• I was probably the first one to notice that I experienced changes in my life, and my son, Cary, who lived with me, began to notice changes as well. There were subtle changes at first, things that could be passed off as, ”We all forget!” Or ”I can’t remember names, either!"

  • My first noticeable clue was I could no longer do arithmetic. I couldn’t balance my checkbook and so I stopped paying bills. I simply threw bills in a box and didn’t care that I no longer took responsibility for my spending. 

  • I lived in the same home for 40+ years and I could not find my way home from the grocery store that I frequented every week of those years. I became so alarmed, I told my family. My dear daughter and my son-in-law, Larry, asked, ”Mom, do you mind if we put a GPS on your car?” My response was quick and decisive, ”Oh! Please do!

  • I could not remember the names of my four grandchildren and six great-grandchildren I had to constantly ask for their names. At first, it was funny to us all; then it became obvious I was having difficulty. 

  • I often become confused and Cary was frustrated that I could not remember that we discussed problems and conflicts between us. He told his sister, Laura, that I didn’t perform as we had agreed, problems didn’t get solved and conflicts continued. 

  • I kept telling the same stories over and over.

  • I couldn’t remember words and the family became very proficient in completing my sentences. 

  • I gave up housekeeping altogether, not doing the basic tasks to keep the house clean and I didn’t care. 

  • Craig, Laura’s twin brother who came for a visit, became alarmed when I told him I was throwing the bills in a box and not paying them. He checked with Cary and Laura and they began putting the symptoms together. 

  • Cary suddenly died from esophageal cancer and I floundered around, not knowing what I should do. First I wanted to stay in my home of 42 years and soon realized I was no longer able to function responsibly as an adult. The family patiently waited until I decided I must sell my home. Laura and Larry agreed to make a home for me and I would spend half of the year with Craig. 

  • Laura and I consulted my physician of many years, I took a test and a diagnosis made it official, I have early stages of dementia. At last, I had a name to define my confusions. I can live with knowing I have a mental problem and we can make adjustments to compensate for my declining mental and physical health. My physical health clearly declined through diabetes, a heart problem, fractures from my many falls, and cancer. I need living assistance. I am so very grateful that my entire family step up to the plate and give me excellent care. Should I need to go to a nursing home I can make that adjustment as well. 

Here are the textbook signs of dementia:

Dementia Sign #1: Short-term Memory Loss 

Dementia Sign #2: Forgetting Instructions / Skills

Dementia Sign #3: Forgetting Words

Dementia Sign #4: Mood Changes 

Dementia Sign #5: Apathy

Dementia Sign #6: Difficulty Performing

Dementia Sign #7: Confusion

Dementia Sign #8: Repetition

Dementia Sign #9: No Sense Of Direction

Dementia Sign #10: Difficulty Adapting

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Maybe I didn't make it plain, Chris. I live alone and work every day. Been plagued by the numbers I listed there for years but it's just how I am. I'm a self made computer whiz but only get by coz I have 3 computers. If one is "sick" I use the other to look up a solution. As for family and friends helping me, they scar me to death! Most of the modern world scares me to death. I  avoid most people for this reason but I work with the public. At home I avoid the outside world. I do not understand it and do not want to. Example would be a friend who came by to visit and said he had to leave because others were "blowing him up." I don't want to understand that and I talk normally as people always did way before texting. I get along with others simply because they see I am sincere and not putting on in nay way as I deal with them. No special secret words or handshakes, etc. People will be able to see if you are phoney.

Thanks, Michael, I love sincere people!

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