An Evolution of Love
Life and Love with Frontotemporal Dementia
Bob passed away on April 7, 2006, from Frontotemporal Dementia (FTD) at the age of 50. He struggled mightily with this illness and we struggled with him, gaining an even greater respect for this fine man, as he slowly succumbed to a progressive and irreversible form of dementia.
This book captures the memory and character of “Old Bob”—the Bob we knew before the onset of an illness that robbed him of his talents and capabilities.
It also shows the ways in which we learned to cope with and appreciate the “New Bob”—the Bob we cared for and lived with through the course of the illness.
It is said that everyone brightens a room, some by entering, and some by leaving. Bob was one of those who always brightened a room by entering.
Friend and Best Man
Bob was a gentle man and a gentleman who always had a smile. He was always there to help or listen and was someone who made you feel comfortable.
Friend of the Family
He had a huge heart and a pure soul. You could tell by looking in his eyes. I will always remember him. He touched my heart. He was an intelligent person. His intelligence showed through his disease. God definitely broke the mold when He put Bob on this earth.
Former Concierge, Sunrise at Floral Vale
I remember Bob fondly. Paricularly his attachment to you, Marie. I remember him stating he was going to comply with everything you suggested 'because I love you'. Those were his words. Quite a statement and motivation in the middle of his devastating illness. He was a kind person and he was loved and loved you.
Ronny E. Antelo, M.D.
Frontotemporal Dementia (FTD): An Overview
To understand Bob’s struggle, one first must understand the nature of his illness—Frontotemporal Dementia (FTD). This form of dementia (there are approximately 55 different types) typically strikes adults at a relatively early age. Patients do not usually experience memory loss in the early stages, as do Alzheimer’s patients. Over the first few years, they are able to maintain language and visual perception capabilities.
Ultimately, however, they fall victim to changes in personality. They lose social skills and reasoning powers. Motivation and concentration abilities wane, and individuals stop relating (socially and emotionally) in usual ways. Since brain degeneration is not widespread in this early stage, afflicted individuals generally retain memory function. The disease, however, begins to attack brain areas that control reasoning, judgment and the ability to take initiative.
FTD poses special psychological, social, family, and financial problems. Issues that frequently differ in nature from those associated with Alzheimer’s type dementia. FTD strikes relatively early in life, often at a time when an individual is dealing with career challenges and family demands. Many afflicted individuals have not approached retirement age, and the impairment can seriously jeopardize the family’s financial position and overall security.