Category Archives: Dementia

Is there a difference between dementia and Alzheimer’s? Does it matter?

Have you ever wondered if there is a difference between Alzheimer’s and Dementia? Does it even matter? Could it affect one of your loved ones or could it happen to you?

Some doctors say there are no differences and they use both Alzheimer’s and Dementia interchangeably. Some doctor’s find there are a few differences, but say they all end up in the stage of Alzheimer’s so it doesn’t matter what it is called. In the two articles in Lifescript, and ALZ.org there are varying opinions.

Alzheimer’s disease is the most common cause of severe mental deterioration (dementia) in the elderly. It has been estimated that 30% to 50% of people over 85 years old suffer from this condition.

Alzheimer’s begins with subtle symptoms, such as loss of memory, for names and recent events. It progresses from difficulty learning new information to a few eccentric behaviors to depression, loss of spontaneity, and anxiety. Over the course of the disease, the person gradually loses the ability to carry out the activities of everyday life. Disorientation, asking questions repeatedly, and an inability to recognize friends are characteristics of moderately severe Alzheimer’s. Eventually, virtually all mental functions fail. –

See more at: http://www.lifescript.com/health/ _non-alzheimers_dementia. See more at: http://www.lifescript.com/health/a-z/alternative-therapies  This information is from lifescript.com.

Dementia- Symptoms: Difficulty remembering recent conversations, names or events is often an early clinical symptom; apathy and depression are also often early symptoms. Later symptoms include impaired communication, poor judgment, disorientation, confusion, behavior changes and difficulty speaking, swallowing and walking.

Revised guidelines for diagnosing Alzheimer’s were published in 2011 recommending that Alzheimer’s be considered a slowly progressive brain disease that begins well before symptoms emerge.

Brain changes: Hallmark abnormalities are deposits of the protein fragment beta-amyloid (plaques) and twisted strands of the protein tau (tangles) as well as evidence of nerve cell damage and death in the brain.

Learn more about Alzheimer’s disease.   Above is the use of the two used interchangeably? This information is taken from Alz.org

Mom lived with Alzheimer’s, I took care of all her needs for 16 years. I live with my husband who has dementia. Once you have lived with both of them, you can feel the variances, you can see the transformations, and I’ve had to be creative to adjust to those modifications in his personality.

Alzheimer’s may seem dramatic at times to those who are the caretakers, it can be and I’ve dealt with that too. Each time there was a turn in my mom, it was a sad thing. She may have lost her friends names. It was embarrassing for her and she began to stay home more. This was after I placed her in a really nice assisted living facility only a few miles from me so I could visit her every day and spend a few hours with her each day.

In dementia the differences are far more challenging, they are far more heart wrenching. Dementia has a face that pops up time and again; it’s ugly, destructive and rears its head with more destruction than the last time. This is a disease that robs your loved ones of their life skills, and their very lives.

The saddest day I had with my mom was when she asked me if she was going to forget me too. I couldn’t stand there and lie to her. With tears in my eyes … well, you’ll have to read the next article to find the answers.

The saddest day in the life of a person with dementia I can only guess. Each time Bill slips, it’s been more devastating than the last. It’s not just one person that needs to adjust; my husband is also going through something that he cannot control. A person has to adjust. This series of articles I call “Face of Dementia.” will take you through the changes, adjustments, tears, and laughter during dementia. A man who used to build houses, he was a draftsman; he was handy and could fix anything. This and a lot more changed when dementia hit.

Just like the doctors above; some people believe there are no differences between the two conditions. If you would like to visualize the truth about them, then read this series, “Face of dementia.” they are really far apart.

Whatever they lose, you have to find a way to deal with it. Each time the ugly monster shows its face, you can’t just turn away and pretend it isn’t there; no, you have to deal. with it.

 

You have to find a way to leave  his dignity intact  while the struggle continues

to go on and attacks. Not only dealing with your own emotions the effects of that ugly face at the same time.  Remember, the caretaker is not the only one dealing with some strong                                                                                                                                                        while. The ight goes on with not only dealing with your own emotions; and the effects of that ugly face of dementia at the same time. Remember, Bill has feelings too, and we don’t know how deep his frustrations are and how he feels in an upside down world he finds himself in everyday. He is in a world that makes no sense to him. You have to let him know that you are there everyday, you are within range, and he is able to see you in an instant. While thinking of these things and carrying each one out, you must treat him as an adult, plus leave him his dignity.

 

 

cm writes

Remember

The word “Remember” can invoke many thoughts to each of us. You may even wonder where to begin. I’m sure that each of us could write a book on our own memories. I’m only thinking of the first thing that this precious word makes me want to write.

I remember the reason I fell in love with my husband. We lived in Colorado at the time and I remember the first conversation I heard him have with his mother. (His end of course.) The gentle tone in which he spoke to his mother reminded me how children are supposed to obey their parents. It made me remember that the reason we obey is because we love and respect them. He’d laugh Continue reading Remember

Twinkle

Twinkle

Even though it has only been a couple of weeks, it seems as if it has been a year since I have added anything new to my blog, in fact, I have added nothing at all to the words that meander down the road to insignificance. At the thought of those words, you can tell that I’m feeling a little melancholy today as I have the past days. Otherwise, had I not been in this state of mind, I might put on a smile as I forge onward to begin again on my blog.

I used to see a twinkle in his eye

And I knew that his smile was nigh.

My expectations left me high

Just waiting for that twinkle in his eye.

 

Yesterday I knew this was to be true

And now I’m not sure what to do

That smile has lingered like the dew

Oh for the eyes to twinkle a new.

 

Now his eyes just always look blank

My eyes saw nothing and my heart sank.

I looked around and I began to feel dank

But I wanted to be back into the rank

 

Of that beautiful and precious smile in his eyes

It’s called a twinkle and follows his guise

I’ve been waiting oh please give me that surprise

First a twinkle and then that smile I idolize.

 

My heart is broken but still I wait

Because I know it is there, I am his mate

For a while now it is usually late

But it’s there it’s personal, and I need not debate.

Friends are Still Friends

     

Come as your favorite Bible character
Come as your favorite Bible character

Bill and I went for breakfast at the hut as we do on most Fridays. The pain of separation is almost unbearable for Bill at this time. I’ve only taken him out twice this week and visited him once. I understand the way he feels because I would feel the same way if the situation was the other way around. I too would question someone’s love if that person put me in a place full of unknown old people and I couldn’t understand why.

 

As he sees it; and truly feels himself to be the same person he always was. Constantly he wonders why we can’t be together all the time. He can’t understand why he is not able to be with me at home again. Our tears fall easily when we first see each other, but this morning I was able to wait for my tears to begin. Off we went to breakfast with our friends.             Continue reading Friends are Still Friends

How Could I Show the Depth of My Love?

Depth

It’s funny in a facetious way how my profundity of love for my husband would be tested in such a way such as it is at this time. While I was growing up, there was no real love in our Copy of Copy of mom and dadfamily. If it wasn’t for my step-father who I have always felt was my real father I would not have a speck of love within me. He put us, his family first. He never cared what time we called or what he was doing at that time; his secretary was given instructions to put his family through to him even if he was in a meeting. That’s how he thought of us; we were his family.

Since he married my mom when I was eleven years old, it was almost too late for real ron ann col 56family love to shine through and actually recognize it as being something special or even important. My real father had no love for us kids, and a future series on growing up with no love will bear out that fact. So I virtually grew up within a family of only jealousy and indifference of each other. We felt little, if any, love for each other as kids the same way our mother showed little love if any to us.

I had always known the words in the bible that said, “God is love.” I couldn’t grasp that idea and it was a mystery to me. It was something I knew nothing about at all. I just knew  those words were true because they were in the bible and I have always believed what the bible said even if I didn’t understand it. In response to these words that always bothered me since I was a child, I wanted to know what love was and where I could go to find it. When I grew up I went looking for love; so please forgive me for the following cliché.

Yes, as the song goes, “I was looking for love in all the wrong places.” I went through that scene not knowing exactly what I was looking for but it definitely wasn’t there in bars. I couldn’t find it among the drugs of the hippies and their love and peace slogans. Then I thought I might find love out on the road while I was driving a truck. I quickly Continue reading How Could I Show the Depth of My Love?

Understanding Will Come

UPDATED

After Walking a Mile in My Shoes – Understanding Will Be There

 

Now his son is confused as to why he is so much worse today than 6 months ago and because I am no longer able to take care of him he is in a nursing home. His son at this time can not understand how serious his father’s dementia is and how fast his father went downhill.  He doesn’t understand how his condition has deteriorated in the short time he saw him last which was in December of last year. I would be confused too and try to find out all I could as to what happened.

My thoughts on this is that he can bring his dad home for the day each day he is here. I will go away somewhere to a friend’s house about an hour away so I’ll only be a short distance and I can get home quickly if he or his father needs me. That way he will be doing everything I had to do for him. I will have to let him take care of his father so he can see and feel the stress I was under. Continue reading Understanding Will Come

Island of Tears

Island                                                            UPDATED

An island is a piece of land that is totally surrounded by water and as the saying goes, “No man is an island.”   While no man can be an island in the manner of surviving by himself, since all mankind is connected in one way or another to the human family. So, no man is an island. Although, two people can become Continue reading Island of Tears

Back From Near Insanity – Still Frail

Frail

I took a break and went to Denver for a visit with my sister and brother-in-law. I thought that this might strengthen me as I was unable to cope with things at home. Bill is in the nursing home and yet I was seeing him too much. It isn’t that I wanted to have him home again. I felt for him,  but all he does is make us both feel badly. He isn’t capable of understanding that he can’t live at home ever again.

I stayed with my sister and her husband. I always enjoy staying with them. When I got there, I felt pretty good. I was refreshed and didn’t feel as if I was going to cry. After two days I visited the town we used to live in to visit some friends. It was fun visiting with them and I went by the old house we had put on our acre of land twenty-five years ago.

I went to visit and see what our old house looked like now. The inside had changed quite a bit since we lived there. The owner happened to be out in the yard, and when I told him we put this house on the land and I’d like to take some Continue reading Back From Near Insanity – Still Frail

Windows Open and Doors Shut

Windows Open and Doors Shut

Many times we find that we must be open to new ideas. That is what happens with Dementia and Alzheimer’s. For instance, one of the things I have previously spoken about is that changes are needed as the disease progresses. The last post on the subject was about being playful and at times playing children as adults with these diseases. So far it has worked for me, but is losing its’ effectiveness. So too this door slams so suddenly that my head spins to see the end of the battle comes so quickly and the ugly face of dementia has forever claimed another victim.

Something that has to be recognized by the care taker Continue reading Windows Open and Doors Shut

The New Horror

We both cried and our friends were trying not to cry as I told him how it was taking parts of me away too. If you’ve been following any part of this story, you know the things that it’s doing to me. He insisted he didn’t want us to be broken up. It was difficult for him to grasp that we were still married, we will always be married. I kept re-assuring him it isn’t anything he did, and he can’t help needing the kind of help he needs. I reminded him again and again that it is this horrible monster of a disease that is eating away his brain and it is never going to get any better. I had to keep reminding him that I love him, I would always love him and he is forever my husband and I his wife. The difficult part is that they cannot grasp the idea that we are not getting divorced. Continue reading The New Horror