huffington post

I wonder if I’m dreaming the whole thing.

Is this really my mother? She’s walking around in circles, yelling and cursing about people “breaking into her house.” This exhausted, disheveled woman with fear in her eyes and venom in her voice is a nightmare vision, a grotesquely distorted version of my mom.

Watching your parents lose mental competency is a terrible journey. You go through an extended grieving process with no closure in sight. It’s like a series of ongoing funerals, saying goodbye to the person you knew in stages. It can test your sanity. An Alzheimer’s victim can behave like a bad drunk, with their character flaws bubbling and exploding unpredictably, a funhouse mirror of their lucid self. If you’re the person spearheading the necessary changes in their life, you can become the target of their agitation and abuse. Hired caregivers or placement in a facility can trigger confusion and ferocious tantrums. Staying centered is a daily exercise.

Read more on HuffPo.

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