Hello and thank you for being a DL contributor. We are changing the login scheme for contributors for simpler login and to better support using multiple devices. Please click here to update your account with a username and password.

Hello. Some features on this site require registration. Please click here to register for free.

Hello and thank you for registering. Please complete the process by verifying your email address. If you can't find the email you can resend it here.

Hello. Some features on this site require a subscription. Please click here to get full access and no ads for $1.99 or less per month.

Was dementia always this bad

Last night on BBC News I heard that dementia was the leading cause of death in the UK! I couldn't believe it. Was Alzheimer's and Dementia always this prevalent in society? I know years ago people just labelled old people as 'senile' if they exhibited what would be known today as dementia but it just seems to be on the rise everywhere. To be the leading cause of death in a G7 country? What is it? The Western Diet? Any eldergays remember from the youth how old people with memory problems were treated?

Offsite Link
by Anonymousreply 117February 3, 2023 1:23 AM

Jewish Space Lasers, duh.

by Anonymousreply 1January 26, 2023 1:38 PM

People are living longer than ever so its inevitable that dementia is more noticeable today. People are living longer than ever so its inevitable that dementia is more noticeable today. People are living longer than ever so its inevitable that dementia is more noticeable today. People are living longer than ever so its inevitable that dementia is more noticeable today.

by Anonymousreply 2January 26, 2023 1:40 PM

What is dementia? One of those new fangled puddings like the one that makes you poop right?

by Anonymousreply 3January 26, 2023 1:44 PM

That's extreme short-term memory loss. ^ ^ 😔

by Anonymousreply 4January 26, 2023 1:44 PM

I forget.

by Anonymousreply 5January 26, 2023 1:46 PM

They got old timers disease.

by Anonymousreply 6January 26, 2023 1:49 PM

As someone who has struggled with depression since high school, and who is watching my mother die of Alzheimer's, this link very much alarms me:

Offsite Link
by Anonymousreply 7January 26, 2023 1:50 PM

I take care of my mom who is 86 by myself - her mind a month os gone. It is heartbreaking - she is vulnerable like a child. It came on very slowly and then moved rapidly. I don’t have any family and her friends have disappeared. I can’t help but panic a little about years down the line - who will know something is wrong with me? This is the sort of thing you only put up with someone you love.

by Anonymousreply 8January 26, 2023 1:51 PM

Autocorrect - that is a mess - sorry^

by Anonymousreply 9January 26, 2023 1:52 PM

my Dad had dementia and having a conversation with him was like living in Groundhog Day. Its a sad and scary sisease and its very hard on family members.

by Anonymousreply 10January 26, 2023 1:54 PM

Of course the brain deteriorates just like our other bits and pieces.

Alzheimer's used to be called senility. The batty uncle, the grandma away with the fairies. And people regarded senility as a consequence of getting old. It wasn't a thing, it was just managed ... somehow. What are you gonna do?

by Anonymousreply 11January 26, 2023 1:54 PM

You have to keep your mind sharp. My mother and grandmother had dementia, but both were people not interested in ever learning or broadening the mind. Other elderly relatives of the same family, who kept their minds sharp, didn't get it. Just an observation.

by Anonymousreply 12January 26, 2023 1:54 PM

R2: Is it because perhaps, people are living longer than ever so it’s inevitable that dementia is more noticeable today?

In all seriousness, I think some of it is that we’re much less tolerant today of older people being senile, frankly. That sounds weird, but we really do have the expectation that older people should be completely independent and of sound mind, or else they’re getting put on a bunch of drugs and sent to a home.

Old people used to live with one of their adult kids, or get passed around to several adult kids. And grandma would sit around babbling all day pissing herself, and a daughter or daughter-in-law would just deal with it. Then grandma would do something like slip on stairs, break a hip, and die within a few days, and that was the end of it. Simplified story, but true at least for a lot of families.

by Anonymousreply 13January 26, 2023 1:57 PM

r12 from what I understand, college professors have very low rates of dementia, relative to the general population

by Anonymousreply 14January 26, 2023 1:57 PM

No OP, it used to be fun

by Anonymousreply 15January 26, 2023 1:58 PM

[quote] People are living longer than ever so its inevitable that dementia is more noticeable today.

And since people are living longer, it also makes them repeat their grammar errors FOUR fucking times!

by Anonymousreply 16January 26, 2023 1:59 PM

As noted, the issue is increased life expectancy, compounded by life and health choices, genetics and complications of psychiatric issues (as in depression).

Immanuel Kant had dementia. It always comes down to the individual, but keeping the mind and body engaged can help.

by Anonymousreply 17January 26, 2023 2:01 PM

We can't remember OP.

by Anonymousreply 18January 26, 2023 2:07 PM

[quote]Was Alzheimer's and Dementia always this prevalent in society?

Yes. You just forgot.

by Anonymousreply 19January 26, 2023 2:08 PM

What did you say R19?

by Anonymousreply 20January 26, 2023 2:10 PM

Oh, shit. Did I also post R18?

by Anonymousreply 21January 26, 2023 2:11 PM

THE dementia…

by Anonymousreply 22January 26, 2023 2:11 PM


by Anonymousreply 23January 26, 2023 2:12 PM

My dad had it. His form of dementia was caused by drinking. He was a heavy drinker but even moderate drinking is associated with dementia. I believe that it why it is so prevalent in the UK. My dad was British and heavy drinking/pub life is deeply embedded in the culture.

by Anonymousreply 24January 26, 2023 2:16 PM

They used to say someone was going into their"second childhood" or s/he had "hardening of the arteries."

It was not just as prevalent; there were fewer elderly then than now.

by Anonymousreply 25January 26, 2023 2:17 PM

Vouch r8. My mom is in a nursing facility with dementia right now. It’s painful to watch. Especially when my asshole brother is out of the picture. Watching my mother slowly deteriorate hurts. And she realizes that she has no memory anymore and she gets upset about it, which is even more painful for both of us.

by Anonymousreply 26January 26, 2023 2:20 PM


Offsite Link
by Anonymousreply 27January 26, 2023 2:22 PM

It really does come down to your individual genetics, but from observing my grandparents, and now my parents (late 80s) keeping your mind engaged does seem to help to a degree.

by Anonymousreply 28January 26, 2023 2:23 PM

Straight me are so stupid.

by Anonymousreply 29January 26, 2023 2:24 PM

“It’s better than dying from the AIDS!”

by Anonymousreply 30January 26, 2023 2:26 PM

[quote]And people regarded senility as a consequence of getting old. It wasn't a thing, it was just managed ... somehow.

That "somehow" included nursing homes like the one my grandmother was in, where they broke her nose and stole her wedding rings.

by Anonymousreply 31January 26, 2023 2:28 PM

AS been said repeatedly, years ago it was called 'senility', 'a senior moment', 'forgetfulness' and younger generation found it amusing.

I think more studies into this came around in the mid 80s, when President Reagan was diagnosed with it while starting his second term. Nancy Reagan hid it best she could (keeping him away from the press conferences, where he routinely forgot what he was there for, and forgot what he was saying). He brought the illness to the forefront, especially when he left office - and Nancy took care of him during his worst last years. She put a spotlight on what it was to be a 'caregiver' for someone suffering through this in the 90s and early 00s.

by Anonymousreply 32January 26, 2023 2:35 PM

The Old Timers disease

by Anonymousreply 33January 26, 2023 2:35 PM

Or alternately, the people so dumb and retarded they couldn't spell "dementia" correctly.....

Offsite Link
by Anonymousreply 34January 26, 2023 2:36 PM

My dear aunt and uncle both went completely senile, beyond bonkers, within 3 months of each other - ages 70 and 77. Their kids, who all lived out of state, had to put them in a home. It was a nightmare. The kids felt guilty being out of state so it took a while to get the care situation sorted out. This ultimately led to putting their folks in the absolute most expensive care facility available, very near a daughter who lives in an already very expensive area. That decision eventually meant the kids entire large inheritance was completely used up by the insanely ($15-$20k a month I think) expensive but incredibly good memory care facility. Which of course led to my aunt and uncle both living another 8 years, completely out of it, but in a spa-like atmosphere. And my cousins ended up with zero inheritance and had to sell the family home they’d planned to keep as a retreat for all of us. And guess what? They all said it was worth it because they can sleep at night knowing their mom and dad were as spoiled in their final years as the kids were in their early years.

And this is why I love my cousins so fucking much.

by Anonymousreply 35January 26, 2023 2:47 PM

R35 My sister is caring for my dad, who is in his late 80s.

Not sure if he has classic dementia but he had seizures that fried several centers of his brain, so he's about 50-60 percent there most of the time.

He's an old goat that will probably outlive us all. She has him in her house now and it's driving her crazy. I can't help much or I would.

by Anonymousreply 36January 26, 2023 2:57 PM

A very good example of 'dementia' was Aunt Clara on 'Bewtiched'. She bumbled around, forgot spells, forgot what she was going to say, made plenty of mistakes - they laughed and called her 'charming'. She called herself 'senile' (a few times) and 'rusty'. That was the 1960s, and the writers used this as 'amusement' for viewers. (Back then we also laughed at Larry getting drunk at Darrin's house, and then driving himself home).

Today, they wouldn't be laughing at her because it wouldn't be amusing - they'd ask Dr. Bombay to test her for dementia.

by Anonymousreply 37January 26, 2023 3:02 PM

Yes, people are living longer and I think for years the medical focus has been on extending the life of the body to the detriment of the health of the mind. Dementia/Alzheimer's/Lewis Bodies are all frightening and seemingly inescapable for so many people.

by Anonymousreply 38January 26, 2023 3:30 PM

Mom’s dementia was exacerbated by her drinking. Which in turn masked the effects of her dementia. Alcohol is poison. Glad to have quit drinking. I hope I don’t get dementia as bad as Mom’s.

by Anonymousreply 39January 26, 2023 3:30 PM

R36: I’m sorry to hear about your dad, and your sister. It’s tough not being able to help out, and it’s even tougher caring for someone you love and watching them fade away. We’re all trying to manage our own hectic, chaotic lives as it is, so trying to provide care for someone else in the process just makes things so much more difficult. But worth it, I think.

I know you didn’t ask for advice, but it’s DL, so I’ll offer some anyway: Visit whenever you possibly can (whether you live nearby or not) to give your sister a break by helping out with basic stuff to the best of your ability. Even if it’s just running errands for her or grocery shopping. And in the meantime, do what you can and probably already are doing to provide as much support and encouragement as your sister will tolerate by phone, text, etc. Let her vent, basically.

by Anonymousreply 40January 26, 2023 3:46 PM

R14 Because they also commit suicide more frequently than the general population, and so don't live that long. Ha ha ha. Hmmm.

What does DL think of "compassionate suicide"? I have seen relatives get old, then older, then really old. I took care of both my mother, and then my father, in the last year(s) of their lives. I saw my partner's mother live many years with Alzheimer's, and saw how painful that was for everyone. I cannot fathom what it must be like to lose your faculties, slowly, not remember family. Then lose control over your urination and excretion. Dependent on others, weigh them down, give them close up and personal experience of a body and mind checking out.

I also, being sorta Buddhist, read about how getting old, losing functions, is a real opportunity to "work on the Emptiness of Awareness", getting ready for that critical moment of death.

So I am confused, and have mixed thoughts: yes, old age, if approached correctly, is a real opportunity for spiritual practice. But if your mind can't find your Mind, is such practice still valuable?

I think suicide my be the caring thing you can do for others, whose lives with be so negatively impacted by your loss, your losing control of your body, your mind leaving before your body. But how, when, will it be artificially disrupting some important natural process.... ?? How do we walk out the door in the "best" way?

by Anonymousreply 41January 26, 2023 3:59 PM

This is the reason I blow off my mother's worries about sleep apnea (which I don't believe I have, I'm just a loud snorer but I sleep deeply and restfully... unlike anyone else in the near vicinity). Dying suddenly in one's sleep is like winning the lottery of possible deaths—who wants to live to 100 when the last 10 or 15 years will be as a frail shadow of oneself with limited mobility and constant confusion?

by Anonymousreply 42January 26, 2023 4:03 PM

I've been watching my mother die from Alzheimer's for many years.( She was diagnosed in her early 60s.) Every so often -- like last night, in fact -- I have a dream that she's back to her old self, and we're having a normal conversation; and when I wake up, I am reminded of how much I miss her.

by Anonymousreply 43January 26, 2023 4:14 PM

The good thing about dementia is you get to meet new people every day.

by Anonymousreply 44January 26, 2023 4:22 PM

With dementia it’s like all those many years of my whoring around never happened.

by Anonymousreply 45January 26, 2023 4:25 PM

I've wondered the same thing, OP. Alzheimer's didn't really enter our popular lexicon until Rita Hayworth.

by Anonymousreply 46January 26, 2023 4:28 PM

My friend's mom had dementia. Died in her 90s. My mom died a couple of months shy of 90 - no signs of dementia, very sharp.

The friend can't get over this, for some reason. He's always implying that since my mom only went to high school, she should have been the one whose brain deteriorated more than his mom's - since his mom had a Master's and taught college. As in, "I don't understand how your mom was fine, while mine, who was a brilliant woman with a great mind, got dementia."

Trying to ease him out of my life, now.

by Anonymousreply 47January 26, 2023 4:40 PM

You're too patient and forgiving R47. The first time someone implied a deceased parent of mine should have suffered horribly in place of theirs, I'd have called them out on it very loudly. And if I didn't get an immediate apology that seemed sincere, they'd have been the recipient of a cold shoulder that would freeze helium.

by Anonymousreply 48January 26, 2023 4:49 PM

I'm not bad. I'm demented.

Offsite Link
by Anonymousreply 49January 26, 2023 4:55 PM

R48 You're not wrong. I don't think he's implying my mother should have suffered instead of his (but maybe he is). I think it's more of a manifestation of his snobbery. As in, people who have superior minds (which he thinks his mom did - though vis a vis my mom, it was far from obvious) shouldn't have diseases like dementia because they're just so smart. It's not very bright of him.

by Anonymousreply 50January 26, 2023 5:02 PM

R50 I’m not sure if it’s a world-wide bias but certainly in the US there is a belief that you earn all of your health problems as a result of personal shortcomings. It’s quite gross IMO,

by Anonymousreply 51January 26, 2023 5:06 PM

r47, your former friend doesn't seem too bright. Dementia is caused by plaque proteins built up in the brain. Some doctors think it may be an autoimmune response. In many cases it's basically just an aging, damaged circulatory system that is causing the brain to deteriorate.

My boyfriend's 95 year old mother is getting worse. Her long term memory from 50+ years ago is fine but she can't remember if she ate lunch or if she had a doctor's appointment the same day. As someone said above, every conversation with her is like Groundhog Day. We went over to visit last weekend with my sister, who she has met at least 20 times including joining us for a few days on a family vacation. At the end of the visit when we were leaving she said to my boyfriend, "She's a nice lady, did you just meet her?" I'm wondering if she forgot her son is gay and maybe finally met the right gal. We got a laugh out of it but it's really very sad.

by Anonymousreply 52January 26, 2023 5:06 PM

R52 I know, it's weird. He went to two Ivies including Harvard, and he's actually that dumb. My mom was a very talented person, by the way, and intelligent, but that would have nothing to do with why she did or did not have dementia. My mom's sister did have dementia, though she did remember her, and me, usually (sometimes, not) and my mom often kept the conversations on stuff from when they were younger, it really did help and they had a great time talking, that way.

by Anonymousreply 53January 26, 2023 5:13 PM

I’m guessing conspiracy theory culture has already pinned the dementia rate to vaccines/chemtrails/aliens/the trans community, but current scientific consensus is that yes, like the rest of your body, your brain may eventually stop working properly as you age. But there are things you can do to keep your brain heathy and it’s basically the same things you need to do to keep the rest of you healthy.

Offsite Link
by Anonymousreply 54January 26, 2023 5:25 PM

At least half of those over 80 have some dementia or alzheimers

by Anonymousreply 55January 26, 2023 5:31 PM

So, roughly, half of DLers, r55

by Anonymousreply 56January 26, 2023 5:36 PM

I think the 'keep your mind sharp' is exaggerated as a preventative for dementia and alzheimers. It's something we all think we should do anyway yet vague enough so we all convince ourselves we're doing it. Like a poster said, having a medical condition has become the patient's fault.

I'm reading a memoir now by a brain surgeon who at 70 years old got his first look at his own MRI. He exercised, stayed active, had rewarding friendships, 'did everything right' but his brain looked like shit. It was shrunken and withered with ominous white areas that are related to ischemic strokes. It looked like what it was, an old brain.

by Anonymousreply 57January 26, 2023 5:55 PM

Someone just told me about that book the other day, R57! They couldn't remember his name or the title, though. (Uh-oh!)

by Anonymousreply 58January 26, 2023 6:12 PM

Regarding finances and dementia and inheritance, mentioned above. I am now living through this. It wasn't going to be upper middle class or rich people windfall, but there would have been at least a million split 3 ways. It's now gone. At least we managed to limit it to a zero sum game and not debt. I don't hold it against my mother because personally. It's the USA's insane Dillinger capitalism and lack of cradle to grave minimum social security. All the money of the middle classes, not to mention the working classes, must be liquidated and added to the wealth of the rich.

by Anonymousreply 59January 26, 2023 6:21 PM

I work with a 62 year old woman who is increasingly showing signs of cognitive impairment. She is very senior in my company and I wonder if anyone else is picking up on it or I am extra attuned because of experience family members go through it. Anyway, it’s not my place to ask her about it, I don’t know if she’s been diagnosed or if family and friends are aware of it.

by Anonymousreply 60January 26, 2023 6:25 PM

I definitely think something in our lifestyles, whether its diet/exercise, screens, medications, environment, is causing it to get so much worse. My mom has it and she's in her 90s and everyone has written treatment off, it seems. She often talks about people who are gone, not there or sees things. She can believe TV or movies plots are really happening. She talks about relatives long deceased. I feel sad but then she doesn't remember how bad it is or what she's not remembering from day to day so I guess that part is a blessing.

Very hard to watch. There is definitely a physical decline that goes along with this, the shrinkage of body, her teeth seemed enlarged because her head and skin seem sunken back. Her gait and balance are off, too.

by Anonymousreply 61January 26, 2023 6:28 PM

R60 Interesting. Let's say there is a 22 year old, new hire, in the company who demonstrates poor judgement, mis-perception of mission goals and strategies, seems to have a problem with consistency... all signs of immaturity. I guess that's very hard to watch, or...?

The brain continues to "change" throughout life. What you call "cognitive decline" might be appropriate for her age. I remember as I passed 60 I noticed that I had a hard time remembering some things....but other things I had a better grasp on than others in the institution... a historical perspective that was, usually, useful.

by Anonymousreply 62January 26, 2023 6:32 PM

R62, I see your point but this isn’t the case. This is multiple repeated conversations where she acts as though it’s the first time we’ve discussed it. Ok, I can chalk that up to being distracted or uninterested but it was actually a pretty significant topic of discussion. Work related stuff like missing filing deadlines, sending emails to the wrong person. But the clincher for me was flipping out and filing a police report to report her car stolen, forgetting her husband dropped her off at work and was going to pick her up to go to dinner after work.

by Anonymousreply 63January 26, 2023 6:42 PM

R36 The comments from R40 to you are so kind ... so much kinder than I'd have written. I hope for your sister's sake that you listen and follow suit with the suggestions made.

You state, "I can't help much, or I would". What if she wasn't able to help much either? Why are your time and energy worth more than hers? I don't have the pertinent info here so I hope you'll pardon my ignorance. I guess I'm trying to understand why she ended up stuck caring for the "old goat". I hope you realize how lucky you are.

by Anonymousreply 64January 26, 2023 6:45 PM

[quote]At least half of those over 80 have some dementia or alzheimers

That is such a bunch of bologna. Just the other day I went to the store and saw it. It wasn’t on sale though, but the box boy helped me. He was such a nice man. You know, he sold the drug store! There were never enough puzzles there for me though.

by Anonymousreply 65January 26, 2023 6:46 PM

R58 "And Finally: Matters of Life and Death" by Henry Marsh.

by Anonymousreply 66January 26, 2023 7:02 PM

Cancer is better for all concerned than Alzheimer’s.

by Anonymousreply 67January 26, 2023 7:04 PM

R36 here. For those who decided they knew all the intricate details of my situation and decided to shit all over me, how very vivid and special for you. How very unhelpful to me.

I would love to help. I cannot currently help because

(a) I live three time zones away

(b) I'm in recovery from my own serious illness

(c) Even if I could travel at this time, I do not have a car - as a big city person, I've never had a license, and my sister lives in the same suburban area we grew up in.

Since you tried to be minimally polite I'll try to show restraint and not read you for filth. Assuming I actually fucking survive the next few months - which forgive me, are at the very fucking forefront of my mind, how very fucking selfish of me - I intend to go back to help when I can. And I am always there for her to vent.

by Anonymousreply 68January 26, 2023 8:17 PM

R36 hang in there. Wishing you the best outcome for your recovery and sending well wishes for your father. Sorry to hear you've been so sick.

by Anonymousreply 69January 26, 2023 8:22 PM

Thoughtful comment, R41. I'm all for compassionate suicide. People should be able to check out peacefully and with dignity if they want/need to.

Not sure of the legal/ethical ramifications for people non compos mentis, but I really hope someone would pull the plug on me if I lost control of my mind and body.

by Anonymousreply 70January 26, 2023 8:48 PM

R69 Thank you for your mercifully kind comment.

by Anonymousreply 71January 26, 2023 8:51 PM

I have heard it said that some doctors call Alzheimer’s “Type 3 diabetes”. Just as a rise in Type 2 diabetes (and diagnosed at younger ages) has followed the obesity epidemic, so we should expect a subsequent explosion in Alzheimer’s in the coming decades.

by Anonymousreply 72January 26, 2023 9:29 PM

I only have part-timers.

by Anonymousreply 73January 26, 2023 9:31 PM

I posted above about my dad with alcoholic dementia. He moved in with me after his diagnosis- he’d been sober for years and we absolutely adored each other. He was my best friend and watching him fade away was brutal. We talked about the necessity of him moving into an assisted care facility. Rather than do so and tired of watching his only child suffer - he took his life.

It was an act of love - truly. I miss him every day.

by Anonymousreply 74January 26, 2023 9:33 PM

R36, I am sorry you are going through this. If you can’t be there physically, there is a lot you can do from a distance to help support your sister from having to shoulder the burden especially if she doesn’t have any home aid. You might be able to research resources for her such as adult day care, transportation, Council on Aging or similar organizations for resources. Medicare may pay for some respite aid for your sister. Being a physical caregiver for a family member is soul crushing and so is being at a distance and not being able to be there. I’ve been on both sides.

by Anonymousreply 75January 26, 2023 9:38 PM

I'm doing what I can, R75.

My sister would not accept any help from anyone. Nor would my father. They are two peas in a pod. My father was cleaning the gutters at his house until a few years ago.

I have tried to get Meals on Wheels and aging resources information for her and she won't hear of it. Not to mention our hometown is in an area where elderly people are like 40 percent of the population and years long wait lists are common. But she has to do her thing her way. It's been that way since we were kids. This is why I live three time zones away, folks, otherwise I'd hear "No, no, we shouldn't do it this way, we should do it MY way" on everything.

I know about all the resources available. Some people don't want to take advantage of them. If you have any ideas about how to make a 65 year old Trumper and an almost 90 year old man with dementia do shit that you want them to, then by all means share that miracle with me.

by Anonymousreply 76January 26, 2023 9:59 PM

Forgive me for making assumptions r36/r76.

When I was going through this it was brand new territory that was overwhelming. I would have been grateful to anyone who could have helped guide me through the process and point me toward helpful resources.

by Anonymousreply 77January 26, 2023 10:06 PM

An old guy goes to the doctor. The doctor tells him 'You have cancer and Alzheimers.' 'Thank God I dont have cancer'!!

by Anonymousreply 78January 26, 2023 10:29 PM

My mother is in a care facility, she likely had a seizure that fried synapses in her brain at a much younger age in her 30’s. I believe my father may have grabbed her by the throat and she suffered oxygen deprivation. People that knew her say the difference in her personality before and after was like someone blew a candle out. Doctors said she could’ve gotten treatment decades ago that would’ve helped. She ruined her finances and almost went bankrupt.

She went completely downhill in her early 70’s, and it was very difficult to keep her in her apartment. Near the end, I worried every single day about her, the care, or rather her lack of care, and the simplest errands became completely overwhelming from afar (I lived 4 hours away). I once had to call her 37 times to make sure she got into a cab to get to her doctors a few blocks away. Though I tried and was mildly successful for years, she couldn’t live on her own, it’s a really difficult thing to realize and she didn’t take it well at all.

I once came across her couch strewn with food wrappers, crumbs and food sitting out all day from Meals on Wheels and she would soil herself and not care, and be stubborn about cleaning and changing herself. That was the tipping point. Being in a care facility is the best thing that ever happened to her but I really hope it never happens to me! It’s AWFUL.

She has always been paranoid, combative, forgetful and plain weird. All of this magnified with onset dementia. The Lorraine character on Mad TV is exactly like her, it’s not even funny how eerily similar they are!

Offsite Link
by Anonymousreply 79January 26, 2023 10:31 PM

Sending love to everyone on this thread posting about their parents with dementia. So sad to read these posts. Hugs to you all.

by Anonymousreply 80January 26, 2023 10:47 PM

They smoke and drink in the UK. The NHS is also dreadful.

by Anonymousreply 81January 26, 2023 10:54 PM


Offsite Link
by Anonymousreply 82January 26, 2023 11:36 PM

My husband at 84 has entered early stage dementia in the last year or so. He is physically well, still can meet a trainer at the gym twice a week, and much of his longterm memory remains very good (especially given “normal “ aging) but short term memory is shot. I say “dementia” rather than Alzheimer’s, because it’s not clear which kind of dementia he is developing (could be Parkinson’s as his tremor, always there in mild form, has increased and also now present in non dominant hand). There are still no good meds; all we can do is face each day—and I am working to develop patience, never my strongest suit. The man I love is still there, but harder to find. His daughter, who has been a rock, but lives far away and has her own life—she comes for a week every few minutes. One of his siblings lives in town, but is incompetent and, early tried to get him to sign over 2/3 of his estate to her and their brother. Our lawyer and his money manager put a stop to that. People show you who they really are in this kind of situation (I have Power of Attorney—she’ll get what he designated before he began to show diminished competence, but not a penny more). We’ve been together 27 years and legally married 7. I’m 65 and we’ll aware that if I make it to his age, it will be without the support I can provide. Not whining or being self-pitying—simply the truth. He’s still the live of my life, but I’d be lying if I said it wasn’t hard and exhausting and that I don’t lose it from to time. I’m looking into getting some respite care from time to time. We are fortunate that, while not rich, money does not have to be an issue. This is the most difficult challenge of my life.

by Anonymousreply 83January 26, 2023 11:47 PM

My father in law is Nigerian but has lived in the US for over 45 years. But now he keeps thinking every day that his wife (who is Irish) is going to 'drive him to Nigeria after dinner'. So every day he packs a suitcase and every evening she unpacks it after telling him it's too late to go now we will go tomorrow. The fact that he thinks you can drive to Nigeria is unshakeable even after you show him a map. Generally you can make small talk with him but he will mostly veer off into discussions of his childhood or while watching TV start confusing things. He told us a story about how Will Smith was his friend growing up in the village he's from in Nigeria based on us watching the live action Aladdin movie on Christmas Day. His wife is in her early 60s and has retired to care for him at home. He's still lucid enough to wash and use the bathroom etc but that will go eventually. Heartbreaking really as he is a very nice man who worked very hard and now he just seems very confused all the time. We worry he will lose the ability to speak English at some point as it is his second language but so far he's been ok.

by Anonymousreply 84January 27, 2023 1:34 AM

Yes, it just wasn’t diagnosed properly or admitted to. I think Rita Hayworth and later, Ronald Reagan, helped put a spotlight on Alzheimer’s. Dorothy Gish stopped being cast in theatre in the 1960s because word got out she was forgetting her lines and it was blamed on alcohol…but she actually had dementia.

by Anonymousreply 85January 27, 2023 2:09 AM

In my grandmother's last years (she lived to 104), she stopped remembering who her grandchildren were - unless we visited with our parents, her children. I don't think she actually knew who her children's partners were, she was ecstatic to see her kids and if I went with my mother, she knew me most of the time. A couple of times she asked my mother who I was but on those occasions she tolerated me because I was with Mum. She was in a very nice aged care facility but definitely declined quickly once she left her own home. Often when I saw her I just gave her presents and sat and held her hand. She lost the art of conversation.

My work had me travelling all over the metro area and where I had frequently dropped into her house when in the area, it didn't work after she'd been at the care home a while. She didn't recognise me. I meant nothing to her unless Mum was there. Then it was more likely to make sense. When someone you love declines, doesn't recognise you...it's just terrible.

She wore nappies once she went into the home and told my mum she preferred it to going to the toilet all the time as she had a weak bladder. She didn't care that staff had to change her. They all seemed very nice. One of our relatives was disgusted that we let them put her in nappies but it was her preference.

I know the doctor at the care home put her on meds for dementia but at her advanced age the onset and worsening seemed inevitable. She wanted to live to a long age and she did. When my other grandma was hospitalised at 86 and told she wouldn't return to her own home, she had to go into aged care, she was dead within a week. She would never have wanted to be anywhere else but her own home.

by Anonymousreply 86January 27, 2023 8:51 AM

People who have lost their minds through senility cannot commit suicide and cannot have a spiritual practice about approaching death. DUH.

by Anonymousreply 87January 27, 2023 10:38 AM

We already told you once, OP.

by Anonymousreply 88January 27, 2023 11:48 AM

Seriously, there are two key contributors to the rise in the rate of dementia. One is that people are living longer. The other is that they have such effective preventive treatments for much heart disease and such good treatments for many heart diseases and some cancers, that the rates of those are actively declining. It's the neurological diseases medicine is not yet on top of, and that's why dementia is shooting up the ranks. (I believe vascular dementia is declining, though, because it can be prevented by many of the same treatments that prevent heart disease. Alzheimer's is a different animal.)

If it's any comfort, OP, I think the #1 cause of death in the UK a year or two ago was Covid. You see--the vaccines are good at preventing Covid from killing you, so it fell down the ranks. (If more people had the right number of boosters it would fall further, but there is no effective treatment yet for idiocy, as demonstrated by your recent PMs and Chancellors, and those who selected them.)

by Anonymousreply 89January 27, 2023 12:38 PM

1. As we have gotten better at treating and preventing early death from cancer and atherosclerotic diseases (heart disease, stroke, kidney disease), people are living much longer. They still have to die of something. The death rate remains 100%. All you can do is move people from category to category.

2. The human body was designed by evolution to last about 40 years. (Long enough to ensure that offspring can successfully reproduce so that the tribe can continue). Not for 80 or 90 years. We've had hundreds of thousands of years to remove diseases which strike before forty through natural selection. There has been no time (civilization being only about 6,000 years old) to select out diseases that occur later in life than this.

3. It appears that the price we pay for our fancy brains and intellect is physiologic instability in the organ over time. It holds up pretty well for quite some time but starts to deteriorate after about 70-75. At 80, dementia has about a 20% prevalence. At 85, 40%. At 90, 60%. At 95, 80%. At 100, it's pretty universal.

4. The current elder generation, the silent generation (older than the boom), are likely beneficiaries of what is known as the semi-starved rat hypothesis. If you take young rats and calorie restrict them (not to starvation, but just don't let them over eat), it extends their lifespans. This finding has been found in more and more species over time including primates. The youth of the silent generation was the sixteen year period of relative privation of the depression and WW II. The boom is not likely to live as long and as healthy as their parents as they were born into a society of plenty and could glut and fewer of them will live healthily into the dementia belt of the late 80s and 90s.

You can read my books and learn a whole lot more about this.

by Anonymousreply 90January 27, 2023 12:50 PM

[quote]We worry he will lose the ability to speak English at some point as it is his second language but so far he's been ok.

Complete layman here rather than an expert, but my understanding is that personal memories/cognition and acquired skills (including things like languages) are two entirely different processes in the brain and the former declining sharply doesn't necessarily involve a decline in the latter. He'll probably continue to be fluent in both languages, just increasingly nonsensical regardless of which he's speaking.

Then again, my maternal grandmother was largely nonverbal the last year of her life after suffering a series of strokes that rendered her invalid. So you never know. (She continued to recognize me right up to the end though, and seemed to spend her days in a contented fog, brightening and smiling whenever a relative came in to talk to her or something funny was on her TV.)

by Anonymousreply 91January 27, 2023 3:01 PM

I don't know if this prevents alzheimers but it's strangely calming when you feel stressed out.

Offsite Link
by Anonymousreply 92January 29, 2023 12:59 PM

R83 You could ask relatives on both sides and see if there's anyone younger who might be interested in part time caretaker work. The state will give you money for that depending on where you live. California does. Maybe you have a younger cousin or niece or nephew who's already interested in the nursing field or something like that anyway?

by Anonymousreply 93January 29, 2023 1:22 PM

82- Fuck you, I never cry, but after reading that kind note of thanks and admiration, this hardened queen with a coal heart began sobbing into his morning corn flakes.

by Anonymousreply 94January 29, 2023 2:41 PM

My poor boss was diagnosed with dementia a few years ago. He went from running a huge business with multiple stores to walking around in circles at the office repeating the same stories.

He’s not working any more and lives in seclusion in his home. Poor thing is always horrified when someone tells him who his wife is. “I married her???!!??”

by Anonymousreply 95January 29, 2023 2:54 PM

My dad started showing signs of senility in his 80s, but I just chalked it up to his age…until almost suddenly it was so bad that he was no longer safe living alone. I had to put him in a care home. I hated doing it..he was a very active and outdoorsy type, who also did crossword puzzles before bed every night of his lifeto keep his mind sharp. He still knew me at first, but the last couple of months, he barely spoke or moved, and other parts of his body started shutting down. God bless those hospice nurses. They knew how to ease him into death.

We loved each other, but our differences and the fact that I lived an hour away from him made us not super close. Other relatives “looked after him” which I appreciated, until he got so bad that they pretty much peaced out and left it to me to handle. I didn’t mind, it was my responsibility. Then I had a year of almost daily phone calls from some of them complaining about the care home. (It was actually a great place) I then learned how a couple of them had been bleeding him dry for years. I was lucky that his social security and pension covered the care facility, and also that there was a savings account no other relatives knew about. While wrapping up the estate after dad’s death, my attorney encouraged me to go after one relative in particular over some shady dealings with my dad. I just didn’t want to deal with any of them ever again.

It’s a period in my life that I look back on now and can’t believe I made it through. Dad died in 2019 at 89, and I’ve never laid eyes on any of those relatives since the funeral. Now that he is gone, there is no reason to have any of them in my life.

I know, get a blog…just wanted to share my experiences for those who may go through it.

by Anonymousreply 96January 29, 2023 2:56 PM

R82 please see R94

by Anonymousreply 97January 29, 2023 3:59 PM

My brother’s mother in law was recently in the hospital for confusion and lack of coordination. It turned out to be caused by the cumulative effect of various medications she was on and substantially improved when the dosages and medications were adjusted.

I think this could be contributing to an overdose of dementia as a disease. Just the general practice of prescribing more medications to treat side effects of medications and not considering medications themselves as a cause of illness. And also the logical error in medicine that if something hasn’t been specifically covered by a study, it can’t be treated as a real thing that exists. Lack of proof isn’t proof of non-existence. It ends up being a pro-drug bias since most studies are funded in order to sell medicines.

Offsite Link
by Anonymousreply 98January 29, 2023 4:16 PM

Also anti-depressants and other psychiatric medications may actually be causing brain damage and there is little evidence that they work.

Offsite Link
by Anonymousreply 99January 29, 2023 4:20 PM

If I get it, I eat a bullet

by Anonymousreply 100January 29, 2023 4:23 PM

The problem with that, r100, is you may not even know you’ve got it.

by Anonymousreply 101January 29, 2023 4:39 PM

True ☝🏼 that’s truly terrifying

by Anonymousreply 102January 29, 2023 5:05 PM

This explains so much.

by Anonymousreply 103January 29, 2023 5:07 PM

Related to the conversation - about dementia and what to do if you were diagnosed (planning on euthanasia if you get it, but if you get it not remembering you'd planned on euthanasia) - remember that Julianne Moore film "Still Alice".... she'd written a note to her future self to remind herself who she was and what she should do.

by Anonymousreply 104January 29, 2023 5:15 PM

[quote] Last night on BBC News I heard that dementia was the leading cause of death in the UK! I couldn't believe it.

We could have told you that centuries ago!

by Anonymousreply 105January 29, 2023 5:33 PM

Civilization is much older than 6,000 years r90.

by Anonymousreply 106January 29, 2023 5:44 PM

Watch "Still Alice," R100.

And remember, the road to hell is paved with good intentions.

by Anonymousreply 107January 30, 2023 12:20 AM

It's completely anecdotal, but I can personally vouch for specific antidepressants working well and promoting mental clarity rather than causing its loss. Of course, that doesn't mean that such drugs can't interact with the growing cornucopia of meds prescribed for ailments as one ages and cause dementia-like symptoms as well...

by Anonymousreply 108January 30, 2023 2:00 AM

R108 Are you responding to, from your experience, contradict the growing body of evidence that antidepressants increase the likelihood of Alzheimer's?

Offsite Link
by Anonymousreply 109January 30, 2023 2:26 PM

No, to the "little evidence that they work" part of R99's post. All I can say regarding Alzheimer's is that I don't have it YET, but as I credit antidepressants for keeping me alive for the last dozen years I suppose it would be a trade-off.

by Anonymousreply 110January 30, 2023 4:32 PM

“Where does that leave us, roughly a decade later? From Australia to Nepal and Britain to the United States, benzos are recognized as fueling powerful cravings among drug addicts. That's less surprising, perhaps, when one hears that Professor Lader declared, in a 1999 interview on BBC Radio 4, "It is more difficult to withdraw people from benzodiazepines than it is from heroin. It just seems that the dependency is so ingrained and the withdrawal symptoms you get are so intolerable that people have many problems coming off.“

I was prescribed a lot of psychiatric medication when I ran away from home at age 12. I think I spent decades of my life healing and recovering not just from the original mental illness, but from the side effects of the medications I took to treat them. And it isn’t just a matter of stopping taking them. Stopping them when you’ve been on them can feel catastrophic too.

I’m glad anti-depressants and other medications are helpful to some people and I can understand why. But I also wonder how many people would have been okay without them if they hadn’t been prescribed them in childhood. They really do change the way the brain functions. Studies have shown that therapy tends to have equal results in the short term and better results in the long term.

Offsite Link
by Anonymousreply 111January 31, 2023 3:32 AM

R111 - I'm completely fucked! Since 2004, benzodiazepines has been my go-to for my insomnia. It was Klonopin for the first eight years or so, and then my doctor switched me to Valium, which he claimed was a less addictive drug. I am still taking my evening time dolls in 2023.

PS, the above is me being dramatic; I've known about the risks since I started taking them. However, I am unable to sleep without them. So...

by Anonymousreply 112January 31, 2023 10:49 PM

I’m bringing my mom home Sunday from her nursing home for lunch. I’m a bit worried about it because I am doing it alone. I’m using Uber. The nursing director is checking with her physical therapist to see if she can use her walker instead of that wheelchair. She’s okay during the day, but she gets the “sundowner syndrome” that affects dementia patients. Late afternoon into the evening, they get agitated and somewhat combative. She was like that when we took her to my cousins house for thanksgiving dinner. But I had my brother with me and female relatives who were more than happy to help us with her. Any suggestions?

by Anonymousreply 113February 2, 2023 2:26 PM

R113 Have you talked to the nursing director about giving her a CBD gummy? Serious question...

by Anonymousreply 114February 2, 2023 3:33 PM

R114, no. Do they help with dementia?

by Anonymousreply 115February 2, 2023 3:52 PM

R115 Yes, lots of emerging research. Its impact on humans, in general, is to lower anxiety. Its impact is relaxing, but not really in a narcotic way. The sundowner syndrome especially is anxiety magnified in dementia's lenses.

Offsite Link
by Anonymousreply 116February 2, 2023 4:14 PM

Thanks for the info R116...

by Anonymousreply 117February 3, 2023 1:23 AM
Need more help? Click Here.

Yes indeed, we too use "cookies." Take a look at our privacy/terms or if you just want to see the damn site without all this bureaucratic nonsense, click ACCEPT. Otherwise, you'll just have to find some other site for your pointless bitchery needs.


Become a contributor - post when you want with no ads!