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 Mum Has Alzheimers.....

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SherlockHolmie
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 15, 2008 11:46 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

Last night Mum broke the news to (most) of the family that she has been diagnosed with Alzheimers. It was discovered in an MRI while they were testing for the possibility of a stroke (she's in her 70's). She was prescribed a drug called Aracept, and she told us she could feel a difference already. which makes me wonder what stage the disease is in. Will do some reading on clinical data.

She took me aside later and seemed very much at peace with it all; said she was really going to enjoy her garden (which she always did..) and enjoy her home...it was very sad, though I smiled a good deal and agreed with her.

I myself survived a brain tumour 15 years ago, and I took care of my spouse who died of cancer in 2002, but this is very different.....

Does anyone on the Eater community have experience with relatives suffering from this disease?

How do I cope with caring for another loved one in the final stages again?

Sorry to be morbid...just generally looking for an encouraging word, I suppose. Thanks, mates Crying or Very sad

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PostPosted: Sun Mar 16, 2008 2:47 am Reply with quoteBack to top

Sorry to hear that SH. I don't have much experience with the disease, but I'm sure there are others here that do.
I'll keep a good thought for you and your mum, though.

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PostPosted: Sun Mar 16, 2008 2:56 am Reply with quoteBack to top

Sorry to hear it, Sad I haven't had a relative with Alzheimers, but my dad had clinical depression a while back,for a year or so, and that was tough.
My thoughts are with you.

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sheboppe
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 16, 2008 6:09 am Reply with quoteBack to top

I'm sorry to hear that. Alzheimer's is a very cruel disease - not only to the person that has it but to the family and friends too. I really feel for you and your family. Crying or Very sad

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Stepan Fetchit
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 16, 2008 11:16 am Reply with quoteBack to top

My Dad had various mental problems in his later years, including some diagnosis of 'pre alzheimers' or something.

He did end up in an alzheimers nursing home. It's tough, but you can find some very good facilities that provide good care, and the staff really cares. You have to do some serious looking around, though.

It's sad, but if you can swing the right facility, it makes a big difference.
He actually enjoyed the last place he was in, after being thrown out of 3 other places.

Laughing

Your mum will need to be eventually attended to most of the day, and in an environment that is safe. I don't know how to put this?
Luckily my Dad was slowing down a lot physically when he reached the advanced stages, so he wasn't prone to wander far.
Crying or Very sad Mixed blessing, though.
Enjoy the time you have with her.

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Gnasher
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 16, 2008 11:50 am Reply with quoteBack to top

Sorry to hear about your mum. It's always very confronting to learn that a parent or loved one has a terminal illness. Try to focus on making whatever time you have as full of laughter and happiness as possible. I'm sure your reading and research will give you a lot of the information you need about the disease but one practical suggestion is to start making plans for her eventual care and wellbeing now so when the time comes everything is in place for a smooth transition. My aunt was diagnosed in her early 70s and was determined to have a say in where she wanted to live when she could no longer look after herself. She was a fanatical gardener and she chose a facility well in advance that had a beautiful rose garden where she would eventually sit for many peaceful hours just enjoying the sights, sounds and smells. She didn't recognise any of her family or loved ones by then (it's a very cruel disease in that respect) but we knew she was happy and that's all that mattered. Good luck.

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PostPosted: Sun Mar 16, 2008 11:10 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

Went through this with my mother too. It's a terrible illness for those around but it cushions the victim from the harsh realities of life, so that's a positive angle.

You may also in time find that at least in the early stages there are some humorous moments, make the most of those.

Do not let her convince you that she is OK and doesn't need help etc.

I wish you strength and hope you have some family support, that makes a huge difference.

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Tsnerd
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 16, 2008 11:17 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

I am very sorry.

I think that this is one of most scariest things that can happen to a loved one.

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Mugatu
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 16, 2008 11:30 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

My great Auntie May succumbed to Alztheimers a year ago. She brought me up, so I pretty much lost my Mum.

It was upsetting as she eventually forgot who I was. That is the hardest thing to accept, that the lady will eventually forget who you are, even though you may have spent 20 years or more together. The most recent memories fade the quickest.

My Grandmother (Mays Sister) took me to see May in her final months, and May didn't have a clue who I was. She could however remember her religion teacher from 70 years before.

I think that's what you have to be prepared for, as it's quite a shock. What you have to bear in mind is that the human brain is a fragile thing, and you can't ask it to do more than it already has. Just enjoy your time together as much as you can, and remember that memories are not forever, they dissappear eventually.

Good luck, and my thoughts are with you, it's not an easy thing to deal with.

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 17, 2008 12:44 am Reply with quoteBack to top

I am very sorry for you but there is hope. My Dad has it and is on the same medication. Its been helping him a lot as about 7 years ago he came over and when we all went out to say bye, he drove to the end of the cul de sac turned around and then we got to wave good bye to him again. He was getting lost all the time. It looked like long term nursing facility time but he's doing much better now. There's no stopping or reversing it but it can be slowed down. Both my parents exercise and play Brain Age every day .

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SherlockHolmie
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 17, 2008 2:12 am Reply with quoteBack to top

Thanks, mates.....your information and words of support are much appreciated....

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 17, 2008 3:02 am Reply with quoteBack to top

I am so sorry. I just wanted to give a cyber hug. [hug] Hug [/hug]

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 17, 2008 3:39 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

I lost my grandmother to Alzheimers' in 2003. PM me if you need to talk... It's a long road, but there are a lot of things I know now that I wish someone had told us at the beginning of it. And the new drugs they have, supposedly, can really make a difference in the progression.

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 17, 2008 8:11 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

I had an aunt with Alzheimer's. All that you can do is make sure you have a good memory of her and give her something that she can see everyday(like the garden) to keep her happy, but just make sure your mind is at ease and spend as much time with her as keeps you happy. I feel for you.

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 17, 2008 8:17 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

I have a little with it, my Grandmother was diagnosed in the first stages of it last July.

She has passed on now, but what I was exposed to was not pretty or something I would like to experience again. In her case, the medicine did not help much at all. She had Multiple Myeloma, and renal cancer to add to her woes.

I wish you the best of luck with this. It isn't easy to see this happen to a person that you love.

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 17, 2008 8:21 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

SherlockHolmie wrote:

Does anyone on the Eater community have experience with relatives suffering from this disease?

How do I cope with caring for another loved one in the final stages again?

Sorry to be morbid...just generally looking for an encouraging word, I suppose. Thanks, mates Crying or Very sad


I lost my grandfather to that disease. It's hard to watch them go downhill. All I can say is that patience must be exercised. Remember the good times. My heart is with you and your family.

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 17, 2008 9:53 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

@Sherlock, my thoughts are with you and your family. My father is also an Alzheimer's victim Sad He was admitted to a nursing home last October and is in good care now.

Good luck; and seek professional help for yourself and your mum before it becomes too difficult.

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 17, 2008 11:15 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

I am so sorry - my grandmother had Alzheimers for many years and sometimes she was Ok othertimes not so good. I do know that most recent memories get forgotten first whilst early memories remain.

If you are in the UK you might want to contact the Alzheimers Society who have lots of local support groups and can also give advice and support about caring for someone with the disease

Good luck and best wishes
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 18, 2008 3:26 am Reply with quoteBack to top

My stepmother has just gone into a home after ten years of my father looking after her. As he said, it's not what he expected at his time of life.

It is hard, very hard, but at least you have the relative luxury of having caught it early on, so hopefully you will be spared the full impact.

There are funny moments, also sad ones and just bizarre ones, but I think everyone would say to make the most of what time you do have together.

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