Dementia and losing control

For the times I want to indulge myself with some R&R, I spend time trawling other blogs, many that I subscribe to. I often read something called the Oracle Report provided on a link from One World Rising, and one phrase today stood out like the proverbial dogs balls!!! It has given life to a draft I had started in January on how it feels to lose control…

Control Comic


‘Don’t try to control anything right now.’

Since the age of 16 1/2 when I left home, I’ve been in control of most things in my life, that is of course, until the diagnosis of dementia. Losing control is challenging, and letting go of it is even more so.

For most of us, our daily life has filled up with dozens of things we have to control each day, from managing simple things like electrical appliances, the remote control (if we are the ones who snag it!!), to more complicated things like using a computer and driving cars. The DVD player at home is almost defunct now, and although I can no longer work out how to use it anyway, my 5-year-old great nephew knows how to in a snap! Similarly, what is simple to my generation can be complicated for our parents, and so on.

For reasons I am sure you will comprehend, it is difficult to have to give up things like driving, especially at a younger age. It is no longer possible to use a calculator, even though I can still work out how to use the computer. The problem with the calculator is I have difficulty working out how do do things like percentages, as cannot remember how to work them out even with a calculator. A glitch in my brain has made even simple maths too complicated now! And yet strangely, turning on the computer and typing is still ok.

Thankfully my trusty pc self corrects most word spelling mistakes, and highlights when grammar and other errors are made. Sometimes it takes me ages to work out how to correct things, and I’m now also employing someone to assist with my more complicated editing and referencing. I can no longer use the online referencing system.

Letting go of control has a profound emotional effect on us. For a while now, I have been working on some presentations for ADI in Taipei next week, and have had great difficulty focusing on them. In fact, I’ve decided I cannot do one at all, and have withdrawn. Initially the feeling of failure was profound, with tears and even some guilt for having let myself down.

It seems, I have to adapt to my new and evolving limitations. I have no choice. I have lost control. It is better to accept these facts than rail against them for too long, and so with a smile, and thanks, I won’t try to control anything right now!

12 thoughts on “Dementia and losing control

  1. I am starting up a new online website directory and was wanting to know if I can submit your website?
    I’m hoping to grow my directory little by little by hand so that it maintains high quality. I’ll make sure and put your website in the appropriate category and I’ll additionally use, “Dementia and losing control | Creating life with words: Inspiration, love and truth” as your anchor text. Please let me know if this is ok with you by contacting me at: Thanks!


  2. Kate, as someone who is sharing the challenges of dementia imposed control, I look to you for strength. I am never disappointed. I hope that I am as graceful as you in the days to come. My thoughts are with you as you maneuver through these obstacles.


  3. This is a tough subject and you wrote about it really well. I’m glad you added your own personal experience, just so we can see how it pesonally affects you ….. you see we read your blog each day but most of us don’t know anything more about you …… know what I mean?

    I hope that you are going to be successful in accepting the losses as they happen ….. that’s half the battle. Your situation sounds just like my aunts ….. she can’t write now and can’t cook either.

    I agree totally about how control is an important part of our lives ….. that’s why it’s hard when you lose is. It’s something I work around all day ….. I can’t overdo things because I want to have control over my energy levels, my pain levels, my hunger levels ……. etc etc.


  4. ….Dear Kate…..speaking from my personal experience, and as a A/D sufferer, my memory actually remained intact, which surprised me………it was the retrieval mechanisms that were not functioning…..they had in fact broken down……
    ….. I thought my mind had indeed failed, but thankfully, I was wrong….my decision to try/use Adrenalin has been vindicated by my use of Cymbalta 30 mg…I really had nothing to lose…….
    ..Regards and best wishes…


  5. I can’t imagine how it would be to lose control but I do sympathise. I find it frustrating if I can’t find the right word or remember someone’s name, so I begin to have an inkling of how it might be not to manage a calculator, for example. You are doing a great service by putting these things in the public domain – and I hope it also helps you to do it.


  6. So glad you are able to put a voice to this disease Kate….You help people understand the day to day challenges PWD have to deal with. I cannot imagine losing control over things. Sounds very frightening….You handle it well….By the way, if you get to where it is hard to type etc. use that program, dragon I think its called. You just talk and the program types for you. That will keep you going for a time 🙂 Hang in and be proud of yourself. You done good girl as the saying goes. Sending love and hugs….VK


  7. “We cannot change our past. We can not change the fact that people act in a certain way. We can not change the inevitable. The only thing we can do is play on the one string we have, and that is our attitude.” (Charles R Swindoll)

    … and I think you play beautifully Kate. Keep at it!


  8. I don “like” that you have lost control. But I hit “like” because it helps me to understand my father and others who are going through the same thing. I understand that it would be much harder for someone who is not elderly, so I have much empathy for you.


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