Today I will share some Characteristics and Behaviors that my husband exhibited – which are definite symptoms of Vascular dementia! Until we received a diagnosis, and I started researching the disease, I was confused and thought he was just being a “jerk” and he had a hard-to-live-with personality. What I learned was so completely different!
return to yesterday’s post, “Symtoms of Vascular
Dementia”, click here for Day 13’s post.
Memory Loss - In the beginning, my husband would forget things told him earlier in the day or the day before (you need to pick xxxx up from work today). As time went on, he became even more forgetful, like not remembering things we told him just a few short minutes earlier.
Vascular dementia, the memory loss is
due to the damage done by small or “silent” strokes that damaged the brain area
controlling memory. Once the damage is
done, it cannot be “fixed”; and can gradually become worse.)
Impaired judgment or ability to make decisions, plan or organize - At one point in our journey, we had three cars that we were paying for which put a real strain on our budget! But, what really made it worse what when he went out and bought a fourth car as a graduation gift for our daughter's college graduation (we had talked about this as a possibility, but had not made any definite decisions). The sales person came to our home the night before we were to leave for her graduation to have us sign the paperwork! There was no time to discuss or make a different decision; and he would have been angry had I went against his decision. His decision really put a strain on our finances! (We did survive this strain; our daughter's friend - who was living with us at the time - ended up buying one of the cars from us).
Confusion - We have now lived in our apartment for over 2 years; my husband still has a hard time remembering where things are in the kitchen. He will stand in the middle of the kitchen (it is very small!!!) and wave his arms around, trying to remember 1) what he was looking for; and/or where it is!
Disorientation - My husband has lived in our city for a very long time. Working with our local newspaper in delivery services, he knows how to get around. Now he hasn't actually gotten lost and not found his way back home - yet; but I have noticed his confusion in knowing exactly where we are (I do most of the driving when we go somewhere together; although he is capable, at this point, to do so). And he has shared with me how he "got lost" leaving our daughter's house, or some other familiar place.
Trouble speaking or understanding speech; difficulty finding the right words - Sometimes my husband will start a sentence; then he will just completely stop speaking, as if he can't remember what he was going to say or can't find the right words to continue. And, most of the time, doesn't continue his train of thought. Now, I find myself doing this very thing; but his is more often and much more noticeable and certainly a symptom of his dementia and not a "normal aging" thing.
Vision loss - While my husband wears glasses, I don't feel his vision problems are anything related to the dementia.
Uncontrolled laughing and crying - My husband sometimes thinks something is really funny and really laughs out loud...I don't always find it that funny. he also has gotten more "emotional" in the last few years. I am not sure if either of these situations indicates dementia; it is not "uncontrolled" as noted for one of the symptoms.
Declining ability to pay attention - While watching a TV show, my husband doesn't completely pay attention what is going on and is constantly asking what is happening. He either has something else that he is reading at the same time, or he keeps getting up and going into the bedroom or the kitchen. Now, the fact that he is hard of hearing also adds to the fact that he doesn't hear what is going on. So, this alone doesn't indicate dementia either.
Impaired function in social situation - My husband is like a "fish out of water" in social situations. He does OK around family and people he knows; but he just doesn't seem to know what the correct things are to say or do in social situations, such as at a wedding or other event.
I realize today's post is rather lengthy and not very interesting to read! But, I felt sharing the symptoms of Vascular dementia in this way may be of help to others who may be experiencing it in their own family. I really didn't want to break it up anymore and take away another day - I still have a lot that I want to share!!
I also want to say that just because a loved one is exhibiting any of these symptoms listed above (and in yesterday's post) does NOT mean that person has dementia or Vascular dementia or Alzheimer's disease or any of the other types of dementia. If you suspect a loved one may have dementia, the best thing to do is to seek professional help!!