This is my Nan and she was diagnosed with vascular dementia in 2006 at the age of 66. Vascular dementia is the 2nd most common form of dementia. Its effecting around 150,000 people in the uk. Vascular dementia is caused by the reduce of the blood supply to the brain, due to diseased blood vessels.
Before she was diagnosed with vascular dementia she had 2 heart attacks which may have caused this to happen but it’s not certain.
Before all of this my Nan was so outgoing and said it how it was. When my Nan used to call anyone she would go through a list of names before she got to yours. I used to always laugh I was so young I just though it was funny.
After a few years went on she would forget about having a simple conversation, that she had the day before. If we said the day before ” oh we are going out tomorrow” the next day she wouldn’t remember.
Time went on and things seemed to be getting worse. she couldn’t think of what she wanted to say. She would get frustrated and irritable. My mum knew something was wrong and she knew what it was deep down, but just needed it confirmed. After loads of test it was in fact dementia. My Nan was aware of the disease due to her mum having it. The look on her face was so sad, she knew what was going to come.
A few year later things started getting worse. She could hardly communicate with us. She even went out one night for a walk and ended up on a train station in Surrey miles away from her home in Somerset. We knew it was time to find a home for her. It was the last thing we wanted to do but she needed 24 hour care. We live in London so going to Somerset all the time wasn’t good enough. We couldn’t be there all the time.
While my mum was looking for a care home, She visited my Nan. She was holding a letter looking upset. My Nan had a court hearing for fly tipping. she had left a rubbish bag at tescos. I can tell you if was thrown out of court.
Eventually my mum found a retirement home in Godstone called Oakleigh. It was so lovely there was a huge garden with rabbits, a hair dressers, it was great. After a year in the home she could no longer talk walk and would just stare at you like she was looking straight through you.
She passed away in 2012. But even though she passed away in 2012 we were grieving way before.
I feel people should be aware of what people go through that have dementia and their families as it don’t just effect the person. It affects the whole family.