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captain queeg

(11,084 posts)
Wed Jun 12, 2024, 01:17 AM Jun 12

I perused the forum lists and was somewhat surprised there is not a forum about dementia specifically.

I just got back from a memorial service for my oldest sister. The first time I’ve seen most of my extended family for awhile. It seems like all my in-laws (spouses of siblings) have or had some form of dementia. The oldest of them passed recently from Parkinson’s. The youngest of them has Parkinson’s. The next to oldest has Alzheimer’s. All men. My sister in law has something that’s obvious but they haven’t elected to tell the rest of us what it is.

None of my siblings have had any of these diseases nor did either parent. Being around them for awhile I realized what a burden it will be for my siblings as their spouses deteriorate. It seems like these type diseases are more common nowadays, or maybe it’s just that we are living longer. It scares me to think it could happen to me. One question I have; does the afflicted person realize they are deteriorating? It’s not something I would ask any of my in-laws but for anyone caring for a loved one with dementia know?

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I perused the forum lists and was somewhat surprised there is not a forum about dementia specifically. (Original Post) captain queeg Jun 12 OP
I am waiting for someone to answer you. murielm99 Jun 12 #1
Condolences on your sister. In 2018-2019, we dealt with my mother-in-law's... Mark.b2 Jun 12 #2
That struggling to find a word is something my sister in law is experiencing captain queeg Jun 12 #4
She would get very frustrated with herself when she couldn't... Mark.b2 Jun 12 #6
Yes, some of them do. I had several clients and friends over the years niyad Jun 12 #3
It depends upon the person. no_hypocrisy Jun 12 #5

murielm99

(30,987 posts)
1. I am waiting for someone to answer you.
Wed Jun 12, 2024, 01:42 AM
Jun 12

Both my parents had dementia. It is scary. I don't know of anyone else in my family with that diagnosis. I would like to know this, too.

Mark.b2

(324 posts)
2. Condolences on your sister. In 2018-2019, we dealt with my mother-in-law's...
Wed Jun 12, 2024, 01:47 AM
Jun 12

dementia. In her case, yes, she became aware in her mid-70’s (around 2012) that something was wrong. Those of us around her frequently did as well. Her most apparent sympton to us was she would frequently have trouble finding a word she needed to use. Then, she would have brief lapses in her recent memory. She was very aware she ws having issues.

She ended up under the care of a neurologist. An MRI found quite a bit of plaque in her brain.

In 2018, she fell down their front porch stairs and broke her clavicle and wrist. She required surgery, and over the course of about a week after, we lost her mentally. I dont know if the trauma of the fall triggered something, but she went downhill very quickly over a matter of just a few days. She went from the hospital to a nursing home and lasted about eight months.

The last months were awful. She would have ocassional bouts of lucidity and talk some. Eventually, they had to put in a feeding tube and in the last couple of months she just laid there in a fetal position. She might open her eyes and follow you around the room, but never spoke. Then, she would just stare if she opened her eyes.

My hope has always been that well before she passed that she became totally unaware she even existed.



captain queeg

(11,084 posts)
4. That struggling to find a word is something my sister in law is experiencing
Wed Jun 12, 2024, 03:38 AM
Jun 12

Not sure about memory lapses. I haven’t observed that yet. She’s definitely got some physical issues. Don’t know if the two are related.

Mark.b2

(324 posts)
6. She would get very frustrated with herself when she couldn't...
Wed Jun 12, 2024, 01:50 PM
Jun 12

“Find” the word. She could describe the word. She’d say something like “the thing on the wall that shows the weeks and dates” when she meant “calendar”.

The memory lapses would usually come up when we’d refer to something we had all recently done, like gone to a restaurant, and she’d argue with us when we said we’d been just a few days ago. Or she would say she hadn’t talked to so-and-so in a long time when we knew she had talked to them yesterday. It reminded me of my younger days when I would blackout after one too many vodkas.

niyad

(116,126 posts)
3. Yes, some of them do. I had several clients and friends over the years
Wed Jun 12, 2024, 01:53 AM
Jun 12

who were very aware, at least in the early to mid stages. That is one of the hard parts of caring for and about them. They know that they are slipping, and some are frightened or confused. And there really is not anything one can say to reassure or help them.

no_hypocrisy

(47,134 posts)
5. It depends upon the person.
Wed Jun 12, 2024, 05:27 AM
Jun 12

My father slid into age-related dementia. At age 92, he was still driving (and getting into numerous fender-benders). He exercised poor judgment. He decided not to pay his bills, despite prompting. (He said he'd let his estate pay the bills.) He'd watch FOX News when he wasn't asleep and then parrot whatever he heard, like a tape loop. It was hard to be patient with him. I moved back with him to keep an eye on him.

My BFF from college (age 67) started to decline about two years ago. I noticed unusual remarks and habits. I consulted with her sisters and they confirmed they saw it too. Her predominant feature is her loss of memory. Some things she can remember; other things, not so much. She can no longer live independently and her sisters have moved her into their family home with an aide. And yes, she is aware that her memory is a problem. She now sits in front of the television, watching sports, but not taking it in. Like a nursing home patient. She seem unperturbed by her situation generally. She has been caught trying to walk one mile away to her childhood home, thinking her family still lives there.

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