Black, white and Blue in Brick

Dear Joel,
I am very concerned about my mother. She spends hours watching black and white movies and old tv shows like I Love Lucy and Alfred Hitchcock. That’s not the problem, in fact I even enjoy them. What worries me is that she talks about these people like they’re still alive. She refuses to believe they’re gone. Should I take her to a professional?
Black, white and blue in Brick

Dear BWB,
In a way, your mother is right. The talented actors she enjoys created wonderful films and tv shows that are still entertaining and still enjoyed by generations of new viewers like you. When you think about it that way, and of the enduring effect they have on today’s actors, they are still very living presences. Your mother is probably comfortable with those familiar faces. What you should watch for are signs that she is forgetting or losing grasp of her ‘real world’ family and friends. Does she talk about deceased family as if they are living? Does she forget days and months? I would suggest that you engage her in more interactive activities, like visiting a park, shopping, and cooking. That will stimulate her brain and give you a chance to observe her in real life situations. See if she can complete tasks, carry on conversations, and remember details. That is a much better test.

Posted in Dear Joel