What are the signs Alzheimer's is worsening?
My mother-in-law has AD and is living in an apartment in an assisted living residence in Seattle. She was diagnosed @ 5-6 years ago and in the last year we have noticed that her short term memory is significantly shorter that it had been. My husband and I live in Utah, one daughter lives in Seattle and the other daughter in Portland. My husband calls her almost every day and they have always been very close.
We moved her into a facility close to one daughter @ a year ago and about 7 months ago hired Helping Hands to visit her daily for 4 hours to prepare her breakfast and lunch and make sure she took her pills. She regained the weight she had lost after the move to the residence but complained about having someone intrude on her privacy so we recently arranged for her to stay in the apartment she loves and move from independent care to assisted living so someone would bring her breakfast and invite her to lunch daily. She knows how to get to dinner in the dining room and goes faithfully though she can't remember anyone see eats dinner with. She can also bath and dress herself though someone is now giving her pre-packaged meds with breakfast and lunch.
A few days ago she phoned her son who she continues to know and is close with and was very confused because she believed she was in one of her daughter's houses and she wanted to go home (to Ogen where she was born). She was quite upset, and while my husband talked with her, I used another phone to call the residence and ask someone to visit her apartment and see if she was there. She was and she gradually began to see things in the apartment that were familiar but she still didn't know where she was. Though the anxiety subsided gradually, she was still confused for a couple of days. On day three when I called she was happy and remembering happy conversations that we'd had days earlier and was clearly at home in her apartment.
We think that she'd fell asleep and had a bad dream then called when she woke up. This was particularly striking since she hasn't been able to make a phone call for over 2 years. She has had other bad dreams before but this was frightening to her (and to us) and the result lasted much longer than previously. How should we interpret this? Is this an indication that AD is progressing more quickly? We are trying to keep her in a familiar apartment that she loves as long as possible because any change, like moving to the residence; having Helping Hands come in; stopping Helping Hands and using the residence staff; even visits from family she loves can confuse her. We just don't know if this is a surprising but isolated incident or the beginning of a downward spiral. Can you help us understand what's going on?
SEE ALSO: Find Memory Care Near You
I THINK IT'S SOMETHING YOU JUST KNOW IN YOUR HEART & HERE ARE SOME THING'S I NOTICED WITH MY MOTHER IN LAW IN HER NOW LAST STAGES SHE SEES PEOPLE WHO ARE NOT THERE & SHE ONLY TALKS ABOUT HER LIFE AS A CHILD & WHEN SHE WAS IN SCHOOL SHE DID NOT REMEMBER SIMPLE TASKS LIKE HOW TO USE THE BATHROOM CORRECTLY & NO LONGER CARED ABOUT HER SELFE AT ALL WHEN IT CAME TO STAYING CLEAN & EVEN BRUSHING HER TEETH ... THIS IS A TIME WHEN YOU JUST WILL KNOW IN YOUR HEART THAT YOUR LOVED ONES MIND HAS WENT TOO FAR TO EVER COME BACK & THEN THEY WILL BECOME VERY FRAIL LOOKING THE BEST THING YOU CAN DO IS TAKE CARE OF YOURSELFE SO THAT THE TIME YOU DO SPEND WITH YOUR LOVED ONE IS AS MEANINGFULL AS POSSIBLE... I HOPE THIS HELPS & COMFORTS YOU IN SOME WAY
I'm an Alzheimer's patient myself and did a lot of volunteer work with the Alzheimer's association when I was first diagnosed (Sept 2003). I'm so glad I did the volunteer work because I learned so much. From what I gather, Alzheimer's patients often will become confused -- and it will become worse as time goes on.
PLEASE MAKE SURE THE DOCTOR IS AWARE OF THESE CHANGES. HE/SHE MAY BE ABLE TO MAKE A CHANGE IN THE MEDICATION TO IMPROVE HER QUALITY OF LIFE!
Also, in case you're not aware of it, Alzheimer's patients will often wander away from home -- and there are devices an Alzie patient can wear 24/7 to assist in locating them. If the facility you're using doesn't provide such a service, you need to get a "MedicAlert/Alzheimer's Association Safe Return" device (see http://www.alz.org/safetycenter/we_can_help_safety_medicalert_safereturn.asp).
Most importantly, learn as much as you can from the Internet "“ especially the Alzheimer's Association (www.alz.org). There's also a number you can call anytime day or night for assistance.
My best wishes to you, your family, and your Alzheimer's patient!
An early-onset Alzie myself "¦ mlh
As my father's Alzheimers has progressed, he has had increasing epidsodes of not knowing where he is and thinking he needs to leave his current abode to get back to somewhere he lived before. He often seems to have had dreams that he believes are "real life" and it is not always easy to convince him otherwise. You usually need to concentrate on why they are "okay" where they are at, rather than trying to explain why their dream is not real.
Hope this helps.
i am in the beginning stage of this difficult desease. i've been doing pretty good, BUT recently feel dizzy....Is there place online where i can chat with other folks who are going thur what I am. thx for replying
My husband was diagnosed early stage in Dec. 2009. Then had a brain aneurism and stroke the end of January 2010. He came out of that; had cataract surgery and went back into aphasia/apraxia. I do therapy with him every day from 1 - 2 hours. His Alzie symtoms are now including some mid stage.Though he does not show all of the early symptoms as yet. Is this "normal"? He doesn't wander nor get lost yet. He does have dizzy spells and can no longer do the things he used to do.In the last 3 months he has become much weaker. A bit of humor: He thought one of the tires on the car was low. So- he took the air gauge, checked the air and let air out. We had to limp to the station to have air replaced. We laugh about it now. but I wonder if at some point he may do something that isn't so easily repaired. Any coments appreciated. LB
TO LOOKING FORWARD: I AM ON CARING.COM AND IT HAS BEEN VERY HELPFUL TO ME, PEOPLE WRITE IN AND TELL THEIR STORIES, SO YOU CAN COMPARE HOW YOU ARE DOING ACCORDING TO THEIRS. PLEASE TRY IT, I FEEL IT WILL BE AN INSPIRATION TO YOU. JUST GO TO WWW.CARING.COM
the lady requesting a chat room or some communication because she was newly diagnosed, she recieved prayers but no helpful information. I am newly diagnosed and would like someone to chat with also.
I want to know if you are suppose to try and tell someone they have Alzheimer's?
Hi anonymous, Thanks for your question. To answer your question, please visit our blog post Should You Tell Someone He or She Has Alzheimer's?
I hope that helps!
Take care, Emily | Community Manager
Yes i do! And i did! And at the time he listend really close and seemend to acknowledge,that this why he was having problems remembering things! And why he would forget what his reasons were to his story. Or just stop right in the middle of his converstion and just sit for a minute or two ,before he would say,: Idont no what i was talking about! He would get embarrased and flusterd when this would happen! So this is why i finally told him why and what was causing this to happen to him! I.am glad that i had told him, for now ,when he starts to Flusterd, i can reach over and touch his hand and it.s ok,and with alittle laugh or a smile i would finnish off saying thats Alzymers visiting u again!! He too would laugh and say,: he sure is a pain in my A......!! Maybe i,am wrong in telling him, but my HEART tells me different! Deborah Magee June,11,2011
I am finding that since being diagnosed as being in early stages of Alzheimers, I find myself questioning everything I do and say. The fear that exists becomes a huge block which adds to the difficulties of doing things which I still enjoy.
To the person questioning everything you do and say. What are you feeling that causes you to question yourself?
My father says sometimes that he's dizzy, it just comes on him, some times he is sick to his stomach, I thought he was having panic attacks...cold sweats etc. Are these the same symptoms?. He just got diagnosed with mild to mod. AD