I have been diagnosed with dementia syndrome and depression. I am 59 years old, recently fired from a 10-year healthcare job due to poor performance. (I was on overload).

Started by

I am feeling better recently, and I am wary about trying Celexa, recommended by Dr. I have times when I forget names. I especially have problems with too many things at once. I had an accident the day prior to neuorological testing where I hit my head falling forward in a restaurant. I am keeping records regarding the accident and and the claim. Money is somewhat a problem since I am not working, but so far I am doing well. I will most likely move in with my partner, ( I have been staying with him since I was let go from the hospital job). There is some tension with the new living situation. I have insurance through Cobra. My daughter is 350 miles away and my son is in college, two hours away finishing his last quarter. My ex-husband has also been helpful. I want to stay as productive as possible. I have also been told that I may qualify for unemployment and possibly Disability. Any thoughts on my situation?

19 Comments

So sorry about all the problems you are having!
Just a few questions I don't understand. I don't think you can get unemployment if you were fired, but if you were layed off you could. For disability, you need plenty of records from your job why you couldn't do your job and a very very good doctor stating that you are disabled and can't do any type of work, that is what I had to do. I was turned down the first time, then had to get a lawyer, and finally got my disability, but took me 2 years, not saying it could take you! I believe it all depends on how many years you have put into SS to file??? Also, you say you have dementia syndrome, if it is an SYNDROME, SS won't cover it, I believe?? You just might need to speak to a SS lawyer to answer most of these questions, which you might be able to do for a 30 minute free consultation?

As for the claim, I didn't understand? Who's fault was it that you fell? Was the restaurant at fault or yours? Do you have a witness? Did you fall before you lost your job? Is this claim for a law suit or SS? It may not be a good idea for the lawsuit (You will need a lawyer and it could take years), but, any way, instead try spending your time trying to start your SS disability instead! It will take a very long time to get all your medical records from all your doctors and all the hospital visits, x-rays, MRI's, any physical therapy and a very good psychologist! I hope you let your doctors all know what is going on, so they kept records on you for the last couple of years! This has been going on for long time, right? Then, when all is done, with all the many many documentations have been collected you go before a judge who will decide under oath.

Also try to go to the library or look up on SS disability, all for free info.

I am not a lawyer, so I can't give any adive except good luck and God be with you!
I am a 61 year old divorced grandfather of 4 and I experienced a "fall" last year and after some tests at the nearby medical center my diagnosis is dementia. During the next 12 months I was put on some meds and have now stopped taking them because of the side effects. At this time (Dec 30, 2010) I am thankful I am still in my home on food stamps... living somewhat independently, however, both my daughters are having to pay for my utilities. I believe having this dialogue is helpful to me to feel like I'm not alone and isolated. James in Austin, Tx
Thanks for everyone's input. I didn't know that placing the term "Syndrome" after "dementia" would keep me from having a lesser chance of getting disability. James, I'm glad you were able to stop taking the medications. And as far as trying to get unemployment benefits, I am hoping to apply and have some help in receiving them. The head nurse who asked me to give a letter of resignation only told me that if anyone called to inquire about my position then she would give good feedback, but if I terminated my job, then she stated that she could tell anything that had happened during my 10 years of working. I now know that that is not legal - the most that can be said is that I have worked in that position for a certain amount of time. I had a friend as my advocate, so she was my witness. Also, there was absolutely no mention of receiving unemployment. I had no idea that I could even receive unemployment if I was terminated.

As far as the fall, the restaurant definitely was to blame. They had placed a huge bolder right next to a table - my partner was sitting on the other side of the table- I was walking to get next to him and did not look down. I first hit my shin hard, then hit my left side of my head on the wall, then straight ahead into the wall, causing a cut on my forehead. The sensation was like a twisting whiplash. They gave me ice and I went to the emergency room, with no imaging (my choice). I am still being treated for the whiplash with my chiropractor and massage. If anyone else knows more about disability with dementia, I would appreciate your story. Carol in Oregon.
Carol, did you resign? I don't know if that means you can get unemployment either. Was the boulder part of the decorations of the restaurant and that caused your fall? Bad urban design...they design around the young not thinking of older folks at all!
Hi again, Carol!
This is me again, Carolyn from Colorado! Glad to hear back from you!

I, too, had a whiplash, from a car accident, a very long story! Anyway I did have a law suit, and won, but only after I had found out what was causing my very severe pain! After many Doctors, 11 to be exact, many 6 MRI's, X-rays, Physical therapy for a very long time etccccc, I finally found out I had a jaw problem from the whip lash!! (TMJ) Had a special dentist a Maxifalliona (misspelled) perform surgery, my jaw disc was pushed out when the whiplash had happened and the jaw bone was scraping my skull, causing pain! I had metal plates with 4 screws on each side of my jaw, drilled into the skull. I can't get my mouth open to eat well, so 5 years later I had to have more jaw surgery done, and still can't open my mouth wide!!

I, too, had worked at a hospital as a Phlebotomist for 10 years! I had to keep working for five years after this car accident, because I was not legible for any SS disabilities or if I quit, no unemployment benefits either: according what my 2 lawyers had told me! I had tried! I studied up any everything! My job was killing me, being on my feet all day! My mental statis was extremely bad, with memory loss and severe headaches before the accident and after surgery, with pain all over my whole body!! My co-workers had treated me badly. I had to go on part time to work, and I still called in sick alot!!

Then I found out I had Fibromalgia Syndrome!! FMS! Look it up and TMJ
I was put on so many pills and it still didn't work too much! All my doctors' s said it is a Syndrome and it will not get me disability! So, with all my pain, brain fogs, memory loss, etccc I had to keep working and cry in silence! The only good thing about working was I had great insurance working in the hospital, so very very very very cheap!! I had every test done and many more times done over and over! I had changed doctors more than I can count!

After so many years of all the abuse and pain, I walked out, crying because my supervisor said I was not doing my job. Again, for the 4th time I checked into disability and unemployment with another lawyer and was told if I quit my job, no benefits and still no for SS.

I was on Cobra, but it ran out after only a 1 1/2 years. I did get married to my love one of many years and we had great insurance! I did see another doctor, an neurologist and on my new X-rays and more MRI's, I was finally diagnosed with a spine disease ( Degenerative Disc disease in my neck and lower spine), that didn't show up until many years later, which is how i got my SS disability! I am now 61, been 11 years now since I got my SS, still in a lot of pain and still see my 5 doctor's! I had my accident way back in 1992 and lived with pain ever since!

So long story, so sorry about that! What I am telling you, get your MRI's NOW, before Cobra runs out, see specialists, get your medical records, get xrays, see as many Dr's as you can NOW! Get a disability lawyer for free until your settlement of SS. You don't have much time when your Cobra will runs out???
Start looking up info on line, NOW!!! Find out what is causing your pain and brain fogs! You need a straight forward diagnosis from a doctor on paper, stating disabilty!! Get going and look up ever thing you can please!!!

Please, please start NOW!!!
God bless,
Carolyn
HI. You can get copies of your medical records and XRAYS FREE if you have them sent to a doctor. Then get him/her to give you complete copies of those records. I went through needing records a year ago and paid for a few, but then found that when I had them sent to a dr. or hospital it was FREE. If you send out for them right away, it should not take long before you get them all. Good Luck! AgingSenior75
Yes you CAN get unemployment benefits if you were fired. Your previous employer might fight the claim, but press on. You will eventually get the benefits you paid in to.
It sounds as if things can't get any worse, they can only get BETTER now. Keep a positive attitude and keep yourself very, very busy with volunteer work, crafts, etc. An idle mind is the devil's workshop. Keep that mind stimulated, with things such as reading and exercise. Exercise releases much needed endorphins from the brain.
Thanks for your advice. After trying to get a job for the last 6 months I came to the conclusion before Christmas that I would benefit greatly from volunteering my time...hopefully I'll be more involved this month with the Town Lake Animal Shelter or another organization in Central Austin. Happy Holidays...to you. Spent the last few days cleaning my home to create a positive change (started with the wood floors in every room)...got rid of some unnecessary "stuff"....feeling more positive already. Thanks for your response. James in Central Austin
It worries me when people fairly young (50- 65) are diagnosed with dementia. How can doctors unequivocally say that a person has dementia, when it could be as simple as a vitamin B12 deficiency? I've heard of people diagnosed with M.S. that really have Lymes disease. Are there tests that show absolutely?
Yes, you can file for unemployment benefits, even online, in most states. A telephone interview with your previous employer, yourself and the State Unemployment representative will follow. At that time, you should be prepared to state your case for receiving benefits. Make notes, with times and dates, etc....and relay the incident with your employer at the time of your termination. The State Unemployment division will issue a decision concerning your rights and your employer's rights for any determination and appeal, if needed.

Keep the conversation going (or start a new one)

Please enter your Comment

Ask a Question

Reach thousands of elder care experts and family caregivers
Get answers in 10 minutes or less
Receive personalized caregiving advice and support