Patient Comments: Dementia - Symptoms

Question:Are you caring for someone with dementia? What early symptoms did he/she experience at the onset of dementia?

Comment from: Thedude, 75 or over Female (Caregiver) Published: January 02

My father passed away and mom began to have auditory hallucinations; with medication we had things under control. She could not handle her finances but could drive and shop for herself. She took a fall and sprained her leg. Now she is in a long term care facility and will never leave it. Her decline was from driving herself to not being able to feed herself within 1 week. It has been a month now and she has regained the ability to feed herself but will never regain her independence.

Comment from: 65-74 Male (Caregiver) Published: June 04

My father is 70 years old and he has moderate dementia with certain aggressive behavioral changes such as, hallucination and doubts on his personal relation with close one like wife, daughter and daughter in laws. Sometimes he abused my mom also.

Comment from: edgehurt, 75 or over Female (Caregiver) Published: April 04

In the beginning of my Nana's dementia, she would repeat the same stories or ask the same questions within 15 min. of one another. She would deny the repetitions if told about it. She also stopped cleaning the house as well and wore only 2 outfit's constantly. Planning meals became harder and harder for her to do, including working her own oven.

Comment from: devastated, 55-64 Female Published: December 20

My 63 year old sister was just recently diagnosed with vascular dementia following a year and a half of serious and multiple health problems. It was first noticed by some memory loss but now every week when I see her it has markedly increased to the point of her not being able to carry a conversation, confusion, talks about non-related things to the conversation at hand. She lives in an assisted care facility. We have always been very close and this just rips my heart out. She is like a child now with that wide eyed vacant look.

Comment from: 75 or over Female (Caregiver) Published: November 02

My mother in law suffers from dementia. She is 88 and it has progressively gotten worse. It started by not knowing what day it is and then snakes in her bed to worse hallucinations. She is up all night seeing people. Scared that someone is going to get her. It is so hard caring for someone you love and you can't do anything to make them better.

Comment from: Daughter, 45-54 Female (Caregiver) Published: April 22

My mom's "odd behaviors" were the first things we noticed. She would go out of the house less. She started collecting mail-in million dollar sweepstakes contests. She believed the ads on the front that said, "You have won 10 million dollars!" She also started getting paranoid. She was scared there were snakes in the bed or scared of going too fast in the car. One day she tried to buy a birthday card for her dad who had died three years prior. It was all hard to watch.

Comment from: carrie, 75 or over Female (Caregiver) Published: March 01

I care for my 85 year old grandma who does have moods and up and down all night. She has memory loss on some things but does remember things way back. She still knows who I am at this point. She has problems on remembering how to use a fork for her food. Some of the Doctors rather give their patients meds to keep them calm well it did a reverse. Our doctor took her off her meds because they are finding out it actually makes them worse. This is time for our loved ones to be with their families.

Comment from: donna mae, 55-64 Female (Caregiver) Published: January 02

I am caregiver for my husband who has dementia. At the age of 60 he is at stage 5/6 now and I don't know what do expect now. I have a hard time some days with my man but we have been together for 29 years and I will not put him in a home. It's been 2 years now I think I'm doing well so far.

Comment from: Lesley, 75 or over Female (Caregiver) Published: August 01

My mum developed certain obsessive behaviors -- hoarding, pegging curtains closed, wearing the same clothes, suspicion of others, and checking that doors and windows were locked. The behaviors increased over time together with a steady decline in memory, judgment, and reasoning. I also noticed that the outer ring of her iris which is normally darker than the rest of the iris looks bleached so that it is now lighter than the main iris. I don't know whether this is usual. It is not noticeable to the casual observer.

Comment from: broken 77, 75 or over Female (Caregiver) Published: December 07

My mom is currently caring for my grandmother. Everyday is something new. One minute she is laughing and joking with the family even to the point of dancing, and even smoking and drinking like she is 21. The next she is yelling and cursing at the family trying to leave the house saying she doesn't know where she is and we are stopping her from leaving. When I try to help she yells at me and tells me to go away and when I do she says I don't help. I don't know what to do anymore, it's like she is pushing the family away and that is really a concern for this family.

Patient Comments

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Dementia - Experience Question: Does someone you know have dementia? Please share your experience.
Dementia - Diagnosis Question: What tests or exams led to a diagnosis of dementia in a relative or friend?
Dementia - Treatment Question: What treatment are you or a loved one receiving for dementia?
Dementia - Stages Question: What stage of dementia are you or a loved one dealing with?
Dementia - Types Question: What type of dementia do you or a loved one have?
Dementia - Caretaker Question: How do you cope with being the caretaker of someone with dementia?
Dementia - Risk Factors Question: Do you have risk factors for dementia?

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