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the Alzheimer's thread

Old 03-09-15, 05:02 PM
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Anyone got any stories to share
Either bad or a miracle turn around

My story is bad
My step- dad started to show signs over a year ago and he went so bad in November that mom had no choice but to send him to a nursing home
Now the meds they had him on have destroyed his liver
His time is probably short
Suffice to say it's been hard on my mother
She had to semi-retire because of it
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Old 03-09-15, 05:34 PM
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Re: the Alzheimer's thread

had 2 grandparents have this and eventually gma passed away from complications due to alzheimer's. it is a tough way to go.
so sorry. hoping it is as painless as possible...
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Old 03-09-15, 05:39 PM
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Re: the Alzheimer's thread

I don't remember
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Old 03-09-15, 05:48 PM
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Re: the Alzheimer's thread

My Ex Wife's Mother is dealing with Dementia. It's so sad to hear about how on some days she has lost grasp of reality.
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Old 03-09-15, 05:51 PM
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Re: the Alzheimer's thread

So sorry to hear about your stepdad, Bacon.
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Old 03-09-15, 05:56 PM
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Re: the Alzheimer's thread

thinking of starting an Alzheimer's thread in otter, would there be any interest?
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Old 03-09-15, 05:58 PM
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Re: the Alzheimer's thread

My grandmother was diagnosed with Alzheimer's in the late '80s and she passed away several months later. The last time I saw her she looked at me with vacant eyes across a dining table and asked someone, "Who is that?" That really sucked. She was the only grandmother I knew growing up since my other grandmother passed away when I was four.

It's an awful disease and sorry about your stepdad, Bacon.
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Old 03-09-15, 06:05 PM
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Re: the Alzheimer's thread

had 2 grandparents have this and eventually gma passed away from complications due to alzheimer's. it is a tough way to go.
so sorry. hoping it is as painless as possible...
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Old 03-09-15, 06:27 PM
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Re: the Alzheimer's thread

So sorry to hear this, Brian.

My mom suffered from dementia and so did my father-in-law before they died.

If it helps at all, aside from the need for constant care, we noticed that both of them actually became more relaxed as the disease progressed even as their physical abilities decline. And, even though they would sometimes confuse us with other people or not recognize us, they still seemed to enjoy our company.

Since I'm retired, I currently help out (occasionally, not on a regular basis) sitting with two elderly friends (one is 91, the other is the parent of a friend). The older lady repeats things endlessly but can still have brief conversations, especially about things from her childhood. The man watches westerns endlessly and can still converse about some of them along with telling about his career (even though he probably couldn't tell you what happened two minutes ago).

What my wife always reminds me of is that these patients live in the moment. If you can find some activity that calms them or makes them smile, that's the best you can hope for at times. I had to remember that, if they weren't in a lot of physical pain, it didn't matter how pitiful their condition seemed to us as long as they didn't realize it. The worst stages is when they're first diagnosed; they either refuse to accept it or get really depressed (who wouldn't?) and fearful. But, if you can get past the "combative stage" when they really act out of character...and, hopefully, it will pass...just remember the good times with them and concentrate on whatever makes them happy: Singing, patting their hands, just being nearby, reading to them, doing manual work (snapping beans), playing checkers, etc...whatever they can still do & like to do. Looking at photo albums sometimes jogs memories, but doesn't matter. They can look at a picture of you and ask who it is and not miss a beat when you tell them it's you (they'll ask again shortly anyway). Just go with it the way you would if they were dealing with physical wounds.

I remember a Secret Service member telling about Pres. Reagan during the latter stages of his life. He said that they would hand the President a broom and that he would sweep leaves off the veranda or porch over and over. It was just (seemingly) mindless repetition, but he was content. Hopefully, that will be your experience (it actually got easier as time went by). That's not always the case, but it can be.

Hang in there and be there for your step-dad & your mom. Mom will need lots of support & breathers, so do good stuff for her. It's the little kindnesses that mean so much, IMO. Hope this helps.

And you might want to check out some web resources or get pamphlets that make good suggestions, help you recognize stages & know what to expect, and help you realize that you're not alone. It helped us.

Last edited by creekdipper; 03-09-15 at 06:38 PM.
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Old 03-09-15, 07:46 PM
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Re: the Alzheimer's thread

It's just stories of others dealing with the same thing. Really, really worth watching. It's playing on Netflix.

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2593392/?ref_=fn_al_tt_1

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Old 03-09-15, 08:04 PM
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Re: the Alzheimer's thread

My ex was diagnosed with early onset at 57 and died a year later. Her last months were spent in a nursing home speaking gibberish to invisible people. One of the known causes of Alzheimer's is severe head trauma. She was thrown from her horse several times as a kid, including once when she didn't remember getting back on and riding five miles home. She also had a couple of bad motorcycle crashes, one in which her helmet split open on the pavement.
It could explain many of the things she did in the years before our divorce.
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Old 03-09-15, 08:15 PM
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Re: the Alzheimer's thread

I've seen patients on more than 4-dozen pills a day (49 or 52 I think). This particular patient commented to me they felt better because their number of pills was reduced to only 38 per day. I just shook my head. I still think we are over-medicating and over-thinking diagnoses, even in the age of cost-cutting and whatever-you-want-to-call-it healthcare that we have today.
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Old 03-09-15, 10:13 PM
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I literally can even imagine going through what people who have close friends and relatives with this have to go through. It's too sad for me to even think about. I am genuinely sorry and hope the best for you and send sympathies, though I doubt that anything I could say could be of much help. I have had friends who've had to deal with it, it's the saddest thing I can think of. Sorry I can't say anything profound or helpful, just hope for the best for you. Doubt it means much, but it's all I can think of to do. Scares me, man. Mortality scares the hell out of me, nature can be cruel.
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Old 03-09-15, 10:53 PM
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Re: the Alzheimer's thread

Originally Posted by Bacon View Post
...Now the meds they had him on have destroyed his liver
His time is probably short...
Sorry to say but this is probably for the best. When his mind goes he is dead by all definitions, with the exception of the medical definition which includes the breathing, beating heart, some neurological activity, etc. I have a friend whose mother has Alzheimer's, the mother remembers her daughter (my friend) but that is it. Doesn't know the grandchildren, doesn't know the son-in-law, etc. And this was a woman with a master's in English. She is older (mid '80s) but healthy, will probably live another ten years.

Good luck, and I am sure there are support groups out there for your mother.
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Old 03-09-15, 11:18 PM
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Re: the Alzheimer's thread

A co-worker recently went through this with her father. She said the last days were bitter-sweet. He recognized her and was always happy to see her, but he remembered her as "the girl who brings ice cream" rather than as his daughter.
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Old 03-10-15, 10:25 AM
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Re: the Alzheimer's thread

My mom had dementia. Fortunate for us, it was a long, slow decline over the last ten years. She still could recognize and remember her loved ones and friends up to the end. Although she had days or moments where she was confused, overall her sweet personality and sense of humor remained intact. She just lived in the moment, couldn't remember what she just ate or did. We had care givers come into their home for 8 hours a day for the last two years before they moved into assisted living. Even though, we had care givers, some that were good which tried to engage my mom with simple games and tasks, it was very hard on my Dad, who is frail and has his own health issues. My Dad was caring for her at night and on the weekends. He stubbornly didn't want 24 hour help nor move into assisted living. We finally got them to move into assisted living last fall. The move was most likely too much for my mom, she was more confused, started to shut down more, and other health issues that most likely went unchecked were being treated. She had a stroke in Nov and died in Dec at the age of 91.

While looking at assisted living and memory care places. I always thought my Mom would have thrived a little better towards the end if she got into one earlier. So if you can, try to have your loved ones be taken care by a trained care giver or place them in memory care assisted living.
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Old 03-10-15, 11:03 AM
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Re: the Alzheimer's thread

Good advice from Talking2Phil. Re: assisted living, etc., it really pays to do your homework. Some provide really good care; others are just holding centers. Of course, the latter is sometimes all some people can afford. Unannounced visits when scoping them out can reveal a lot of things that rule some out or act as recommendations for others.

Also have a back-up plan. My mom went from home to assisted living to higher-level assisted living (where they treated everyone as flight risks and had them in a "lock-down" unit which I hated) then finally to skilled care after she needed constant medical maintenance from nursing staff.

Two points I'd share: First, some really-good facilities will only accept (or keep) patients who have a particular level of mobility or basic abilities, so having a Plan B can be crucial. Secondly, if you have siblings, try to avoid being pressured to use facilities that you don't find beneficial to your step-dad.
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Old 03-10-15, 11:14 AM
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Re: the Alzheimer's thread

I'll add a little more advice, in addition to creekdipper's. Start looking ASAP at assisted living places, the good ones have a waiting list, they ones we looked at were around 6 months. You really don't want to be in the position where someone is hospitalized and you need to find a place quickly.
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Old 03-10-15, 02:05 PM
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Re: the Alzheimer's thread

My Paternal Grandmother developed Alzheimer's. It was pretty sad. She was unsure of what was going on a lot and it must have been very frightening for her in the last days of her life.

We had an interesting story about an Alzheimer's patient at one of our facilities. He couldn't remember things that happened that day or the previous day (no short term memory), but he could recall events from when he came to America from Cuba. The staff has had some success with him talking about his earlier life and I think that has improved his quality of life.
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Old 06-07-15, 05:07 PM
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Re: the Alzheimer's thread

He's gone
He developed a high fever and it was too much
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Old 06-07-15, 05:17 PM
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Re: the Alzheimer's thread

Sorry Bacon. No more pain...
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Old 06-07-15, 05:39 PM
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Re: the Alzheimer's thread

Originally Posted by Bacon View Post
He's gone
He developed a high fever and it was too much
Condolences & prayers, Bacon.

I heard recently that there are some promising developments in the search for a cure. Too late to help our loved ones lost to this disease & complications, but maybe hope for us & future generations.

Peace & comfort for the days ahead. Share the good times you had with your dad and the things he enjoyed & the memories passed on to you & your family. It really does help!
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Old 06-07-15, 06:37 PM
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Re: the Alzheimer's thread

Sorry he's gone.

I lost my mom to Alzheimer's years ago and I still don't like to talk about it.
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Old 06-07-15, 07:53 PM
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Re: the Alzheimer's thread

So sorry to hear.
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Old 06-07-15, 08:27 PM
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Re: the Alzheimer's thread

Very sorry for your loss.
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