When the Past and Present Collide {Dementia Diaries}

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It’s been a strange last 5 days with my grandfather. My last visit with him on Sunday was one like no other. I must have caught him day dreaming or hallucinating……not sure what you call it. It was as if I entered his past and was part of his dream. Imagine how strange it must be when the past and present collide for a Dementia and Alzheimer’s patient?

When the past and present collide

My grandfather was sitting in is wheel chair in front of the nurses station like he always is. That’s where they can keep an eye on him. When I said, “hi gramp,” he literally almost jumped out of his chair with excitement and burst out into tears. 

Where have you been and how did you get here? he said.

He proceeded to tell me that he just took a group in the covered carriage with the horses to Mt. Stowe in Stowe Vermont. They were just getting ready to eat lunch as the “women” had made sandwiches. You see, he thought he was back as a kid (they didn’t have a car, they only had a horse and carriage when he was younger) and when he saw me, he freaked out. He was so confused and couldn’t figure out how “I” was there. His brain knew who I was and knew I was from his present but he was in his past. So strange right? 

It took me a few minutes of talking to him to get him to calm down and stop crying. He was so happy I was there. He continued to tell me about how he was with his uncle Walter and he wanted me to meet him. Keep in mind, his “uncle Walter” died before I was even born. 

The staff was half laughing as he was pretty funny but I could tell they were half concerned too. He was really in a time warp and very emotional. 

Since Sunday, my grandfather took a turn for the worse. His mood, behavior and well being has landed him in heap of trouble and we had to transport him to a hospital for a psychiatric evaluation. This just happened late yesterday so I am headed to see him in a bit. Fingers crossed they get his agitation under control. 


Meet Jessica

What started as a hobby, Jessica’s blog now has millions of people visit yearly and while many of the projects and posts look and sound perfect, life hasn’t always been easy. Read Jessica’s story and how overcoming death, divorce and dementia was one of her biggest life lessons to date.


  1. Sending you hugs and prayers. This dementia/alzheimers is a bitch! We are dealing with it with my father-in-law 🙁

  2. Cynthia Spurlock says:

    I know as painful as it is for your Grandfather that you are also in pain. I hope that his doctors can find the right medication to calm things down for him. Just so sad. I’ll be thinking of y’all today.

  3. I’m praying for him and for all of you. I would think it would be very startling when you think you’re in the past, and someone from your present comes into the picture. Kind of like when you wake up from a dream and it takes a bit to realize you’re awake and figure out what’s going on (but only so much worse).

  4. Sounds exactly like some of the things my Dad said to me during his time of illness. It will surely break your heart to experience these things and I can only imagine how heartbroken they must feel. Thoughts and prayers for you and your family.

  5. Juanita in OH says:

    Stay strong Jessica! Find comfort in the bosom of the Lord and prayer. I am sure there are thousands of thoughts being sent up for all of you. God Bless and “cyber hugs”!

  6. Kathy in North Attleboro says:

    Poor Grandpa! It’s heart breaking to say the least!

  7. Audrey Johnson says:

    Thinking of you and your family. It is very hard to go through. Hoping for a good outcome.

  8. Thank you for sharing. I’m sure its hard. Hugs and love from Vermont!????

  9. You have to laugh when you can otherwise all we would do is cry! Going through a similar journey with my dad. Be prepared for some really tough times if he is put on additional meds to control agitation…it gave us a whole new level of challenges. With you on this journey…prayers.

  10. Terri Hughes says:

    I’m so sorry to hear this about your Grandfather. Praying that he is doing better. Always in my prayers. Praying that God will help you and your family through this. God Bless you all.

  11. Rita Capps says:

    Prayers for your family.

  12. Such hard times to go through. I remember my mother (in the nursing home) worrying about catching the train into Boston to get to work, as she had done in her twenties. I was too old to be her daughter since my hair had so much white in it. Confusing times. She passed into heaven a little over three years ago shortly before her 95th birthday. Now I work as a home companion, currently with an elderly lady with dementia (in her daughter’s home). When I am at work I will be reminded to pray for your gramps, his caregivers and family. God has blessed you to find the blessings in this hideous disease, Jessica. Thank you for sharing them with us, and your rich family heritage.

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