How well, that there is the Lord Alzheimer: "Alzheimer's Greetings" - and everyone understands, that one was short just now memory standard times not up to par. That one accounts for a name, a place can not remember. And because you can then make jokingly "the Lord Alzheimer" responsible, it will probably not be that bad yet, because you are aware of your small and fleeting mistake. And anyway, who doesn't forget something every now and then, in particular, when you're a little older?
Yet, who, who has a face in front of his eyes, but no more names, who wants to get something and forgets on the way there, what it was about, maybe a key, and just can't find it, do not think of dementia with a certain fear in the back of your mind? Not now, no, because when I think hard, then the name comes to mind. And if I just think hard, then I know again, where I put the key.
But what, when the forgetfulness accumulates? When I read, that in Germany alone 1,7 Millions of people are affected by dementia? And every year 300.000 New cases are added?
Then I don't think about it? In particular, even though my mother was completely confused in old age.
Alzheimer's type dementia (WHICH) is the most common form of memory loss. However, not every brief confusion has to be an indication of dementia. Persistent poor sleep, massive Reizüberflutung, Overwhelmed, Stress, Depression, Vitamin D Deficient, Thyroid dysfunction or persistent alcohol abuse can cause symptoms, that resemble that of an emerging dementia.
These are primarily short-term memory problems. So if you forget appointments more and more often, Appointments, that were hit yesterday, not be remembered, Planned errands are no longer present when you leave the house, Words are suddenly "gone", then I know, that "something" is wrong. And fear the worst, namely dementia.
And then I come up with strategies, to flip the unreliable memory. Lay out pieces of paper with information. I have excuses. Strain me more sometimes, concentrate, when it matters.
And so I succeed, to hide my forgetfulness from others for a long time.
Faking a normal life. Especially: sometimes everything works. Mostly even, I think. So just tired?
Only, and I suspect that (yet) not: the others notice it. Register my mistakes, about which one smiled in younger years with exactly this "Alzheimer's greetings". Brands, that I repeat questions frequently, keep telling the same thing, forget her birthdays. Possibly even not as well looked after. Uncombed or maybe with a slight body odor.
But at some point, the person concerned perceives himself more and more clearly, what's going on with him. He constantly experiences, how his memory diminishes more every day, how the mistakes can hardly be hidden anymore. How scared he is, if he doesn't find a way he has traveled a hundred times. And how much strength it costs, nevertheless to cope with everyday life and to stand in proverbial social coexistence with others.
How happy can he be?, who then has a familiar person at his side.
Who means well with him and does not smile at him every day for his aberrations and despises him for his confusion.
Who advises him, now, consult a doctor at the latest now. The best is a neurologist, who does all the research, which lead to a reliable diagnosis.
And who is honest with his patient: Alzheimer's and everyone else's over 130 known dementia(Misch-)Shapes are not curable to this day.
In some, Not so few cases can be followed by means of precisely adapted medication, Memory training, meaningful employment, physical activity etc. to be slowed down, so that a satisfactory quality of life and the greatest possible independence can be maintained over a long period of time. Wishes can still be fulfilled. Maybe a trip, a visit to distant relatives or a paddle tour with the grandchildren. And where there is still time, to take care of yourself and your future. Because now, at the beginning of the disease, can still all precautionary directives, Powers of Attorney, Possibly. Wills, etc. be drafted validly.
Therefore, those affected should definitely seek advice as soon as possible, either with the Alzheimer Society (Head office in Berlin Tel. 030- 259379514, forwards to the office at the place of residence, or https://www.deutsche-alzheimer.de/ or at the dementia associations of their place of residence.
The patient can only be safe if the powers of attorney are correctly drawn up, that even in the event of his own later incapacity to act, he will act accordingly.
And it should be worth it to yourself and your relatives, take a closer look, when the tiredness increases significantly and they can no longer be smiled at with a joke.
The text written above is partly taken from the book
"Successful use of practical validation - A guide for the care of people with dementia" by Daniela Flemming, Conte Verlag St. Ingbert 2018 as well as the book "Nine Years Doris" by Daniela Flemming, Conte Verlag St. Ingbert 2016
The books can be ordered from Amazon
or directly at Conte Verlag.
By Daniela Flemming