Dementia Awareness

Thread starter #1

Lord Tyrion

Money List Winner
Joined
Sep 9, 2014
Messages
13,666
Location
Northumberland
A semi serious post. My MiL has Alzheimer's and so I have started to take an interest in dementia, how it impacts, how we can help her. Anyway, the town I live in has some really decent people who run dementia awareness courses and I went to one last night.

I won't bore people with details but I learnt a great deal and am a wiser person now. The key things I picked up are empathy and patience, patience being the biggest one. People with dementia get anxious very easily and being rushed or pushed will get them going in the wrong direction.

If I can pass one thing on it would be patient with people. The person going slowly in the queue, the person struggling to pack their shopping, the person stopped in the middle of the pavement perhaps blocking you. Maybe, just maybe they have dementia and a tut, a grumble, a roll of your eyes could upset them, upset someone who is out with them trying to help. Keep calm, smile and be patient. Instead of unintentionally upsetting someone you may bring relief to one or more people, you may make their day.

Anyone else attended one of these? Anyone else a Dementia Friend?
 

Hobbit

Ryder Cup Winner
Joined
Sep 11, 2011
Messages
14,242
Location
Espana
Went through 6 years of it with the mother-in-law. Best thing we were advised was don't directly confront a belief. Create coping strategies, e.g. "I think we might have to look at that." Then in partnership with the dementia sufferer go and look for the answer. You know it anyway but you need them to find the solution in their own time. Guide them to that solution, don't tell them what it is.
 

Robster59

Tour Rookie
Joined
Aug 7, 2015
Messages
2,358
Location
Newton Mearns
My FiL is going that way and as you say you can see him getting stressed about the slightest thing and fixates on stuff to the nth degree. He lives with us so can be wearing, but as you say patience is the key. Getting annoyed doesn't achieve anything but just would stress him more.
 
Thread starter #4

Lord Tyrion

Money List Winner
Joined
Sep 9, 2014
Messages
13,666
Location
Northumberland
My FiL is going that way and as you say you can see him getting stressed about the slightest thing and fixates on stuff to the nth degree. He lives with us so can be wearing, but as you say patience is the key. Getting annoyed doesn't achieve anything but just would stress him more.
Have you found much help available? The official people have been pretty poor since the diagnosis but we have started to unearth a good amount of volunteer people and groups who are proving to be really helpful.
 

Robster59

Tour Rookie
Joined
Aug 7, 2015
Messages
2,358
Location
Newton Mearns
Have you found much help available? The official people have been pretty poor since the diagnosis but we have started to unearth a good amount of volunteer people and groups who are proving to be really helpful.
Not yet but we're at early stages at the moment. As you know, they're all different. We have a friend who's father is severely affected by it and is now in a home. So sad to see as he was a great and famous man in his time.
 

clubchamp98

Journeyman Pro
Joined
Jan 23, 2014
Messages
6,280
Location
Liverpool
Both my parents had this.
patience is easier said than done believe me.
No one knows how their minds work and it’s really hard to see them detiriorate in front of you.

My dad went from ex army always wore a suit great man , to a right scruff who wouldn’t even get washed.
You have a tough job ahead.

Off on my hols for a week!
 

Tashyboy

Money List Winner
Joined
Dec 12, 2013
Messages
10,969
I can remember a topic similar to this coming up over the last year or so. It is one I follow with great interest. FIL has short term memory loss, early dementia, early alzheimers. Lord knows what it is. But whatever it is it's getting worse. He is adamant he has no problem. Wife mentioned about him seeing the Dr, and he said he would go. She asked MIL how he went on. MIL said ok, no problems. A few months later when FIL had another episode MIL admitted he had not been. She is as bad as him and is in denial. He gets aggressive, loud, confrontational about it. so the family has shut up about it. Think there's a poo storm on the horizon with him.
 

Beezerk

Money List Winner
Joined
Apr 28, 2013
Messages
7,047
Location
Gateshead, Tyne & Wear
My mother died of Lewy body dementia a couple of years ago, horrible disease.
She lived with my sister down in South Yorkshire for most of it and christ knows how she coped, I'd visit quite often but later on she wouldn't even know I was there, like the soul had been taken from the person. I think she remembered I have a daughter but I'm really not sure, that was probably well over 10 years ago, my daughter is 17 now and would have been the apple of her eye. Life sucks sometimes so we have to make the best of the good times. Best if luck with it mate.
 
Thread starter #9

Lord Tyrion

Money List Winner
Joined
Sep 9, 2014
Messages
13,666
Location
Northumberland
Tashy, that sounds very familiar. My FiL would not take notice for a very long time when we pointed out what was very clear to the rest of us. We eventually got him to take the MiL to the doctors, she passed the initial test, he told the doctor she was fine and they both walked out as though nothing was wrong. If the doctor didn't diagnose her then nothing was wrong was it? After another 3 months or so and a whole heap of evidence he was finally persuaded to take the MiL again but this time my wife went as well. No wriggling out, examples of situations given and they walked away with a diagnosis of Alzheimer's following in the post.

My FiL is still largely in denial, still leaves her to do things that she simply can no longer do on her own, note not do completely but not on her own. He shouts at her when she does things wrong or can't remember where she put something or remember a message. Leaves important things to her then wonders why they are not done as they should be. We can manage the person with Alzheimer's, the one driving us nuts is him.

The family now has a whole herd of elephants in the room. It gets talked about separately in hushed tones but no one will talk frankly with the key protagonists. Families..................
 

shortgame

Tour Rookie
Joined
Jun 29, 2017
Messages
1,584
Terrible disease. One set of grandparents had it. At one stage my grandfather started going every morning to the work place he'd retired from 10 or 15 years before. Both also got to the stage they couldn't recognise people and got fixated on the smallest things. Like having total personality transplants. Feel for anyone going through similar - incredibly upsetting, tiring and stressful for the family to cope with and unfortunately it only gets worse. Glad to hear there's some support and help available.
 

Piece

Tour Winner
Joined
May 16, 2011
Messages
5,050
Location
Wormley, Surrey
My dad has early stages dementia. He's a different person now, much calmer and dare I say, happier. It does put more stress on close family members though.

Wishing you the best.
 

Wolf

Well-known member
Joined
Oct 4, 2018
Messages
4,694
Location
Lincolnshire
Remember my Nan (Dad's mum) had Dementia was a terrible time and hardly any help or support for the family but this was back in the 90s.

Flip side my Uncle (Dad's older brother) is now suffering from Alzheimer's the support and information now available to everyone is superb. Coping mechanisms have been put in place, support for him and the family is brilliant.

We've come so far in recent years with help for all of these types on conditions and long that continue.
 
Last edited:
Joined
Aug 6, 2015
Messages
3,581
Location
Sunny Sussex
we had the mil live with us for her last four years as she was stricken with dementia.my wife became her carer andwe set up our home so she could get upstairs easily [stairlift fitted] and we had her bedroom kitted out with sky tv .at first she was fine and would happily potter about the house and enjoyed doing the mail crossword every day ,as time progressed she was doing less and less of the cw and i was giving her extra clues to help her solve it .roll on a few months and the short term memory was going fast ,she could remember years ago like it was yesterday to you and me but to her she struggled to remember what she had for dinner the previous day.
eventually she became angry that she couldnt remember hardly anything .she loved watching comedy shows and last of the summer wine was her favourite ,in the end she would have watched every show countless times but to her they were all new episodes.
towards the end she lost control of her bowels and would mess herself ,it was very embarrassing for her and for me when it happened with my wife out of the house.cleaning her up was not a pleasant task.
in the end her bowels totally closed down and was the final nail in her coffin as even with three suppositries in place the couldnt force a movement. it was sad to see her decline like she did as she was a very clever and articulate person who enjoyed her life until the dementia set in .
good luck with your kith and kin and if you can dont put them in a home ,put yourself in their shoes ,you wouldnt want total strangers seeing to you during your last remaining days.
 
Thread starter #14

Lord Tyrion

Money List Winner
Joined
Sep 9, 2014
Messages
13,666
Location
Northumberland
The person running the event described the memory loss as follows. Imagine a book case with every shelf being a decade and the books being memories. Someone starts to shake the book case and books start to fall off, mainly at the top. Eventually there are no books on the top shelf, perhaps the top few shelves. The bottom shelves still have plenty of books on still though.

He had come across many people living with dementia who had lost 20, 30, 40 years but we're razor sharp from their teenage years or 20's. Instead of fighting that memory loss he suggested embracing the era they remember best, play the music from that era, replicate food from that time etc. Obviously you can't transform your house or life to the 1950's but the idea is a really interesting one.
 

Khamelion

Tour Winner
Joined
Jul 11, 2011
Messages
5,059
Location
Newcastle
My mam passed away a few years back with Alzheimer's, an absolutely horrible disease. I'm not religious in any way, but at the very end what was lying in front of my dad and myself was just the shell of the women we both loved, her soul had long since departed. In the early stages when my mam was still at home I remember she was trying to tell me what she'd been doing that day. My dad and her had been for a walk along the river. I sat next to her on the sofa with her thumping the sofa in frustration as she couldn't remember what she had done not but a few hours earlier.

Warning signs something is up with someone could be anything, but if you are close to someone who you think may be in the very early stages, it's the little things that you pick up that could make a difference in getting an early diagnosis. My mam for example, nearly killed us while driving, at the time no one knew anything was wrong, but while going round a roundabout in the left lane and nearly at the junction to pull off the roundabout, she decided for some reason to keep going right, she was oblivious to what she had done.

But the big signal came one Christmas, my mam and dad were writing cards as they had done every year, when she just stopped and said, I don't know how to do it, in an instant she had forgotten how to write. From there on it was a battle of over 10yrs having to watch this strong loving women slowly disintegrate, all at a time when dementia wasn't really at the fore front of peoples awareness.
 
Joined
Jul 24, 2012
Messages
20,468
Dementia - is awful. At weekend I met a lad my age - was life and soul of the party and fit and well not more than a couple of years back - then he was diagnosed and things have gone bad since then. His wife is exhausted caring for him, and a cousin of mine has her stay quite regularly for some respite - she needs it. He looks fine until you notice he just is not in the same time and place as the rest of us. It is so very sad. God bless you Jim. God Bless your wife and daughter C-A and R.
 

Bunkermagnet

Journeyman Pro
Joined
May 14, 2014
Messages
4,243
Location
Kent
My dad had it after eventually being diagnosed with it with the family doctor for quite some time insisting it was just"getting old", my mum wouldn't accept the view it was dementia. When he was diagnosed, he was in hospital after a fall.
He was 77, and because he didnt think he should be there kept trying to leave the ward. The hospital staff decided he needed "controlling" and started giving him a cocktail of drugs, that basically sedated him. (remember Panarama did a program on it). The staff all denied he was being drugged up, but we knew otherwise. After his stay in hospital he went into a care home in a dementia ward. He died 3 months later, 6 months after first going into hospital.
Its fair to say that he gave up, and TBH I dont blame him.
 

clubchamp98

Journeyman Pro
Joined
Jan 23, 2014
Messages
6,280
Location
Liverpool
Tashy, that sounds very familiar. My FiL would not take notice for a very long time when we pointed out what was very clear to the rest of us. We eventually got him to take the MiL to the doctors, she passed the initial test, he told the doctor she was fine and they both walked out as though nothing was wrong. If the doctor didn't diagnose her then nothing was wrong was it? After another 3 months or so and a whole heap of evidence he was finally persuaded to take the MiL again but this time my wife went as well. No wriggling out, examples of situations given and they walked away with a diagnosis of Alzheimer's following in the post.

My FiL is still largely in denial, still leaves her to do things that she simply can no longer do on her own, note not do completely but not on her own. He shouts at her when she does things wrong or can't remember where she put something or remember a message. Leaves important things to her then wonders why they are not done as they should be. We can manage the person with Alzheimer's, the one driving us nuts is him.

The family now has a whole herd of elephants in the room. It gets talked about separately in hushed tones but no one will talk frankly with the key protagonists. Families..................
My dad was like this and he turned into the main problem.
He wouldn’t let anybody in the house to care for mum and tried to do it alone.
The arguments I had with him were awful.

Mum had a stroke and he never called an ambulance he called me,
I called 999 and met them at his house they were just leaving .
I was locking up and following on .
The ambulance was hit head on by a stolen car and mum was killed, dad was badly hurt .
The paramedic broke both legs .

By the time I got to the hospital it was all over.
I often wonder if it was a blessing in disguise? As she was getting worse all the time.
I still don’t know the answer.

I think this is what scared my dad about what was happening to him and made him very difficult to deal with.
 

Bunkermagnet

Journeyman Pro
Joined
May 14, 2014
Messages
4,243
Location
Kent
My dad was like this and he turned into the main problem.
He wouldn’t let anybody in the house to care for mum and tried to do it alone.
The arguments I had with him were awful.

Mum had a stroke and he never called an ambulance he called me,
I called 999 and met them at his house they were just leaving .
I was locking up and following on .
The ambulance was hit head on by a stolen car and mum was killed, dad was badly hurt .
The paramedic broke both legs .

By the time I got to the hospital it was all over.
I often wonder if it was a blessing in disguise? As she was getting worse all the time.
I still don’t know the answer.

I think this is what scared my dad about what was happening to him and made him very difficult to deal with.
Sheeet m8, I cant even comprehend how you felt or delt with it, so sorry.
 
Top