While dementia extinguished my grandfather’s memories, the losses also eased his pain – CBC

There were hard days and tears, but also moments of great joy

Feb 07, 2023

I was just a teenager, distracted by grades and boys, when my grandfather was diagnosed with vascular dementia.

I was not prepared for who I would become in Dumitru’s final years: his caregiver, his nurse and, with his lapses in memory, his daughter on some days and a stranger on others. Seldom myself.

There were hard days, tears, feelings of failure and the continued grief of watching his mind deteriorate. But there were also moments of great joy and happiness.

Vascular dementia is characterized by changes in memory and cognition due to the flows of blood and oxygen to the brain being restricted. It often involves many small strokes that cause cognitive changes. I imagined it like a room full of light bulbs that go out sporadically. Each time a bulb faded, a part of him changed. The unpredictability meant navigating uncertainty in each interaction.

Read more: https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/saskatchewan/first-person-julia-dima-dementia-joy-happiness-1.6735998

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