Chie Iida (alias)
54 years old （As of June 2021 interview）
Year of birth:
Place of residence:
Chuo Ward, Tokyo
Relatives living together:
Former temporary employee/group contract employee
Age of onset:
About 50 years old
Age of diagnosis:
53 years old
Amnesic mild cognitive impairment
Dementia rating scale?Mini-Mental State Examination（MMSE）
The most widely used screening test internationally for identifying dementia, in which questions are asked directly to subjects. The MMSE assesses cognitive functions with a series of questions/tasks related to orientation, memory, attention and calculation, language, giving commands and copying a picture. The test yields the highest score of 30 points, and, in general, those who score 23 points or lower are identified as suspected patients with dementia.Revised Hasegawa's Dementia Scale (HDS-R)
A screening test widely used in Japan for identifying dementia, in which questions are asked directly to subjects. It has 9 questions/tasks related to age, orientation, immediate memory and delayed recall of 3 words, calculation, backward digit span, memory of 5 objects and language fluency. The test yields the highest score of 30 points, and, in general, those who score 20 points or lower are identified as suspected patients with dementia.:
MMSE 30About （As of September 2019）
Frequency of gatherings with other people with dementia:
I do not have regularly attending gatherings, but I participate in online gatherings that interest me on a casual basis.
I worked in a variety of industries, including banking and pharmaceuticals.
At the end of my 40s, I began to feel fatigue and suspected menopause. So, I went to see a gynecologist.
In retrospect, I feel that I started experiencing symptoms of dementia in my late 40s.
At a new temporary work location, I felt strange that I could not adapt to the new environment over time, although I had been able to adjust to new tasks relatively quickly.
At that time, I thought it was fatigue or an age-related slowdown.
During the Golden Week holidays, a number of incidents occurred, such as forgetting where I visited the day before and not being able to meet up with someone in a familiar place that I had specified because the place looked different from what I remembered.
After consulting a friend of mine, who recommended that I see a psychosomatic medicine specialist, I visited a clinic in June.
I told the doctor that I was feeling a sense of discomfort and forgetfulness, but the diagnosis by the doctor was that I was in a state of "depression."
Immediately after the visit, I informed the temporary work agency of my condition and was told, "So you are leaving." I had to quit my job.
I continued to go to the clinic for another six months.
During this period, I experienced incidents such as forgetting what floor my office or home was while on an elevator at work or at my residence, losing track of the chronological order of the events being discussed in meetings, and becoming unable to remember people's names.
I was prescribed psychotropic medications and took various kinds for about six months, as my diagnoses changed from one to another.
During the period, because of the drugs, I stayed bedridden and could not even use my smart phone in bed because it was too heavy for me.
As my symptoms did not improve at all, I visited the psychosomatic medicine department of a general hospital by myself and had an MRI, blood tests and other examinations.
As a result, I was told that there was some space in my frontal lobe and that the blood flow was somewhat weak. However, I was not diagnosed as having dementia.
I stopped taking medicines after this visit.
I believe that my poor health was partly due to the medication I was taking and that I might have been able to continue working if I had been diagnosed properly.
I started working on a new temporary assignment in November.
The contract term at the temporary placement ended in June.
I still had the thought in my mind that I wanted to work again.
Subsequently, I felt it strange that I could only recover to a certain level even after stopping medications and consulted a medical institution.
In September, I was referred by the general hospital to a clinic with a dementia specialist.
Based on test results, I was diagnosed for the first time with MCI with progressive frontal lobe atrophy in October.
Since then, I have been regularly visiting the clinic for consultation and medication.
In the meantime, with a strong desire to "work again," I began to attend a vocational training school that I had known about.
One day at the training school, I had an opportunity to talk about my interests and commented on my situation with dementia. In response, my classmates expressed their support and introduced me to the job that I currently hold.
As I found the position interesting, I applied for and passed the recruitment test. I received a job offer and found a new job.
I started working as a contract employee at an organization in April.
Now, I collect information on dementia and share my experiences on my blog because I strongly believe that I can help people who are suffering in similar ways based on my experience of suffering for a long time before being diagnosed with dementia and of having to quit my job.
In the future, I would like to make use of my experience and personal network to set up a place where people with dementia and other disabilities can feel comfortable and stay themselves. I would also like to play a role of connecting such hubs.
Publication, links, etc.
Website|"Living Dementia" -My Personal Blog- LINK
Joy in life and living
Joy that remains with you even after onset
My tastes remain mostly the same.
Joy that you have given up
If anything, I would say that I am doing less of my hobbies, such as photography and travel, but it is mostly due to Corona.
Joy that has come to you after onset
Meeting new people and challenges on the subject of dementia
Something you would like to do in the future
Life as it has always been.
I have to reduce the size, but I would like to make adjustments as I explore to what extent I can do.
Challenges in daily living
11 Areas of Daily LivingDaily Living ChallengeDATAthe Mental or Physical DysfunctionKnowledge
I cannot tell what clothes are stored where.Reducing things as much as possible, and storing each type of items in one place
When changing clothes, I become unable to tell up, down, left, or right of my clothes.Putting large clothespins to mark places where my hands and head are to come out. Clipping pairs of shoes with clothespins to keep both sides together
I am less sensitive to temperature changes.Purchasing a thermometer
If I put in groceries at random places, I cannot tell what is where.Deciding where to put different kinds of food, reducing the amount of stored food, and placing things in a way that makes it easy for me to see inside
I get confused when there are dishes piled up in the sink.Splitting dish washing into two times: before meals (during cooking) and after meals
It is difficult for me to cook while reading and immediately comprehending a recipe.Choosing dishes that can be made in about three steps, and cooking while looking at notes that I rewrote to make the steps easier for me to understand
I once left cut vegetables on the cutting board for a day.Refraining from doing other things while cooking. Also, setting a timer in case I forget something.
I cannot remember where all the tools I need for cooking are.The task of searching is tiring and interferes with cooking. So I make sure that I have all the necessary tools in sight before I begin to cook.
I sometimes forget about appointments.Keeping my schedule on my cell phone and using sticky notes because a paper calendar alone is not enough
I cannot tell which way to turn the key.I try not to turn it too hard and forcefully.
I sometimes get worried about whether I have locked the door.
I hear auditory hallucinations of cell phone alarm sounds.Temporarily turning off the alarm. I changed the sound from a mechanical sound that tends to cause auditory hallucinations to a sound found in nature (bird chirping).
The letters on clocks become harder to read.Using digital display and enlarging the letters
I sometimes lose track of time. At one time, three hours had passed although it felt like just a little time for me.Measuring one minute with a stopwatch to familiarize myself with the feel. Checking the clock/calendar frequently
I cannot tell where my keys have gone.Attaching a key chain that stands out to my keys and putting it on my bag so that I can find it easily
I occasionally have visual illusions that look like illuminations created by a searchlight.
I become unable to tell what documents in front of me are.Classifying and storing documents in colored files using color-coding, such as pink for school-related, green for personal appointments, etc.
I forget my PIN numbers.Terminating contracts on what I do not use any longer and making notes of everything else on my phone
I cannot tell where the items are in the supermarket I always go to.Checking displays on the ceiling or guessing from what other shoppers are taking
While shopping, I cannot remember what I have come to buy.Taking a note of what I need beforehand on my smart phone and transcribing it onto a small piece of paper to take with me (to avoid operating my smart phone while shopping)
I buy the same things over and over again.For items that cannot be preserved, I make sure I buy them only after checking again and again that they are really not there any more after I use them up.
I used to find bathing pleasant, but it has become tedious.I have tried various things such as a bathroom blower, bath additives, etc. to see in what conditions I feel comfortable.
Whenever I tell my doctor that "I want to work," I get opposed.I want to create places and systems with which people can work because there must be many people in the society who want to work.
I cannot remember whether or not I have taken my medications.Marking tablets with the days of the week from month to day and putting "○" on Saturdays and Sundays to indicate that a week has passed
I get tired more easily.I sleep even for a short while (10-20 minutes) when I feel tired. I also use a sleep logging application. I am trying to find how I sleep effectively.
I consciously exercise every day.Doing sit-ups just from the shoulders up in the morning when I wake up gets the blood flowing and clears my head.
When I was not feeling well, I was scared of riding the escalator. I had to hold on to it tightly.Using the elevator and stairs instead
I have to be constantly mindful of transfers, etc. so that I do not make mistakes on my way to work.Asking others for help when I become confused about the route, etc.
Traveling to a new place now requires careful planning in advance.Saving map application search results as images and checking them with my location while traveling. Setting timers for planned transfers and getting-offs.
I forget where I left my bicycle. There were even instances when I forgot whether I had come on my bicycle or not.When I leave my bicycle, I make notes on my phone of numbers or other features around it. I sometimes even take photos before leaving.
If I look at my feet on the stairs, my feet stop moving. I struggle to decide where to put my feet next.I can go up and down the stairs if I divert my attention by looking at the wall some distance ahead.
If I do something else while on the train, I cannot get off at the station where I should.I used to read books and look at my smart phone, but now I do nothing while I am on board.
There have been times when I almost forgot about appointments where I invited someone myself.Narrowing down the circle of friends and making appointments only with a limited number of friends
I sometimes think I have read an email and close it without actually finishing it.When closing an email, scrolling it down to the bottom signature to make sure that I have read it all the way.
I forget what I talked with or heard from colleagues at work, for example during breaks.Jotting down what was discussed on sticky notes and entering the information into notes on my cell phone, summarizing the information by person and classifying colleagues into the "work" category
Sometimes I cannot match the faces of my friends with their names.Keeping information and memories about my friends in my cell phone, calendar, address book, etc.
I refrained from seeing people at times.I make it a rule that I decline invitations without pushing myself hard.
I find it difficult to keep up with the content and structure of television programs and find them annoying.I do not watch the television as much as I used to. I watch mostly non-serial programs briefly.
I can no longer enjoy photography, which used to be my hobby, as much. I cannot shoot photos the way I want to. For example, I cannot find right composition or focus.
It is difficult to understand lectures and take notes in class.I write down only what I find striking. Although I might be a let-down as a student, I am trying to learn as much as I can by attending classes.
I cannot tell the difference among a, e, and o in the English alphabet, and the letters appear to be connected.I sometimes change the font to one that is easier to read before I work on a text. I use the Internet for news, etc., rather than newspapers.
I forget about reading books altogether even though I have read them. I read long ones over from the beginning.Enjoying the moment and making notes of sentences and authors that struck me.
Organizing documents and writing emails, which did not take much time before, now take a lot of time.
I sometimes have difficulty judging who to ask for help when I have questions at work.Storing notes about colleagues that include information on length of service, job title and responsibilities, and then judging who to ask based on the information
It is difficult for me to remember tasks at work in the way I used to. Reading instructions is also difficult.Doing tasks while summarizing the main points of information, storing them in a database that I created for myself and constantly referring to and revising the information
I cannot remember the names of even the members of our regular meetings.Attending while making and looking at a simple seating chart to see who is sitting where
I can no longer tell whether I have properly completed the tasks that need to be done for the day.As soon as I receive a task, I write it on a sticky note and post it at the power button of my computer. I make sure that I have finished it before I leave.
There are many things I cannot do without being taught because I do not understand complex information.In return for being taught, I will actively do things that I can do (for example, changing garbage bags for shredders, faxing and distributing mail).
I become confused about work processes.Making notes of information in the manual in a way that I can remember and referring to them. OneNote is easy to use in the workplace.
I cannot remember who said what and when at meetings because the volume is too big for me to retain.
My work speed has dropped to about one third.Pacing myself by prioritizing steady progress, rather than aiming at achieving the same speed as before
Physical and mental dysfunctions
Message to the society
I want the city to become a place where people can live with peace of mind and a sense of kindness even with illness.
( I am still trying to figure out what is missing. I would like to share my experiences and gather ideas.)