My mother is in mid-stage dementia and has been on Namenda for approximately 3.5 to 4 years. She has greatly improved, and although there could be other contributing factors to her improvement, I have to assume that the medicine is a part of it. Maybe its not, but it could be, and the reward of her quality of life greatly outweighs any risk.
Her doctor recently informed me what most everyone here is saying, that at some point the medication will no longer help. I think when it gets to that point it will be obvious that she is beyond help, and at that point I will stop the medication (maybe). My mom doesn't always remember who I am, and recently asked me what her own name is. Sometimes she speaks what sounds like gibberish, other times she is extremely lucid and clear. A different doctor recently advised taking my mom off of Namenda because she fell and injured herself severely, and the doctor says Namenda increases fall risk. My mother's primary doctor will advise me of her recommendation, and with all of that information, plus what I have researched myself, family feedback and God's guidance I will make the final decision, not a doctor. Doctors only make an educated guess; its a very educated guess, but its still a guess and they don't KNOW and are not always right.
In my experience, insurance and sometimes doctors are all too quick to throw your loved one away like trash. If we don't do the research ourselves, find out about the best options ourselves, consult other knowledgeable people, get feedback from family, ask GOD for help and guidance and advocate tirelessly for our loved one we might as well throw our loved one away too. Doctors have their opinions, but at the end of the day, my mom is just a number, a body taking up space in their hospital, taking up their time and money. I love her, and I'm going to be the one to decide if the doctor's educated guess lines up with what I believe will result in my mom's highest quality of life.
My other two-cents, about end of life, is that a sudden heart attack is the way to go. I hope my mom's heart stops before she declines further to the end stages. If you have a loved one die suddenly, believe it or not, you are extremely fortunate. Getting the chance to say goodbye is not all its cracked up to be. Seeing my highly intelligent, very well-educated mother slowly decline mentally is beyond torture, its like living in absolute hell every single day. Its stressful, its depressing, and when I think about it I just feel this overwhelming feeling of anguish and restlessness because I am completely helpless and powerless to do anything to stop this suffering. I also watched my father slowly die of cancer. It's sheer hell on earth. To anyone that lost a loved one suddenly, be consoled, because I would much much rather have lost the chance to say goodbye than to watch someone I love so dearly slowly die.
Experiencing this pain is my reminder that we live in a fallen world, where death and disease reign. When we pass from this world into the afterlife, if our faith and hope is in Jesus Christ we will live forever in Heaven; no more disease, no more suffering, no more tears, and no more goodbyes.