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Old 05-07-2014, 05:14 PM
 
Location: Ponte Vedra Beach FL
14,628 posts, read 17,947,745 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by augiedogie View Post
I have several relatives that have had "senioritis" My MIL in the nursing home doesn't even know my wife anymore. My own personal theory is that stress is a major factor, that is people who are constantly insecure, fearful, and worry a lot. This causes over-activity in the adrenal gland, raises the blood pressure, constricts the small blood vessels in the brain which ends up doing damage to brain. My guess is that this is something that begins in adulthood, and by the time you hit your senior years, the damage is already done. The reason for my theory is that I've read some studies that indicated no link to genetics. In fact, we have a member in our church who has a twin sister that died many years ago with similar symtoms to alzheimers, but this member is still fine and in her late 70's.

If we live a long time, we should figure there's a good chance it will happen to us to some degree. I've read that 1/2 of all people who live to 85 have some dementia/Alzheimer's.
No - we're not talking "senioritis". We're talking about several diseases that have disease names. It's like the old saw. It's normal to forget where you put your car keys. Not normal to forget what your car keys are for when you have them in your hand.

And if you don't think there's any link to genetics - you have (luckily) never lived in a family with the wrong genes. My late grandmother had what would now be known as Alzheimer's. My late uncle died from it. My late mother was at the starting stages of it IMO when she died of something else. Other more distant relatives in her family have had evidence of Alzheimer's when they died of something else - or they died from Alzheimer's. Most first had symptoms in their late 70's or early to mid-80's (onset in most cases is age-related). OTOH - my father's family has "clean genes" - no one in his family has ever exhibited a trace of the disease (and many people in his family have lived into their 90's and 100's). Ditto with both sides of my husband's family. Only time will tell when it comes to us (the odds are 50/50 when it comes to me - much better when it comes to my husband). Robyn
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Old 05-07-2014, 05:46 PM
 
Location: Ponte Vedra Beach FL
14,628 posts, read 17,947,745 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by arwenmark View Post
I am going to have to deal with this as my husband has Parkinsons and it is starting to affect him mentally but not too bad yet. About 40% of Parkinsons patients develope full blown dementia, I pray that he is one of the other 60 % that only have mild cognitive impairment.
that said I am 62 and for the last year have been having increased cognitive impairment myself. I have MS, Fibromyalia, severe arthritis, heart disease, and Diabetes. Boy it sure sounds awful when I right it all out like that.
Anyway the future for us does not look very bright and yes I think about it alot.
My best advice to you. Unless you have more than a fair amount of financial resources - or family can help you out - get yourselves on the waiting list (which may be very long) for the best possible SNF in your area that accepts Medicaid (WRT your husband - many SNFs won't accept men < 65 - but there's no harm starting to plan now). So - you might have a place to go when you need it (after spending down to qualify for Medicaid). I'm sorry if this sounds somewhat cruel and callous. But bottom line IMO is at some point in the perhaps not super distant future - you won't be able to take care of him - and he won't be able to take care of you (spouses without significant assets can often muddle through if only one is incapacitated - but not if both are - and you didn't mention kids or similar who might help you out). So you'll need other people to take care of both of you.

If a good place isn't available where you live - consider a move - seriously. Where I live - the best SNFs (all non-profit) require a minimum 5 year residence in our local area before you qualify for a Medicaid room.

FWIW - I've observed many Parkinson's patients in my late FIL's SNF. And many/most don't wind up with anything close to full scale dementia. But they do wind up with lots of physical needs. Which someone with things like MS and arthritis is not in a particularly good position to deal with. Heck - even a normal older/elderly woman without your problems - like me - couldn't deal with the physical needs of a very disabled man - even if he was relatively light weight. Or even a relatively young woman either. One of my friends had a husband with LBD who died in his 50's. She was in her 50's too - and strong as an ox. But - for the last 3-4 years or so of his life - she needed almost full time help with her husband. When people get really sick with stuff like this or similar - taking care of them is like handling a 150 pound sack of potatoes. Not something most of us can do on our own.

I would for sure not want to be in your shoes. But I hope that I and perhaps others can give you some ideas about how to make the best of a bad situation. Robyn
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Old 05-07-2014, 06:03 PM
 
Location: Ponte Vedra Beach FL
14,628 posts, read 17,947,745 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by boater1 View Post
There are 2 sides to this affliction

The first is the person, I would think the worst for them is when the disease is starting, and the memory comes back but has blank spots when they couldn't remember. Wondering where that time and actions went. Wondering when it will happen again but not knowing it has. Losing sense of self a piece at a time. Periods of knowing and periods of not knowing what happened. Almost like having different personalities and one personalitiy doesn't know what the other did.
But when the disease is in full force and the person has lost all self. For them, it's a new world, not knowing what the other world was and who that other person was. This could be a better time mentally for the person, not knowing

Then there is the caregiver and relatives, watching the person slip away. Until the person doesn't remember who anyone of his relatives are. Then that hurt is permament, knowing the person is never coming back mentally. Almost like a new mental person in a old body.
Have you ever dealt with a person with Alzheimer's? Don't think so. Some of the first signs are being irrational and combative and paranoid. Very unpleasant to deal with. First time I ever dealt with it was when I was a kid - and my grandmother was living with us - and she was always fighting with my father all the time. To the extent that she moved out of the house (or maybe my father kicked her out - can't remember). And she wound up in an apartment where she'd call my mother 3 times a day and say that the landlord was sending poison gas in the radiator to kill her.

Then there's the whole "night walking" thing - which my late uncle (and others I've known with the disease) had. A totally big PITA.

Also the incontinence. Most families cross over "the line" in terms of at home/not at home care when the patient becomes incontinent (especially when it comes to fecal incontinence). People can deal with lots of stuff at home - but not fecal incontinence.

You're painting this whole thing in poetic terms. And I can assure you - Alzheimer's isn't poetic in any way shape or form. Robyn
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Old 05-07-2014, 07:25 PM
 
Location: Baltimore, MD
3,745 posts, read 4,222,880 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Robyn55 View Post
Have you ever dealt with a person with Alzheimer's? Don't think so. Some of the first signs are being irrational and combative and paranoid. Very unpleasant to deal with. First time I ever dealt with it was when I was a kid - and my grandmother was living with us - and she was always fighting with my father all the time. To the extent that she moved out of the house (or maybe my father kicked her out - can't remember). And she wound up in an apartment where she'd call my mother 3 times a day and say that the landlord was sending poison gas in the radiator to kill her.

Then there's the whole "night walking" thing - which my late uncle (and others I've known with the disease) had. A totally big PITA.

Also the incontinence. Most families cross over "the line" in terms of at home/not at home care when the patient becomes incontinent (especially when it comes to fecal incontinence). People can deal with lots of stuff at home - but not fecal incontinence.

You're painting this whole thing in poetic terms. And I can assure you - Alzheimer's isn't poetic in any way shape or form. Robyn
Boater1 described my father perfectly. He is more often clear headed since he started taking Aricept, but sometimes it is as if a flip is switched and he's talking nonsense. Yesterday, he did great at the lawyer's office. The day before he spent three hours conversing with his lovely granddaughter, only to immediately "blank out" when he exited his home with me and said granddaughter. He knew who I was, but who was that "lawyer from West Virginia" that went to dinner with us? The following day, "So, was that your ex-husband's daughter?"

He was absolutely devastated with his diagnosis and has been going through the various stages of grief. Denial, anger, depression, wash, rinse, repeat. Perhaps, finally, acceptance. At the ripe old age of 88, he decided he needed to get a will and (thank you, God) his attorney gently insisted he complete a financial POA that same day.

I have been told that some patients with advanced dementia do become content. Fingers crossed.

P.S.: I also remember my maternal Grandmother's "senility". She would occasionally visit her family doc two times a day, claim her landlord molested her, and at least on one occasion, was found removing her clothing while walking down the main drag in the middle of the night. <sigh>
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Old 05-07-2014, 09:28 PM
 
26,591 posts, read 52,352,650 times
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Originally Posted by marcopolo View Post
So the science is fairly convincing...regular exercise, preferably vigorous, may protect against dementia. Anyone who claims to be fearful of Alzheimers or dementia who is NOT exercising regularly is not thinking clearly.
I have a family member that retired as charge nurse at a hospital at age 62 because she realized her mental faculties were diminishing and the next year was diagnosed with Alzheimers.

17 years later she can handle routine fairly well... she does have immense trouble with anything not routine like a Doctors appointment... will go back and forth several times an hour checking on when her appointment is or looking at the calendar because there is something she can't remember and this causes it's own set of problems if you don't know what day of the week it is...

On the flip side... she was nationally ranked Ultrarunner and was still doing marathons at age 75... excellent physical health and very active... even at 80 she goes for two daily cross country walks which is another issue... at least it is same couple of mile loop close to home with her dog accompanying her.

So maybe regular exercise has slowed the progression... almost 18 years now...

Last edited by Ultrarunner; 05-08-2014 at 12:23 AM..
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Old 05-08-2014, 04:19 AM
 
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One thing I have learned about life. If you anticipate something going wrong, it probably will. Enjoy life to the fullest. Do all the things you want to do. Make the most of what you have. Keep a smile on your face, spread cheer around and help whomever you see needing help. There are no guarantees in life but you do have a lot of control over it if you want. Don't fret the bad stuff. It seems to take very good care of itself without your help. You only get one go-round. Don't miss any of the fun.
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Old 05-08-2014, 04:34 AM
 
16,437 posts, read 19,152,562 times
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FWIW: If it is true that aluminum deposits have something to do with Alsheimers, malic acid and magnesium will leach aluminum out of the body. It is currently thought that vitamin e may help. Some study has shown a lack of certain fats may be part of the problem. I do think it is interesting that the rapid increase in Alsheimers has been concurrent with the low fat diet trend. I have no idea about any of this, of course, but I don't think it would hurt to get rid of aluminum. High doses of vitamin e cause other problems, but I fear Alsheimers more than the other problems.
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Old 05-08-2014, 05:16 AM
 
2,684 posts, read 2,932,234 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bideshi View Post
FWIW: If it is true that aluminum deposits have something to do with Alsheimers, malic acid and magnesium will leach aluminum out of the body. It is currently thought that vitamin e may help. Some study has shown a lack of certain fats may be part of the problem. I do think it is interesting that the rapid increase in Alsheimers has been concurrent with the low fat diet trend. I have no idea about any of this, of course, but I don't think it would hurt to get rid of aluminum. High doses of vitamin e cause other problems, but I fear Alsheimers more than the other problems.
I think it has also been shown that the rapid increase of Alzheimers has been concurrent with the rapid increase of the older population. Nothing surprising there. A matter of numbers. What gets my attention is the younger age at which alzheimers is hitting. Why?
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Old 05-08-2014, 05:25 AM
 
16,437 posts, read 19,152,562 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hazel W View Post
I think it has also been shown that the rapid increase of Alzheimers has been concurrent with the rapid increase of the older population. Nothing surprising there. A matter of numbers. What gets my attention is the younger age at which alzheimers is hitting. Why?
Low fat diet fad?
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Old 05-08-2014, 06:02 AM
 
2,684 posts, read 2,932,234 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bideshi View Post
Low fat diet fad?
I don't know. We all do a lot of guessing but it's only guessing. I have one also and I've never seen it addressed. it might be worth a survey in the very least to see if it really is true. I have seen a goodly number of my friends succumb alzheimers and in every case except one, they were all taking an excessive amount of medicines. Medicines are chemicals. Chemicals are - well, not foreign to the body necessarily but certainly additions to what is the usual normal. I do believe we are all over-medicated (unless we refuse treatment). What I would like to know is how much this affects our brain. Maybe not at all. Maybe its just that people who overdose on medicines are making medicine their "life adventure" - leaning on it as a reason for living.

Now please don't misinterpret. People need medicines. Medicines are good If used properly. And some people need more than others. I am referring to people who manage one way or another to keep taking pills even when their doctors would recommend that they stop. They end up on too much medicine.

Just a guess like everyone else guesses.
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