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Shannon P
04-17-2011, 12:50 AM
My mother has been getting progessively more forgetful. I first noticed it 10-11 years ago. She blames it on "chemo brain" from when she had cancer 7 years ago, but I noticed it before then. A friend of hers mentioned it to me perhaps 4 years ago.

My mother's life is somewhat chaotic. She struggles with depression and hoarding, and denial tinged with paranoia. It's hard to know where how much of her forgetfulness and misplacing items is related to the clutter and how much is brain function. ("Clutter" doesn't even really describe her house.)

We've mentioned going to a doctor, but she won't do it.

I appreciate any advice you can offer.

CJ
04-17-2011, 10:34 AM
Now this will sound like a joke, but it's really what my grandmother's doctor told us.

If you forget where you parked your car, you don't have Alzheimer's. If you forget that you own a car, you need to see a doctor.

Of course, symptoms can be spotted much earlier. It could also be dementia. You really need to get her to see a doctor, regardless. It's hard when your parent acts like the child. You need to protect their dignity, but still do what's best for them.

Looking for a website like this (http://www.nia.nih.gov/) might give you some ideas on how to proceed.
:group:

Kat in Co
04-17-2011, 10:48 AM
Similar to what CJ said, this is what I learned from the Dr. when my grandma was being tested for alzheimers. When you forget where your keys are, thats normal forgetfulness. When you dont know what keys are, thats alzheimers.
My grandma was not diagnosed with alzheimers that year, but she was the next. This is a hard time for all involved. Please remember to take care of yourself, too.

KathleenM
04-17-2011, 01:26 PM
Oh Shannon, how hard for you! Even if it is not Alzheimer's, it doesn't seem like something good. :group:

My mother had a mix of changes with her Alzheimer's, and forgetfulness was really only one of the symptoms. You mentioned paranoia, and we definitely dealt with that too. Alzheimer's also creeps up so slowly that it is hard to say what is normal for her and what isn't. Think back to how your mom was at her best and sharpest - what are the biggest changes? What is she doing now that is just not her? Is there anything that she used to be able to handle or manage in her life that she can not any longer? Those answers are your biggest clues, and need to be compared to symptom lists that you find on such sites as the Alzheimer's Association.

The best lists of symptoms divide early, middle, and late stage Alzheimer's. Often what people think of as characteristic of Alzheimer's only shows up in the later stages, and is what most people have in mind when they look for it. Patients who are early enough in the disease are still aware enough to know something is wrong, and they work very hard to try to cover it up. They are often profoundly depressed and anxious, undergo sleep changes, and can be very moody. As the chaos and confusion grows in their minds, they alternate between blaming other people for causing the chaos, or being paranoid that everyone is against them.

Sometimes it is hard to get a definitive answer about Alzheimer's. It is often a diagnosis of exclusion, with a lot of hoops to jump through. If you do get a diagnosis, she can go on disability, get on a medication that may help her maintain some ground, and she will not be allowed to drive.

I know that one more commitment can be tough to squeeze into your schedule, but an Alzheimer's Association caregivers support group is worth a visit. Even if it turns out to be something else, you are dealing with things that others in the group will understand, and it is good to talk about this stuff with people who empathize.

Here (http://www.alz.org/alzheimers_disease_10_signs_of_alzheimers.asp) is a good symptom list from the Alzheimer's Association.

Cara in WA
04-17-2011, 04:58 PM
You've gotten very good advice from Kathleen. Our family dealt with dementia in my grandmother, for about the last 15 years of her life. It starts slowly and it's a creeping disease that takes a little of your loved one at a time.

My grandmother also didn't want to see doctors, or admit there was a problem, so it was particularly hard for my mom to insist that she receive care.

The tipping point came when her behavior became unhealthy (refusing to bathe, wearing the same clothes for weeks at a time, forgetting to eat, or that she had just eaten) and/or unsafe (wandering off to 'take a walk' but not remembering her way home, forgetting to turn off appliances).
It is very, very hard to interject yourself in a situation like that when the person is in denial. Once my grandmother got a prescription for Aracept, she'd refuse to take it.

I would say there was a marked personality change, too. My grandmother in her best years was a sweet, loving, giving church lady. That's how I choose to remember her. In her last years she was fearful, cranky, and kind of feisty~ she wouldn't accept suggestions.

Shannon, :group: and prayers.

Shannon P
04-17-2011, 05:19 PM
I know my mother suffers from some depression anyway, and her hoarding produces a lot of misplaced items. It's really hard to tell apart from possible Alzheimer's. It's the same behaviors, it's just the worsening that concerns me. I get impatient when the chaos from her life invades mine with emergencies, but lately I have to consciously think of her as mentally disabled to summon the patience to deal with her.

For instance, she switched phone companies because she was convinced that hers was not sending her bills so that her service would be turned off for non payment and she would have to pay for a service call to turn it back on. (She was simply losing the bills.) Then, she was convinced that someone at work was stealing her mail (she was still losing the mail.) So she got a locking mailbox, and promptly lost the key. She retrieved her mail through the slot using long handled forceps. DH went by and managed to pick the lock. Mom stopped talking to me for a few years when dh and I refused to let her make a copy of the key he used. (He didn't really use a key as much as his lock picking skills so there was nothing for her to use, and it's a high security key from work and he can't let it be copied. I said it several times, but she just didn't want to hear it.)

She called me yesterday and said she was coming over last night. She didn't come over, and had forgotten that she called me. She said she needed copies of her parents' birth certificates. She wants to know how to get them online or who to call (on a Saturday.:confused:) She needs them to get a replacement copy of her social security card. (I don't understand how their BCs will help mom get a SS card, without also getting their marriage certificate and mom's BC, which is what she really needs anyway.) She tried to get a SS card a few years ago, but they refused. She doesn't remember or understand why they refused. (I suspect her driver's license is expired.) She says they refused for no reason, just to keep her from getting a card.

Sound familiar? I could give more examples, including ways where her forgetfulness costs her tons of money and almost got her in serious trouble over accounting/taxes issues.:eek: But you get the idea.

I foresee that assuming control of her assets may not be far off. I DON'T want that, and neither does she.:no:

Her driving is already a little scary.:eek:

At her best, she has a sharp analytic mind (now you know where I got it.;)) She can talk about math and reasoning. So when she can't see how her parents' birth certificates will not aid her in getting a copy of her own BC or SS card, I worry.

I have her convinced to go to a counselor to prepare for retirement (and the accompanying loneliness that will make her terribly emotionally and financially vulnerable) and hopefully deal with her depression/hoarding issues. However, she has other plans for counseling, just minor issues.

An AA support meeting (giggle) is an excellent idea!

KathleenM
04-17-2011, 07:35 PM
How old is your mom Shannon? I'm thinking she is not too old. Often people quickly dismiss the idea that someone who isn't elderly may have Alzheimer's.

I'm sorry, but what you're telling me does not sound good. My mom did similar things before her diagnosis. My dad was in denial and kept excusing away her odd behavior, and some in the family got mad at me when I tried to push for an evaluation.

While I'm sure your immediate family will be supportive, if I remember correctly, you don't have a lot of extended family to help share the load. She has probably driven away a lot of old friends or people who may have supported her.

I'll be praying for you Shannon. You have some difficult decisions ahead, and may have to make choices for your mom that she won't like. You are in the unenviable position of being a parent to your own parent.

My biggest piece of advice at this point is to remember that your sanity counts for something too! What I mean is that while I know you will do your best for her and do right by her, you also need to take extra care of yourself, and remember that your marriage and children are a priority too. Dealing with this problem can consume you and cause havoc in your life. Try not to let it. Make the decisions you need to make, both for her safety and well-being and the safety of others, and don't let guilt tear you up.

:group:

Carol S
04-17-2011, 08:12 PM
I would say she has gone beyond normal forgetfulness, whatever the cause.

AmyinWI
04-17-2011, 09:47 PM
Now this will sound like a joke, but it's really what my grandmother's doctor told us.

If you forget where you parked your car, you don't have Alzheimer's. If you forget that you own a car, you need to see a doctor.



I work in an alzheimer's unit and some of the people there think they own a car (but don't) and think they can still drive, but havent' driven for years. :unsure:

It's such a hard thing when someone is in the "in between" stage, where family/friends notice, but the person themselves are in denial. Really until you can get her to a dr. to get evaluated there is no way to know for sure. Is she able to function daily in a safe way? Is she getting lost going places, or forgetting to turn off the stove, wandering outside her house? If you've noticed as safety issue, I'd press her to get evaluated. i'm not sure if social services can be of a help (although I'd hate to involve them until absolutely necessary) but I have seen some people do that, in such instances as someone unable to care for themselves, or being unsafe in some manner. :group:

AmyinWI
04-17-2011, 09:56 PM
How old is your mom Shannon? I'm thinking she is not too old. Often people quickly dismiss the idea that someone who isn't elderly may have Alzheimer's.

I'm sorry, but what you're telling me does not sound good. My mom did similar things before her diagnosis. My dad was in denial and kept excusing away her odd behavior, and some in the family got mad at me when I tried to push for an evaluation.



I have seen alzheimers patient as young as early 50's in our unit :sad:

Shannon, I just noticed your second post... yes, the behavior you described (blaming others when she lost something, not understanding what seems like common sense,etc.) do sound concerning. I have also seen a lot of that paranoia in patients I have worked with, when they don't remember something, the coping skills can sometimes be to blame others.
:group: will be praying.
I am glad she is agreeable to a counselor, maybe that will be helpful.

Shannon P
04-17-2011, 11:40 PM
My mother is 66. I think she was 54 when I first started noticing forgetfulness. Back then, I asked my cousin and A's was dismissed because of mom's age. I hate to admit that I have explained her behavior away too. With a history of depression and hoarding, it's really hard to differentiate.

She is safe on a daily basis. She doesn't cook using the stove or oven. My biggest concern for her daily well being relates to the condition of her house. Seriously, her house is worse than some you've seen on TV. I try not to judge because I know she'll push me away. Then I won't be able to help at all.

I am an only child, so there are no siblings to share this with. As I age, I realize how alone I am, especially as mom's mind slips. She has six siblings, but has driven some of them away or had them driven away. She has one close friend.

She came over this evening and I think I figured out that she needs her parents' SS numbers, not their birth certificates. I know I've printed the SS application before. I guess she lost it before going to the SS office and being refused because she didn't have the requisite info. It was generally a good day though and she seemed quite normal.

Tomorrow is tax day, usually a day of procrastinated panic for my mother. She has finally decided to take my advice and consult an accountant, but hasn't yet contacted one. She can't find some paperwork so she's filing an extension. I guess when doing it myself is easier than fixing her last minute emergencies, it will be obvious I need to take some responsibility from her.

Negin
04-18-2011, 02:09 AM
Shannon, this must be so very, very hard. :group: :sad: :group:

This is the info I have. I also my usual long and overwhelming list of tips, but I'm sure that's not what you want. Besides, those are more for prevention.

We all may forget where we parked the car, but to come out and not know whether you drove or took the bus, that’s different.
Forgetting where you put your glasses doesn’t mean you have Alzheimer’s, but not realizing that you wear glasses does!
• Do you ask the same question again and again?
• Do you put things in unusual places, like stashing frozen food in the fridge or the cupboard?
• Do you forget everyday things—like not brushing your teeth?
• Do you struggle to come up with the words you want to say?
If it’s worrying you and if other people are commenting on it, then it may be time to make some changes and possibly check with a doctor.

Robin in Colorado
04-18-2011, 07:56 AM
Sweetheart, I'm sorry.

My advice would be to get her tested. They can get definitive answers to a lot of questions these days, and sometimes can halt or slow the progression of things.

It's a tough to do when she is resistant, but needs to be done.

KathleenM
04-18-2011, 08:55 AM
We all may forget where we parked the car, but to come out and not know whether you drove or took the bus, that’s different.
Forgetting where you put your glasses doesn’t mean you have Alzheimer’s, but not realizing that you wear glasses does!
• Do you ask the same question again and again?
• Do you put things in unusual places, like stashing frozen food in the fridge or the cupboard?
• Do you forget everyday things—like not brushing your teeth?
• Do you struggle to come up with the words you want to say?
If it’s worrying you and if other people are commenting on it, then it may be time to make some changes and possibly check with a doctor.

My Mom was in her mid 50's when diagnosed with Alzheimer's. I think it is progressively getting more recognized in younger people, and more recognized in its earlier stages. I think that a generation ago my mom would have been diagnosed as mentally ill, simply for lack of awareness of what was really going on.

Several people have mentioned a variation of the line that Negin said about how we can all forget where we put our glasses, but forgetting that you wear glasses can mean Alzheimer's. Really, that is a later stage symptom. Many of the symptoms Negin mentioned are valid, but again are middle to late stage. Every patient is different, and people progress into the disease differently. Her hoarding is a good example - a tendency she has had for many years suddenly snowballs and gets in the way of a normal life. That is why it is so hard to tell sometimes that it is Alz, because traits she already had may get magnified, and you explain it away as something she's always done.

The safety issue has come up in a couple of replies, but let me state in no uncertain terms that you already have a safety issue: her driving. There are cases in which family members have been successfully sued because they didn't keep an Alz patient from driving, and innocent people were killed or injured in car accidents they caused. Taking the step of taking the keys away from your loved one is very hard, and only makes your life more difficult in a long list of ways, but the safety issue can't be ignored. Her hoarding means that her house is a fire trap, and since you don't live with her, you don't know how often a burner or stove has been left on. She is probably getting confused and lost while driving, but would never tell you.

I'm sorry, that was a lot of in-your-face stuff. I'm slightly sleep deprived, and it may not have even come out right. I'm sorry because I know this stuff is hard to hear. I suspect you are in the midst of your own grieving process for your mother, and I'm sorry for your pain. It doesn't make for much of a birthday does it? I pray for you to have lots of wisdom about what you need to deal with. I also pray for you to be at peace with your decisions and your situation, and for you to get some breaks from this situation for down time and fun time for yourself. You deserve it!

Cindy in CA
04-18-2011, 12:16 PM
So what are the earliest warning signs, or symptoms? Sometimes I feel like something may be going on with me. :unsure:

Thanks

:)

KathleenM
04-18-2011, 03:13 PM
Early signs of Alzheimer's - keep in mind that symptoms vary from individual to individual:

Difficulty in tasks that require short-term memory, like remembering the names of people they just met.
Difficulty learning new information. While old skills and knowledge are maintained, new information does not stick.
Trouble remembering recent events or activities. For example, they may watch a movie and then be unable to explain the plot correctly.
Difficulty finding the right word for familiar things. They may start saying "that thing" or "whatchamacallit" a lot.
May seem withdrawn in social situations.
Difficulty with complex tasks such as paying bills or planning an event.
Individuals can still understand and participate in conversation.
They can find their way through familiar surroundings without help.
They can still read and write and retain information long enough to rationalize.


I got this list from an emedicine.com article about Alzheimer's. I would add sleep changes, depression, moodiness, and anxiety, which can clearly be symptoms for other things as well. When you see them in combination with the signs above, they could point to Alzheimer's. The person is depressed because they still have enough cognitive function to realize that something is wrong, and they are expending a tremendous amount of energy trying to cover up and compensate for these changes. Family members who are in denial will also do a lot of covering up on their behalf. Cindy, you are brave to admit you are concerned. I have to wonder if what you are experiencing is a result of the major stresses you have gone through these last couple of years.

I also want to add a follow up to what I said to Shannon in my last post, in regards to taking away the car keys. This is something that is done after a diagnosis is decided upon. It really helps to make the doctor the "bad guy" and have him or her tell the patient they can't drive anymore. That way, whenever the patient has the inevitable fallout of anger, you blame it on the doctor. That may sound a little cold, but deflecting their anger is an emotional survival technique. Caregivers of Alz patients get chewed out enough as it is.

Shannon P
04-18-2011, 04:14 PM
I realize that the theme of forgetting they had a life was a later stage manifestation.

I didn't realize that Alz was a diagnosis of exclusion. I thought I'd heard about blood tests or vision tests or brain imaging or something, that there was a more definitive differential. So many of her symptoms are wrapped up in the hoarding, which is progressive in itself. I wonder if we will have to exclude that first.

For instance, I know she does not leave burners or the stove on, despite that I don't live there, because she does. not. cook. The stove is piled with stuff and she can't even get to it. She heats things in the microwave or goes out to eat. For Thanksgiving, she requested that I specify something for her to bring over that could be microwaved or bought at the store. Thus, my biggest concern in the specific safety area of leaving burners on is that she eats unhealthy or eats irregularly because she doesn't cook, because of the hoarding.

Likewise, she currently sleeps sitting up at the end of the couch, the only small spot that she keeps clear enough for sleeping. When we cleaned before, she slept on an air mattress in the living room, surrounded and almost overwhelmed by clothes. You had to know where to look to spot the small pocket where she slept. It's become so much worse now. Thus, it's difficult to know if sleep disturbances are being caused by Alz, or if they're caused by not getting restorative sleep because she doesn't sleep horizontally, because of the hoarding.

IOW, I wonder if I will have to clean her house. Again. Last time, we cleaned it to keep her from being placed in a nursing home during chemo. It took well over 100 man hours to clean only the public areas. It had only been 3 years since it had been cleaned by someone else. I told her that was her last freebie, that I would not clean it again unless she was in counseling. (I know it sounds awful, and for years mom makes it sound like I'm an unfeeling, disloyal daughter, but I have to set boundaries or let the burden of her chaos overwhelm my life.) It's been 8-9 years since then. It's indescribably worse.

She's also more emotionally fragile about it. She was in tears over the suggestion that my dh would have to enter the house to install a new thermostat for her new A/C. He knows how bad it is, he helped me clean it before, and he knows to withhold judgement even though it angers him. I realize the emotionality is potentially part of the Alz.

The hoarding is not new; it goes back to when I lived there. Two of her siblings came down to help clean. They presented me with a small box of my stuff, and proceeded to chew me out for the condition of the rest of the house, which was all her stuff. It wasn't even a fraction then of what it is now, since she lives alone and is no longer responsible to anyone else for her living conditions.

On that note, I have talked to one of her siblings about helping to clean her house. She said she'd be willing to help, if I had required mom to be in counseling.

I have to go drop a kid off at an activity, but will be back later...

KathleenM
04-18-2011, 04:56 PM
I am glad to hear that you are already setting boundries! Bravo for you! :clap: No... you do not sound bad by saying that. As I said earlier, your sanity counts too!

Wow, it is so hard to know if what you are describing is Alz or something else, but either way, you have a pickle on your hands. And I'm sorry that some of her siblings have given you a hard time. I've been there too, and that has been the most lingering hurt out of the whole situation. It sure is easy for people to point a finger at you and blame you - it's how they deal with their own guilt.

As for a diagnosis of exclusion: I'm sure a lot has changed since my mother was diagnosed in the late 90's. I believe that Alzheimer's changes, especially in later stages, can be seen in a PET scan. However, most insurance won't pay for that. Blood tests can isolate any of a number of genes related to the kinds of Alzheimer's, but they don't serve as a definitive diagnosis because a lot of people have the genetic tendency without having the disease. They try to rule out alcohal use, strokes, cardiovascular problems, diseases such as Pict's or CJD, other mental illness, etc. There is so much overlap of symptoms.

Cindy in CA
04-18-2011, 05:48 PM
Thanks Kathleen, yes it is probably the stresses I have been through, and just all the responsibility on me. :unsure:

Shannon, I feel for you and everything you are dealing with. I have a very difficult mother (to be very mild) and it is just so hard. :group: I do believe boundries are very necessary, and not taking blame for something that is not your fault. Under these circumstances she can't be sleeping well, and sleep deprivation could be causing many of the other issues. It sounds like a horrible cycle, and yes very hard to determine what is what.

Praying that our mom's get the help they need. :group::group::group:

:)

KathleenM
04-18-2011, 08:25 PM
I work in an alzheimer's unit and some of the people there think they own a car (but don't) and think they can still drive, but havent' driven for years. :unsure:



I can't tell you how many times I got ticketed by the former policeman who was in my mom's Alz unit. :lol: <---- gotta keep laughing, done enough :cry:

Shannon P
04-18-2011, 09:00 PM
Her house is indeed a fire danger. It was when I lived there. I once accidentally set a fire on the stove. She'd set a paper bag of stuff too near the stove and I turned on the wrong burner. Fire danger has not been enough motivation for her to overcome hoarding. It's simply something we've learned to live with.

In the years since I was chewed out, I think I've been mostly vindicated by my mom's continuing living conditions. But I haven't forgotten that she blamed it all on me and they bought it.

The thermostat is an interesting comment on her functioning level. She originally installed that thermostat with the directions in the package. She carefully labeled and documented the installation so she'd knew how to do it next time. DH said it was done exactly correctly, despite having non-standard colored wires. DH could not install this new one because he couldn't find the new thermostat in its box in her house. (I knew we should have maintained possession of it until installation, but mom was crying because she really wanted to install it herself to avoid having dh come in her house.)

I'm glad you came back to explain about driving restrictions. I had planned to blame the doctor, but wondered after your previous post if I would have to restrict her driving myself, before diagnosis. Whew!

Alz does make sense of some situations with mom. We took her camping a few years ago. While she claims to enjoy camping and looked forward to going, she fretted the whole weekend and seemed to be transferring her agitation to the kids.

What is a typical timeline for Alz?

KathleenM
04-18-2011, 10:26 PM
What is a typical timeline for Alz?

Wow, that can really differ from person to person. In the elderly, I believe it will progress faster. By the time my mom had been diagnosed in 98, I would say that I had been very worried for about 3 years, and thinking that something funny was going on for about 5 years prior to that. She went into a nursing home in 2003, and died in 2009. So that makes 19 years, and researchers say that Alzheimer's changes begin in the brain up to 20 years before the disease is apparent. :spin:

I think it is interesting that there is more than one gene identified as being responsible for Alz, and that there are certain kinds of cases that fit a certain pattern. Maybe in the future Alz will be subdivided into more specific sub-classifications, and then we will have better guidelines about what to expect in terms of progression.

I just remembered that PBS had a series a couple of years ago about Alz that I found very informative, poignant, and well done. You can watch it online. It is called The Forgetting (http://www.pbs.org/theforgetting/).

Dawn Gilmore
04-19-2011, 06:07 AM
Kathleen has given you tons of wonderful information. I would encourage you to somehow get your mom to a doctor. They can do screenings which can help to differentiate between alzheimer's and something that is less dreadful. (A lot of the early symptoms of alzheimer's can also be manifestations of depression, which only helps in the deniability of the real problem) BUT, the important thing is that the earlier she is diagnosed, the earlier she can be started on medication, which will help to delay progression, even if it can't reverse the disease. If it's not alzheimer's and is something else that has a better prognosis, it still needs to be treated. When I worked with a neurologist, she had a simple screening that she used as part of the whole exam, which could raise the red flags, and indicate the need for more in-depth testing. So, if you can convince your mom she needs to be seen for a general physical, and then alert the doctor's office ahead of time to your concerns, they will be very cooperative and discreet.

CJ
04-19-2011, 12:09 PM
This article just came out today:
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/42653936/ns/health-alzheimers_disease/

We cared for my grandmother and she was diagnosed in 1996 and died in 2003. She had had it for a while before the diagnosis which is common. She survived a brain aneurysm in 1990 and made a very good recovery so we were crushed when we realized she was showing signs of Alzheimer's.

The article included this information:

The new guidelines break the disease up into 3 stages:

Preclinical: There is evidence signs of Alzheimer's disease may appear 10 years before the disease is diagnosed. These include brain changes, such as the buildup of the protein amyloid-beta, nerve cell damage and brain shrinkage. Some of these biomarkers might be detected in brain scans and proteins in spinal fluid. But use of biomarkers should remain confined to the realm of research for the time being, the guidelines say. Researchers need a better understanding of how these biomarkers relate to the progress of the disease and how to measure them before they can be used by physicians to assess patients, the drafting scientists note.

Mild cognitive impairment: A portion of those diagnosed with mild cognitive impairment will go on to develop Alzheimer's disease, but researchers can't say who will. Biomarkers such as the use of MRI to detect brain shrinkage might be able to distinguish those who develop the disease from those who don't. In addition, once researchers have ruled out other cases of cognitive impairment, such as a stroke or a tumor, biomarkers could be used to confirm the diagnosis of Alzheimer's disease. However, again, researchers say that these guidelines apply just to research settings.

Alzheimer's dementia: These criteria expand the concept of Alzheimer's dementia beyond just memory loss to include declines in other areas, such as vision/spatial problems, and impaired reasoning or judgment.

They also included an article for caregivers coping with Alzheimer's.
http://today.msnbc.msn.com/id/41258850

KathleenM
04-19-2011, 01:00 PM
Good info CJ! Thanks for sharing.

Shannon P
04-19-2011, 02:33 PM
Thanks Kathleen! For some reason I thought Alz progresses faster once the forgetfulness was noticeable.

And thanks for the link CJ.

The more I think, the more Alz makes sense of things.:sad:

I'll nag my mother more later this week.

Anne
04-19-2011, 03:33 PM
My dad has parkinsons and has some of the same probs-a lot actually. He has the dementia that goes with it. I had to clean out his place--ugh. He's still mad at me about some of it--when he remembers. So sad.

KathleenM
04-19-2011, 03:43 PM
My dad has parkinsons and has some of the same probs-a lot actually. He has the dementia that goes with it. I had to clean out his place--ugh. He's still mad at me about some of it--when he remembers. So sad.


I have often felt a sinking in my heart when seeing a Parkinson's patient; it hits really close to home. I agree, there are a lot of similarities.

:group:

Gitel in nj
04-19-2011, 04:09 PM
I have often felt a sinking in my heart when seeing a Parkinson's patient; it hits really close to home. I agree, there are a lot of similarities.

:group:

My dad has PD--we are constantly on the look out for any signs of dementia. :sad: So far he has been spared--he is still young, however (only 76) and somewhat newly diagnosed (just barely 3 years)

KathleenM
04-19-2011, 04:36 PM
My dad has PD--we are constantly on the look out for any signs of dementia. :sad: So far he has been spared--he is still young, however (only 76) and somewhat newly diagnosed (just barely 3 years)

I'm sorry Gitel. :cry: This is really tough stuff, isn't it?

Gitel in nj
04-19-2011, 04:48 PM
I'm sorry Gitel. :cry: This is really tough stuff, isn't it?

yes. :sad:

Dad is really doing great. He is being treated by some of the best neurologists in the field (his doctor actually trained Michael J Fox's doctor) and I have done tons of research on complementary therapies.

But still--it is the things that no one really knows about PD (until they have a relative with it) that are so scary. The dementia, the depression, the compulsive behaviors (ask my mom about my dad's new car that he just HAD to have), the freezing and the in-ability to show emotion (PD mask) that might be as awful as the tremors --possibly worse.

It makes me so sad to watch my dad...and (honestly) it makes me very afraid for my future (selfish isn't it?)

ColleenT
04-19-2011, 09:45 PM
My dad just passed away a little over a week ago. He was 78. He was originally diagnosed with Alzheimer's and Parkinsons 8 years ago. He was showing signs of dementia around age 67. This past year the Hospice doctor told us that he didn't think my dad had Alzheimer's and Parkinsons. He said that he thought my dad had Lewy Body Dementia which behaves almost the same but it does not play nice with the medicines to treat the other two. Once we took him off the Parkinson's medicine his cognitive function improved slightly. He was even able to communicate a little bit.

It was a long difficult road for my dad and for all of us who loved him.

My prayers are with you Shannon. Feel free to pm me if you want to talk.

KathleenM
04-19-2011, 10:43 PM
It makes me so sad to watch my dad...and (honestly) it makes me very afraid for my future (selfish isn't it?)

It is not selfish, it's just reality. I have concerns about myself and my kids. I try not to go there too often - it is a dark place. I pray for treatments to improve drastically and for breakthroughs to be made soon. If I follow the same pattern as my mom did... :no: well, not going there...

Colleen - so sorry to hear about your dad! I'm very sorry for your loss. It sounds like your family has been down a long road.

Gitel in nj
04-19-2011, 11:01 PM
Thanks Kathleen! For some reason I thought Alz progresses faster once the forgetfulness was noticeable.

And thanks for the link CJ.

The more I think, the more Alz makes sense of things.:sad:

I'll nag my mother more later this week.

:group:



My dad has parkinsons and has some of the same probs-a lot actually. He has the dementia that goes with it. I had to clean out his place--ugh. He's still mad at me about some of it--when he remembers. So sad.

:group:



My dad just passed away a little over a week ago. He was 78. He was originally diagnosed with Alzheimer's and Parkinsons 8 years ago. He was showing signs of dementia around age 67. This past year the Hospice doctor told us that he didn't think my dad had Alzheimer's and Parkinsons. He said that he thought my dad had Lewy Body Dementia which behaves almost the same but it does not play nice with the medicines to treat the other two. Once we took him off the Parkinson's medicine his cognitive function improved slightly. He was even able to communicate a little bit.

It was a long difficult road for my dad and for all of us who loved him.

My prayers are with you Shannon. Feel free to pm me if you want to talk.
:group: