CHICAGO (CBS) — The coronavirus pandemic is preventing many people from seeing mom or dad, grandma or grandpa.
And it is scary to think this, but those visits might have been helpful to notice your loved one’s deteriorating cognitive health.
November is National Alzheimer’s Awareness Month. CBS 2’s Lauren Victory on Monday took us inside the signs that it might be time to call the doctor.
“I was her mailman, so that’s a story within itself,” said Jerry Rosemond, whose wife was diagnosed with dementia.
Their love story is 58 years strong. But like an old photo of them together that he showed Victory, Rosemond’s wife has been deteriorating for some time.
“She would say things that didn’t quite, wasn’t quite her – the cooking, the work,” Rosemond said.
Home care expert Heather Lantry wanted us to experience life with dementia. So she had Victory put on dark glasses and thick gloves, and a headset that sounded like five news channels on at once.
With all that gear on, simple acts such as counting change and buttoning a shirt were not quite as easy as usual for Victory. The tasks represent managing finances and being able to dress oneself.
Delores Rosemond cannot dress herself anymore. So her devoted husband called Lantry’s business, Right at Home.
Lantry’s health aides can cook, clean, and all-around assist seniors living with impairments.
Noticing a struggle with chores or medication can be hard when COVID-19 reduces or even prevents visits. Lantry explained some early clues of dementia to pay attention to on the phone or during a video chat.
“Some short-term memory loss; derailment, which is when you’re mid-sentence and forget what you are talking about,” she said. “Starting to see hygiene deteriorating is another sign.”
“If you’ve never been there, you really don’t understand it,” Jerry Rosemond said.
Six years after his wife’s diagnosis, he is not shouldering things alone.
“There’s been some rough moments – very rough moments,” he said. “But I asked for help. I have help, and I suggest anyone that’s going through this, do that.”
More than 63,000 nursing home patients have died from COVID-19. Safety from outbreaks and a chance to stay at home has delayed Jerry Rosemond from placing his wife in care at a facility.
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