"Are you married?" "Do you have any children?" Those are questions that my 80 year old mother asks my 84 year old dad on a regular basis. They have been married 62 years, and have three grown daughters, but dementia robs a person of the most intimate details of one's life.

  At first, these questions were just heartbreaking, but he has heard them so many times that he can now respond with some humor. "Yes, he is married, and his wife's name is Helen." She responds with wide eyed amazement when she tells him that is HER name, too. Same thing happens when he tells her the names of his daughters. She responds with equal astonishment that those are HER daughters' names as well.

  Just like legions of others struggling with a spouse's dementia, my dad could use a break. He could use one, but he won't take one. Love never takes a vacation.

0 Kudos
AARP Terms of Service