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Little awareness

usedup

Registered User
Aug 5, 2014
21
West Berkshire
My wife is expert at erecting a mental block against undesirable knowledge. She must be aware of her dementia but never speaks of it. This makes it very difficult to follow up any of the non-medical forms of treatment. Going to see some specialist in, say, cognitive therapy, would force the issue. Anyway, I doubt if it could be done because just the suggestion would frighten. We tried a day centre but it was an off day and she got aggressive, which is not very common. Any comments would be welcome.
 

Beate

Registered User
May 21, 2014
12,010
London
To be honest, I think people with little or no inside into their condition are the lucky ones. They won't get depressed due to knowledge about how bad they could get. My OH is blissfully unaware and happy as a clam. I don't really see how cognitive therapy could help someone with dementia anyway?
 

marionq

Registered User
Apr 24, 2013
6,115
Scotland
My husband accepts he has dementia but I doubt if those words mean anything to him even if we talk about it. His short term memory is about two minutes so it is a fleeting concept.

If your wife had an off day at the centre why not try again. The three days I get even if only four or five hours at a time has been a lifeline to me in what was a very difficult year.
 

fizzie

Registered User
Jul 20, 2011
2,730
I agree - if the day centre was a bit overwhelming then suggest you try again just for a couple of hours in the morning maybe?
 

Casbow

Registered User
Sep 3, 2013
1,004
Colchester
Usedup

My wife is expert at erecting a mental block against undesirable knowledge. She must be aware of her dementia but never speaks of it. This makes it very difficult to follow up any of the non-medical forms of treatment. Going to see some specialist in, say, cognitive therapy, would force the issue. Anyway, I doubt if it could be done because just the suggestion would frighten. We tried a day centre but it was an off day and she got aggressive, which is not very common. Any comments would be welcome.
My husband has never spoken about his dementia. 7 years ago when he was diagnosed he never said anything. We drifted along for years with him getting slowly worse, but although I gradually started talking to other people in front of him about dementia he never asked me anything. For the last three years he has had no memory at all. From his point of view I think it is for the best. Nothing can be done to cure him so the less he knows the better for him. Try very hard to get your wife to go somewhere for a few hours so that she will hopefully let you leave her without her getting angry or upset. I cannot get any respite as my husband will not settle anywhere and day care won't have him. I think I left it too late to get him to be ok without me. Hope it will be ok for you both.x
 

usedup

Registered User
Aug 5, 2014
21
West Berkshire
Thank You.

My husband has never spoken about his dementia. 7 years ago when he was diagnosed he never said anything. We drifted along for years with him getting slowly worse, but although I gradually started talking to other people in front of him about dementia he never asked me anything. For the last three years he has had no memory at all. From his point of view I think it is for the best. Nothing can be done to cure him so the less he knows the better for him. Try very hard to get your wife to go somewhere for a few hours so that she will hopefully let you leave her without her getting angry or upset. I cannot get any respite as my husband will not settle anywhere and day care won't have him. I think I left it too late to get him to be ok without me. Hope it will be ok for you both.x
Thank you, Casbow.It is great that someone with your level of trouble should make the effort to help another.
 

canary

Registered User
Feb 25, 2014
12,861
South coast
Its not usually denial about their dementia, its usually anosognosia - they are unable to understand that there is anything wrong.

I once heard an analogy about thumbs:
Suppose that the next person you meet says "oh my, what happened to your thumbs?" You look at your thumbs and you cant see anything wrong with them, so you think that person is a bit odd. Next your family starts saying "where are your thumbs? When did you lose them?" and insists that you go and see the doctor about it. You dont understand what they are going on about though, as you know that your thumbs are still there, so you dont really want to, but eventually you do and you get referred to the hospital. At the hospital the doctors are saying that you have lost your thumbs and try to show you results of scans to prove it. By now you are getting very annoyed and are certain that there is some sort of conspiracy, because you look at you hands and they dont look any different, you can see and feel your thumbs and you know that you havent lost them.

Thats what its like for someone with dementia.
 

Rageddy Anne

Registered User
Feb 21, 2013
5,984
Cotswolds
Its not usually denial about their dementia, its usually anosognosia - they are unable to understand that there is anything wrong.

I once heard an analogy about thumbs:
Suppose that the next person you meet says "oh my, what happened to your thumbs?" You look at your thumbs and you cant see anything wrong with them, so you think that person is a bit odd. Next your family starts saying "where are your thumbs? When did you lose them?" and insists that you go and see the doctor about it. You dont understand what they are going on about though, as you know that your thumbs are still there, so you dont really want to, but eventually you do and you get referred to the hospital. At the hospital the doctors are saying that you have lost your thumbs and try to show you results of scans to prove it. By now you are getting very annoyed and are certain that there is some sort of conspiracy, because you look at you hands and they dont look any different, you can see and feel your thumbs and you know that you havent lost them.

Thats what its like for someone with dementia.
Thankyou forthis description. It will be helpful for explaining to some people who can't understand; the same ones who think a person with Dementia can ' learn' things if you repeat and remind often enough. Learning does not happen, it's been left behind.
 

Jean1234

Registered User
Mar 19, 2015
259
Passed this over to my OH daughter.

Its not usually denial about their dementia, its usually anosognosia - they are unable to understand that there is anything wrong.

I once heard an analogy about thumbs:
Suppose that the next person you meet says "oh my, what happened to your thumbs?" You look at your thumbs and you cant see anything wrong with them, so you think that person is a bit odd. Next your family starts saying "where are your thumbs? When did you lose them?" and insists that you go and see the doctor about it. You dont understand what they are going on about though, as you know that your thumbs are still there, so you dont really want to, but eventually you do and you get referred to the hospital. At the hospital the doctors are saying that you have lost your thumbs and try to show you results of scans to prove it. By now you are getting very annoyed and are certain that there is some sort of conspiracy, because you look at you hands and they dont look any different, you can see and feel your thumbs and you know that you havent lost them.

Thats what its like for someone with dementia.
Hope you don't mind but I have passed your anology about thumbs to my OH's daughter as I thought it might help her understand. It is so correct.
 

malomm

Registered User
Mar 23, 2014
239
Campania Region, Italy
One of the hardest things is convincing even close family, never mind friends or acquaintances, how pointless it is asking "do you remember........."
keep smiling
malomm