Could It Be Dementia?

I know, it’s been more than a couple of weeks since my last post. I’ve got no other excuse except that life is really getting in the way of blogging. Or maybe I just have a little too much on my plate at the moment. We’ve all been through this “full plate” part of our journey so I know (and hope) you understand 😉

Dementia. My grandmother had it. My mother-in-law has it. Now I suspect my mother is starting to have it, too. No, we haven’t taken her to see a  specialist yet. I think it may be too early to get a “correct” diagnosis. But then again, I’m not a doctor. So, how would I know, right?

This post is more of me thinking out loud rather than anything else. Please excuse my rambling…

I did a little research a few years ago when my mother-in-law’s case caught attention in my Beloved’s side of the family. Everyone assumed that being forgetful, having some paranoia and emotional upsets were all a “normal” part of aging. As I read more about the topic, I learned that these behaviors were not the usual way to spend your golden years. And that they were signs that something was amiss.

I wasn’t there when my grandma and mom-in-law first started showing those signs. Other people saw it. I didn’t even know about my grandma’s case until a few years ago. I learned about it from my parents when I first shared about my mom-in-law’s dementia. 

The tough part for my Beloved’s family was that nobody knew how far along the dementia was until my father-in-law passed away. He had taken care of her the best he can. My Beloved and I were unaware that it was really “bad”. I think her husband’s passing made it worse for my mother-in-law. She is a quiet little lady who keeps to herself, minds her own business and likes to chat with her one best friend who lives a couple of houses down the street from her. When my father-in-law died it was like her whole world had crashed. She was looking forward to their 50th wedding anniversary when he passed away just a few days before the special date. 

With my father-in-law gone, her needs came to light. When her condition was finally diagnosed by a specialist she was too far down the “dementia” journey that any medication to stop it or slow it down was deemed useless and a cause of unnecessary pain for her. After trying out different kinds of living arrangements we all learned that the best thing for my mother-in-law was to live in the comfort of her own home instead of living with her children or in a special home.

A similar process of trying out living arrangements happened to my grandparents, too. They were living overseas with relatives at the time it was detected and diagnosed, I think, and they eventually came back to the Philippines to live till they both passed away.

So, could it be dementia?

Yes, I think it is. Mama lives with my sister and her family. They see it creeping in slowly. The question now is what are we going to do about it? 

I’m an action person. I’m usually the one who thinks of a plan to solve a problem, finds the resources needed and then carry out the plan. Right now, I don’t know what to do. Or, I know a couple of things I can do but I’m too scared to do them. And yes, honestly, my own life is getting in the way of getting them done.

All I can do right now is to pray for wisdom, strength and courage. I feel like it that’s all I really can do for the moment.

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3 thoughts on “Could It Be Dementia?”

  1. It’s a damn difficult task as you have landed in – what to do and when – then when you decide to get involved directly with action seriously then you should also be careful not to stress the person too much for that wouldn’t benefit anyone – contrary in fact – so my experience is gently getting spotted up on the person oneself suspect it – if yes then it’s easier to guide than if the answer is no – you have to be more careful – but something must be done…

    My old father feared that it was coming at him he over-dramatized it so we had to de-stress him and discover that it was very mild for him – but there are a lot of ways it comes creeping on..

    Best wishes … 😉

    1. Yeah, you’re right. I also felt I was getting more stressed out than she was. Certainly my sister was because mama lives with her and her family. At the moment I’m praying about how to deal with it. We’ve told the other members of the family just so they’re aware and also later on so we can decide collectively what will be in my mother’s best interest.

      Thanks so much for the advice! I appreciate it. 🙂

  2. Your Mum and family will be in my thoughts and prayers, Mary. Can I suggest you get her to see a specialist soon. Also make sure she is involved in simple household chores that can be supervised. Too much TV watching is not good – her mind has to be kept engaged as much as possible.

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