I wish I had a nickel for every time I have asked someone, “What type dementia does your loved one have?” I wish I had a dime for every time their answer made me want to scream. The most common answer is either:
1. I don’t know. You mean there is more than one type? Or,
2. Oh, it’s just regular old timer’s dementia.
There are over two hundred reasons an individual may have dementia. However, Alzheimer’s holds the number one position.
There is no such thing as “Regular Old Timer’s Dementia” or “normal dementia.” Dementia is caused by something and aging is not one of those things.
Have you ever met a 90 year-old who did not have memory issues? Yes, of course you have. Have you ever met a 90 year-old who was still very active and outgoing? Yes, of course you have. Dementia is not a necessary part of aging. There is nothing “normal” about dementia. When dementia enters the picture, the first thought should be, “This is not normal. I need to know what is going on. Let’s make a trip to visit the doctor-PRONTO!”
If upon visiting the physician you do not receive satisfactory answers to your questions, including “What is causing the dementia?” gather your belongings and LEAVE. Find a new doctor who will take the time to explore the various reasons dementia may be presenting, narrow down the reasons, and make an educated diagnosis. A good place to start is the family doctor in Fort Collins (or wherever you reside), and they may refer you to a neurologist or a neuropsychologist.
Regular Old Timer’s Dementia doesn’t exist. Learn the reason for the dementia. As the cover to my Amazon #1 Best Seller, Let’s Talk Dementia, states, “Knowledge brings POWER. Power brings HOPE. Hope brings SMILES. We All Need More Smiles.” Hope that gives you Something to Ponder.
Photo by Pierre Lognoul via Flickr