Living with Dementia The Silent Monster

Living with Dementia The Silent Monster


Living with Dementia, the silent monster  that affects  large part of our elder population. It entered our life so scuttled, by way of my father.  The majority of families keep it a secret. Honestly, this can create such a strain on a family, it takes on a life of its own. Dementia goes untreated for many years in our lives. I would hear my elder relatives speak about people being senile but didn’t know it is dementia. Before my father made his transition he suffered with dementia. It is also presently affecting a close sister friend of mine whose mother  suffers with dementia.

My encounter with this silent monster was 14 years ago. My father was first diagnose with Parkinson disease and eventually dementia. Dementia is attracted to people who are diagnosed with another ailment and that when it enters. It is the beginning stage to Alzheimer’s. I recall those days when having conversations with my father and it would bring me to tears. This great man who is my father, my protector, my provider, my teacher and my everything is now responding to me as a child. Dementia affects the brain that on occasions my father would be missing for about two days. When he show up at the house he would cannot remember where he were. This was an ongoing journey for about four months until he made his transition.


What are the symptoms of dementia?

Dementia often develops slowly and the early signs are not always obvious. Symptoms similar to dementia can be seen in other illnesses. Sometimes it can be difficult to tell apart dementia from the usual mild forgetfulness seen in normal ageing.

Alzheimer’s, dementia with Lewy bodies and frontotemporal dementia are all neurodegenerative diseases, meaning that the symptoms get worse over time. This is usually the case with vascular dementia too. The speed of change varies between people and also between different diseases, but in most cases, dementia symptoms progress slowly over several years.

As dementia progresses:

  • People may find that their ability to remember, think and make decisions worsens.
  • Communication and language often become more difficult.
  • A person’s behaviour may change and some people can become sad or demoralised.
  • Anxieties or phobias are quite common.
  • Problems with time perception may cause problems with sleeping and restlessness at night.
  • Anger or agitation is common in the later stages of dementia.
  • It is common for people to be unsteady on their feet and fall more often.
  • Gradually people require more help with daily activities like dressing, toileting and eating.


For Family Caregivers

  • Make healthy lifestyle choices as a family, like exercising and eating better, in order to combat the onslaught of dementia.
  • Keep your brain active with puzzles and reading, perform regular exercise that keeps blood flowing to the brain and avoid smoking .
  • Experts recommend people with dementia stay independent for as long as possible and try to live well with dementia, keeping active and occupied, maintaining a social life and looking out for general health.