One of the earlier signs of dementia is when a person loses the ability to do tasks that were very simple for them before. For Dad, this included things like ordering at a fast food restaurant or making correct change at the grocery store. He would accuse the clerks of trying to rip him off, when handing them a $10 bill for something that cost $15.
Mom doesn’t have dementia (that we know of) but she has been through a major surgery and has had anesthesia for three different procedures. She’s also been away from the routine of her life for two months. Today she wanted to order Pizza Hut and have it delivered to the home, something she had done dozens of times over the last few years. Today she waffled, almost wanting to give up at the thought of the task. I gently pushed her and she ended up doing just fine placing her order, even remembering a tip. 🙂
She also was not happy with the cordless phone I bought. (Her old phone was dead.) I thought it would be safer for her, so she wouldn’t try to move too fast to answer the phone and fall. But instead she thought it was too high-tech. We compromised. I ordered her one of those old-fashioned desk phones for her bedroom and we will place the cordless phone in the kitchen, so if she’s in there and the phone rings, she can answer it easily without having to run through the house.
Of course, you don’t necessarily have to be older to have these moments of uncertainty. I’ve also been away from the routine of my life for two months now, and have nightmares about forgetting the code to my home’s security system!