This interesting, short article in “Being Patient” offers vignettes for five people diagnosed with different types of dementia. The five share their first symptoms and when “they first knew something was not quite right.”
Don was diagnosed with Lewy body dementia at age 64, after seeing six neurologists. One of his first symptoms was personality change: he suddenly developed an explosive personality, was very angry, and would say mean things to people. Another early symptom was loss of sense of taste, which he later came to describe as a “taste hallucination.”
Chris was diagnosed with Lewy body dementia. He noticed that work became more difficult and he began not feeling comfortable driving as a result of depth perception issues.
John was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease (AD) at age 46 though the diagnosis was later changed to frontotemporal dementia. Kathy was diagnosed with early-onset dementia at age 57.
Eugenia was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s at age 72.
And Arthena was diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer’s at age 51, after having seen her father and several of his siblings develop early onset AD. Arthena’s first symptoms were forgetting information she had known for decades. One day she left her car running for eight hours in the parking lot at work.
Read their stories here:
‘How I First Knew Something Was Wrong:’ An Oral History of Early Dementia – 5 stories
by Genevieve Glass
April 16, 2021
Stanford University is hosting a series of (virtual) lectures about compassion all next week, December 6 to December 10. Anyone in the community may attend the “Call to Compassion” series. Gain insight into how compassion can improve your mindset, physical health, relationships and more. Sessions will be led by experts from diverse disciplines and will go in-depth on the transformative power of compassion and how you can foster this power in your life. The nine lectures are 11am, noon, and/or 1pm PT on each of the five days next week
This interesting article in a recent Washington Post is written by a psychologist.
The elderly who deal with significant physical problems or cognitive decline, who are lonely, or who are grieving or dealing with multiple losses are more likely to experience psychological problems, especially depression. So are older people who have a lot of regret about a life not well-lived and who struggle to find meaning in their lives.
Late life depression, in turn, has been found by researchers to increase self-neglect, cardiovascular problems, morbidity, and risk of suicide. It also leads to worse social and cognitive functioning and compromised quality of life.
Among those living outside group settings, the rate of clinically significant depressive symptoms is 8 to 16 percent and anxiety disorders is 10 to 15 percent. The elderly living in nursing homes fare worse. Most older adults with depression and anxiety do not receive treatment for it.
The author suggests four approaches to bolster or improve mental health:
- life review
- engage in meaningful activities
- disengage from unattainable goals, and
- deal with death anxiety.
This article may be behind a paywall.
4 ways that older people can bolster or improve their mental health
By Jelena Kecmanovic
November 6, 2021
This UCSF one-pager is titled “A Patient’s Guide to Dementia with Lewy Body Disease (DLB).” UCSF uses the term “dementia with Lewy body disease” rather than “dementia with Lewy bodies,” as others use.