So you’re in your fifties. One day the doctor diagnoses the cause of your crummy mood, personality changes, increasing social isolation, difficulty making decisions, memory loss, anger, or increasing financial instability as frontotemporal dementia (frontotemporal lobar degeneration), Lewy Body dementia, early Alzheimer’s disease, multiple system atrophy, ALS, corticobasal degeneration, progressive supranuclear palsy, Huntington’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, Parkinsonism, or some combination of the preceding.
Heck you have barely even heard of most of these. Pretty much you can say that in any of these conditions various parts of your brain are failing leading to the condition that more fear far more than any other medical condition, the Big D, for DEMENTIA.
You get some commonsense (and old wives’ tale) advice from friends, neighbors, newspaper columnists, the MD and PhD who work for Oprah, Oprah, a bunch of web sites, and probably at least some of your doctors — start doing crossword puzzles and practice arithmetic.
OK. Darn, I have always hated crossword puzzles as a waste of good time better used watching ESPN. I prefer matrix algebra and calculus to arithmetic problems, although I do like to watch how the cooks measure foodstuffs on Chopped using such honored traditional techniques such as “pinches,” “handfuls,” “looks like a pound,” “feels like a quart,” and other examples of the special mathematics of the kitchen including the definitive one of ratios so you can scale your cupcake recipe from one to 37 which are most often correctly applied on baking shows.
So you have what my own senior neurological consultant referred to as a “terrible, terrible disease” of the brain. Do you pull out your iPad and scramble to complete innumerable arithmetic games and crossword puzzles?
Hell no. You congratulate yourself that you have learned those useful and continuing visual thinking skills and tools and used them for the past 40 years to enhance your life and career and education and now you open up the desk drawer where you store your mind maps, concept maps, sketchnotes, photographs, and charts.
Get with the program. Perfect this skill.
Want to learn more about my experiences with cognitive impairment and dementia and attempts to fight back using visual thinking methods and mind mapping to understand and communicate the problems and solutions?
<<<<<=== Over there on the left. Click on one of the book icons to obtain my new book Mind Mapping, Cognitive Impairment, and Dementia. Versions are available for Apple devices on the iBooks store and all other common devices on the Amazon Kindle store. There are 100s of essays like that in this blog post. And because I know the information is unique and valuable, I am charging about the same as others who write books on dementia or mind mapping. If you cannot afford to purchase the book, contact me and we will figure out a way to get the information to you some alternate ways.
Yeah, I know, shameless self promotion. How else do you expect me to get the message out about the “real issues” in dementia care and some very low cost methods of assistance that may help some (or many) and potentially increase the period of productivity and self sufficiency.