Alzheimers Research UK explain 'what is dementia?'
Despite having had three strokes in her lifetime, Eileen “was all right in herself”.
Granddaughter Mandy described her nan, 87, as “a good listener” who was “always there for people” and “loved to laugh”.
Eileen’s strokes had caused some mobility issues and made her forget the odd word here and there.
“My nan wasn’t showing any signs of dementia before she went into hospital,” Mandy shared.
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“Nan didn’t really have any major problems with her memory and would talk about current affairs with ease.”
Mandy said: “Just two days later when I visited Nan in the hospital, she couldn’t talk properly, she couldn’t sit up unaided, and she was very confused.
“Nan was speaking about things that didn’t make sense and had asked me to help her escape from the hospital. It sounded like she had delirium.”
Mandy stated: “She had also lost a lot of weight in just a few days – all fat disappearing into skin and bone as she became unable to feed herself.”
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When the medical team performed a head scan, they saw damage on the brain, which could have been related to the strokes Eileen suffered from.
“She was then referred to a psychiatrist to have memory tests,” Eileen recalled.
“During these tests, Nan wasn’t able to say how old she was, when the war ended, who the Prime Minister was.”
Mandy was shocked. “Before going into hospital with a UTI, she would have been able to answer these questions pretty easily,” she said.
“It was at this moment that the doctor informed me that my nan had dementia and that she only had between six and 12 months left to live.”
Eileen passed away four months after being admitted to hospital and diagnosed with dementia.
Devastated, Mandy turned to the internet for support and stumbled across the Alzheimer’s Society.
“Their website had loads of very helpful information that helped me know how to talk and look after my nan during this time that I didn’t get elsewhere,” Eileen told Express.co.uk.
“Without it, I wouldn’t have had the help and support I needed, and I wouldn’t have been able to cope with the loss.”
Mandy did the Memory Walk in 2022 and is doing the Memory Walk this year, on October 8.
“It’s a brilliant way to honour my nan’s life and to help other people who’re going through a similar situation,” said Eileen.
One in three people born today will develop dementia in their lifetime. This Autumn, join thousands of others and sign up for free to an Alzheimer’s Society Memory Walk, to help stop dementia from devastating lives. Sign up now at memorywalk.org.uk.
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