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"Well, that was a strange moment": unusual acts of a loved one can signal dementia – News – Wicked Local Fall River



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Julie Staple was a child when her father, Mark Womack, started a strange behavior. Awarded violin, viola and cello, Womack did not follow customers and did not immediately return phone calls. He watched more television and repeatedly quit his job. He started to drink and quickly got angry.

The behavior lasted for several years and it took its own tax. Staple and her mother, Ginny Womack, a professional violinist, thought Mark Womack was depressed.

Her parents separated. Mark Womack was fired from two posts in Nebraska and Texas. There were other disturbing events. Autotherapy would not repair his car because he could not remember insurance information. The journey to the home of parents, which usually lasted two hours, lasted five. And then there came a call from his boss to his family – Mark Womack cried and could not remember how to make a violin. The boss took him to the clinic.

At the age of 53, Mark Womack was diagnosed in early 2015 with the early onset of Alzheimer's. A further evaluation a few months ago instead showed a diagnosis of the frontotemporal dementia or FTD.

Ginny Womack became his guardian.

"If my mom was known, I would never have separated from him and from the beginning was his caretaker," said Staple from Deerfield, Illinois.

FTD is often misdiagnosed as a psychiatric disorder or Alzheimer's disease. It affects the area of ​​the brain, which is generally associated with personality, behavior and language, and is often diagnosed in people aged between 40 and 45 years.

About 5,8 million people in the US live with Alzheimer's and dementia, said Heather Snyder, senior director of the medical and scientific activities of the Alzheimer's disease group. By 2050, the number is projected to increase to 14 million. Managers are about 16 million people.

Halima Amjad, a medical professor at the Department of Medicine and Gerontology at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, said that about 60 percent of people with dementia symptoms were not reported for either diagnosis or denial or shame.

What are family members looking for? What can be attributed to normal aging as opposed to cognitive decline associated with dementia?

It's often time to change the keys or glasses or walk into the room with the task and forget what it is. These are often associated with multitasking or stress and are considered to be part of normal aging.

"One thing is that you find glasses on your head – that's something else to find in the freezer," said Lisa Rindner, a social worker at Iona Senior Services in Washington, who works with families who are struggling with the aging challenges of Alzheimer's and dementia. .

Rindner advises families to seek advice, even if their worries are not extreme.

"I am so grateful when people come to the consultation, and this is not a crisis point," said Rindner. "Educate yourself and explore options before you need them, so when you need help, you are not scared. We choose better decisions when we are not in a crisis."

Nancy Berg of Vernon Hills, Illinois, said that signs of Alzheimer's disease were long before her father Bert Rose diagnosed. For more than 60 years, Rose played a piano with orchestra Bert Rose and performed at events and weddings, including the marriage of Sharon Percy and Jay Rockefeller. He was accompanied by celebrities such as Ann-Margret, Debbie Reynolds and Brooke Shields.

Widow in 1984, Rose was accustomed to living an independent life. He had been working for 80 years when his daughter noticed small signs – difficulty in finding words and a repetitive story. Then Rose began to lose from Berg's house to her own journey, which she traveled many times. Always cautious with his looks, he started wearing sweatshirts in a warm time. In restaurants I would ask family members what he liked to eat. And about one year before the diagnosis, he had trouble completing a bank deposit certificate without understanding the date or how to enter it. The worst case, Berg said, was when his father laughed when he told that he had started the car without first opening the garage door.

"I want to know what signs I am looking for – maybe we have already moved him from his home to know that he is safe," Berg said.

Rose died 18 months ago. Although much of his memory disappeared, he continued to play the piano for the inhabitants of the institution, where he lived for the rest of his life, Berg said.

Families with aging relatives need to know what their starting points and norms are, said Rindner. Be careful when someone can not remember the conversation, miss a meeting, do not pay invoices, turn off the phone, or the TV does not work.

"People have a great way to mask decay," said Rindner. "It may take some time before you see the red flags."

Some things to look for:

– – – Notes with simple tasks.

– – – When neighbors or friends share concern.

– – – Accounts that are not paid or overpaid.

– – – Physical appearance – someone who has always been together suddenly wears wrinkled or dirty clothes.

– – – Weight changes.

– – – Driving questions: fenders wing, parking in the wrong place.

– – – Any behavior that is unusual.

– – – collecting the item and its use improperly.

– – – Say things that are inappropriate – "no filter".

– – – Changes in speech, personality.

Rachael Wonderlin, owner of Dementia by day and dementia specialist, encourages families to get involved early.

"If you think something is wrong, talk about it," Wonderlin said. "It's even worse to ignore it. I've seen families who are waiting too long to take the keys to the car. People are waiting for a long time because they are scared and discouraged."

Wonderlin said he noticed what she was saying "Well, that was a strange moment." For example, Wonderlin assessed the woman and did not see any shortcomings – until the woman asked if she could call and receive the TV remote control.

In the 60th year it is normal for people not to remember everything, "but if your memory was flawless and suddenly you do not remember anything – and you had enough sleep, you eat, practice and hydrate well – that's the reason for concern," Wonderlin said.

Also, says Wonderlin, older partners usually end up thinking one another, which can hide the problem.

"I met a couple, and the woman has a dementia," Wonderlin said. "I needed my husband not to speak, he answered the questions because he loves her and wants them not to get confused, so she performs tasks and ends the sentence. This prevented the family members from getting to know that the problem is."

And move family members for help before the crisis arises, Wonderlin said. People are more open when they realize that this is necessary.

"Do not rely on" this is fine so far "- it will not be fine," she said.

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