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Stress or dementia?

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Old 02-08-2009, 10:00 PM   #1
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Stress or dementia?

Over the last several months of dealing with mom's problem I find that I have also developed symptoms of forgetfulness and confusion at times. This has me concerned. While I'm not like this all of the time, I do have my moments. I read an article a few months back about the signs of a loved one having dementia and I said to my sister that a good portion of the listed symptoms I have. We giggled about it but either those symptoms were very general to other conditions like stress, or I have dementia as well.
As family members and caregivers do you find that stress can make you suffer some of the very symptoms that your parents/wife/husband are experiencing. If not, then I'm in trouble.

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Old 02-08-2009, 11:14 PM   #2
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Re: Stress or dementia?

I have caregiver Dementia...

It is normal for caregivers to get.

Old 02-09-2009, 03:20 AM   #3
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Re: Stress or dementia?

It is one of the side effects of being a caregiver. When I was my Mom's caregiver, I was so sleep deprived that I became forgetful and irrational at times. Once you have your real life back, it all goes away.



Old 02-09-2009, 04:35 AM   #4
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Re: Stress or dementia?

Hi dorri,
My sisters and I were talking about this yesterday. We all are having the same problem and it scares us. I can't find words in the middle of conversation. I forget where I put something. I must put everything on post-it notes or I forget to do things. Even pick up my Grandson at school. I remembered about 5 minutes before I was to leave!! Thank God. Now this is happening to us all much to frequently. Its the STRESS of caring for Mom. Caring for our children and Grandchildren, ourselves, our home, our husbands. LOL

All kidding aside dorri.....I think this is something that happens to us all. Its not normal to have to deal with everything we deal with on a daily basis. I think it was deb that told me "your plate is full. When you keep adding stuff to this plate....something has to be pushed off the sides". Sounds right to me. I'll go with that explanation.....I try not to worry about it.

Love Chris

Old 02-09-2009, 07:19 AM   #5
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Re: Stress or dementia?

During the years I cared for my in-laws at home, I also had a young daughter and worked full time ... looking back on it I don't know how I got through some of those days but I just kept going because I had no choice. I would blank out on things sometimes, but oddly enough I seem to falter more now that they're in a good nursing home. My husband thinks because I had to do so much for so long, that now my body and mind are sort of feeling the fall-out ... I didn't have time to be tired then or miss an appointment then, but I feel exhausted now, even though I have less to do. I still take care of the financial stuff and advocate for their care, but it's not the stress and work I had before. I'm hoping my husband is right and that it's just residual exhaustion that will go away in time. But I wouldn't worry about your forgetfulness ... caregiving is such hard work that I think we just get overwhelmed at times.
Hope everyone has a great week!

Old 02-09-2009, 08:14 AM   #6
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Re: Stress or dementia?

I did the same thing while helping care for mom at home until she passed last month....I would walk into rooms and forget what I was looking for, forget to do things, etc. It's caregiver stress....I'm finally starting to feel like my old self again...I've been so exhausted since mom died...I didn't have time to sit and think about how tired I was...and now that she's gone, I realize I just how worn out I was!

Old 02-09-2009, 08:48 AM   #7
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Re: Stress or dementia?

Thanks, I'm so relieved.

Shell, when mom was here and after so many days it would become so exhausting, so my sister would take her for a couple of days, but I ended up being even more exhausted on those days off. Mom left on New Years Day but I found that it took me weeks to get back to half normal. I still don't know if I am back to normal. Can't seem to relax. It seems that not only our physical body is trying to recuperate but I think we also have a mind shift that causes our minds to be on both sides of the fence. Even though our parents/inlaws etc are being taken care of, I think we subconsciously are afraid to let go. My mom is at my sisters now hundreds of miles away yet I have mom on my mind all the time, and when my sister puts her on the phone and she doesn't make sense it brings back memories of when I was caring for her. Too, I've have some feel bad memories of why I didn't do this or that, or why I wasn't stronger, or why I was short with her, and why this and that..I need to find peace with my mom's stay.

She sounded so good and alert and with it last week. I was already thinking she is coming back, but my sister told me that she has reverted and wasn't doing so good in
last few days. She has an ecko on the 27th and is waiting for assessment.

Last edited by dorri; 02-09-2009 at 08:49 AM.

Old 02-09-2009, 01:25 PM   #8
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Re: Stress or dementia?

Dorri...your question reminded me of MY family! Six "kids"...actually all are over 50...and each of us worried those same worries you are!

Without each other's knowlege, we seperately visited our doctors wondering what was going on with ourselves. It seems by seeing the changes in behavior, speech, etc. in our Mother, we suddenly became aware of "stuff" going on in our own lives! It was funny when we compared notes.......

My dr. told me normal aging brings about a little forgetfulness...and some of the other changes each of us thought was happening. I think we became so much more aware of Mom's situation, it was easy to compare our own behavior. Believe me...S-T-R-E-S-S can bring on lots of things!

Your own health can easily be taxed also...I developed Atrial Fib. a few years after LOTS of challenges with family members...also shingles. Yikes! It's just so hard to admit to ourselves that we cannot do everything!

One more thing, Dorri....stress and Alzheimer's go hand-in-hand. Many diagnosed with this had long periods of stress/depression before diagnosis.

Great question! Don't permit that GUILT to creep're doing the best you can...and you're doing well.........Pam

Old 02-09-2009, 10:11 PM   #9
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Re: Stress or dementia?

Thanks for the advice Pam and fourt9rkim I'm sorry to hear about your mother passing ((( hugs)))

Old 02-10-2009, 08:27 AM   #10
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Re: Stress or dementia?

Thanks, Dorri...I miss her physical presence, but she is in a much better place now, and she isn't suffering anymore. Take good care of YOURSELF!

Old 02-10-2009, 11:49 PM   #11
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Re: Stress or dementia?

I walked out of the meeting today, stayed with mom and dad for a few more hours, drove home, and tried to write an e-mail. I can't remember half of what was said at the meeting. That is stress!!!

The worst episode I had was related to the statin Lipator but I think I have regained most of what I lost then. The year Mom and Dad were at home after her diagnosis I also noticed problems. But dementia doesn't get better and those episodes did.

So check your meds and watch your stress.... they do mimic dementia.

Love, deb

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