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Old 11-03-2011, 05:20 PM
 
Location: Mostly in my head
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Alz is one form of dementia. There is no line to cross except early, mid, late stage or severe Alz

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Old 11-03-2011, 06:23 PM
 
Location: St. Louis
9,457 posts, read 16,408,211 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bbekity View Post
Do you know when Dementia crosses the line into Alzheimer's? She recognises us but is forgetting past events and conversations along with having hallucinations. They have had here on many meds and have been adjusting them constantly as either the hallucinations are more frequent or she is always sleeping. Lately, the hallucinations are happening more in late afternoon.
I honestly don't know that there's a dividing line. There are several stages and if you go on that link I provided, you'll see several articles that talk about the different stages. Mom has had minor cognitive impairment for quite a long time--meaning that she's been repeating those same stories over for years and has been quite paranoid for even longer. She went thru a stage years ago where she was accusing other relatives of stealing from her and got quite obsessed about it and she was hoarding stuff all the while. Actually she was going to auctions and buying up tons of stuff--some of it really nice and some pure junk but she couldn't seem to get rid of anything and we just had the auction to get rid of much of it and was that ever a job! But during that time she was capable of independent living and beyond losing her purse and keys pretty regularly, we let her stay by herself as long as we could b/c we knew that we'd really be cramping her style when the time came.

Well the time came in July and it seemed like she just dropped down from mild to moderate overnight. In fact, I think it was more gradual but there were things we didn't know about b/c she didn't tell us, like her getting locked out of her house one night. I went down and rather forcibly moved her to her other house, so I guess you could say the dividing line is when they can no longer stay by themselves.

I'd say that everyone with AD has their own brand of it and so you can't really generalize. Most of them get worse in the late afternoon--so many that they have a name for it: Sundowners. If they are out somewhere on a visit, they will start really itching to go home and one night when my brother and I had been visiting with mom for hours but with no one else around, she began to ask where everyone had gone--she imagined that we'd had a party earlier. We kept saying that there was no party but she kept asking and finally my brother told her that everyone had gone home already and she stopped asking. That's what I mean by you have to lie. Well all I can say is that if you want to stay sane you have to treat it as a new adventure.
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Old 11-03-2011, 11:36 PM
ino
 
Location: Way beyond the black stump.
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Don't be unduly concerned about not holding or continueing a conversation too much. Just waffle on about anything. The more time goes the less likely you'll probably get any conversation, response or feedback anyway. This was our experience with father in law. At the end of his time he hadn't spoken for several months, just smiled a lot, walked around, and lived in his own world. Just talk about anything at all, it doesn't matter too much what you're talking about.

He went thru phases of counting his steps as he walked around, then moved on to walking up to a wall and kicking it, then he went to just walking around not saying a word - even though he looked us in the face while we were talking to him. Sad to say, the lights may be on, but nobodies home unfortunately.

If it's not too late, ask the person to write down a story, an event they remember, any story, anything they may be able to write down, what they remember and/or did as a kid praps, anything at all while they may still be able to. You may not be able to read what they write, but at least they are doing something they may think is productive or fills the time in.

It's *US* that have a problem with Alzheimers, they are quite at peace with the world.
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Old 11-04-2011, 06:31 AM
 
Location: In a house
13,258 posts, read 34,613,675 times
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...and if they start to tell a story they've told a million times already, learn to make it your absolute favorite story in the whole world. Just like when you were a little kid and it was bedtime and you wanted mom to read the same story she told yesterday. This is your new favorite story. If you're lucky, you'll remember it when you're old, and recite it to your grandkids.
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Old 11-04-2011, 06:50 AM
 
Location: Georgia, USA
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To all of you who have shared your experiences, thank you.

I have been fortunate that no one in my or DH's family has had Alzheimer's. One of my mother's cousins has it, and it is really painful to see him gradually go downhill. Fortunately, his wife is dealing with it and so far he has been able to stay at home. Since I have an interest in genealogy, it is no problem for me to listen to him talk about old times. The closer family members have heard all the stories, but I haven't!

As Southern Belle said, not all dementia is Alzheimer's. My mother had severe strokes which caused an enormous amount of brain damage, leaving her confined to bed and in a mental state that had her calling for long dead relatives and thinking that every pickup truck she heard meant my brother was coming to visit. All I could do was visit often and go with the flow.

There is an enormous amount of Alzheimer's research in progress. The current medications are not cures, but they do help slow the progression in some patients. Associated depression is very, very common. Until the cause of Alzheimer's is pinned down, all that can be done now is to try to start treatment early and hope that the future brings better options. Finding someone who is skilled in using the meds available can be challenging, but if you are able to find someone good, it can be very helpful.

Do keep in mind that dealing with Alzheimer's takes a terrible toll on the caregivers, too. Those people need to see that their own physical and emotional needs are being met, too. That includes being willing to accept help in the form of respite care and, when it becomes overwhelming, placement in a facility that can provide twenty four hour nursing service. No one person can do that week after week and year after year.

Just about every community of any size has a support group for Alzheimer's disease family members. Join one and take advantage of the experiences of others. They understand what you are going through and will guide you to other helpful resources.
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Old 11-05-2011, 03:40 PM
 
Location: Dallas TX
14,294 posts, read 20,544,645 times
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You just talk to them whatever state they are in. My dad suffers from it and sometimes he thinks it is a different time. I just go along with it and talk. He enjoys any conversation he has.
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Old 11-05-2011, 08:35 PM
 
Location: home state of Myrtle Beach!
6,233 posts, read 18,123,468 times
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With us it's just the oposite as everyone's experiences. Dad can no longer speak more than a word or two at a time. It seems like the thought process works but he can't translate it. They call it Aphaysia and it is a form of AZ too.
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Old 11-06-2011, 05:11 PM
 
Location: St. Louis
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An example of a sticky situation with mom happened last night. I drove her from my uncle's house, 2 states over, yesterday--a 14 hour drive. After it got quite dark and we were almost home she began to believe that there were people asleep in the backseat. I didn't say anything, hoping she'd forget but she didn't. After we got home, she asked me where the ladies went. I told her that I'd dropped them in the town before ours but she didn't believe that for a sec. Then she asked again after about a minute. I told her that they left. She was very aggrieved b/c they hadn't said goodbye and she was floored by their ingratitude after we gave them all a ride. Did I mention that it was just her and me and her dog? I'm having to get very creative and hopefully I'm not going to hell for this.
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Old 11-06-2011, 05:43 PM
 
Location: Georgia, USA
21,485 posts, read 26,089,700 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stepka View Post
An example of a sticky situation with mom happened last night. I drove her from my uncle's house, 2 states over, yesterday--a 14 hour drive. After it got quite dark and we were almost home she began to believe that there were people asleep in the backseat. I didn't say anything, hoping she'd forget but she didn't. After we got home, she asked me where the ladies went. I told her that I'd dropped them in the town before ours but she didn't believe that for a sec. Then she asked again after about a minute. I told her that they left. She was very aggrieved b/c they hadn't said goodbye and she was floored by their ingratitude after we gave them all a ride. Did I mention that it was just her and me and her dog? I'm having to get very creative and hopefully I'm not going to hell for this.

Anyone who loves a Mom with Alzheimer's enough to make that drive, dog included, is definitely not going to hell!

Bless you!
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Old 11-07-2011, 10:03 AM
 
575 posts, read 848,955 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stepka View Post
An example of a sticky situation with mom happened last night. I drove her from my uncle's house, 2 states over, yesterday--a 14 hour drive. After it got quite dark and we were almost home she began to believe that there were people asleep in the backseat. I didn't say anything, hoping she'd forget but she didn't. After we got home, she asked me where the ladies went. I told her that I'd dropped them in the town before ours but she didn't believe that for a sec. Then she asked again after about a minute. I told her that they left. She was very aggrieved b/c they hadn't said goodbye and she was floored by their ingratitude after we gave them all a ride. Did I mention that it was just her and me and her dog? I'm having to get very creative and hopefully I'm not going to hell for this.
Good job!
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