I have recently been engaged with an internal struggle about what has happened to my sister. The past several years she has become very stressed and more and more forgetful. Of course all of us struggle with stress and it is the bane of most of us as we get older to struggle to remember names and words which only come to us later. I for one am quick to substitute words like thingy , thing a ma gig, what's it, that woman, honey or even sqigamahala (my own word for things whose names remain elusive). Of late or the last year my sister does not recognize the man she lives with as her husband of 60 years. She knows his name is Gene, but not her Gene. She will insist there is a stranger in her house and she will demand from time to time proof that he is really Gene. When she is shown papers like Drivers Licence, etc, she will insist anyone could have those made. Jackie was always a great fan of mystery stories, puzzles and crosswords and she definitely knows of what she speaks regarding fake identification. Jackie has been diagnosed with Dementia.
When I call her on the phone she seems normal for the most part with an occasional lapse into forgetfulness which really seems to bother her.
For my own understanding I have looked up the differences between dementia and Alzheimer's and the best short description I am quoting below:
" According to the Alzheimer’s Association, Alzheimer’s Disease is a specific type of dementia caused when high levels of certain proteins inside and outside brain cells make it hard for brain cells to stay healthy and to communicate with each other. This leads to the loss of connections between nerve cells, and eventually to the death of nerve cells and loss of brain tissue.