Living with Dementia Means Hoping for the Best and Preparing for the Worst

Leah Health Guide
  • I am noticing an increase in my short term memory loss. Everywhere. Throughout the day. And I cannot remember ONE incident to tell you about. I CAN tell you about how it makes me feel to experience this.

    After all, having Vascular Dementia is not the same as having Alzheimer’s. Both do involve memory and the mind. With Vascular Dementia, though, my short term memory loss does not get worse quickly as it does with Alzheimer’s.

    Since being diagnosed some…six or seven…years ago, the level of my short term memory loss remained very stable. But now, I’m experiencing an increase in its loss. I suppose my uncontrolled diabetes is contributing to it. I am saddened by this increase. It makes me feel like there are large empty blocks in my past; some I hurdle over and never know it, and others, block my way until someone tells me what the block is all about.

    Add This Infographic to Your Website or Blog With This Code:

    You may not understand what I have just said. It means that I go through the day unaware of events and conversations I have had during the hours and moments prior to this very moment. These are the empty blocks I hurdle over, where I have no idea what it is or that the block even existed. Then, there are other blocks which I hit square on, when someone says, “Remember when so and so said such and such…” or “We went to such and such yesterday.” My answer is a blank stare…and every once in awhile, with lots of effort, I might remember…but recently mostly I give a blank stare and say, “No, I don’t remember that. Tell me about it.” And having to do this saddens me. It tells me that my condition is getting worse; I am hoping it will continue to be a very slow process as it has proved to be thus far… I don’t look forward to losing my life to living only in the immediacy of the moment with only memories of long ago.

    I’ve lived through long ago once already and don’t want to do it again! My husband is much of my memory now. He does not dwell on the fact that he has to help me remember; helping me remember is a matter of need done in a matter of fact way.

    The one thing I DO worry about is the future, if Bill were to die—or even just get very sick… Will I be able to take care of myself, the house and the finances? Would I be able to continue to live in my home among my loved ones and wonderful neighbors? It’s a real scary thought—one that I refuse to dwell on.

    Instead I choose to be pro-active. Here is what I can do NOW to make it easier if everything is left for me to do:

    • Make a list of the bills, date due, email address.
    • Find out which bills are paid online.
    • Find out how to bank online (I used to do this before we married and Bill took it over. I’ll just need to write down how to get to it.
    • Get the passwords for each online entry.
    • List all life insurance policies, along with their numbers and amounts, and phone numbers to companies.
    • Write out the budget being used with explanations, as necessary.
    • List phone numbers for household needs: plumber, electrician, etc.

  • • List phone numbers of contractors we have used to do work in the house.

    Add This Infographic to Your Website or Blog With This Code:

    • List health insurance numbers needed.
    • List doctors used by both myself and Bill, with their locations and phone numbers.
    • List medications being used by both of us.
    • Write down where our Wills are and who wrote them for us.

    Having all this information contained in a book as well as in a special folder on the desktop of the computer will help me – or even Bill—in the event of one of us passing away before the other. If we both die at the same time, it could be of great help for those who are left behind. The above list is good for ANYONE to use.

    If there is something I forgot, I’d appreciate it if you would make a comment, telling me…telling all readers! May God bless you, my friends! Leah

Published On: February 13, 2012