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diminshed intelligence

tuffydawn

Registered User
Mar 30, 2015
123
Struggling to live with my partners memory problems and apathy about life my grown up son said to me today it is not just his memory but his intelligence has dimished you have to spell things out to him now or he just does not get it ( my son is finding it hard to have patience with him and is very blunt with him now) and i thought yes that sums it up well has any one else had that feeling about their loved one?
 

mabbs

Registered User
Dec 1, 2014
238
Lancashire
Struggling to live with my partners memory problems and apathy about life my grown up son said to me today it is not just his memory but his intelligence has dimished you have to spell things out to him now or he just does not get it ( my son is finding it hard to have patience with him and is very blunt with him now) and i thought yes that sums it up well has any one else had that feeling about their loved one?
oh yes tuffydawn, my hubby was an intelligent person, very interested in news and politics, we had to watch the news, and political debates etc, regular as clockwork 6pm news on BBC, no longer, he would rather watch a kiddies comedy film, home alone is a favorite. I now know that whatever I am saying is probably not understood, I still natter to him, but most of the time he looks blank, with the newspaper I am pretty sure he is only looking at the pictures. Its hard having patience, but your son needs to accept that he isnt the person he knew, and he cant help it, it is VERY frusrating for you your son and your partner as well, take one day at a time, and try and go with the flow, easier said than done, thinking of you mabbs
 

ASH74

Registered User
May 18, 2014
294
For me it was shocking that FIL (who was an accountant) "lost" the number 7 completely. He no longer reads anything because he just can concentrate for long enough. It is very tough.


Sent from my iPhone using Talking Point
 

Lindy50

Registered User
Dec 11, 2013
5,239
Cotswolds
I spent a good half hour with mum yesterday, watching the 'first Women's Boat Race on the Thames'. We spoke about it, all the commentators and interviewees talked about it......then a few seconds after it finished, I like to think she vaguely knew she'd seen London on TV, but all further understanding of the event we'd watched and talked about was completely gone.....

I guess this is about memory really, but when it reaches that stage, it must affect your overall cognitive functioning, or 'intelligence' :(

So sad.......xx
 
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stanleypj

Registered User
Dec 8, 2011
10,708
North West
Yes, we just have to learn to live with it. That's very hard indeed.

The only way I can cope is by trying not to dwell on all the things that have gone (and I'm not sure that intelligence would be at the top of my list of the losses). Instead we have to try and appreciate what still remains - if we can.
 

Lindy50

Registered User
Dec 11, 2013
5,239
Cotswolds
Yes, we just have to learn to live with it. That's very hard indeed.

The only way I can cope is by trying not to dwell on all the things that have gone (and I'm not sure that intelligence would be at the top of my list of the losses). Instead we have to try and appreciate what still remains - if we can.
I agree, Stanley. I would still watch the Boat Race, or other such things, with mum, even though she has no memory of it. She (and I) enjoyed it at the time, that's what I try to focus on xx
 

marionq

Registered User
Apr 24, 2013
6,117
Scotland
The most shocking and surprising loss for me is my husband's inability to follow sports. An avid football fan and keen watcher of almost every sport it's now fairly obvious to me he does not know what is going on.

He loved his team so much I could weep for him when he does not know the score within a minute or so of the game ending.

His sister buys him a football magazine each week and I see him looking at the same page for half an hour. How can things get so bad so quickly?
 

Loopiloo

Registered User
May 10, 2010
6,118
Scotland
Yes, we just have to learn to live with it. That's very hard indeed.

The only way I can cope is by trying not to dwell on all the things that have gone (and I'm not sure that intelligence would be at the top of my list of the losses). Instead we have to try and appreciate what still remains - if we can.
Very true. Yet so difficult at times.

I find more ‘acceptance’ of the cognitive losses now than in the earlier years. (Husband has had vascular dementia at least 13 years) Partly because although I read all I could about dementia I didn’t fully understand it and at times thought my husband was ‘not trying hard enough’ for want of a better description. Especially when in numerous respects he still did have clarity.

Now that there have been so many losses over time I do hold on to what remains and appreciate that. But it takes time, also trial and error to get there.

Mabbs, we were very much as you describe and although I also still nattered to my husband I had come to accept that he did not understand. He also still looked at the newspaper but was only looking at the pictures.

I use past tense as now my husband has no coherent speech which makes communication extremely difficult. He often talks away at some length but I can only guess by facial expression, tone of voice etc., what he is saying - and he will be unaware of how he sounds.

Tuffydawn, it is very hard, and frustrating, and much more. But we cannot alter the course of the disease and have to find ways of coping with it. I do hope in time your son will realise that he cannot help it, he is no longer the man he was. As mabbs said, learn to go with the flow. But yes, that is often not so easily done.

Thinking of you
Loo x
 

stanleypj

Registered User
Dec 8, 2011
10,708
North West
Yes, that rings a bell. So many of the things that Sue used to enjoy are no longer available to her. I'm watching bits of the Manchester derby this p.m. She was a real City fan but rarely even looks towards the telly now. She was even more fond of tennis and cricket. For a long time I would talk about it if I was watching and sometimes she would engage briefly but now there's no real focus so I've just stopped doing that.
 

Izzy

Volunteer Moderator
Aug 31, 2003
62,335
69
Dundee
The most shocking and surprising loss for me is my husband's inability to follow sports. An avid football fan and keen watcher of almost every sport it's now fairly obvious to me he does not know what is going on.

He loved his team so much I could weep for him when he does not know the score within a minute or so of the game ending.

His sister buys him a football magazine each week and I see him looking at the same page for half an hour. How can things get so bad so quickly?
Bill is the same. He was a real football fan and loved every other sport too. He still looks at games etc but hasn't a clue what's happening. In January I drove past Ibrox and pointed it out to him. He had no idea what I was speaking about. It all means nothing to him now.

I'm fortunate though as this hasn't happened quickly. A few years ago he still had a vague idea what it was all about. Given his diagnosis was in 2001 I think we're lucky he retained it for so long.
 
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Lindy50

Registered User
Dec 11, 2013
5,239
Cotswolds
I have to admit, even during the Boat Race, mum said she thought the commentators were 'very poor', and asked me 'Can you understand what they're saying?' This is not the first time this has happened, I think that often she can't interpret / take in words from the TV, ie it's making no sense to her in the first place, let alone remembering it :(

I think she enjoys it more in the sense of sharing an overall sense of occasion, which actually relies on us doing things together...:)
 

Canadian Joanne

Volunteer Moderator
Apr 8, 2005
16,562
66
Toronto, Canada
my grown up son said to me today it is not just his memory but his intelligence has dimished you have to spell things out to him now or he just does not get it ( my son is finding it hard to have patience with him and is very blunt with him now)
To me, it's because the memory has gone and with it the capacity to put facts together. I don't think of it as a loss of intelligence as such, although it manifests that way. It's a loss of all sort of capabilities, not intelligence.

I'm sorry that your son is having trouble with patience, it is extremely hard and very frustrating to deal with. With time, I hope he'll see it really is the disease and not your partner. Bluntness will not help your partner understand and unfortunately, the one thing that does get through is emotion. I think impatience might only make things worse.
 

Soobee

Registered User
Aug 22, 2009
2,734
South
If you could see the damage in the brain you would marvel how people with dementia continue to do as much as they do.
 

Saffie

Registered User
Mar 26, 2011
22,514
Near Southampton
I think you have to find patience as it is what it is and I think how frightening it can be for the sufferer themselves. They may not always accept things but they can have periods when they know that things are not right and must feel so scared.
Sadly, the whole thing is tragic for all concerned.
 

LYN T

Registered User
Aug 30, 2012
6,960
Brixham Devon
To me, it's because the memory has gone and with it the capacity to put facts together. I don't think of it as a loss of intelligence as such, although it manifests that way. It's a loss of all sort of capabilities, not intelligence.

I'm sorry that your son is having trouble with patience, it is extremely hard and very frustrating to deal with. With time, I hope he'll see it really is the disease and not your partner. Bluntness will not help your partner understand and unfortunately, the one thing that does get through is emotion. I think impatience might only make things worse.
I totally agree with your comments Joanne. I may be a bit slow on the uptake at times but I never thought my Husband had 'diminished intelligence':confused: I know Pete's brain was damaged at an alarming rate but I never, ever thought about it from an intelligence angle. To me each downturn was a result of brain damage and, as you say, capabilities. Actually, I always ensured that Pete was treated as an intelligent person; whether that was from visiting medics or tradesmen. Dignity at all times was my mantra-that meant talking to him as a human being and not an idiot:eek::(

Tuftydawn-as your Son is grown up I would suggest that he should exercise some intelligence and be as civil and patient as he can be. I really believe that sharp words and unkindness have a detrimental effect on Dementia sufferers- and that in turn has a detrimental effect on the main carer. They are the ones who will be dealing with the fall out. It's not easy-believe me when I say I failed many times-but presumably your Son doesn't care for your OH full time? He shouldn't feel irritation but pity and compassion, and I'm sure it doesn't help you to hear such sharpness directed at your OH.

As always, just my opinion.

Take care

Lyn T XX
 

Loopiloo

Registered User
May 10, 2010
6,118
Scotland
Lyn T wrote:

I really believe that sharp words and unkindness have a detrimental effect on Dementia sufferers
I also believe this. Patience, tolerance and compassion are what is necessary. Although we are not saints but human and there are times when they can be stretched beyond the limit. It is far from easy being a carer and we do our very best. But we can all fail at times, and then feel wretched about it afterwards.

I also agree with Joanne and Lyn. Yes each downturn is the result of brain damage. Intelligence does not come into it.

Loo
 

LYN T

Registered User
Aug 30, 2012
6,960
Brixham Devon
Oh! Loo-wouldn't it be wonderful if we could all be saints? I know it was the lack of sleep that got to me:( We can only do our best:) The violence, incontinence and endless drudgery didn't seem so bad after a good night:)

What I hope I always kept sight of was that Pete was a Human Being with the ability to feel/show emotion. Ok he couldn't speak or understand what was being said to him, but when I used to play him beautiful music the tears used to roll down his face. I don't think I needed any more convincing that my beloved Husband could FEEL. I hope I always held on to that.

Love to you

Lyn T XX