By Rick Law, elder law and estate planning attorney at the multi-generation firm of Law Elder Law. LEL is the home of the Estate Planning Center at Law Elder Law, senior advocates in Western Chicagoland.
“Dementia” is a term that brings to mind a pleasantly confused, grandmotherly figure – sweet, gentle, and very compliant. But what happens when an already misfiring mind responds chaotically to the world around it, veering drastically from the peaceful path?
Dementia presents itself differently in different people. Untreated mental illness, undetected substance abuse, and personality disorders can all result in dementia presenting itself in a frenzied manner.
There is a very common condition among healthy babies called colic. Wikipedia defines colic as “a condition in a healthy baby in which it shows periods of intense, unexplained fussing/crying lasting more than three hours a day, more than three days a week, for more than three weeks.”
Let us consider a person suffering from dementia that manifests itself in a colic-like condition.
For explanatory purposes, Shay Jacobson, President, CEO Life-Care Innovations calls this condition “Colicky Dementia.”
Colicky Dementia is unpredictable, inconsolable, and results in disproportionate behavior reactions to the reality of the individual’s environment, inner health, and caretaking. The individual exhibits a chronic state of anxiety, panic, and circular thinking that lasts for periods exceeding three hours a day, more than three days a week, for more than three weeks.
This condition ensnarls the individual in a continuous fight-or-flight response with their caregivers and environment. Individuals react with fear and panic when they feel unsafe, uneasy, or not in control. Since they cannot communicate normally with those who care for them, they react with
escalating and circular panic. They resort to undesirable behaviors such as shouting, biting, crying, and hitting.
This is more than a nuisance to the caregiver, as it leads to serious caretaker stress. Caregivers dealing with individuals suffering from this condition are faced with an unrelenting assault upon their own mental health. The resulting impact on caregivers includes depression, exhaustion, anger, major illness, isolation, and chronic health problems.
If your loved one has memory problems and you’re afraid of the consequences that may bring, give our office a call today at 800-310-3100. Your first consultation is absolutely free. We’ll let you know what steps you need to take, right now, to protect yourself and your family. Call now.
Rick L. Law, Attorney, Estate Planner for Retirees.
Rick was named the #1 Illinois elder law estate planning attorney by Leading Lawyer Magazine. He has been quoted in the Wall Street Journal, AARP Magazine, TheStreet.com, and numerous newspapers and articles. Rick is the lead attorney for Law Elder Law, LLP, focusing in Estate Planning, Guardianship, and Nursing Home Solutions. His goal is to give retirees an informed edge when it comes to dealing with an uncertain future. Get flexible retirement strategies that work during good times and bad, plus information on how you can save your home and assets from being used to pay for long term care. Call 800-310-3100 for your free consultation now!