Medical questions & health advice by board certified doctors
"Should someone with Alzheimer's get a perm?"
My mother has Alzheimer's disease and sometimes recently she's been saying that she wants to get a perm, to get her hair back to the way it used to be. Is this a bad idea to change the physical appearance drastically of someone who might not remember what has happened? Should we just ignore these requests?
Having a family member with Alzheimer's disease can be very challenging. The best physician to ask these types of questions is the doctor that treats your mother's dementia. Alzheimer's disease is a dementia that worsens over time. The first thing to go is usually short term memory. People have a tough time remembering new things. This is why it is tough for Alzheimer's patients to remembering new people and recent events. Thus there certainly is a chance that your mother will be confused about her new appearance if she were to get her hair changed. However, patients with Alzheimer's deal with apparent change (to them) everyday when they see something that hasn't changed but is new to them. I would run it by her doctor, but is unlikely to cause her a lot of distress, and may bring some joy into her day, an occurrence which will be more scarce in the future. I suggest that you attend the next appointment with your mother's doctor. Bring with you a list of questions that you are wondering about so that you do not forget them while you are there. This way, you can make sure that you are doing the best things for you mother's mental health. Good luck.
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