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: KatMM, 55-64 Male (Caregiver) Published: October 22

My husband was just diagnosed with Vascular Dementia, he was 59 at the time of diagnosis. He first showed signs of memory loss and now has difficulty with walking down stairs, he has frequent dizzy spells and severe headaches. He says his head hurts 24/7. He has confusion and is constantly asking what day it is. In a way I think he's still in denial as he feels he should be working and treated as head of the house. He has difficulty making decisions and I have had to undertake every aspect of our home. He does not sleep at night and his hygiene is questionable. I tell him he needs to clean himself and he disputes it saying that he already had. We get into disagreements a lot because he feels he's always right. This illness has taken its toll on me as I do not have help. He tries to cook but burns everything. I'm worried leaving him home alone at this stage.

Comment from: Fran, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: August 31

I have been diagnosed with Vascular Dementia about 1 1/2 years ago. I knew what was happening and asked my doctor who sent me for tests. The doctor I saw was amazed about how aware I was of what was happening to me. I had known for a while. I was tripping over nothing. I was offered meds but said no and that was a mistake because before long I messed up our checkbook which I kept . I got us in trouble with money and began not remembering names. Sometimes if I am over stressed, as I still work it gets worse. I seem to go down in stages - a little at a time but I always seem to know when there is a drop down. I feel it getting worse but I am lucky. It is a little at a time. I tell everyone who interacts with me so they will know but still they will say, "don't you remember this?" I want to scream every time they say it. Hell no. I don't remember that is the problem. Be patient with us. I know it is hard on everyone around us but it is hard on us too.

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: 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.

Comment from: 65-74 Female (Caregiver) Published: September 17

She was short fused and paranoid. She also had delusions that were affecting her relationships with her family.

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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?

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