Is this a grumpy old person, or do they have dementia?

As part of World Alzheimer's Day on 21 September 2015 we want to raise awareness for Fronto-temporal dementia, a more rare form of dementia.

What is Fronto-temporal dementia?

Fronto-temporal dementia is the second most common type of dementia in adults under 65. It's characterised by damage mainly affecting the frontal and temporal lobes of the brain. Memory loss is not usually the first symptom, instead relatives may notice the person finds it difficult to organise their day, follow sequences or respond to situations in an emotionally appropriate way.   

A person with fronto-temporal dementia can be very difficult to care for as they often lack awareness of changes -  this can have a major impact on their relationships and daily living. 

As workers we need to be aware to say to people that if you have met one person with dementia, then you’ve met one person with dementia. Each person is different and needs to be treated as an individual.

Short stories & quotes

Here are a few short stories and quotes from partners of those who are under 65 and have this rare form of dementia.

"We were walking along the pavement when a young couple holding hands and looking very much in love approached us. My partner with dementia looked at them and very loudly announced “She could have done better than him” They looked at him oddly but ignored the comment and continued on their way."

"While sitting on a bus with my partner, the usually quiet person with dementia, he see's a larger lady getting on the bus and loudly exclaims “I hope they're charging her double “

"The first notes of the musical began and my companion started to weep, not sad tears, but happy emotional tears. The music was so moving and her emotions we're so overwhelming that I just handed her tissues throughout the musical." 

"Words were so easy they came tumbling out without a thought (sometimes this was a problem), but now we search for words, put others in their place, make up new ones when we can’t find them, or sometimes he thinks he has said the right one when a jumbled word comes out. Then they started to dry up, just a yes or no, no hello or goodbye, no I love you or where have you been. The look of frustration when I don’t understand what is trying to be said – then the silence"

For more information or find out how you can get involved, see the Alzheimer's Society website.