Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Dementia verses Alzheimers.

Dementia verses Alzheimers
What's the difference?

My heart breaks for anyone out there who has been diagnosed with this disease, or has a family member/loved one who has the disease. 

There's a lot of information about the subject, and yet, not a lot about it. By that I mean, the information on the web can't necessarily prepare you for what life is really like for the Dementia patient.  A lot of the information is contradictory, depending on what website you visit and it doesn't really address the reality of the situation. There aren't a lot of good solutions to the problem out there. 

How have I come to this conclusion? My parents both had this disease. They both passed away last fall 11 days apart from one another. I watched my parents loose themselves and become a shell of who they really were. It was heartbreaking, frustrating, stressful and horrible. 

Now my husband is showing early signs of the disease, and I'm trying to do whatever it takes to stop it from doing to him, what it did to my parents. 

But do I have that ability? I'm really not sure.. All I can do is try. Nothing seemed to work for my parents, but they were incredibly independent, stubborn people who did not realize they had a problem. In their world, all was fine, and anyone who tried to help was insinuating they were no longer capable, which really offended them. 

Their lives ended in a horrible way, much because there just isn't the right kind of help out there.. Families are floundering, trying to figure out how to help and figure out what's best. Family's end up in a war of wills, certain people deciding they know what's best or simply just wanting to push their agenda. People become exhausted, stressed, angry, to the point where they just don't want to have to deal with it anymore. 

This really is a horrible disease that affects people in ways you can't understand until you live through it. 

What is the difference between Dementia and Alzheimer's? Trying to get that definition is tricky. My parents were called both. 

Today I have found info on the web that states that Alzheimer's is the most common form of Dementia, and accounts for 60 - 80% of dementia cases. 

A few years ago I found info that stated Dementia was the initial disease that led to Alzheimer's.. This is what I mean about contradictory info out there. Even doctors don't seem to know exactly what to call it. 

Today I have also found info on the web stating Dementia is not a specific disease. It's an overall term used to describe a wide range of symptoms. 

That actually  makes more sense than what was out there a few years ago. 

A list of 10 early signs and symptoms of alzheimer's is available here

The Alz.org website seems to have a lot of good info on it. 

There are forums galore of people experiencing the effects of this, and just as many opinions of how to handle it. 

The truth is, there isn't a one trick fits all answer out there.. What I experienced with my parents showed me that there may be a list of possible symptoms, but every person is different, and will behave differently. There personalities come into play and what really happens is not necessarily what you will read on any website. Until you live it, it's hard to imagine the depth of this disease. 

I don't even like to call it a disease, because, in my humble opinion, the cause of this is more environmental than physical. So many people are suffering from this right now it's unbelievable. A lot of people seem to believe this is just a normal part of aging, but it isn't.. Something is going on that is throwing people into this state of loosing who they are, and again, in my humble opinion, the research should be geared towards figuring out why this is happening so much, not in finding more drugs to "maybe" slow the process. 

Do I sound angry about this? That's because I am.. This should not have happened to my parents, it shouldn't be happening to my husband, it shouldn't happen to anyone else's loved ones or friends.. This should be a rare disease that people occasionally suffer from, not one that anyone that lives old enough will end up with. 

I don't want to end up with it. I don't want my grown children to go through what I did with my parents. I don't want my husbands sons or my sons to ever see him the way I saw my parents. I don't want them to feel that heartbreak or be left with that kind of memory. 

Somethings not right, and we all need to be concerned, as it can happen to any of us, or any of our loved ones or friends. 

But do I know what the solution is or what we can do about it? No, I really don't.. So I'm doing what I always do with things that I don't understand. I'm writing it all down, and wondering if anyone else has gotten closer to an answer. 








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Dementia verses Alzheimers.

Dementia verses Alzheimers What's the difference? My heart breaks for anyone out there who has been diagnosed with this disease, ...