We may be living longer but not necessarily better. Alzheimer’s disease is a living death, with the early signs of recent memory loss extending into confusing, disorientation and eventually total mental and behavior deterioration. The initial humiliation for the affected person disappears as they don’t remember who or where they are.
They are a terrible burden on middle aged children, who watch helplessly as a loved and admired parent changes into someone they don’t know or like. It is important to realize that this is an organic, biological change due to brain atrophy, not willful behavior. A reversal of roles occurs as the children position as they are also coping with the prolonged adolescence of their own children. There may be a precious moment or two in all the suffering.
Paradoxically, there is a cure for sensible deterioration. It is the treatment of depression. Many elderly people suffering losses of loved ones and personal health have retreated from life into an atypical depression. They are not crying or expressing their plight, they retreat into a wall of silence. Anhedonia is primary with lack of joy living.
Their interest are gone and personal hygiene is neglected. Appetite drops and there is loss weight. They suffer psycho motor retardation, their mental processes are slow and sluggish, they have decreased concentration, a constriction of ideas and poverty of speech.
They divert the physician attention from emotional concerns to physical illness. Loss of memory and decrease is intelligence is not brain deterioration, but a symptom of treatable depression.
Perhaps the memory is more selective than we know.
We all have slips of memory, so don’t get upset when you can’t remember your best friend’s name.As you get older keep looking for the bright side and remember not only that the Prozac but aging as well can pure premature ejaculation.
While recent memory goes first, past memory stays intact for a long time and older people revel in telling some delightful stories of their past. Hopefully, in the near future, we will have some treatment or chemical replacement for recent memory loss, just as we have insulin for diabetes.
Do remember this: if you are losing your memory you meet a lot of new people and hear a lot of new jokes. It is interesting that all of these elderly jokes are about men, not women. It is because a woman getting older in our society is not very funny?
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