Imagine waking up every day and not knowing what day it is. You look outside and see snow on the ground, so it must be winter. But November, January, or March? You don’t know.
You can tell you’re in your own home. Is anyone else here? You hear noise in the kitchen and go to see who it is – maybe Mother or your sister? It’s your daughter! You’re so glad to see her. But what is she doing here? Does she live with you now, or is she visiting? For how long?
She says good morning and tells you to get dressed for your doctor’s appointment. Is something wrong with you? You feel fine. You say you don’t think you need to go. She says, “Now don’t start that again, Mom. You know you’re supposed to go every six months.” No, you didn’t know, but if she says so, it must be OK. Why do you need a doctor?
You turn and go to your bedroom and put on your blue dress, because it’s your favorite. She comes to the door and suggests a different dress – she says you wore the blue one yesterday and it needs cleaning. You’re disappointed, but put on the other one.
…And so the day goes on, every moment a surprise, some pleasant, some not so much. With bad surprises, you get deeply terrified, but the feeling passes quickly because you don’t remember the cause of it. You just carry on, meeting each new surprise as well as you can, doing your best to make sense of things.
Imagine the chaos of everyday life, the chronic confusion and loss of control, the total dependence on other people at every step in your life. This is what millions of dementia sufferers live with every day, all day long.
This is one of the problems Memo was developed to solve. Next blog: Dementia: The Chaos for Caregivers.