Dementia

March 7, 2012

This is a part of my life now....

I need to learn more, understand more and change the way I've reacted to it. I am becoming the parent instead of the child. Its a lot to adjust to and changing so quickly. She doesn't see it, even after meeting with doctors who tell her she needs to eat more, she still doesn't see it.... and so its up to us to learn more and take care of her.

It is sad, and I have done some grieving, though I know I will have a lot more!

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Dementia is a loss of brain function that occurs with certain diseases. It affects memory, thinking, language, judgment, and behavior.

Symptoms

Dementia symptoms include difficulty with many areas of mental function, including:

  • Language

  • Memory

  • Perception

  • Emotional behavior or personality

  • Cognitive skills (such as calculation, abstract thinking, or judgment)

Dementia usually first appears as forgetfulness.

Mild cognitive impairment is the stage between normal forgetfulness due to aging and the development of dementia. People with MCI have mild problems with thinking and memory that do not interfere with everyday activities. They are often aware of the forgetfulness. Not everyone with MCI develops dementia.

Symptoms of MCI include:

  • Difficulty performing more than one task at a time

  • Difficulty solving problems or making decisions

  • Forgetting recent events or conversations

  • Taking longer to perform more difficult mental activities

The early symptoms of dementia can include:

  • Difficulty performing tasks that take some thought, but that used to come easily, such as balancing a checkbook, playing games (such as bridge), and learning new information or routines

  • Getting lost on familiar routes

  • Language problems, such as trouble finding the name of familiar objects

  • Losing interest in things you previously enjoyed, flat mood

  • Misplacing items

  • Personality changes and loss of social skills, which can lead to inappropriate behaviors

As the dementia becomes worse, symptoms are more obvious and interfere with the ability to take care of yourself. The symptoms may include:

  • Change in sleep patterns, often waking up at night

  • Difficulty doing basic tasks, such as preparing meals, choosing proper clothing, or driving

  • Forgetting details about current events

  • Forgetting events in your own life history, losing awareness of who you are

  • Having¬†hallucinations, arguments, striking out, and violent behavior

  • Having delusions, depression, agitation

  • More difficulty reading or writing

  • Poor judgment and loss of ability to recognize danger

  • Using the wrong word, not pronouncing words correctly, speaking in confusing sentences

  • Withdrawing from social contact

People with severe dementia can no longer:

  • Perform basic activities of daily living, such as eating, dressing, and bathing

  • Recognize family members

  • Understand language

Other symptoms that may occur with dementia:

 

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