When my mom told me that she was scared in the house she shares with dad, I immediately wanted to learn more about what was going on because she’s never felt that way. When I tried to ask her, I heard a click as she hung up on me. I called back and spoke to my dad who said that mom was not feeling good and was confused. I pressed him further, and he finally told me that my mom was diagnosed with dementia and she’s scared of all sorts of things now that have never bothered her previously. The issue is that many people with the disease become very anxious and scared about different things. Sometimes they even hallucinate, and often, those hallucinations are frightening to them.

Mom has always been so strong and positive. Over the last few years, I’ve noticed a lot of negativity coming from her. There were even times when she seemed really confused, but she would always play it off as simple stress. It was only after my mom told me about fearing that someone would break in that I realized something was wrong. I was sad to learn that my parents chose to not tell me about my mom’s diagnosis. I also realize that she was afraid to tell me that she has health issues, so I don’t blame her.

I’ve spent a lot of time learning all I can about mom’s illness. I learned that mom’s anxiety will probably get even worse. I told dad that he should get an alarm system installed while mom can still understand so that she can see that their house really is safe. Dad thought it was an excellent idea and had one installed just recently. Mom understands that no one can break in now, and she said that she no longer feels scared.