Aging: Elderly Woman with Alzheimer’s Disease no Longer Able to use Reasoning Ability – First sign Weight Loss.

Confused elderly function well with routine.

An elderly woman, in her early 80’s, still lives on her own and seems to be doing fine. Her daughter checks in on her frequently, usually everyday. Her mother has her life long routines in place and the apartment is always neat and her Mom is well groomed. However she soon notices that Mom has lost some weight. The daughter immediately responds and looks into possible causes of the weight loss.

The daughter soon discovers that her mother’s local grocery has remodeled the store and moved everything around. The mother was able to go to the store and find the same things, in the same location for years. Her “routine” in place allowed her to function for a long time independently. The store moving those items and making the store look “different” to her made her unable to function there any more.

Confused elderly lose ability to reason.

The woman no longer had decision making reasoning abilities. When this situation happens to another person – they either ask an employee where the item is, or using their reasoning abilities figure it out for themselves. They think to themselves,””well, if the bread was moved over there, then the hamburger buns must be close by.”

Because this woman could not think this through, she was going to the store, walking for hours through the store, and not buying anything. She no longer could function in the store independently, find her items and purchase them.

Confused elderly’s lack of reason and decision making may be demonstrated by:

• The elder who no longer can afford their home, unable to consider alternatives, so does nothing.
• The elder who needs home repairs, has the finances, but no longer able to make phone calls and decide on a company or price. So they do nothing.
• The elder continues to drive old, unsafe vehicle – when they have the finances to replace it. They can’t make a decision of what car to buy so they do nothing.
• The elder who is accumulating clutter – unable to decide what to throw away, so they do nothing.

Families want to give their elders independence – watching for signs helps the family know when to step in.


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