I have early dementia. Forget names and subjects discussed.

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As an Retired RN I want to reverse it. Started during very stressful time. My daughter thinks I'm ungrateful and rude and she never wants to see me again. She doesn't understand. My son does. Now I have to move from high maintainence house. I had foreclosure 2010and lost all my savings. Daughter moved me here . It's awful. I cry at least 5 X day. Treated for depression also.
It's been a year since speaking to her. I'm trying to move on. She lives close by. See grandsons only at my insistence. Really need a support group. Please help. Live in California. Thanks. B

22 Comments

Beverlee, have your been officially diagnosed with dementia? If not, it could be just normal aging? Plus you mentioned it all started during a stressful time. Stress will make you feel befuddled at times, I know it does for me.

For me it is all stress from the past 7 years of dealing with parents in their 90's who were very stubborn, dealing with my own cancer which scared the daylights out of me, and dealing with other stress related illnesses. What was your stressful time? Was it work related as I know RN are under a lot of pressure?

Does your son and your daughter talk to each other? Maybe he can explain what is going on.

Beverlee, most types of dementia develop for some twenty years in the brain before symptoms become obvious. If you do have dementia it has been building for a long time. The episodes of severe stress could have triggered some reactions, I guess, but they would not have caused tangles or plaques or protein bodies to appear in the brain and cause dementia.

True dementia cannot (at the present state-of-the-science) be reserved, but symptoms can often be managed.

I'm suggesting that while there is clearly something going wrong in your brain, it may not be dementia. A thorough evaluation would be worthwhile in establishing a treatment plan.

It might also be worthwhile in establishing better relationships within your family.

During a hospital stay I suffered ICU psychosis. I was delusional and hallucinating. I nearly chased my son out when he visited. I'm sure I hurt his feelings deeply. I was later able to explain to him what was going on, but I'm not sure how much that helped. That is all in the distant past and we are good buddies again. But I do understand and empathize with you that a temporary blip in your mental health can cause rifts in relationships.

I really think your best bet at this point is to have a thorough neurological evaluation. Learn what can be done to manage your symptoms, and how to explain your health to your family.

Please stay in touch here. We care!
i would suggest not obsessing over your blip with your daughter . thats normal family stuff . you slam heads , find each others bounderies , cool off for a few months then out of some kind of necessity ( feigned or otherwise ) you reconnect with a little more respect for each other .
i havent spoken to my oldest son in eight or so months .
aint my problem . the lesson for him to contend with is if his kids are visiting from florida and im not notified or invited up , i come un freaking glued ..
im not depressed . im livid . the two are as different as night and day ..
I would support FF's query as to whether or not you've self diagnosed dementia or it's been medically diagnosed. You've had multiple serious stressors, any of which alone could cause confusion as well as depression.

Those events are also different in the kind of stress caused. Foreclosure is such a loss of financial control and of one's home - it's overwhelming in the sense that powerful forces are affecting the place you called home and forcing you out into the cold. And once the process is begun, the stress can escalate, creating even more of a feeling of losing control of the basic necessity of having a place to live.

Losing your savings is a slightly different kind of stress, but a serious one as well because it also represents security in terms of having your own home or place to live. And it can affect other aspects of basic survival, again cutting to the basis of your own self confidence and self preservation.

You write that you have to move from a high maintenance house - 2 more stressors. A home that requires a lot of maintenance can create stresses on your time and energy. Moving is a different stress - uprooting and finding another place to live after losing savings creates limited options and like foreclosure undercuts your confidence in being self sufficient and self supporting.

I would contact local hospitals to try to find a depression support group. It would be free, and sometimes social workers participate to offer professional insight.
I'm 71 Early Cognitive Impairment. was my actually diagnosis that came from written tests I had 8 or so months ago.
I do have trouble doing daily tasks. There are a lot in this run down mobile home which I'm trying to be thankful for but......
I also have to push myself to get out of house. I have Depression and was told meds may be part of the problem. Cried a lot growing up to. But I can be a leader as I've been manager of two home care agencies. Need exercise too.
Thank you all for your encouragement. I don't work as my age and had low back fusion a year ago. I'm trying to be more in the present instead of feeling sad. I've been told and understand I'm co-dependent . I don't get mad very often when family hurts me. I mostly get sad. My son tried talking to my daughter about me and she wouldn't listen. He does not talk to her now. He's been great. Enough about me...
Thanks for your responses. It really helps to know and learn from others who have experienced what I have and how to really see and learn from you.
Hi Bev!
Garden Artist enumerated your stressors in a very logical and practical way.

One thing at a time.

You do have a diagnosis and I would seek to obtain a second opinion.

You're an RN, so understand alot more than most.

Who's in your life that you can count on?

How's it that you are in a trailer?

Would you go the conventional way of psychiatrist, neurologist, or the alternative medicine way?

The reason I ask is that the best way for us to help you, is to understand the situation better.

A wealth of information on how to cope is coming your way. Welcome to the forum. You're not alone.

M88
Thank you so much for your reassurance. My daughter put me in a old mobile home when I went thru foreclosure and lost all my savings. Since I didn't thank her enough she became combative and said she would never speak to me again. It's been a year.
Sorry I'll stay on topic.
I do appreciate the comments about forgetfulness. Some of my meds may cause it to. Im on too much and am trying to get off some. I'm seeing psychologist and psychiatrist. When I forget the name of something it helps to go thru alphabet and/or think of something else for abit and sometimes will go back and remember. I try to tell people to give me time to think. I do write things down and use cell phone notes to remind me. I know I'm not alone. I was Told by Neuro nurse to write with other hand, sing, dance, place games, socialize, and read. I try to memorize sayings I like. I hope this can help others too. The RN in me never goes away.
Beverlee living in an old trailer is not the best environment for you as i am sure you know well. Don't think I would not be too grateful about that either. I don't know where you live but can you go to social services and see if there is any accommodation you can rent based on your income which I assume is pretty limited at this point. Your psychologist may be able to advise you about that.

Have your son help you because you seem closest to him and just stay away from your daughter till you get yourself better situated.

You have been through an awful lot recently and like physical illnesses psychological yes take a lot out of you especially as we age. All of this can account for your memory lapses and confusion. The advice to write things down as soon as you think of them is very sound.

Are you ready to volunteer for something.Maybe something like dog walking at the local rescue if you don't want to socialize just yet. Many RNs find volunteering for hospice is very rewarding and keep you connected to healthcare. It can be something as simple as sitting with a patient while the caregiver goes shopping for a couple of hours. There is a training program and you are never asked to do anything skillful. perhaps read, write letters or play games.
Try keeping post it notes all over the house so there is always somewhere to take notes.

You have taken a good first step by coming here and i am sure you will start on the road to recovery very soon.
If your lower back issues allow, try to work a daily walk into your routine. The fresh air and movement are will boost your mind. Over time, the walks will boost your energy, too :-)

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