Category Archives: changes

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

Zing

Zing

The word today is “zing.” Take away the obvious synonyms which are repetitive of the synonyms of “zing” and these are “vitality”, “energy”, “vigor”, “verve”, “animation”, “vivacity”, and “vivaciousness” which is just another form of the word “vivacity”. Take these away and let’s see what is left of the synonyms of zing after the repetitive synonyms of zing have been eliminated. First; let’s salvage some of the synonyms of zing which are not repeated and they are “dynamism” which we will talk about later. (Remember we took away the repetitive synonyms that just repeat the same words to describe the word ZING) and “punch” is the other non-repetitive synonym. With that out of the way, let’s take one of the repetitive synonyms which I eliminated but now I’m going to give the repetitive synonym “vitality” back to this lesson which also has its’ own repetitive synonyms and these are “liveliness”, “energy”, “vivacity”, “vigor”, “animation”, and “verve”. Along with the repetitive synonyms of “vitality” the non-repetitive synonyms include but are not limited to “strength”, “life”, “get-up-and-go”, “buoyance”, “joie de vivre”, (which by the way means “joy of living”. It’s French) The word “dynamism” is not repetitive as a synonym of zing, but I repeated it just to give the meaning of it and that is “vigorously active, forceful, and energizing quality”, especially as the hallmark of somebody’s personality or approach to a task. “Punch” is a non-repetitive synonym of zing and I believe that it is self-explanatory. Now, to continue with the synonyms of “zing”; another repetitive synonym is the synonym “vivacity”. If you’ll try and remember that “vivacity” and “vivaciousness” I crossed off entirely since “vivaciousness” is a repetitive synonym of the word “zing” and is also repetitive because “vivaciousness”, if you’ll remember, is only another form of the word “vivacity”. But since you mentioned it, its’ repetitive synonyms are “liveliness”, “animation”, “verve”, “energy”, “vivaciousness”, and “vitality”. Did anyone get the meaning of “verve”? The unrepeated synonyms of “vivacity” which I shouldn’t even have in here since “vivacity” and “vivaciousness” are just different tenses of the same word and the unrepeated synonyms of “vivacity” are: “high-spiritedness”, “exuberance”, “cheerfulness”, “live”, “chirpiness”, and “sparkle”. I just love the words, “exuberance” and “chirpiness” don’t you? Hang in there we are almost done with this lesson. Now, that only leaves one non-repetitive synonym of “zing” and that is the word “dynamism” and this only has 3 synonyms repeated under it. Those words are, “vitality”, “vigor” and “energy”. The ones that are not repeated synonyms I especially love and those synonyms are “zip”, “drive”, and “enthusiasm” and get this; to round it all off the last synonym is “ZING”.

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

Lives Are a Saga

Saga

Lives Are a Saga

Birth is a constant and death is a constant. These two constants happen in every one’s life. As soon as birth takes place that constant has ended. Now it becomes intermittent and irregular. When that part ends, then the other constant is in place, death.

Intermittent and irregular things happen to all of us between the constants of birth and death and that is called life. There have been many things that have happened to all of us. Many of them were good, and those are the memories that should be the only things in the forefront of our minds. Unfortunately, there were also the many tragedies that happen in all of our lives and people think they should just forget them; as it were, out of sight out of mind.

Wouldn’t that be nice if they were wrapped in neat little packages of good and bad? If that were the case then life would be good. The intermittent cycles Continue reading Lives Are a Saga

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

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

The Face of Dementia

2002Face

This is my husband in 1988. He is capable; able to fix anything. He could take a car, disassemble and put it back together again. If you needed a transmission fixed, he was your man. He knew how to build things, fix anything that needed fixing and able to care very deeply. 

The year was 1988 when we married. Bill was an architectural draftsman at the time. until 1993 when he got laid off due to what they said was a lack of work. We found out later, it was because we used the insurance too much. There were two others in the same boat. He had gotten another draftsman job, but got laid off from that a year or two later and was told that everything was going to auto cad and he had no interest in learning the computer.

We owned a home in Lochuie, CO and in 1996 he built a beautiful 14×25 addition by himself with a storm basement. This was one that he did just for me. He built an 8’ bay window from floor to ceiling. We used to sit in the rocking chairs in the bay area and talk the afternoon away. It was beautiful to me and something I will never forget.

We moved to Missouri in the year 2000 and about 2007 sets of keys began to disappear, and they were nowhere to be found. They seemed to totally disappear. He lost many things and as time went on, things were going on that puzzled me. He would swear that I didn’t tell him something that I know I told him several times. I still dismissed those happenings as us getting old.

The first time I definitely knew that something was wrong was when a part for the Ford N 8 tractor came in and Bill went out to the garage to fix it after work. He had been gone for a long time. I strolled out to the garage to see how it was coming along.

When I got out there, he told me that this wasn’t the right part. I looked at the part, and the diagram that shows the way it was supposed to be put on. It was obviously the correct part, but he couldn’t understand how it fit.

This did concern me but when I showed him the diagram he insisted he was putting it on the right way. When I tried to show him how the part was supposed to go on in relationship to the diagram. He only got annoyed at me and insisted that he was doing it right, it just didn’t fit. I then called a friend of ours to come and see if it was the right part. He came over and it just went right on the way it was supposed to fit.

As time went on, things got worse. He lost so many objects and swore he put it in this one spot. He started accusing a friend of stealing from him. I knew that we had no friends that would ever steal from us and how could he think that way.

He never used to lose things. His memory used to be good too. He knew how to build things, and if something didn’t fit, he would be able to find something to make it work. He used to tear cars down and rebuild them. He was able to take transmissions apart and put them back together again. He had some of his home designs built in North Platte, NE, and he helped build himself.

He began telling people he raised his kids all by himself. Bill told everyone that he had full custody of his two boys from the beginning and that their mother would only take them for the summer. I wondered how he could forget things that were so major. He didn’t have custody, their mother did, and she gave the kids to us as soon as we got married. I no longer tried to correct him about things. What would be the harm?

Suddenly, he began doing other strange things as though he now had no conscience. I’m not saying that he became a liar. What I am saying is that something was wrong. I saw it, but I didn’t know what it was so I swept it away. 

 This man used to that used to be an architectural draftsman. He loved his family and he still does. This is the man that built houses, did some of the drafting for the Mall of America. He could build, take apart and put together, and he could fix anything.

After these things, he forgot how to do simple things. He forgot how to hammer a nail, he couldn’t screw in anything. There wasn’t anything he could do. I took us 4 and 5 hours to put together what used to take 1 to do. He lost his senses of up and down. This is the man with Dementia.

He no longer can do any drafting. He forgot how to build. He can no longer read many words. It’s too dangerous for him to drive a car. His reflexes are slow and he can’t make decisions. He can’t get the keys into the mailbox, and he is unable to stay by himself for long unless I am at a neighbors where he knows how to find me. bill

He feels as if he is stupid, and thinks  his friends find him that way too. He used to build additions on homes, repaired all the things that went wrong in a house; but that was yesterday.

Yesterday he could plant a garden with large luscious tomatoes, and extra large cantaloupe that dripped when they were cut open and very sweet to the taste.

Now this is the man with Dementia.

Today he is the shell of the man from yesterday. His eyes no longer sparkle, he no longer laughs. He rarely speaks. His hands remain idle because he no longer remembers how to do things with them.

This is the Ugly and Destructive Face of dementia. The lines in the forehead tell me he worries, but he doesn’t remember why. The hollow cheeks remind me his appetite is waning and he is losing weight. His mouth is drooping down in a permanent frown. He can’t remember the words to speak. This is the face of dementia. It’s ugly because this is an ugly, silent monster. Alzheimer’s robs your loved ones of their memory and only toward the end do they begin to lose their cognition.

Dementia robs your loved one of life itself. He doesn’t know what a hammer is for. He doesn’t know where or what the microwave is. He walks into walls, and large objects. He can’t think of what he wants to say. It’s difficult to sit there and look at that face of dementia wanting and trying so hard to say something and can’t think of the words, and when they do, they can’t get them out. Don’t try to finish their sentence for them because then they lose their very thought. There is not anything else to say. This is the ugly face of dementia.

 

The most difficult apology

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Free Basic Computer Lessons

This will be a short post. I offer basic computer lessons for older people who are afraid to try to use the computer for fear of breaking it. My lessons are short, to the point, pictures, and a new vocabulary for computer users only. These terms are badly needed if someone is able to learn to follow directions  themselves. That is one of the problems I had when I first began learning the computer myself. I didn’t know what the instructions were. I didn’t know what the “thing-a-ma-jigs” were and I didn’t have a clue what the “Doo-Hickeys” were. Well, I will teach them those things. They are basic lessons. So if you know someone who is afraid of the computer, send them here for a look at the easy to follow instructions.

On this website is free lessons on photo editing. It isn’t hard because most of it is trying different things yourself, but introduce some programs to them.

Then there are some posts on gift giving and how to be a unique gift giver that people won’t want to return. Come check it out just for curiosity sake. Come on, you know you want to.

    my other blog

 

Unspoken Majesty of the Mountains

Mountain

 

There are  mountains and hills in just about every one of the 50 states of this country. Some mountains are much higher than others and some are hills. Whatever is observed as the scenery which passes by at 70 mph if you’re on the Interstate, or 50 – 65 mph if you’re on the US or State highways, is something to truly enjoy.

Every place on this earth has its’ own splendor, its’ own beauty, and there is nothing I would like better than to be able to travel some of those roads again and this time “Don’t Run So Fast” 

I drove a truck for 16 years, and I saw the mountain, the plains, US highways, and state highways. There is no place that does not speak of the majesty of the mountains. The roads I loved were the two lane roads that made a truck drive slower. The sights were unbelievable. Each direction was more beautiful than Continue reading Unspoken Majesty of the Mountains