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Ida Mae
Ida Mae

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Support our team for the Alzheimer's Association Walk to End Alzheimer's®, the world’s largest event to raise awareness and funds for Alzheimer’s care, support and research..

In 2018 my mom, Ida Mae was officially diagnosed with Dementia. She started getting confused in her conversations. She started telling the same things over and over. She was slowly not remembering different things when we would be driving somewhere. When did they open that store? Although our family had an idea that she was on this road, it hit hard when it was official. 

Sadly, she was in a bad car accident, which accelerated her symptoms. When someone with memory care issues has a traumatic event, their symptoms advance. After her accident she was supposed to come live with my husband and me. We had a room all set up for her. She spent one night with us. For other reasons she ended up back in the hospital the day after she came home. Her symptoms advanced more while in the hospital. She was more confused, and it was decided she would need more care and supervision than we could give her at home. This was an extremely difficult conversation, having to tell her she would not be coming to live with me. She was so looking forward to this, but we had to do what was in the best interest for her.

She went to live at a fabulous facility here in Manchester, NH. As time went on it was getting difficult to visit. The confusion got worse, seeing things that weren't there. Stories that were very real to her, although not true. She would often talk about something and then look at me with confusion and not be able to remember what she was talking about and say, "that’s the disease, right?" She made me promise to never lie to her about what was going on, as she progressed. Although I wanted to shield her from hearing she was progressing, I kept my promise and always told her the truth. Although the mental deterioration is hard to watch, but the physical decline is another. She first was walking with a cane, then progressed to a walker. And eventually if it was to a wheelchair. 

She spent the better part of two years at this facility. Everyone there knew my mom. She was nicknamed “the governor.” She had good days and not so good days. There were days when she still had the sparkle in her eye, and then the days when the sparkle didn’t shine. As tough as some days were, I visited her almost daily. Some days more than once. Then Covid hit. Her facility was not allowing visitors, for obvious reasons. The residents were confined to their rooms. Now there was little to no human interaction (other than the staff). There were no activities for the residents. Those with memory care issues such as dementia, thrive on human interaction. They need this to stimulate their brains. Her facility stopped allowing visitors in early March. My daily visits now became phone calls. As time went on, she was less and less talkative. I was able to see her through her window in April. This was the first time I really got to see how much her disease had progressed. She knew who I was, but all she really did was just look out the window at what appeared to be nothing. Just a blank stare. 

Sadly, she lost her battle June 4, 2020. I always say this was the absolute longest goodbye I have ever had to do. Seeing pieces of one of the strongest women I knew, fall away day after day was awful. 

Anything we can do to help those that are affected by these dreadful diseases, and those that care for them is greatly needed. 

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$174 Raised
9% Achieved

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2023 Walk to End Alzheimer's - Central, NH
Saturday October 14, 2023

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