OPINION: Writing skills can change with dementia

WRITING skills and personality changes are two problems experienced by people with dementia and these ultimately concern carers, close relations and friends.

This week I shall briefly explain these problems and hopefully assist the people concerned. If the following problems become too extreme, obtain medical assistance.

Writing Skills: Writing abilities ultimately will become impaired. Initially people with dementia may have trouble writing paragraphs which require them to keep up with a lot of information.

Gradually the ability to write sentences will deteriorate. Words may be used incorrectly and misspelled. Finally these people will be unable to write their names.

Reading abilities may remain longer but they may have trouble comprehending what they have read because of memory problems.

They will have trouble in drawing and coping geometric designs.

Three dimensional figures cause even more problems. The ability to copy these designs will deteriorate with the disease. It does impact on the way these people live.

Writing, reading, finding their way in the neighbourhood or even finding articles in their home all involve these visual-spatial abilities.

Personality Changes: These changes do occur with dementia. Usually the changes occur after early stage memory loss.

Some of these changes occur as a reaction to unsuccessful abilities to perform certain tasks.

Brain damage also alters personality. People who have always reacted strongly to small problems will react more often and more strongly to small problems.

These people's personality may change, quite dramatically, as a result of the progressive brain damage and the people will not appear to be themselves at all.

Life doesn't stop when dementia starts.

If you have any problems concerning dementia, please contact us for assistance.

Mackay Alzheimer's Inc. 257 Nebo Rd, PO Box 5480 Mackay 4740 Mobile: 0427797519 Office Hours: Monday, Wednesday, Friday 9am-4pm. Tuesday and Thursday by appointment.

Mackay Alzheimer's Forget-Me-Not Walk will be held on July 23 from 8.30am at the park across the road from the Big Banana on Harbour Rd.

If you would like to take part, phone 49526077.



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