Signs and Symptoms of Dementia

Photo by picjumbo.com from Pexels
Photo by picjumbo.com from Pexels

The family put our heads together and came up with a list of symptoms.  The following are notes given to Dad’s Primary Care Physician in December 2005.

Changes

Re: Changes we have noticed in our father’s daily activities.     

  • Dizzy in the mornings (he is frustrated that none of his doctor visits have addressed this or helped do something to alleviate the dizziness.)
  • Very frustrated by all the doctor appointments and his family’s involvement with this. Has been uncharacteristically snappy towards us about it.
  • His driving has been affected (especially the last two years):
  • He drives very slowly.
  • He has had several “mini accidents” such as brushing the sides of cars.
  • Weaving so as to be stopped and questioned if he’s been drinking.
  • Gets disoriented about which way to go even after pointing out the correct way.
  • Has become a very restless sleeper.
  • Noticeably disoriented in unfamiliar settings i.e. a family trip, at in-laws house for the holidays.
  • One of his daughters has a Neuro-Psych background and after not seeing him for 15 months saw him in August of 2005 and said “he is a different person”.
  • In Nov. & Dec. we noticed these things specifically:
    • Opening gifts was mechanically difficult.
    • He was cutting a block of cheese with the dull side of the knife.
    • Couldn’t put a flashlight back together.
    • Likes a bowl of milk and rice – poured milk over his rice when the rice was served on a plate.
    • Asked what “percussion” is after hearing about his grandson’s drum concert.
    • Got agitated at our mother in the car and began driving faster and worse than he has been.
    • Confuses which family member belongs to which family.
  • Can recite poetry he’s learned clearly.
  • Can give directions clearly and in specific detail.

ACTION ITEM:

Be as specific as you can be with symptoms and behavioral issues, it will assist the medical team with a diagnosis.

Now that I know more about Lewy Body dementia, many of these symptoms seem classic Lewy.   However, hindsight is 20/20 and this was 13 years ago.  I wonder if the current medical community would have diagnosed him much sooner.

In the next blog you will read about Dad’s initial diagnosis.

Comments

3 comments on “Signs and Symptoms of Dementia”
  1. paulvanwie says:

    My most profound moment of realizing my mother’s slide into Dementia was 10 years before she died when she broke down, sobbing and crying out why? Why do I have to be so forgetful? It’s more then just getting older, it’s something else. She and I did not understand how prophetic her concern was then. As every year till she died, her memory and cognitive skills continued to decline. Thank you for sharing your story.

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    1. Nancy P says:

      Your mom was a wonderful friend to my parents. Her love for God brightened up the world. I’m so sad she was also a victim of dementia.

      Like

      1. paulvanwie says:

        When you are available for phone vist text me or call me

        Like

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