Alzheimers/Dementia – Signs and Symptoms
The biggest misconception is that dementia is just about forgetfulness.
It’s not like forgetting where you placed your keys. It’s more like forgetting what you did this morning or which car park you parked your car in and not which spot.
Signs to watch
A. Repeatedly they forget dates, days and struggle with names or finding the right words when talking is a challenge.
B. Poor decision making. Before Dad was diagnosed, he was in a car accident almost every week. It wasn’t a one off. He had a blind spot and even being in the car with him was scary. Also, questionable business decisions.
C. Every patient is different but one area few talk about is the change in personality. Dementia kills brain cells and that changes their behaviour. Increased Aggression and irritation was a major change to my dad. He was quicker to snap and became a bully. I’d never been scared of my dad before but I was around that time and had to stand up to him. My biggest fear of protecting mum.
D. No concept of the time, day or even year. Missing one appointment or meeting is not cause to worry but when it becomes a recurring theme like they miss 3 in a week, start paying attention.
E. Erratic behaviour, dependence, agreeable and writing things down to remember. My dad was so clever, he knew something was up but wouldn’t share with us so he started writing down in a notebook messages, appointments and things to remember. It held us off but ultimately we would watch as he pulled it out to remember something. He also began relying on us and taking our lead or asking us questions which was an indicator from a previously highly independent person.
In the early days we had some common comments from his friends and company
- repeating things
- forgetting meetings or times
These are initial signs so if you see a few, then call a doctor, do some research and find an excuse to get them tested (don’t tell them).
I knew something was not right but I couldn’t put my finger on it.
In over 20 years I’d never seen so much friction between my parents and it was always an argument. Dad must have seemed like someone that didn’t listen and was continually causing a problem when in reality he had a disease and was sick.
I fielded calls from his business and friends on his well being, it wasn’t just one persons opinion, it was a collective.
Any signs that I missed which you noticed? Add a comment below to this post.