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Why do so many men in their 70’s have dementia

(19 Posts)
Jennyluck Sat 15-Feb-20 21:53:18

It’s seems to be an epidemic round here. I’ve not come across any women with it. But there are so many women struggling with a husband with dementia.
Just as life should be easier, along comes dementia with a massive hammer blow.
It steals your life, in a cruel horrible way.
I hate that I resent other couples who are enjoying life.
It’s not just memory loss, it’s so much more.
And the absolute killer is that it will only get worse 😢

Dollymac Sat 15-Feb-20 22:05:44

It is indeed a dreadful disease
I don't think that it is gender specific though
So sorry if you are struggling

Oopsadaisy3 Sat 15-Feb-20 23:07:25

MIL is in a nursing home for people with Dementia, 15 ladies, no men. As Dollymac says it is indiscriminate.

So sorry that you are dealing with this as well.

Davidhs Sun 16-Feb-20 08:40:35

No shortage of women with dementure, men tend to die earlier due to lifestyle or work related ailments before dementure sets in. I do notice more men with Alzheimer’s and not many women.

M0nica Sun 16-Feb-20 08:43:59

Ccaring ofr someone with dementia, is probably the hardest row you can hoe when in old age, especially when the person cared for is someone who is so dear and the only way is down, but I think your experience of men with it at such a young age is unusual.

Dementia, unless there is an occupational or life style reason, tends to be a disease of extreme old age, hence Oopsadaisy's experience, which is mine as well, both when I worked for a charity for the aged and when I cared for an aunt and uncle, both with dementia. My uncle was one of the few men in the care home and the average age for all residents was over 85. I heard yesterday that a male friend has just been diagnosed in the early stages of dementia. He, again, is over 85.

All of this can be no consolation to you, living as a carer for someone who has been diagnosed with this disease so young.

Witzend Sun 16-Feb-20 08:46:28

The vast majority of residents in my mother’s dementia-only care home were women. I should say the average age was probably at least 80 . From experience, people may well have had the disease for a few or several years before they’re bad enough to need 24/7 residential care, though.

Chewbacca Sun 16-Feb-20 08:46:59

I know as many women who are coping with dementia as I know men who have it. But now I think of it, all of the women I know who have it are widows and are being cared for, or supported by their families or are in care homes. It's a horrible disease whatever gender and I'm very sorry to hear that you're dealing with it too.

Grammaretto Sun 16-Feb-20 08:58:17

There are many more women in care homes than men because they live longer but perhaps too because the men are cared for by the women at home? The 3 men I have known personally, were all cared for by their wives until almost the end.
I am so sorry to hear you are in this awful position.
One friend found a support group for Carers which helped.

kittylester Sun 16-Feb-20 09:07:49

jennyluck, it is an awful disease and I hope you are getting any support there is in your area. If you haven't already, please contact your local branch of the Alzheimers Society. They can be a huge source of help. They also have an on line forum called Talking Point.

I help to deliver courses for the Carers of people living with Dementia and I would say that the last one we did was probably 50/50 Male and female.

We have at least one member of gn who has Alzheimer's disease and they are female.

Granny23 Sun 16-Feb-20 09:40:55

I think Grammaretto has the correct answer i.e. that more women are expected/willing/able to care for their spouse at home for longer (as I did for 4 or 5 years). IN DH's unit at his Care Home there are 5 women and 3 men. All of the women are widows, or spinsters.

Longevity must be a factor too in the rise of Dementia. Both my Grandfathers, one a tanner, the other an agricultural engineer, 'died in harness' before I was born and my widowed Grannies both died in their early 70s. My DH with dementia is 80+ as are most other residents in the home.

I agree that the worst part of caring for someone with Dementia is that no matter how hard you try, you can never make things better. You will relentlessly lose your loved one, bit by bit, day by day, It is soul destroying.

Daddima Sun 16-Feb-20 10:00:23

The Bodach died at New Year, having suffered from dementia for about a year. The cause of his death was a malignant melanoma, for which he refused all treatment. We attended a support group, where all members were men in their early seventies, and some had suffered the horrible disease for years. I know a number of people who have dementia, all men, but that could be coincidence.

Davidhs Sun 16-Feb-20 10:03:56

Dementure is terrible, most of all for those caring for a relative where 24/7 care is needed, often where their health is also failing. The help available from social services is totally inadequate, a much better system needs to be organized, if not by government then by charities.

annsixty Sun 16-Feb-20 10:43:10

I have been saying for ages on this forum that a compulsory insurance scheme needs to set up quickly for future generations to pay for residential care in later life.
Whether this is just old age with no-one able or willing to care or disease like Alzheimer’s and dementia.
It is so prevalent today that SS and the NHS are no longer able to cope.
My H started to show definite signs in his his mid 70s, like many others will say, it then becomes evident that the signs were there beforehand,.
I cared for my H singlehandedly until he was 82 during which he had a severe stroke and many bad falls, one needing 18 days in hospital.
November 2018 I could carry on no longer and he went into care.
He was found to have invasive and aggressive cancer and died 4 months later.
I have posted this many times so some may be tired of reading it.
My point is that 10 months later and at the age of 82 my own health is ruined, instead of being free to pursue some type of life , I am almost housebound although if a car drives to my front door and drops me off to struggle into my destination I can get out,
15 months ago I was a full time career, how did I do it?I will never know.
The situation is only going to get worse until urgent and radical steps are taken.

Oopsadaisy3 Sun 16-Feb-20 10:55:22

A very good idea annsixty

Although it seems that if we spend all of our money, build up a debt that equals the price of our home ( if we own one) , then the local authorities will pick up the bills for our care.
Sadly the house that my in laws have scrimped for is now for sale to pay for MILs care. When the money runs out (which won’t take long at £1000.00 per week for full nursing care) I guess that the local authority will pick up the bills, we shall see.

Difficult to see how some sectors of the community would be able to afford Insurance especially if their parents or other family members have a condition that might be passed down, I wouldn’t expect the Insurance companies to play fair.

winterwhite Sun 16-Feb-20 11:21:21

I agree with you annsixty but I think the problem with a scheme specifically for dementia is that it would be actuarially (if that's a word) difficult to devise. The payout costs per claimant would be colossal, meaning necessarily high premiums, while the risk is statistically low and wholly unpredictable. There would therefore be much resentment. The whole thing should be considered as part of the long promised social care review. In fact presumably it will be.

Happiyogi Sun 16-Feb-20 11:25:59

Daddima I'm so sorry for your loss. flowers

Esspee Sun 16-Feb-20 11:29:33

When women get dementia they tend to end up in care as the husband cannot cope.
When men get it we women usually care for them for as long as we possibly can.
That would perhaps explain why you are aware of more men with the disease.
In every nursing home I have ever been in women greatly outnumber men.

SueDonim Sun 16-Feb-20 12:05:36

Our friend is now in full time care with dementia. He’s just 71yo. He was diagnosed six or seven years ago, with symptoms starting well before that, of course. His wife moved heaven and earth to keep him at home until 18mths ago but she just couldn’t do it any more. He wasn’t safe at home and nor was she. His unit is about 50/50 male/female. It’s a horrible, horrible, demeaning disease. Just cruel. sad

Annsixty I knew you’d lost your husband but not the full circumstances. I’m so sorry. flowers Also sympathies to Daddima, and to the OP. flowers

Cherrytree59 Sun 16-Feb-20 13:08:41

Daddima it always made me smile when you called your DH The Bodach
So sorry for your loss flowers

A truly cruel disease.
Lost my grandmother, my father and this time last year my mother in law (who actually died althogh officially from flu), was in the final stages of dementia.