A couple of months ago, I noticed dad talking to himself in the mirror. Sometimes he slips into his happy little world of talking to himself and he goes on and on with conversations. I used to try and draw him out, but realized he is most happy and comforted with this state of mind. The kids also now know it is time to step away when Zaydeh is in his world and let him be. He has actually started having full-blown conversation with, “That guy in the mirror.” I used to get in the mirror with him, made him look at me and him, tapped on the glass and explained it was just a reflection. I would correct him repeatedly with, “It is you, Sherman Marcus, there is only one Sherman Marcus.” Nope – that just does not compute. We like to keep things light around here and use humor as much as possible, so we now go with the flow and have embraced that there are indeed 2 of him – the one he is and the one in the mirror. My husband even eggs it on by asking how both of them are the evening.

When his Sundowners sets in at night, he often walks around the house looking for “that guy.” For a while we had no idea what he was talking about, then it clicked. We just point him in the way of the mirror and he is good to go. He points, laughs and carries on a bit and does a lot of animated faces with him and big smiles. He says that guy has been following him for years – and we just say yep – he is a great guy – glad you know him. We all scratched our head the other day when there were now 2 guys he was looking for – equaling a count of “3 Sherman Marcuses.” Turns out, it is his nighttime reflection on one of the glass doors.

Dad has started speaking Yiddish all of a sudden and the local Rabbi is now hunting for someone who would be willing to converse with Dad. Until then, Sherman Marcus and Sherman Marcus have begun carrying on conversations in Yiddish in the mirror. It does not harm anything and it makes him happy – so be it! More Dads/Zaydehs to love is all.

I will add that on some occasions, he has become a little paranoid about “that guy,” but for the most part – he embraces him. I’ve read how some caregivers cover mirrors because of this, but we are not there yet.

3 Replies to “Alzheimer’s: The Man in the Mirror”

  1. You are handling this so well. I know it isnt easy. I do believe you should start writing a book , it may help others through this confusing and terrifying journey. You Greta, are a good daughter.

  2. I agree with Carla, Greta…..both about the good daughter and keeping notes on this voyage. I applaud your hubby for keeping things light. I can’t imagine how difficult it must be for you to watch this, but if your Dad’s happy with his friend it’s good, isn’t it? Why do people cover the mirrors? One cannot deny what’s going on with their loved ones by covering the mirrors. Keep your sense of humor and keep a log. You’re in my morning prayers every damn day!!

  3. Thank you Carla and Judy for reading and commenting. Judy – sometimes the image spooks him – that is why some people cover the mirror.

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