It was just like any other Friday afternoon. Tom had gone to visit his father after work. He had been doing this for a few months, ever since his mother called him concerned about certain behaviors he had been exhibiting. Tom didn’t really notice much directly, but his mother was growing increasingly concerned.
This Friday afternoon, Tom saw something directly.
He didn’t actually see it, but heard it. His father started talking about fishing, as though he had just gone out with a friend of his to the local Creek. His friend had passed away more than 30 years ago, so, Tom knew this was a memory and not something recent.
As his father continued to speak, he was using some odd words.
Instead of saying he caught a trout, his father told him he caught a Volkswagen. It was the strangest thing and Tom was focused on the word Volkswagen and not really anything else after that. He started picking up on a variety of words that didn’t seem to make sense.
He talked to his mother about it and then looked online to see what could be happening.
He found out that one of the signs and symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease is that people may begin using the wrong word during normal conversations. With his increasing challenges keeping track of appointments and other things going on, including forgetting conversations he recently had and starting to talk as though events that took place decades ago just happened this morning, Tom encouraged his father to see a doctor.
Only a trained medical professional can diagnose Alzheimer’s.
The testing procedures for Alzheimer’s are long. It’s not a quick, one and done thing. Only a licensed medical professional can diagnose Alzheimer’s, and when Tom finally convinced his father to go, his father actually seemed a little relieved.
When the diagnosis came back as being Alzheimer’s, his father confessed to Tom, “I’m glad I finally know. You have no idea how scary it’s been not knowing what was going on with me.”
Tom didn’t realize his father was so anxious about the situation. He knew his mother was concerned, and since they now knew what was going on, they sat down to figure out a short-term and long-term plan that was not just acceptable to Tom and the rest of his family, but beneficial at keeping him comfortable and safe for the years ahead.