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  1. #16
    OK, mortar board out again!

    Latin Senex, an old man.

    Was originally used to denote seniority (from the same stem) and respect. Has become derogatory because it is now associated with weakening mental capacity.

    Latin Juvenis, a young man.

    Originally neutral, denoting someone under the age of maturity. Has also become derogatory because of associations with juvenile court, juvenile behaviour, etc.

    They'll both probably retain their derogatory interpretations, language doesn't usually regress.

    End of lecture!

    PS Senator also come from senex!
    Last edited by Skye; 11-04-2008 at 11:31 AM.


    Don't grieve for what you have lost, rejoice for what you have had.

  2. #17
    Great reading Sandy! thanks.
    And thanks for the lesson Hazel, I'm learning new things all the time!

    I'm now so looking forward to someone asking me this question again! "Funny you should ask........"

    Kind Regards
    EVERYTHING you post can be viewed by people with dementia. Please be respectful at all times.

  3. #18
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    I just wonder if they really know. Although I read the AZ site when Mum was getting forgetful I didn't join as Mum was not diagnosed with AZ, but vascular dementia. All the societies use the term in their fund raising and part of me wonders if this is a barrier to those suffering from other dementias and if that is the "brand" that they should be forwarding.

    As to the different types, there probably are. But each seems to attack in different ways and depending upon how the brain has wired itself in the first place I am sure that the effect are different..which probably goes along the line of when you have seen one person with dementia you've seen one person with dementia! Everyone is different, becuase of their experiences throughout life which will have impacted upon their brains.

    As to raising funds...well I am raising some from donations instead of flowers. They will be split between the Residents Fund for Mum's home and those sent directly to us are going to Alzheimers Research. That way we help those now and hopefully help people in the future too.

    I think that the term senile dementia is just another sign of the ageism in the population. After all my mother's death certificate says that she died of debility due to old age. Advanced Dementia is only a secondary cause...funny's old age that gives the debility, not the dementia (what, sarcastic, me???!!!!!!)


  4. #19
    Just to add:

    This quote, taken from the Royal College of Psychiatrists' website may explain why the term 'senile demetia' is no longer appropriate.

    "What is the difference between senile dementia and Alzheimer’s disease?

    The term senile dementia was formerly used when people ‘lost their memory’ at an older age. This loss of memory was thought to be part of the normal ageing process. However, it is now appreciated that most people do not develop dementia even at a great age. Most of what used to be called senile dementia was in fact Alzheimer’s disease or another dementia.

    Alzheimer’s disease is the same disease at whatever age it occurs. In the past, however, a distinction used to be made on the basis of age. Older people were described as having senile dementia, while younger ones were said to have pre-senile dementia. This distinction is now widely considered unhelpful and misleading and the term senile should not be used."
    The link:

    Hope that helps
    EVERYTHING you post can be viewed by people with dementia. Please be respectful at all times.

  5. #20
    Volunteer Moderator
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Wigan, Lancs
    Blog Entries
    Hazel. Thanks for that. I should have known but it is a long time since I did Latin.

    It's strange how the word 'senile' has come to mean a description of someone with dementia.

    I have just typed 'senility' into Wikipedia and was re-directed to a description of dementia. (Complete with the how the word dementia comes from the Latin. Hazel, how long have you been working for Wikipedia? )

    Former carer and Volunteer Moderator

    About me

  6. #21
    Well I wish they'd find some way to get this concept absorbed by GPs

    "This loss of memory was thought to be part of the normal ageing process. However, it is now appreciated that most people do not develop dementia even at a great age."

    Hands up anyone who has been told that "memory loss can be expected as someone ages", at least initially.

    Volunteer moderator and former long distance carer.

    A test of a people is how it behaves toward the old. It is easy to love children. Even tyrants and dictators make a point of being fond of children. But the affection and care for the old, the incurable, the helpless are the true gold mines of a culture.

    Abraham J. Heschel

  7. #22
    Quote Originally Posted by sue38 View Post
    Hazel, how long have you been working for Wikipedia? )

    I don't Sue, if I did they'd get it right!

    Senility and dementia are not interchangeable!!!!!


    Don't grieve for what you have lost, rejoice for what you have had.

  8. #23

    death certificate

    My husband was found to be suffering from Vas Dementia after an M R I SCAN. He died from Pneumonia about 4years later.

    The senior partner from our health centre whom was attending him at the nursing home wrote on death certificate cause of death . 1. broncho pneumonia. 2. Senile dementia


  9. #24
    I really don't like the phrase 'senile' or 'senile dementia'. For me it conjures up a description of someone who is old and daft.
    I also don't like the Senile , I find it a derogative expression.

    Sandy I have a book that tell the story of Alois Alzheimer & how the word senile came about .

    The same view was taken in the USA. Fuller asked: "Why a special clinical designation – Alzheimer's disease – since, after all, they are but part of a general disorder?"

    At a meeting of the New York Neurological Society, Ramsay Hunt asked Lambert, the presenter of a case of 'Alzheimer's disease' that "he would like to understand clearly whether he made any distinction between the so-called Alzheimer's disease and senile dementia, other degree and point of age". Lambert stated that, as far as he was concerned, the underlying pathological mechanisms were the same.
    I also find that the American Alzheimer's site will still use the word senile dementia till this day .

    Although it is now in question whether my Dad's dementia is caused at all by Alzheimers, I still say when anyone asks that he has Alzheimer's disease
    Same with my mother I am now told she has VD , rather then Alzheimer, it was caused from VD . I find people understand it more if I say AZ rather then VD .

    But now days since been told mum has VD I just tell them mum has a dementia, if I have the time to stop talk tell them about it , I tell them how she got it . Only to bring more awareness to it .

    Does make me wonder that in the time of Alois Alzheimer , did they know of VD .
    Last edited by Margarita; 04-05-2008 at 12:09 AM.
    "You never know how strong you are until being strong is your only option."
    Author: Unknown

    Each person experiences dementia in their own individual way.

  10. #25
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Co Durham
    Blog Entries
    Hi Craig,

    As I understand it we no longer use the Senile Dementia term any more, just Dementia.

    At a resent event, I was told that there are over 100 variations of Dementia, and Alzheimer's is just another term for one of the many forms of Dementia'.

    This was a great shock to me because I thought that there were only around 10 types, ie Vascular, Lewy Bodies, Alzheimer's, Temperal Lobe, Frontal Lobe, Picks Disease, and some of the other rare forms, such as Huntington's.
    All of these are on the Societies web site.

    Best Wishes

    Life is a Journey - Seize the day, and enjoy it while you are able to.

    Thank goodness for spell checker

  11. #26
    'A rose would smell as sweet by any other name......'

    I have mixed feelings on the issue of the name of this organisation.

    I have no idea of the origins of the Alzheimer society and would be very interested to find a website which gives this information. I would imagine that the Society used the name Alzheimers because this diganosis was (and probably still is) the most common diagnosis for a specific set of symptoms which the medical profession had grouped together under this name. As it was the most common diagnosis probably the AZ Society felt that by naming this disease in its title it gave a clear message about its reasons for existance.

    The AZ Society has done a magnificent job of raising public awareness and in achieving all it has but because of its success,I have found it to be somewhat of a barrier.

    In my experience of friends, family and wider social circle, everyone 'thinks' they know what my husband's disease is as they vaguely associate it with memory problems and with older people and are very 'sorry' that he has this so 'young'. I try to explain that in my husband's case (LBD), there are movement problems, behavioural problems, deep mental illness, hallucinations - and he is not elderly.

    I had to 'educate' the Department of Works and Pensions. They seemed at the time of my claim (some 2 years ago) to have no idea whatsoever what LBD is and what are the cluster of problems associated with this particular disease.

    I even found that some health professionals such as district nurses had never heard of LBD. I am involved in training Carers working in Local Authority Care Homes. They are astonished when they discover all the various forms of dementia.

    The name AZ Organisation was also a barrier when I first looked at this site for help. I did read some of the fact sheets but felt that it was an organisation which was mainly devoted to one type of dementia and there were few sheets which could answer my queries and worries. It was only by coming onto TP and reading posts regarding other forms of dementia that I realised that my husband's form of dementia was much more common than I thought and that I could share in the experiences of others.

    So - thank God for the Alzheimer Site! 'A rose would smell as sweet........' but I do wish there was some way that the AZ Organisation could get the message out that dementia does indeed cover a wide variety of related illnesses.


  12. #27
    Just to add to the thread. I don't have a problem using the phrase "my husband has a dementia" to anyone. I just use the phrase as a factual explanation.

    When the term "senile dementia" was around, I wonder whether it conjures up images of the various horrid institutions and treatments people used to have to endure. Having an illness that affected mental capacity was a whole different ball game in times past.

    I, personally, feel "having a dementia" is very civilised.

    Just my thoughts.

  13. #28
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Co Durham
    Blog Entries
    Hi Tina

    As a person who has Dementia with Lewy Bodies, I have had more problems with officials than enough, because when I tell them what I have, they treat me like a martian. What is DLB and how do you spell it?
    It is sometimes easier to bend the rules and say Alzheimer's, because it is accepted more easily than Dementia. But that is life and we just have to accept it.
    The Society is trying to educate people about the various forms of Dementia, but I have found many Government Departments do not want to know. We can only inform those who really want to know and understand.

    I do think that when the National Strategy for Dementia is launched later this year, a lot more information will be available to those in the NHS and the public sector, then we may get some where.

    I was on one of those committees for a few months and it was very interesting to see what was happening. I now hope that things will move faster and benefit everyone with this illness and their carers and families, whether it be treatment, training, diagnosis, or just basic information which still needs a lot more work doing on it.
    But as with everything else it all takes time, patients and a lot of money to sort out.

    But at least the Society is trying its best to sort things out, it may take time but they will get there.

    Best Wishes


    Best Wishes

    Life is a Journey - Seize the day, and enjoy it while you are able to.

    Thank goodness for spell checker

  14. #29
    Hi Ken,

    ....they treat me like a martian'. I had a little smile at that phrase which sums up to perfection the situation I was trying to describe!

    As a 'go getter' myself I am involved in various forums, committees, governing bodies etc., and know just how tiring and time consuming it can all be, not to exclude expensive when the little extra petrol bills, telephone bill etc mount up. But oh, the sweet smell of success when you know that you have achieved just a little break through is so very good, isn't it Ken!

    You must be tired of hearing this but you are truely a most unusual, caring person. To have this disease and to continue to be a'go getter' takes some doing. Hats off to your wife too. What courage and determination you both have to try to make life easier for fellow sufferers.

  15. #30

    Hello Ken

    I must admit I've given up with the "My husband has Fronto Temperal Lobe Dementia" because I may as well be speaking Martian!! I do not blame anyone because I'd never heard of it either when the diagnosis came!! In fact I found it very difficult to get any information at all until I contacted the Alzheimers Society. I even did this with trepidation because I was told clearly that Alan did not have Alzheimers so I felt that it was more a stab in the dark. However, I was immediately assured by my first contact with them over the telephone that they dealt with all kinds of dementias.

    In my experience, people have coped very will with "my husband has a dementia" but I am waiting for a first passport for Alan and have been informed that he will be required to attend an interview. I have informed them that of course we will attend but that my husband will not be able to answer any questions and will probably not understand what he is being asked. I have told them that I will bring with me a letter from the doctor, from the neurologist and a power of attorney and they still are saying that he will have to answer some questions. This is a new procedure for anyone wanting first time passports and so I feel they could very well do with some training on people with dementias.

    Up to now I feel confident that when they meet Alan they will understand but perhaps it more a matter of "watch this space".

    Best wishes





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