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: Find A Cure, 55-64 Male (Caregiver) Published: July 15

My husband was diagnosed with 'early onset' of dementia 3 years ago at age 55. He had loss of memory, poor cognitive skills and unable to follow basic instructions (similar to a stroke). He had surgery two consecutive weeks and I wonder if the anesthesia and being sedated two weeks in a row contributed to this condition. He did not start displaying symptoms until afterward. He has more than perfect vision, but is unable to focus on objects directly in front of him. A cure needs to be found for this awful disease. I retired in April and am with him now 24/7. He follows me around like a puppy constantly.

Comment from: Daughter, 75 or over Male (Caregiver) Published: June 17

After my mom died, dad bought his dream RV and spent 8 months of the year travelling. He was always a happy man. Two years ago when dad was 75, we noticed big change in his personality with some people. He was mean and paranoid. At 76 he suffered a stroke. MRI confirmed two bleeds on the brain. Six months after stroke dad was diagnosed with vascular dementia. Exactly one year after his stroke he now requires full time care. Shocking what this disease has done to my father.

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: DB, 75 or over Male (Caregiver) Published: June 02

I care for someone with dementia. There is a different look in his eyes when he is going through a bad spell of being agitated, i.e., there is a very slight cast in one of his eyes as though he is really digging deep to explain what he is thinking.

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: 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.

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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