Friday, October 16, 2015

Making sense of dementia

I remember when Mum was first diagnosed with Alzheimer's. I really did not envision our lives changing much (famous last words). I knew that she needed me to move in and live with her and she also had carers to shower and dress her. However I thought that Mum, George and I would do a big road trip for about 3 months around both islands of New Zealand; didn't happen unfortunately. Everything went downhill "at the rate of knots".

I found that even medical people were not able to tell me that much and I got very confused as some people referred to dementia and others to Alzheimer's. I kept asking what the difference was. A few weren't sure, some said that they meant the same thing and others didn't know.

I read widely about Alzheimer's and figured out:

Thinking of dementia as the universal set, Alzheimer's is one of the subsets. I made this diagram to show some of the forms of dementia (not all). People often have more than one form of dementia, for example George has three different forms.

The reason why people do not answer with a straightforward answer is because there is not one. Everyone is different and their journey with dementia is unique to them.

For carers knowledge is power. You are the only ones who really knows what it is like caring for these people, others may tell you but the reality is that they go home at night and have a social life while you do not.

A lot of what I found, initially, did not make a lot of sense to me as both Mum and George did not fit into the stuff I was reading. Just take the  bits that fit your situation and discard the rest.

No comments:

Post a Comment