Tag Archives: Alzheimer’s

Are dementia, Alzheimer’s, and trauma reactions related?

So, something that kinda connected in my head, but may not actually be connected in reality, were memory-related disorders of the elderly, and memory-related disorders connected to trauma.

Dr C often described dissociated trauma memories as “bubbles” of memory and understanding. I happened to be describing dementia in that way to a friend, and suddenly they both made sense in the same way: nothing else exists in the moment of a flashback, only that moment. Often times, the same is true for dementia and Alzheimer’s patients; they exist in the moment of the time they remember, but nothing outside of that. They forget loved ones, major life events, aging… the same is true for flashbacks, only flashbacks seem somewhat easier to ground from. Age-related memory issues seem to make it a more permanent state of being.

I’ll have to look into whether or not there’s research on any potential connections between age-related memory issues, and trauma-related memory problems…

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dilemmas

I visited with an old friend today (well, ok, an old friend’s mother). I was taken aback by her state of being. While she is trying to look together, it’s quite apparent that she is having issues. I am unsure if it’s something along the lines of early-onset dementia or Alzheimer’s, or something else, but she is a mess. While I think she made a decent effort to have her house look clean for my visit, I don’t think it’s normally that way. The ammonia levels in the house are outrageous. The animals look clean, but I can’t imagine they are always that way with the smell being so bad there. I feel really bad for her. She is really attached to her animals, and I totally understand that. But she is losing her house, and she can’t afford their food or even food for herself. The care-taker in me has clicked on, and I really want to go help her out. But I also know that I am struggling myself. I can’t take all of her problems as my own… It just makes me really sad to see her decompensating so badly…

I contacted our couple’s therapist (her other job is working in hospice as a health social worker) to get some resources for P.  I have passed along those numbers to one of her kids, and will be talking to that daughter later int he week.  I offered to help get P set up with in-home services, but I think that will be all I can offer.  I don;t have the energy to go all-out with my help for her. I love her like family (more than most my f.o.o.) but I don’t have the energy in me to fix everything.