My Mother became demented in her later years, vascular dementia, the good kind if you are going to get dementia. Probably in her lateish 70s but my parents did not move back to Canada until she was 78 and my Father at 83 who knew he was dying...which he promptly did. Eventually Mother ceased being able to talk. But she could still feed herself and if you put a cup of coffee in front of her she knew what it was and how to pick it up and drink it. And related strongly with the staff in the chronic care home. With Alzheimer's as far as I know, this is eventually not so. She had no idea who I was after a couple of years of thinking I was her sister, but she retained 'personhood' until the end. And she was 97 when she died.
My Mother had always been the secretary/treasurer of every group she ever joined and I watched her deteriorate over the years and how incredibly upset she was about the losses.
I have always been the 'meds' nurse with a prodigious memory and disciplined organizational skills upon which I rely to live. Now, at close to 80, I am seeing in myself such a deterioration and distressing loss of memory. And an inability to read complicated text, including recipes. Ed always says to me...but look how well you still talk (when I can access the words) but apparently that was something which the author, Wendy Mitchell, also retained. I'm not afraid of Alzheimer's but I do fear vascular dementia. And like Mitchell, I rely increasingly on my organizational skills to get us through daily life. I've read my brain MRI and I do have problems. But below the threshold of MS which is what they were looking for. Needless to say, no one told me of this and it was a surprise to read the 'Impression' part of the report. I do now have severe double vision and wear glasses with prisms in them to return life to one clearer image. And no, I don't really understand the report in detail. And have not asked. Strange for me I guess.
Ed has always had a terrible memory and has relied on me for decades to keep him on track which is very hard to do. But apparently he doesn't worry about any of it...but then men in general are not noted for the kind of introspection which women go through or for talking about it.
Not sure I should have written this long post in this thread...or at all for that matter. But there you are. The incidence of dementia is increasing in the western world. So some of us reading this forum are going to go that route. I know of many folks who have, including a professor of physics and one of Canadian Studies at my local university along with a chief librarian and the head of my college. Those are only the ones I know of. (Many have simply passed away.) Plus relatives and friends, etc, etc. I'll quit now.