MOUNT VERNON — John and Carole Hoffman, both 70, the parents of five children, had lived in the Fredericktown area happily for 45 years. However, in 2006 their lives began to change. John noticed that Carole’s attention span began to lessen and her memory wasn’t quite as sharp as it once was.
“She would leave the laundry in the washer and forget to put it in the dryer,” Kelly Hoffman, John and Carole’s daughter, told the News. “I would come home from work, and her lunch would be in the microwave. Sometimes she would have forgotten to eat.”John and Kelly were also hearing from friends or family members that Carole would not remember them stopping in for a visit. Long-term and short-term memory with Carole were both being affected, but Kelly believed that the short-term memory loss was worse.After a visit to a neurologist to address Carole’s condition, she was given a diagnosis of having dementia. “It was a shock. I really couldn’t think straight for a while,” said John after learning of Carole’s diagnosis.Dementia is a general term for a decline in one’s mental ability which interferes with daily life. It encompasses a wide range of symptoms associated with a decline in memory. Alzheimer’s Disease is a type of dementia and is the most common form. Its symptoms develop slowly and worsen over time.
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