When Deb Lacktman promised her dying father that she would care for her mother, Margaret Rimato, after he passed, she wasn’t prepared for the challenges to come. Shortly after he passed, Margaret became increasingly forgetful and delusional. Deb attributed her mother’s memory loss to the stress of losing her husband. With time, however, Margaret’s condition worsened and she was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease.
As the primary caregiver of a parent with Alzheimer’s, Deb dealt with various complications beyond the memory loss. Her mother continually roamed the house in the middle of the night, for no apparent reason. It turned out that her irregular sleep patterns were due to arthritis in her arm as well as painful kidney infections. Deb had a hard time gauging her mother’s pain because her mother couldn’t articulate it.
"Helping Caregivers to COPE,"
CenterPieces: Vol. 2
, Article 2.
Available at: http://jdc.jefferson.edu/centerpieces/vol2/iss1/2