Why Dementialand Needs an Orientation

When Dementia Knocks

There’s a lot people don’t tell you about dementia.

The doctor says your loved one has dementia. Maybe it’s Alzheimer’s. Maybe it’s Vascular Dementia, Lewy-Body, or Frontotemporal Dementia.

The doctor only has a limited amount of time because that’s how our medical system works. You go home. No one teaches you how to live with dementia. No one tells you what challenges might lie ahead. You think it’s about forgetfulness, but you will learn that it’s much more than that. It’s about brain failure, and your brain is the control center for your body. Dementia can cause a person to be unable to swallow and control motion. If it progresses far enough, a person isn’t able to eat, talk, or walk. Maybe no one told you that.

No one tells you what to do when your loved one forgets they can’t drive anymore or when they insist that they have to go…

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2 thoughts on “Why Dementialand Needs an Orientation

  1. She is the daughter in law of a friend of mine. I found her blog sort of by accident. She’s on WordPress. Phil’s mother and Genas mother are both in nursing homes because family couldn’t safely take care of them anymore. It’s a bad disease!


  2. Do you know they can’t even tell you with any certainty which kind of dementia someone has? Even with a brain scan, they cannot confirm Alzheimer’s. They can only guess based on the symptoms. What I also find is that dementia events tend to be different and it depends on the personality base of the victim. Grandma was much nicer than Dad is…of course, I was not around Grandma as much. When I worked in the nursing home when I was in high school, there were all different shades of behavior from dementia patients. Some were truly bizarre. I remember Grace Miller walking down the hall of the facility stark naked, with a disconnected catheter hanging out her. Three old men were sitting in Adirondack chairs by the pay phone as she walked toward them. She had a big grin on her face as she clutched her dolly and said over and over again, “yes honey”. The three old men were whistling at her and one of them told her she needed to iron her dress. It was kind of funny. There was another old geezer that was of Swedish descent and he would get mad and have temper tantrums around sundown. I have since learned that this is called “sundowning”. What I’m trying to say is that I think it’s a different experience for everyone from the caregiver to the victim.

    The other thing I have read is that most dementia patients do not die directly from the disease. Most of the time they die of some other ailment or a fall from the “wandering behavior” that goes with advanced dementia. Those that do die of it gradually forget how to do anything including breathing. It’s a sad way to go, but I do not believe the victim is aware at that point. There is no mind left to suffer either the pain or indignity. I will check out the post. in a few here. Thanks for the lead.


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