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Alley

the difference between forgetfulness and Alzheimers

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Most of you know I care for family with dementia. If you have ever wondered what the difference between forgetfulness and Alzheimers is, here is a great example! 

 

Warning: A small amount of cursing. 

 

 

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Thanks for posting this, Alley. :)

 

Although, I will say that people crawling up through the basement to eat your food on the sly is an interesting story idea. :D

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3 minutes ago, suspensewriter said:

It makes you think, doesn't it?

It does! And the first time I watched it as I was listening to the first half, I was thinking, "Oh no! I'm in trouble!!" 😄 

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3 minutes ago, suspensewriter said:

memory course

What's this? 

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1 hour ago, suspensewriter said:

I'll let you know if it works!

We'll be waiting. 😊

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I use an app called Lumosity . It has lots of Brain Training exercises and is great fun

. I first came across it in my work with brain damaged clients ( I’m a speech pathologist) . You can get a free sample then subscribe year by year if you like it. They keep adding more exercises so you don’t get bored ! I’m hoping it helps. stave off dementia ( along with lots of other things I do .! ) 😃🙋

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Thanks, @Gillian Bell

 

I know what you mean, @PenName! Her name is Teepa Snow. She teaches dementia care. You can look a ton of her stuff up on YouTube and as someone caring for another with dementia, her resources and knowledge has been extremely helpful and informative. 

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Dad died of Alzheimers August of last year, so took me a while to get the courage to listen to the video.

 

I knew there was no purpose in asking Dad to remember anything, so at its worse, the best I could do was tell him to stop calling at 1 AM, (13 calls, and he called all six of his kids more than once that night), because I was worried John's doctor would call when he took a turn to the worse. (Breaks my heart I hung up on Dad even now.)

 

BUT the thing I don't get is how do you tell the difference between dementia and hospital-induced hallucinations. By the time Dad was freaking out because brother was doing the full-court press to get him in a safe place, (and that was not merely a nursing home by the time Dad got there. It was as safe as possible. That's all), hubby was telling me about the deserted island over a sewerage reservoir he was on when I visited him in the hospital. So I'm not telling Dad to remember what he couldn't remember, but got stuck going along with hubby's hallucination until it freaked me out enough to go cry to his nurse. She pushed me back into hubby's room to let him be aware that I couldn't believe what he was saying. And once he realized why I couldn't believe it, it freed him to realize some of what he was seeing he wasn't really seeing. (The hallucinations ended within the next three days, because he could tell which was which by then.)

 

There are more choices then senior forgetfulness and dementia. Our minds play tricks on us in so many different ways.

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That’s a terrible experience for you and family seeing your Dad go through such horrific hallucinations. It sounds as if he had Luey Body dementia which is a very cruel type . A good friend’s Dad had it . It doesn’t sound as if you got much support from the medical fraternity to understand what was happening. Was he under a Neurologist Gerontologist  ? I hope you are feeling better about your loss now and have people you can talk to and pray with . Dementia of any sort is dreadful “the long goodbye “

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Alley, thank you for sharing this with us.

 

My dad had several aunts who had Alzheimer's disease. He had it as well. My mother was supposed to have dementia.(We were estranged for several years.) I try to do crossword puzzles, play Scrabble and Classic Words, (it's like Scrabble.) to keep my mind active. 

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On 11/12/2019 at 2:08 PM, Gillian Bell said:

That’s a terrible experience for you and family seeing your Dad go through such horrific hallucinations. It sounds as if he had Luey Body dementia which is a very cruel type . A good friend’s Dad had it . It doesn’t sound as if you got much support from the medical fraternity to understand what was happening. Was he under a Neurologist Gerontologist  ? I hope you are feeling better about your loss now and have people you can talk to and pray with . Dementia of any sort is dreadful “the long goodbye “

Sorry. I was confusing in that response. Hubby, (aka John), had hospital-induced hallucinations. Dad had Alzheimer and was simply sure he should be able to stay in his own home all by himself, instead of... and then there was a blank on where we wanted him to go. He could not remember nursing home/assisted living. He just knew home was safe.

 

And it wasn't, considering he drove 13 hours to get his haircut at the senior center on a day it wasn't even open. (The cops called me asking if I knew him. He has 6 kids, and I'm the only one he could remember by last name. I'm also the only one who doesn't have HIS last name. I got married.)

 

Then there was the time he set his wood pile outside on fire, and the only thing that saved him was a neighbor calling the fire department for a fire in the woods. 16 feet of wood pile, and he set the opposite end from the house on fire. By the time the firefighters came, no wood pile.

 

Then there was the trail of blood down his basement steps along with the dried up pool of blood on his sheets, along with him wearing the same bloody pants, long enough later, that all the blood was dried and old.

 

And the worst was my brother took away Dad's rifles without Dad ever knowing it... except, I forgot he bought a handgun when I was in high school. So Dad called my sister to tell her he would use that gun if anyone came to take him away. We'll never know which way that would have gone -- suicide or killing the social worker. My brother called the cops, but since Dad had done nothing wrong, (because telling someone you're going to shoot a gun really is nothing wrong), they couldn't do anything, except go with brother when he went in to get the gun. Three years later, and brother is somewhere between horrified and amused that cops went with him, but ducked on either side of the door, when brother entered. And they did not follow him. Fortunately, Dad was in another room, and the gun was sitting on the table, so brother picked up the gun, hid it, told Dad why he was there, (and since Dad can't remember, he also couldn't remember where gun was supposed to be for a while), before leaving.

 

One thing for sure. People with dementia really don't remember much. But part of their brain keeps working. Emotional memory. Six kids, and all of us are 100% opposite of each other. And Dad had a different emotional connection to us. That never changed. He knew our buttons and could play them perfectly.  Then again, he also knew who to count on for which thing, so he chose the most ornery of us as his executor, knowing he could not convince that (oldest) son to go along with him, just because Dad said so. He chose me to decide when the plug should be pulled, if need be, because I'm the Christian. And my poor sister had the most phone calls because she's the one who would accept any decision he made -- even when he was too far gone to make decisions.

 

Of all the bad things that can happen to a person, dementia is the worst. Dad died a year ago last August. Alzheimer took him away gradually over the 2-10 years before then.

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58 minutes ago, quietspirit said:

Alley, thank you for sharing this with us.

 

My dad had several aunts who had Alzheimer's disease. He had it as well. My mother was supposed to have dementia.(We were estranged for several years.) I try to do crossword puzzles, play Scrabble and Classic Words, (it's like Scrabble.) to keep my mind active. 

Keep changing up what you do to exercise your mind. Dad did crossword puzzles for years. But, because he did, he wasn't developing any new pathways in his brain. Part of the reason I'm writing a book is because I had to learn new things to do that. When I get to the point of it not being new, I'll need to learn something else new. (Marketing the book might work, except I already know marketing to some degree. Blogging might work. Or learning how to draw right. There are things related to writing that can be learned later.) Keep learning new things. The whole purpose is to introduce new pathways in our brains, so if we keep doing the same thing, it stops building new pathways.

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Thank you so much for sharing the amazing and heartbreaking story of your Dad’s decline.

It sure is a terrible illness and something  you wouldn’t wish on anyone. Unfortunately it will become more common with the burgeoning of our aging populations.
I would love to read your book when it’s published . Can you do it online or will I have to buy a hard copy ?

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20 hours ago, Spaulding said:

Keep changing up what you do to exercise your mind.

My friend's mother, before dementia, used to do crosswords in pen! (I never had that much courage.) When she had to look in the back for all the answers, they gave her word searches. When that became too complicated, she devised a new means of finding the words. She would start with the first letter, find (anywhere) the second letter, draw a line to it, and then look for the next letter. She had lines all over the page, but she found the words. And then that passed.

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I'm so, so very sorry Spaulding for everything all of you went through. My heart and tears goes out to you.

 

My husband died a horribly painful death from lung cancer that spread through most of his body, left his limbs gangrene and riddled him with bloodclots.  Fortunately, his mind was spared, but morphine kept him off balance with hallucinations.  Going through that disease with him makes me want to shake everyone who smokes and shout at them to stop before it is too late.  But I don't think even that is the worse death.  I think the worse, certainly one of the cruelest, is the kind that steals the mind.  It must be horrible to wake everyday to fear and confusion, for there certainly is no peace in being in an alien environment among strangers who really aren't strangers at all.

 

Even though I worked for years in nursing homes, I did not know how badly Alzheimer destroys the body, too, until my friend died of it. She was an intelligent woman who was quite good with numbers. She was, also, a very anxious woman who worried about everything.  They say people like that are particularly susceptible to it.  I gather that it is probably hereditary in a lot of cases, but I wonder if it is possible to stop it or slow it down if the mind could be trained toward a more meditative or even happier state.

 

 

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