Wednesday, April 11, 2012
Welcome To "Let's Talk Dementia"
Welcome to Let's Talk Dementia Blog. I am Carol Howell, owner of Senior Life Journeys, and my hope is to inspire you, uplift you, and give you hope as you navigate the journey of dementia.
My mother was diagnosed with dementia in August of 2006. Her journey has been a growing experience for me. Her diagnosis brought about what I refer to as “shower cries”. This was the time I would spend in the shower crying for the changes I feared I would experience in the future. If you cry in the shower, you can probably do so without anyone knowing about the event. If your face seems red from crying, you can blame it on the heat of the shower. It is a great way to mask your emotions. However, masking your emotions is not a great way to handle the ever changing, always challenging world of dementia.
Today we need to talk about what dementia is. It is my belief you can receive a great deal of comfort in knowledge. Many times the things we fear are not founded in reality. Many times the knowledge we need can help alleviate some of those fears. If you have children, you might remember how much better you felt when you discovered your neighbor’s children did some of the same crazy things your children were doing. It brought relief to know your children were not as strange and unusual as you originally thought. The same can be true of dementia. Learning your loved one’s behavior is considered “normal” often brings a great sigh of relief.
Let’s get back to the definition of dementia. Dementia is simply not being able to think clearly which leads to the inability to perform the activities of daily living – feeding, bathing, dressing, toileting, and ambulating. There are many types of dementia. Some dementias are reversible, and some dementias are irreversible. Alzheimer’s dementia is the most common form of dementia, and, unfortunately, it is not reversible. Before assuming your loved one has Alzheimer’s type dementia, seek medical treatment. There are many reasons your loved one could be displaying signs of dementia. These could include reactions to medications, emotional disturbances, metabolic or endocrine dysfunction, malnutrition, vitamin B12 deficiency, tumors, infection, hardening of the arteries or even diabetes. All of these are conditions that can be treated and the dementia will usually disappear.
Seek medical help, for sure. However, seek support for yourself and anyone else who will be considered a primary care giver. That is where I come in. Senior Life Journeys is here to help you from the minute you receive the diagnosis all the way through the journey. We offer a wide variety of services and options. Let me help you relax, breath, and learn to smile while you care for this person who means so much to you. We can do this together!