It’s Not Just Forgetting Birthdays Anymore

3:25 p.m. – My cousin calls my cell phone, but I’m with a client so I let it go to voicemail.

3:41 pm – I listen to voicemail. Cousin ran into a friend of Mom’s. Mom dropped off Dad for a doctor appointment and can’t find him.

3:44 pm –  I call Cousin, because what? What do you mean Mom can’t find Dad?? Cousin is on her way back home 25 miles away and asks I call her when I find them.

3:45 pm – I call Friend (who works at the hospital). She says the same thing: Mom said she dropped off Dad for a doctor’s appointment but can’t remember which doctor or WHERE. Friend said Mom can’t even remember Dad’s birthday in order for Friend to look it up in registration.

3:46 pm –  I call Brother. No, he didn’t know Dad had a doctor’s appointment. Call Brother when I find Parents.

4:00 pm – I leave office citing “family emergency” and drive to the hospital’s physician’s offices, which is just next door to my office building. Go inside and speak with registration to see if they can locate Dad in any of their offices. I should note that Dad’s been seeing a lot of doctors lately. He had a pathological crushed vertebra in January. Clerk calls Security as I explained that Mom is out driving around godonlyknowswhere looking for Dad and she has Alzheimer’s. We’re on the look out for an elderly couple. She’s driving an old white cadillac. He’s likely wearing a cowboy hat. Later I’ll discover I was half-right with that description.

4:10 pm – I start driving around the hospital’s and the adjoining offices’ parking lots looking for their car.

4:27 pm – I call the farm. Maybe they’ve found each other since the original phone call and are both home, safe and sound. No, neither of them have a cell phone. No answer.

4:36 pm – Brother calls. Have I found them yet? No. I update him on what I’m doing. He informs me they’re in the Towncar. I do another parking lot sweep.

4:41 pm – I call the farm again. Mom answers!

“So you found Dad!”
“No.”
“What do you mean, ‘No.’??”
“I couldn’t remember what doctor’s office I dropped him off at so I left.”
“You just left him in City and went home?? How was that suppose to work, Mom?!”
“I don’t know.”

4:43 pm – Text message from Sparring Partner: “Your mom just called me. She’s looking for you. Wants you to call her right away. All she said was I don’t have [Dad]. She said she doesn’t know where he is.”

4:45 pm – I head back to my office. Just for shits and giggles I go next door to my office to the office of the urologist. There stands Dad at the front desk. He was no more than 50 feet away from me this whole time! He sees me and asks what I’m doing there. He is not wearing his cowboy hat today.

No more than two hours after they went missing, I drove Dad home. He said he would never have thought she’d forgotten where he was. She had dropped him off and wanted to run errands since she was in the City. She finished shopping and then simply forgotten where she was to return. It’s a small city, a close community. We were lucky.

This time.

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14 thoughts on “It’s Not Just Forgetting Birthdays Anymore”

  1. It’s a tough call – my dad is getting to stage where we’re going to have to take away those car keys… So far he hasn’t gotten lost or in an accident, but we try to limit him to home neighborhood.

  2. I can’t even imagine how frightening that must have been. A little over two years ago I couldn’t find my grandparents, and they are NEVER not where they say they’re going to be, and they didn’t have dementia. I did the same thing of driving to the hospital to find out if he was admitted after his vascular appt, which he was. He passed away a couple of years ago and she still does not have dementia but anytime I call and she doesn’t answer right away I worry. I hope you’re able to work out something with your mom so that she won’t drive by herself any longer.

  3. My FIL had vascular dementia and in many ways it is very much like Alzheimer’s. He was allowed to drive (WTF, Doctors?!?) until just over a year before he passed. Looking back on it now, even though nothing awful happened, we should have tried to get him to stop driving a lot sooner. I know it’s not an easy thing to do. And there were periods when he seemed to be completely ok. But, I agree with Katrina. It’s time for your mom to get more care. 😦 I’m sorry.

  4. Oh my. You must have been frantic. I’m so sorry. Glad to hear that everyone was OK, but the thought of the future for them seems so daunting. Thinking of you…

  5. Oh dammit. I am so sorry. How scary, sad, frustrating, and nightmarish all at once. Alzheimer’s is awful.

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