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Wendy's story: living with early-onset dementia

Discussion in 'Younger people with dementia and their carers' started by HarrietD, Jun 25, 2015.

  1. HarrietD

    HarrietD Administrator
    Staff Member

    Apr 29, 2014
    In this film, Wendy Mitchell discusses getting diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease at 58. Wendy talks about planning for the future, coping with the symptoms of dementia, staying connected with friends and family and how Alzheimer's Society can help people stay connected:


    If you have any thoughts on this video, or you'd like to share your own experiences, please leave us a comment below :)
  2. Tony

    Tony Registered User

    Mar 17, 2005
    Just what the media needs a look at some one getting irrespective of the illness, I assume the Video is very recent , if yes well its almost 2 years since Wendy’s diagnoses and she has obviously accepted the diagnoses and got to grips with having to adapted and be positive to overcome the disability brilliant long may it continue Wendy , with that attitude no reason Wendy can carry on independently for years & years , I am now in my 16th year and going stronger and stronger
  3. Olivia15

    Olivia15 Registered User

    Feb 24, 2016
    This is a great video - I'm really glad that there is now more publicity about early on-set Alzheimer's - my mum was diagnosed aged 55 and although she is less able than Wendy it is great to see someone talking about it in the open :)
  4. Pam C

    Pam C Registered User

    May 10, 2016
    My best friend was having signs such as short term memory loss in 2009, and was diagnosed with dementia in 2012 , at the age of 50, she has been in a nursing home now since February 2016, she no longer speaks and sits with her head down for hours, she doesn't recognize anyone and doesn't respond to people, I wonder what she is thinking about and if she knows what is happening to her. It's breaking my heart and I don't know how much time she has left, it's really really bad. Any help would be appreciated. I would like to be with her when she passes and I wonder if she would know that I was there. Thanks for the video and your bravery.
  5. Grannie G

    Grannie G Volunteer Moderator

    Apr 3, 2006
    Hello Pam

    You won`t know what your best friend is thinking about or whether she`ll know you are with her because she has lost the ability to communicate.

    You will know you are trying your best to support her and give her comfort , just by a stroke of her arm or a hold of her hand, by talking softly to her to let her know you are there.

    It is said hearing is the last sense to go so please keep talking to her, softly and encouraging contact. None of us know but we must keep trying.
  6. Red66

    Red66 Registered User

    Feb 29, 2016
    What a remarkable best friend you are Pam! Like Grannie G said hearing is the last to go, how long is left who knows.. My dad had 3 different dementias and he had lucid moments, fleeting and less than 30 seconds really, but occasionally the corners of his mouth broke into a smile and then it was gone. But just seeing that warmed me, I felt like he knew for a just a few seconds we were there. There will be signs of going towards 'the end', thickened fluid, pureed food, infections setting in to mention just a few, for my Dad this stage lasted months, but for others in can be years, but the home should be able to advise you of this, and sadly, eventually loss of appetite to follow. It is so very sad that she is so young, my Dad was 73 when he passed in August and I felt that was young. I feel for her and her friends and family. Stay strong for her. I wish I could help you, Red x
  7. nitram

    nitram Registered User

    Apr 6, 2011
    North Manchester
    "Like Grannie G said hearing is the last to go, how long is left who knows."

    For a PWD 'hearing' has to be redefined.

    For months my wife could not verbalise nor did she respond to anything said to her, she would however startle at a sudden slight noise, using the usual definition she could hear.

    If I pulled funny faces at her she would smile, she could react.

    After querying this with several clinicians I came to the conclusion that the ability to hear was not enough, my wife was unable to comprehend what was being said and therefore unable to react.

    I therefore used to lean over her and pull appropriate faces as I talked, this technique worked producing changes in her facial expressions until her eye coordination went wrong and they looked in different directions.
  8. vanman

    vanman Registered User

    Jan 3, 2017
    Great Video


    Great video
  9. Brdy1964

    Brdy1964 Registered User

    May 10, 2017
    early onset dementia

    I agree it is a relief to know the cause. I always used to be good in math with many formulas solved in my head. I found myself no longer able to do simple math and started reading clocks wrong. Family and friends complained of my repeating myself, and since early onset AD runs heavy in my family I went to be checked. MRI showed atrophy and the rest of the tests confirmed it. Cooking has been limited to soups and stews to avoid confusion, Labels placed on kitchen drawers and cabinets, and my sister has been assigned as my caregiver, P.O.A. and medical proxy.
    Simple layout changes around the house, and moving into a controlled environment, locked community, keep everything safe. AD is not the end, just another phase of life. We just try and move on graciously. :)
  10. Nanak

    Nanak Registered User

    Mar 25, 2010
    Brisbane Australia

    A friend of my daughters has just been diagnosed with Early onset Alzheimers. She is 39. It really is a disease that doesn't discriminate.


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