What Is Someone With Dementia Thinking?
By Paula Spencer Scott, Caring.com senior editor
Parents are known to gaze into their babies’ eyes and wonder, What’s going on in there? Those of us who are caring for loved ones who have Alzheimer’s disease or another dementia do the same thing.
I know, because I found myself wondering about my own dad’s self awareness just the other day. A recent stroke left him wheelchair-bound. This is a big change for someone who was in a bowling league ’til this spring, at 87. But the stroke also seemed to worsen his dementia. He’s living in a rehabilitation facility for now, and when I visit and find him lined up with other wheelchair-bound elders in the dementia unit, watching TV, I can’t help thinking that he’s doing exactly what he swore he never would: “sit around with a bunch of old people who don’t know any better.” Thing is, he doesn’t seem to mind it.
As Alzheimer’s, a progressive disease, worsens, it robs the ability to have conscious awareness. What does that mean for caregivers?
In early/mid stages of Alzheimer’s:
- Most people are aware of initial cognitive changes in themselves (whether they say anything about it or not).
- Self awareness doesn’t disappear overnight. Research has shown that many people are relieved by a diagnosis of Alzheimer’s, rather than upset, because they finally have a logical explanation for something unnerving that’s dogged at them.
If you or someone you know needs help with elder care in Seattle WA or the surrounding area, contact the caregivers at Andelcare. We provide quality and affordable home care for many disabled and elderly loved ones in our community. Call us at 888-788-3051 for more information.