Monday August 31 , 2015




More and more people are growing older and suffering with Dementia and this is not always restricted to the elderly.  Scientists say that more people will be affected with this debilitating condition although they seem hard pressed to tell us the reasons why it is on the increase.

It is a hard one to cope with if it is a close relative and there are some signs that should be looked for,  otherwise it can be ignored.

When my Mother was in her early 70's - behind her back we called her 'Batty Betty' - not for any malicious reason but more because she had always said and done some pretty weird things and we just thought she was getting  a bit worse.  She always wanted / expected / demanded to be centre stage and for example - years ago  when I lived at home - she would interupt a good movie - right at the best bit,  by making a fuss and causing an argument with someone in the family - because she was bored and no one was paying her attention.  This would completly  ruin our afternoon while she was having a good old time being centre stage, even if in an argument.

She disliked her own grandchildren because they took centre stage and she resented that, although would vehemently deny this was true, but we all knew - we could all see and we were all aware. 

When my sister died 2 decades ago,  my Mother tried to claim all sorrow and grief for herself, claiming that no one else had ever loved her the way she had and that no one in the family had ever offered anything in the way of support, help and understanding, and she completely trampled over my Brother and I and our personal feelings and sorrow and tried to claim it all for herself and do a ' poor me - no one understands what I am going through' - routine, which got a severe and harsh vocal slap from me about how selfish she was and how dare she say such rubbish to the very person who had tried - for years - to help my sister and who loved and cared deeply for her... yet to my Mother, none of this counted as it was all about her.  I was very angry with her and made my feelings loud and clear as this was - after all - my sister who had died.

This was probably the only time I ever heard my Motherapologise.

She said and did some very cruel and unkind things to family members and some things we have found it very hard to forgive and forget and her selfish manner seemed to know no ends,  and we were often left open mouthed at some of the things she did and the hurt she caused,  and she didn't want to hear it when I barked and she always blamed me - which was how she coped with avoidance, she just denied it had ever happened and that we were making it all up and that it never happened or that it was my fault as I made her do it.

She was a drama queen.  She acted like a  Diva (and yes she had been quite a famous singer in her day )  and I  never allowed her to get away with this kind of bad behaviour and yet she never learned, never heard my vocal disproval at her manner and never learned to stop hurting others with her self centred manner and believe me, there were hundreds of occasions,  hurtful and painful times, when my Mother just milked it for all it was worth and didn't give a single thought about anyone else.

So when she found herself living in a warden assisted flat and needing company,  most people in the family had just about had enough with her by now and - kinda - let her find her own way to making friends within the aged community within the complex,  as there are some things we cannot do to help. 

She was contancerous and difficult.

We would go round once a week and chat and notice how in a muddle she seemed and how confused the TV remote was for her and when we took her shopping, it was  a battle of wits as she seemed determined to make it as difficult as possible and even my placid brother would be spitting nails some times, furious with herbehaviour.  - yet  as it seems - we thought she was doing this deliberately to get attention,  but after she was moved into a care home and we sorted through her flat,  we soon realised that she desperatly needed help a long time earlier and our reluctance to get too involved must have made life very hard, confusing and frightening for her.

We always told her to go downstairs to the communal lounge and meet the others who lived there - and on a few occasions she would, but mostly we thought the Diva wanted everyone to visit her in her flat and so she stayed there ...  being the prima dona - alone.  After her death and talking with some of the nurses who tended her,   it seems she didn't go downstairs as she was afraid of getting lost and not being able to find her way back to her flat again,  and that breaks my heart as I had no idea.

We found paperwork in the fridge, things hidden under cushions that she said someone had stolen, - all her cutlery vanished and she said the nurses were stealing it and in reality she was throwing it away,-  and so many other small things that were overlooked while she was alive but that we reaslised later were signs that she needed help and that her Dementia was worse than anyone knew - or at least - as the doctors were reluctant to tell us anything even though I kept asking and asking and only at the very end was Dementia mentioned -  and had we known, we would have been there for her.  We thought she was just being difficult and attention seeking.

Demtia can come on slowly and as no doctor was open and honest with us - God knows why they are so reluctant to tell the family the truth even though they are demanding to know what was wrong with her , and had we known earlier maybe we could have done more and realised this was not really Betty being difficult, this was Betty frightened and the only thing she knew, was to try and get our help BUT THE WRONG WAY... and she must have fount it lonely and isolating.

So if any of your aged family start to show signs of doing and saying strange things, always look and see if it is Dementia as it can be a very slow and progressive disorder that can be over looked by family members who are not trained to observe certain signs,  and if doctors and nurses keep important information from us,  then how are we to know.

There are alson dofferent forms of Dementia - with one lady friend years ago being perfectly normal during the day, held down a good job, was always well dressed and would chat like anyone else about stuff,  but when the sun went down and when she was at home,  she would completely change.  ( no - not into a warewolf... )  her home was completely without gas and electric as she hadn't paid the bills,  and almost all the furniture was gone,  and she collected tens of thousands of milk bottles - all half full of rotting milk, piled up from floor to ceiling inside the house,  and the garden was 10 feet deep in grass and weeds and - you guessed it - milk bottles.  She woiuld not come to the front door and woulkd hide when people did - but the next morning at work,  she was as normal as anything and would never discuss her home or the milk bottles - not a single word.

Dementia has many forms and beiung untrained can make it hard to spot, especially if - like in my Mothers case she was a little odd in the first place.  You have to demand and suggest to the doctors and if they do not give a satisfactory answer, get a second opinion. Some will simply not tell you - and I want to strangle those assholes who seem to want to withhold infoirmation from those who are askling, DEMANDING , to know, in their professional opinion,  what is wrong.  I do not understand why soime doctors and some hospital trusts are quite so incompetant - considering the moiney that is invested. 


Memory issues are a hallmark symptom of Alzheimer’s disease, but new research indicates that the younger a person is when they start developing the disease, the more likely they are to experience cognitive concerns that have nothing to do with forgetting an important appointment or getting lost on the way to the grocery store.

Scientists from University College London (UCL) analyzed data on more than 7,800 men and women who are members of the US National Alzheimer Coordinating Center (NACC) database, an ongoing registry of people who receive care at an Alzheimer’s disease center in the United States. Each participant had been formally diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease, and had recorded the first signs that something was going wrong in their brain.

The resulte were illuminating:

Twenty-five percent of people who developed Alzheimer’s before they turned 60 said that their initial symptoms were unrelated to memory loss. These individuals reported that issues with spatial awareness, language, solving problems and making sound judgement calls were what that caused them to seek medical attention. This percentage dropped a bit among people who’d started experiencing cognitive concerns in their 60s—only 20 percent of these patients reported non-memory problems as their first symptoms. And for those whose cognitive troubles held off until they were in their 80s, a mere one in 15 said their initial symptoms were not tied to memory concerns.

Younger individuals with Alzheimer’s were also more likely to develop anxiety issues, apathy and depression, compared to older adults.

“An awareness of symptoms other than memory loss is vital for helping to diagnose Alzheimer’s particularly for those people whose early symptoms are not typical of the disease,” says Dr. Jo Barnes, study author and Alzheimer’s Research UK Senior Research Fellow at UCL in a press release.

His colleague, Dr. Eric Karran, Director of Research at Alzheimer’s Research UK says his team’s findings could impact how society views and supports those with Alzheimer’s disease: “All too often Alzheimer’s is thought of as being a disease characterized only by memory loss, but this study shines a light on some of the other distressing symptoms people with the disease can experience. A greater understanding of these symptoms could not only help people receive a diagnosis earlier, but could also aid public awareness of the disease and help improve support services.”

Be aware of your brain health

June is Alzheimer’s and Brain Awareness Month, a time to spread awareness about Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia, and to reflect on what steps you can take to keep your brain healthy for as long as possible.

For instance, increasing your cognitive reserve—the built-in buffer that scientists believe helps protect the brain from dementia. Take a look at these
8 Strategies for Strengthening Your Brain to learn more about how to build cognitive reserve.

Contrary to popular belief, memory loss isn’t an inevitable result of aging. There is indeed a big difference between what are considered normal age-related cognitive changes and the clinical condition of
Mild Cognitive Impairment—which is widely recognized as a precursor to Alzheimer’s disease.

A healthy diet and exercise program is widely-endorsed by medical professionals as one of the more effective ways to maintain brain health as you age. A neurologist and bestselling author explains the complex answer to the question “
Can Alzheimer’s Be Prevented with Exercise?

For more information on the symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia, see:
15 Signs of Dementia and How to Tell Whether a Memory Problem is Serious.

Finally, if you or someone you know is caring for a loved one with Alzheimer’s, this free eBook offers a variety of useful information for family caregivers:
How to Care for Someone with Alzheimer’s Disease

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 How do you make holy water? Boil the hell out of it.

The baseball was getting bigger. Then it hit me.




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