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I Have Alzheimer’s or Another Dementia
How long can a solo PWD live alone successfully?
It is important to note that approximately seventy percent of PWDs have anosognosia, and thus are not in a position to live alone successfully for long. This is because they are unaware of their limitations and safety concerns and their need to make adjustments in their lives. The PWDs who read and post here do not have anosognosia.
Since dementia is progressive we have to prepare for progression. We don't know the timeline for progression. It may be a few years or perhaps a few decades. Some with MCI/CI may not progress, or progress to a slight degree.
The caregivers like to use a seven stage description for progression, because it helps them in their preparation and planning for their caregiving changes. Many doctors use a three stage description. I want to use three stages because they help me conceptualize the future.
Doctors use early, mid and late stage.
In the cognitive impairment and early dementia stage we can do a lot of what we used to do with only a few adjustments. We may feel good, but we should use this time to plan and prepare for our future. It's hard to do. I did not prepare much, although I thought about it a lot.
In the late stage, PWDs are confined to home and only go out to medical appointments. All other services are provided in the home environment. My late aunt was confined to her home after two strokes. Although she was not diagnosed as having Vascular Dementia, I now recognize many signs that make me believe she was impaired with this. She could speak and toilet herself but was unaware of the seriousness of her condition. She refused offers of help and no one wanted to override her. A neighbor brought her food. She lived an awful life. I see myself going down this path and I don't want this to happen to me.
The mid stage is where I am at now. I don't really know the mid stage of what disease or diseases, but I know I am past the beginning stage but not yet at the end. Every day I live with the challenges of meeting my daily needs and preparing for my future. I used to function better but now I am struggling. How long can I go on living like this? This is what I am working on.
I couldn't edit my above post because I was afraid it would vanish.
Why have I not done more to prepare for my future? For a lot of reasons, but one reason is I think is that I am becoming like the poor little frog who is slowly succumbing in a pot of boiling water! I have become used to living in a limited condition. I know my life could be better, even with Covid restrictions.
That is what I wanted to add. No one is coming to rescue me, I'm on my own; I've got to make my own plans!
Stuck in the middle posted something that resonated with me. "Life gets better when you don't care what other people think." All my life I have wanted people to think of me as a problem solver. I can't be that person now. I never liked to say "I don't know." Now I have to say that a lot. I just don't know a lot any more. But this can be freeing, because I won't be tied down with other people's expectations or with my own expectations.
I'm feeling better already about my future!