial, even when she was ordering pizza every other night because she couldn’t remember to grocery shop, or when her Medicare coverage lapsed because she forgot to renew it.