Tag Archives: getting a diagnosis

A family recognizes dementia and adjusts for it: a social worker narrates her family’s story

Bharathi, 57 years old, has a degree in psychology and is a social worker who volunteers some time with dementia patients. When her 83 year old aunt started behaving strangely, she realized that the symptoms could be dementia, and gave the family brochures and literature on dementia. This led to a proper diagnosis and the family was able to learn how to help the aunt, who is now much better and happier. In this interview, Bharathi shares her story.

Could you share the salient events prior to the diagnosis?

My aunt and her family used to live in Vizag before they moved to Bangalore. My aunt is 83 years old. Her husband (my uncle) is 90 and very active and articulate (he writes stories). They live with their eldest daughter (60 years old) and her husband, who is 75 years old. Another daughter is in the USA.

Around eight years ago, Aunty lost her son, and this was a very big shock to her. She also started becoming forgetful, for example she would forget to switch off the gas. She put on weight. All this was diagnosed as a thyroid problem, and doctors said that the problem had probably been there for a long time. However, her forgetfulness continued even after treatment.

After coming to Bangalore, Aunty seemed worse. She fell down twice on her way to the bathroom one day. She was unable to get up the second time and became bedridden after that. Doctors who checked her said it was “old age” and that she might have suffered from a stroke or something like that.

Aunty deteriorated rapidly after that. Though she talked about old times, she sounded confused and was often unable to express her needs. he ripped off her diapers and soiled herself often. When her husband tried to clean her, she would get agitated. She also developed bedsores.

Aunty often shouted in those days, for example, shouting at Uncle because he was watching TV. She could not sleep at night and remained in an agitated state. Her voice also sounded different and more commanding, which alarmed and worried the family.

Read the full post here : A family recognizes dementia and adjusts for it: a social worker narrates her family’s story

Voices: Caregiving in the news

This page provides links to some online news reports, articles, and personal essays that include dementia caregiver stories from India. They provide an insight into real-life experiences of dementia situations here, the challenges faced, what families do, problems due to lack of information and poor awareness in society, and the use or limitations of various support mechanisms, etc. Articles have been selected to provide a cross-section of recent caregiver experiences and are arranged by their main theme for the convenience of the reader. Themes include: Wandering, Early onset dementia, Elderly caregivers, Decisions and experiences around using care homes, day cares, and attendants, “Remote” caregivers, arrangements, and guilt, Diverse care situations, symptoms, challenges, introspection, comments, and Personal blogs that span the entire dementia experience.

Read the full post here : Voices: Caregiving in the news

Diagnosis, Treatment, Prevention

Some examples of prominent international persons who got dementia are: Ronald Reagan, Margaret Thatcher, Iris Murdoch, and Terry Pratchett. Some examples from India are Teji Bacchan (Amitabh Bachhan’s mother), and George Fernandes. Some links related to prominent persons with dementia are included in the “See Also” section at the bottom.

If someone shows dementia symptoms, it is best to consult a doctor. Doctors will perform the required checks to understand whether the person has dementia. They will try to find out which diseases could be causing the symptoms.

  • Anyone can get dementia.
  • Why early diagnosis is important.
  • Whom to approach.
  • Diagnosis.
  • Problems in diagnosis (missed diagnosis, wrong diagnosis).
  • After the diagnosis.
  • Treatment and research.
  • Prevalence and risk factors.
  • Reducing the risk of dementia.
  • Genetics (risk if close relatives have dementia).
  • See Also…

Read the full post here : Diagnosis, Treatment, Prevention