Nov 20, 2013

What it Feels Like to Have Alzheimer's

What is being destroyed by Alzheimer’s is your self worth and your skills.

+Alzheimer's Reading Room

What it Feels Like to Have Alzheimer's | Alzheimer's Reading Room

Our reader Kimi wrote the following comment under the article - Thanksgiving Dilemma, Should Mom Attend?

My husband wrote this (see below) a year after a diagnoses of Alzheimers. It's a true inside look.

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What it is like living with Alzheimer’s

I would like to explain what it is like to experience a decline in your ability to think, remember and make decisions.

Early stage Alzheimer’s begins with episodes of memory lapse progressing to a diminished ability to reason and problem solve at a level achieved in the past.

As you re-evaluate what you now have control over, you must make adjustments in order to meet your needs via different pathways than you had previously.

Your choices are different and unfamiliar.

With fewer achievements and alternatives you are unable to meet your everyday needs. You become insecure and withdrawn.

When you withdraw you tend to become depressed because you have fewer pathways to be happy and fulfilled.

A diminished memory erodes your self worth and self confidence.

It inhibits risk taking, which in turn stifles your growth.

You feel fearful of losing your self image and become paranoid of what others think.

You don’t want others to treat you differently, and at times wish to be invisible to the outside world.

You increase the amount of idle time and begin to feel worthless.

What is being destroyed by Alzheimer’s is your self worth and your skills.

Living with this disease is very difficult because you have a perception of who you once were and a different perception of who you are now.

The difference in these two realities creates an overwhelming sense of insecurity.

Insecurity changes your behavior, your mood, your plans and your dreams.

You feel there is no way back to where you once were.

This is what it feels like to have Alzheimer’s.

How to fight back: At this time there is no cure.

Early detection is essential.

Having outstanding doctors are so important. The meds today can keep you at a cognitive level with hopes of new drugs through Clinical Trials for a possible cure in the future.

Please feel free to comment, add your insight, or give us your reaction.

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Editor Note: The emphasis and bolding of the words are mine.

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Reality in Alzheimer's World is a reflection of what the person living with Alzheimer's thinks and believes. It is this reality that you must focus on, not the way YOU think things are, or should be.


I feel confident when I say this -- you won't be able to convince a person who is deeply forgetful that they are wrong, and you won't be able to convince them that your reality is the true reality. They can't remember like you or me, so they really cannot comprehend your point of view.

When you do this you are asking the person who is deeply forgetful to come back into your world. They cannot do this.

Excerpt from -- How to Listen to an Alzheimer's Patient

Two of the biggest problems Alzheimer's and Dementia caregivers face are how to cope and communicate with someone living with dementia.

Let's face it, Alzheimer's patients often say things that seem nonsensical to us; or, say things that leave us exasperated, confused, frustrated, and sometimes angry.

The words they say often cause us to react negatively.

The issue: are you really listening to the person living with dementia? Or, are you immediately reacting, or overreacting to their words?

Once I took the giant step to the left and entered Alzheimer's World the words my mother was saying took on a new and entirely different meaning for me.

I actually started listening to her instead of over reacting.