I have had a rather bizarre evening. A week ago our GP assessed my hubby and told us he has dementia. Hubby since then has not mentioned the visit and seems quite happy with life. I found it difficult to accept that he had completely forgotten all about the visit and diagnosis. However, this evening there was a program on the TV called Missing which was about people with dementia going missing. He watched the whole program with interest but without any understanding that he had the same problem. I’m new at this and have so much to learn. Is this common? I had thought he would be upset to learn he had dementia not that he would forget he has it.
With dementia - nothing is impossible when it comes to behaviour and understanding, nothing is even strange after a while to an onlooker.
Forgetting things is very commonplace - my mother used to complain that she didn’t know/couldn’t remember what day/date it was: I thought I offered her a simple solution, turn on the TV and check on Ceefax/Teletext - but she couldn’t remember to do it.
They really are off in a world of their own once it bites.
My wife was the same. Never knew what she had and as she had a great dread of getting it I
never told her she had it !
My husband was the same. He sadly was in a nursing home because prior to dementia had suffered strokes. He forgot he had them too. I don’t believe anyone in the home, ( was for dementia residents with complex needs) realised they had dementia. It can be a blessing to them, not to understand, but a very cruel thing to loved ones.
Kate, have you sorted out Power of Attorney for your husband? You might just have time to do this, don’t delay. Pet had to go through the Office of the Public Guardian for her husband, it’s quite restrictive. Also, did you know that your husband is now exempt from Council Tax on the grounds of “Severe Mental Impairment”. It’s a horrible term, I know. Easy to apply for through the council. He is probably also entitled to Attendance Allowance if over pension age, or PIP if under pension age. Don’t put off claiming. Ring them up today for a an AA form, and it will be backdated to todays date as long as you return it in the given time.
When he had his latest stroke last year we were given a lot of assistance by the Stroke Association and fortunately have the P of A’s, Blue Badge, Attendance Allowance and Council Tax sorted out.
Yes, it is common.
“Dementia” doesn’t really describe the condition very well as it has the connotations of “demented” - i.e. mad or insane. In reality what is happening is that connections in the brain are failing. The first areas to be affected are those connected to memory; especially recent memory. So whilst those with the condition can remember events from long ago, recent events are quickly forgotten - sometimes within a matter of hours or even minutes.
My Mum had Alzheimer’s - she knew something was wrong (she often said things like “I’m going mad”) but if we told her she had dementia her immediate reaction was “I can’t have that, no-one in my family had it” and immediately forgot the conversation. She could remember all sorts of events from her childhood but not what she had to eat for lunch and hour before. I once thought that as much of a curse as Dementia is, it’s also a blessing because the person with it doesn’t realise what is happening to them
You’ll find a lot of valuable information on the Alzheimer’s Society’s website (despite the name they cover all forms of dementia not just Alzheimer’s)