Watch for the signs

I've been out and about in the car today on my own (I know I would have been better off in the garden but work called) and it gave me lots of thinking time.  The team at Contented Dementia Trust will tell you that by the time a person has been given their diagnosis they will already have been living with dementia for approximately 5 years and will have been scared beyond anything they've previously experienced at the gaps that kept appearing within their time line.   Certainly for around two years before diagnosis  Ash cried out on a number of occasions 'what's wrong with me'?  When he did that I reassured him that there was nothing wrong other than anxiety and depression both of which could be dealt with through medication.  He knew though that it was something far more problematic and I could kick myself for not taking his fears seriously.  I was too eager to reassure, too eager for it not to be dementia so what I want to say here is that, if you're loved one not only starts to forget things which we all do, but if, in addition, they get lost occasionally, if they seem confused, if they start acting out of character, if they do all of that and also shout 'what's wrong with me?' listen and act.  Get to the doctors, ask questions of the professionals, read 'Contented Dementia', get in there early not particularly for the diagnosis which won't actually make any difference to how your loved one is behaving or feeling but so that you can make the changes which will make a difference.  With this new knowledge you will be able to start making those alterations to your lives sooner.  You can slow things down, remove the stress, watch and do all of those things which will make your life and theirs so much easier.  Don't wait for people to prompt you, for them to notice before you do.  Take this responsibility for yourself.  It really will help.   However also remember not to be afraid.  This is not the end of everything.  With a positive attitude it can just be the beginning of a new way of life.