Now that my mom is settling in her new place, I'm trying to decide on what is a good amount of time to make visits to see her. Somewhere between 2-3 times a YEAR (when she lived in different state) and once a week! It's a 100 mile round trip to see her. Usually we were going into the city every 2-3 weeks. I'd kind of like to get back to that schedule. But then I feel guilty - like I should be seeing her every week. But honestly, with her memory I doubt she could even tell you how often/when I last visited her, so every other week is probably fine, as long as she is doing ok. I'm also partly trying to save a little wear and tear on my 10 year old car, as we'd like to try to keep it at least another year before it wears out. For the most part I really only have time to go see her on the weekends, but going every weekend takes up a good half of one day, at least. Plus, I know when winter/snow comes I for sure won't be driving in there that often (most likely Dh will end up driving me), so she will have to be used to seeing me a bit less by then. I also call her daily.
I've often wondered what her time perception is now, with the short term memory problem. Does time now seem to go by faster for her or does it go by slower? I was guessing maybe it would go by faster, because basically she's almost always in the present. She's not thinking about what she just did 15 minutes ago or an hour ago. Does not seeing me for a week seem the same to her now as not seeing me for 2 weeks?
I tried to look up online and see if there are any articles/studies related to this question. Not much I can find. Most all deal with AD patients not knowing what time of day it is, rather than how they perceive how time is passing. I found only one article, so far, but while they studied adults with dementia and gave them tasks (like reading numbers) to do for varying lengths of time and then asked them to say how long they thought the task took, all they really said in the article is that their answers differed from the actual time, the article didn't explain how much or which direction their answers differed to actual time. Though one sentence said "the duration judgement decreased as the task complexity increased". Another sentence said "duration of time seem shorter when fewer events are recalled". So, I'm guessing that since she can't really recall as many events (short term wise) that have happened recently (say during the day) then time seems to be going by quickly for her (compared to a normal brain perception of time). Maybe when she's sitting in her apartment in the evening, it probably has seemed like the day went by fast - because she doesn't really have much memory of all what went on during the day.
Other interesting items I got from the article: the person is looking for information in their episodic
memory, the brain’s storage area for episodes and events that the
person was actively involved in. The episodic
memory is no longer being filled.
The semantic memory, too, works fairly well for a long
time. This is a sort of knowledge memory and is used to remember the
names of the days of the week, the capital of Sweden, and where the
cutlery goes on the dining table.
In the meantime, she called me last night as she accidentally messed up her tv again. Apparently my uncle called her, she goes to mute it and pushes the input button instead. Last time this happened I finally figured out that she needs to push the input button twice to get it back to HDMI. Last night that did not want to work, so I said sorry, I guess you will have to call the front desk for help. She called me back about half hour later and said she kept pushing buttons and finally it came back on. She did go downstairs yesterday afternoon and played bingo again, too.