This is a continuation of my story which began with Faulty Synapses.
There may have been signs of changes in the following few years. I was no longer living at home so I did not see my parents on a daily basis. We talked via the phone almost daily, but I was working and busy with my new life. If there were signs that Dad was forgetting things, I was unaware of them.
As I said, my father was intelligent. As the book/movie Still Alice beautifully demonstrates, the more intelligent someone is, the easier it is for that person to hide the signs. When he would forget a particular word, he would be able to come up with an alternative. When he forgot how to work on the computer, it would be because there was a glitch in the computer. Forgetting to do something, well that can happen to anyone.
All the signs that might have been there were simply forgetfulness or lack of interest. Mom and Dad were retired and they traveled in their RV. They went to many campgrounds in places that they found interesting and relaxing. They spent weekends visiting longtime friends, and their friends came to visit them. They were enjoying retirement and a relatively stress free life.
My parents took an active role in helping to teach their grandchildren who were home-schooled. They took the children to Williamsburg and Jamestown. My mother wrote history lessons and together they had a wonderful experience doing this. If my father forgot something, he would always have references to check.
I think staying active, stimulating his brain with the interaction, and just relaxing was preventing further deterioration. He was eating healthy food and getting exercise. He was relatively healthy.
Alzheimer’s disease does not show up as quickly as you might think. It has stages. The first stage is not very “in your face” obvious to the world. I do think it was becoming obvious to Dad, and likely Mom, they were just very good at denying the signs and as far as I could see, they were having a good time in retirement.