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Periodic Contributor

What if I am the one with dementia?

I am 65.  I have been diagnosed with Dementia.  My mother had it but at a later age.  I just would like to know what I should do?  I am not married, I have no one else to care for me locally.  My only son who is an adult is mentally ill.  

 

My brother and his wife have set up taking over my financial and physical, medical needs legally. They live out of state.

 

What is it that I should have the lookout on, as to if I am aware that my dementia is worsening?

 

Thank you for any help you can give me.

AARP Expert


@mh61916740 wrote:

I am 65.  I have been diagnosed with Dementia.  My mother had it but at a later age.  I just would like to know what I should do?  I am not married, I have no one else to care for me locally.  My only son who is an adult is mentally ill.  

 

My brother and his wife have set up taking over my financial and physical, medical needs legally. They live out of state.

 

What is it that I should have the lookout on, as to if I am aware that my dementia is worsening?

 

Thank you for any help you can give me.


Hey there, MH.

 

I think it's a great thing that you are asking a community of caregivers about what you might want to do, now that YOU are the one with dementia. I am sorry that you have this diagnosis. On the other hand, there are worse diagnoses, not that it's a competition. But what i'm hoping is that you have time to enjoy your life and your independence for a long time. (Before you will need to have help, or to move into memory care, or whatever makes the most sense for you.)

 

I went back and looked at some of your earlier posts. I'm guessing that maybe you've done a little international travel? Maybe you know Arabic? I'm just wondering. It sounds like you like to go to movies, and that you want to be an authentic person when you greet people. 

 

As for the advice you asked for, i think one of the things you could do is to look for and hire a geriatric care manager. She (i've never met a male one) would visit with you, take a full history  and make an assessment of where you are now and what your assets are, and choices and values, and then make recommendations based on your home, and your interests. Perhaps now, or soon, would be a good time to put in some safety bars in your bathroom, for example. It might be wise to put some safety controls in your kitchen, so that you don't leave something on the stove and forget about it, for example, and cause a fire. You can find out what parts of your home might be a fall hazard, like throw rugs. You could hire her for a brief period of time, or for a long time, for once a month check ins, so that you have a local contact who can help you stay as independent and safe as possible. When i was a geriatric social worker, i worked for a non profit, and we offered an 'assessment and recommendations' package, as well as a contract to follow as long as forever. I went to doctor appointments with clients, and reported to far away family members like your siblings. I was the eyes and ears of the far away caregivers, as well as a companion and contact for the client. It's a thought. 

 

Do you have local friends and activities you can participate in, or continue to? Isolation is a problem for people with dementia, and it is important to maintain conversational skills on a daily basis so that your brain stays exercised. 

 

Is any of this helpful? What concerns you the most?

Please write some more. And i hope you have (or had) a good Thanksgiving. There is always something to be grateful for. 

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