Living With Dementia: Dealing with Life and Lifestyle Changes

Leah Health Guide
  • I have been so remiss in writing my blog, and I do sincerely apologize. Life has not been very easy lately.. Though my level of dementia is not changing much, I am noticing changes. Some change may have been brought about from grief. That I am addressing through counseling. Some change may be from depression. That, too, is being addressed through counseling and medication. Some change may be due to stress-WHAT stress? I'm retired. HOW can I be stressed?


    Uhhh, it IS possible to be full of stress when retired, to which many of you reading this can probably attest. What can cause stress-related problems?

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    For myself, what about:
    1. Teaching Strengthening Your Mind classes and pushing myself to write more and more lessons?
    2. The inability to hold an interest in any one thing for a sustainable time?
    3. Fighting to get my diabetes under control?
    4. Difficulties keeping up with the many prescriptions I have-some on three month mail away plans (and not all running on the same schedule) and some on a month to month basis? Making sure I have two week's worth ahead at all times is almost impossible for me and-wouldn't you know it-the one I have the most problem with is Lyrica, without which I cannot function.
    5. How about a loss of job (my husband's)?
    6. How about trying to figure out how to move out of a five bedroom home to a two bedroom cottage-which is all torn up due to renovations? How can we use our existing furniture, which is pretty large, in a small cottage? How do we make this move, being two ol' fogies?
    7. How do I keep an elderly lady's demands in check? I want to help her, but I find she can be very bossy and begin to treat me like her servant. Keeping an even keel with her and not losing myself while doing it is a constant emotional and psychological struggle.
    8. Wanting to do more and more...knowing I don't have the same future as most normal people. Wanting to be a help to mankind as long as I can...volunteer, volunteer, volunteer...


    Okay...I feel much better now that I've had my panic attack... (just kidding). Truthfully, I refuse to panic. I know that all can be accomplished with careful planning and teamwork. It's important to think outside the box. And, not all can be tackled at once.


    My counselor is helping me greatly. I had been in the state of mind where, as soon as I got out of bed in the morning, all I could think about was crawling back into bed as soon as I could. "What's the use?" was my attitude. My dementia will probably eventually worsen...and I will no longer be able to live life fully. Why bother now? Just get it over with... These were the messages going through my mind continually. I tried NOT to let others see my inner thoughts. Even the counselor was surprised because he said I came in appearing to be alert and having everything under control. I am learning to let down my guard with him, allowing him to see the scared and angry inner me. With his encouragement, I am waking up each morning and saying "Today is a good day because..."


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    I will write about the decisions I am making in my next blog, as well as continue with my summary on Kerstin Stieber Roger's study on Dementia. Until then, live each day to its fullest!


Published On: June 07, 2010