Dealing with Dementia

Hello everyone:

Do you know anyone who has become demented? It is not a pretty process. There is a lovely lady who walks at our local mall who got the dementia diagnosis a couple of years ago. Those of us who know her have watched her mental capacities shrink dramatically.

She still drives herself to and from the mall because her busy family still doesn’t seem to “get it.” She has gone from someone who eagerly joined in our post-walk chats to someone who has difficulty talking. She is a friendly person, but now she goes up to total strangers and hugs them, rubs the backs of attractive men (who seem shocked by the attention), and stops everyone multiple times to say “hello” as she walks down the hallway.

She is an endearing woman with a beautiful smile but she no longer remembers to bathe, wash her hair, or change her clothes.  But she still drives.  She recently went into diapers because she had numerous daily accidents and her family got tired of moping up after her.  But she still travels around town by herself.  In her car. Alone.

It is my understanding that there are seven stages of dementia.  She seems to be hovering between stages six and seven. What do you recommend for this lady? Her family says they will take away her car at the end of this month, when her license expires, but what do we do until then? I look forward to your comments.


Dr. Sheri

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