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dementias impact on patients:one case

IMPACT of dementia ON THE INDIVIDUAL’S LIFE

dementias impact on patients:one case. Mr Owen was 74 years old. For as long as he could remember, he had been a perfectionist, with a keen eye for detail. He began to notice that he was unable to recall why he had entered a room. After making light of this and entering into a joke with his friends – ‘I’d forget my head if it wasn’t screwed on’ –he was unable to get away from the feeling that something was wrong.

When he tried to discuss this with his wife, she reassured him that it was something that happened to her as well but Mr Owen knew it was different.

Things continued to change for him, but he couldn’t put his finger on just what was happening. Sometimes, he would forget there was anything wrong at all and would blame others for things he had done himself. He would become anxious and gradually withdrew from the social contacts he had always had.

He and his wife began to argue, which led to more tension and worry for Mr Owen, although he would usually blame her for the disagreement. Any attempt to talk to Mr Owen about his difficulties led to denial or flippant explanations for his difficulties. Eventually, his wife spoke to the GP and Mr Owen was encouraged to make an appointment. The GP talked to Mr Owen about his difficulties and suggested he might have symptoms of dementia.

Rather than despairing, Mr Owen was relieved that he ‘wasn’t going mad’. This was the first step to the couple having support for the changes they were both experiencing.

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