You are doing the very best you can as long as you continue to seekReed Henry
knowledge and understanding.
We live in a society based on what we have been taught while growing up, if you were fortunate, you were taught that structure, rules and social norms make our lives manageable and predictable, and you probably depend on them more than you realize.
On a day you least expect it, you begin noticing your wife, husband, father or mother is acting strangely, “they never used to lose things so frequently”, “I have always counted on him or her to pick me up from work,” “Why can’t they just answer the questions when we are in the doctor’s” office instead of looking to me for help?” When we really think about it, we realize that we have been compensating for them for much longer than most people realize.
Because there are many things that can mimic symptoms of dementia, the doctor orders some blood work to see if something very treatable is causing this change in behavior. (Recommended labs are: CBC, BMP, TSH, B12, STS.) The results come back negative so a referral is made to a Neuropsychologist for further testing at which time you find out that your loved one has the most common form of Dementia known as Alzheimer ’s disease.
In a shockingly short time, all that order and structure fly out the window. The definition of “normal” changes forever. In your loved one’s world, the rules you’re use to apply less and less. Now, you did not plan for this, after all, you probably have a life that already keeps you very busy. You might live close to your loved one who has been diagnosed with dementia, but it’s equally possible that you live far away. In any case, you have to figure out a way to handle this sudden, wrenching change while not completely overturning your own life, your family’s life. The challenges in doing that may seem to be mostly about time and money, but really, they’re not. They’re about something else entirely. .
What we call dementia is a broad term used to describe a syndrome—a set of symptoms occurring together that affects six areas of cognitive function:
- Motor skills
There are many different types of dementia, ranging from the widely known Alzheimer’s disease to rare types of which the general public is barely aware. The most recent statistics show that by the time we are 65, 1 in 8 of us will develop dementia and by the time we reach 85, that number is 50%.
In my next segment, we will pick up where we left off so please check back frequently; you will not want to miss it, thank you for allowing me to walk along side of you!