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Do you have a loved one with Dementia or Alzheimers?

 
 
Reply Sun 6 Jan, 2019 12:58 am
I never thought I'd ever be going through this; but I think my husband may have the start of Dementia or Alzheimer's. It's so terribly hard to go through, or even admit to such a horrible disease. Is anyone else going through this? How are you coping?
 
roger
 
  3  
Reply Sun 6 Jan, 2019 02:25 am
@ThereseInIowa,
My best suggestion is to get a copy of The 36-Hour Day by Nancy L. Mace M.A, Peter V. Rabins M.D. M.P.H‎

The focus is on home care, but at least somewhat useful in all situations. One caution: if you order from Amazon, pay attention to the prices. When I got my copy, there were numerous vendors with prices varying from reasonable to the outrageous. I reported this Amazon and actually got a phone call with a real person promising to look into it. Maybe they are policing that title, or maybe not.

One thing I find interesting is that nearly all published and verbal advice includes an expectation of personality change. That is not the case of my sister even after five years of Alzheimer's facilities.

I wish you luck. If there is any way to avoid home care, that would be my suggestion. As the condition advances (and it will) home care will become more than a full time job, hence the book title I recommend. If you do go for a facility, check out three or more. After selection, visit often enough that you know your expectations are being met.
0 Replies
 
edgarblythe
 
  2  
Reply Sun 6 Jan, 2019 10:03 am
I would also monitor his medication and read up on side effects.
https://www.brightfocus.org/alzheimers/article/is-it-something-im-taking-medications-that-can-mimic-dementia
ThereseInIowa
 
  1  
Reply Sun 6 Jan, 2019 02:18 pm
@edgarblythe,
Hello, and thank you for your reply. I feel so alone in this, I can’t even tell you. I’m going to look into the book you suggested, and hopefully that will give me a little more insight in everything that’s involved with dementia and alzheimer’s.

He has not been diagnosed with it yet; but of course I can see what’s going on. I watch him, I see him, I listen to him and there’s no getting around it. I think we’re going to be facing a much more serious situation before the end of the year. He’s still working full time though (he is 71 years old) but I’m sure his co-workers will start to notice changes in him before too much longer as well. That is really going to be tough though because I know he enjoys keeping busy, and the extra money does help; but the fact is, when this stuff gets ahold of you, there doesn’t seem to be much you can do to get away from it.

I thought maybe I could slow it down a bit by staying away from pharmaceutical meds as much as possible (you’re so right about certain meds and side effects) and gearing him toward things I know would be more beneficial like the medicinal Oil of Oregano, Prevagen, Beta-Glucan, and the like. Maybe what I’ve been doing has already helped him more than I know though because when he had hernia surgery a couple months back, the doctor commented that he normally doesn’t see lab work as good as his in a 21 year old man. I mean, to say his numbers were good would be an understatement though. Everything … all of his numbers, even his cholesterol, triglycerides, his HDL, LDL, all of it was absolutely PERFECT! Even his EKG turned out perfect. That really threw the doctor for a loop because he couldn’t get past the fact that my husband had actually smoked for nearly 50 years.

So maybe there is still something I haven’t ran across yet that could actually help someone with Dementia or Alzheimer’s, and I just haven’t found it yet. So believe me, I am open to anything, and welcome any suggestions you may have, especially since you are already dealing with this in a loved one yourself. Thanks again for your reply.
0 Replies
 
Sturgis
 
  2  
Reply Sun 6 Jan, 2019 03:07 pm
@ThereseInIowa,
I've been in a similar space with a long time friendship with a guy who has developed dementia. It has been slow in progression; yet, signs were there prior to his official diagnoses. That came about after he had been found wandering about, confused as to where he was and how he'd gotten there. Jimmy is slightly better when taking the medication given, still slipping away though.

A first step towards finding information and support would be through the Alzheimer's Association. They have local offices throughout the U.S.
www.alz.org


Once the website page opens, along towards the top is a clickable link "Local Resources"

Remember, you are not alone at your struggle and it's good to know others going through similar situations and to talk with them to learn how they've handles various crises.
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izzythepush
 
  2  
Reply Mon 7 Jan, 2019 02:08 am
@edgarblythe,
edgarblythe wrote:

I would also monitor his medication and read up on side effects.


My wife died from breast cancer. When it progressed she had cancerous cells in her spinal fluid. This made her delusional, she would talk about relatives she didn't have, and there was no point arguing with her because it just made her angry.

She was given a spinal shunt which reduced the pressure on her brain and she became lucid once more, but the cancer still killed her.

Before this impacted on me personally I worked as a civil servant and had to deal with a lot of people with dementia. What stands out is that a lot of suffers aren't confused in the traditional sense. They are certain of their delusions. It's often the case that when someone starts to suffer with dementia their partner thinks they might have it because the one with dementia doesn't doubt themselves at all.

That was the case with my wife, fortunately there was a teenager in the house, someone to confer with about reality, specifically what had just happened, because you do start to doubt yourself.

Sorry for the long response, but it is important to know that not just Alzheimer's/dementia cause such delusions, it can be side effects from medication or any number of conditions, (not just cancer,) that puts pressure on the brain.
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jespah
 
  2  
Reply Mon 7 Jan, 2019 06:35 am
@ThereseInIowa,
Just wanted to offer my support, and welcome you to A2K.

Many of us will be dealing with what you are, at some point or another. Here's hoping we can all muddle through together.
0 Replies
 
Ragman
 
  1  
Reply Mon 7 Jan, 2019 09:52 am
@ThereseInIowa,
My family has also gone through this four years ago with my older sister (then 78) who is now now deceased. She was diagnosed 8 years ago. The steps to have an expert medical diagnosis is very important.

Also important is good hospice care at the end. There are some newer meds that may help some sufferers to slow down the symptoms . Speak with a Gerontology expert and your physician about details. Try to avoid the Internet regarding information on Alzheimer medication. At times people are misled. In-person visits with medical experts who are informed about latest research on Alzheimer’s is more advisable.

My sister went into assisted living in the last years that is very close to where our family (and she) lived, making it convenient and familiar. We all discussed each daily visit with one another to keep the info flowing between us all despite her excellent care, In this way we knew she was being taken care of properly.In the end it was stomach cancer that took her life, shortening the very worst end -stages of dementia but she was losing her faculties in the last few weeks. We had to check in with her AND the assisted living fairly often. Alzheimer’s/ dementia can be cruel so you and your family will need strength. The less difficult part is for the one who has the illness as there’s only confusion to experience but with no physical pain.

Wishing you and your family good energy and you have my sympathy.
ThereseInIowa
 
  1  
Reply Tue 8 Jan, 2019 08:11 am
@Ragman,
Thank you so much for your kind words and support. It means a lot to be able to talk about this because I know the windy road ahead is coming and will not be easy for either my husband or I. It sounds like your sister had a plethora of problems, and I’m sure was absolutely heart-wrenching for you and your family to have to watch her go through that. I can only hope my husband’s last days are not anywhere near what she had to go through. God Bless You for being there for her, and showing her that you loved her.

I guess the part I’m reeling with now is just trying to figure out how to talk to my husband about this, or if I should even bother bringing up the subject at all. If this is going to send him into a downward spiral, and it very well could, I just can’t do it. Then again, I have to start making preparations to downsize, to move us into town, get into a smaller place, take care of paperwork, etc., etc. These are all things that we should’ve taken care of a long time ago; but since we did not, I’ve got to try to find some way to get everything done myself AND deal with the dementia or alzheimers. I suppose if I could just channel my super woman powers, I could get it all done in a snap; but of course that’s just my way of being sarcastic – in realizing the inordinate amount of work ahead of me.

But for anyone out there reading this who might possibly be in a similar situation either now, or sometime in the future, it would be wise to remember the old saying “Don’t put off ‘til tomorrow what you can do today”. By doing so, you won’t have to worry about dealing with so many problems all at once (like me), and therefore you can save yourself a lot of frustration, work ... and a whole lot of tears.

izzythepush
 
  2  
Reply Tue 8 Jan, 2019 10:34 am
@ThereseInIowa,
The one thing you will need to sort out are your finances. If everything is in joint names then fine but if he has his own personal savings you need to get a Power of Attorney or similar document sorted while he's still lucid.
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