Satguys members who care for family member with Alzheimer's Disease

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navychop

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...For my father, it has been a very bad experience and he has become completely combative and has tried to escape twice through the window. They have had to restrain him in the special advanced alzheimers unit for the balance of the week. While the original schedule is to have him return home this Saturday, it is probably time for us to make arrangements for him to be committed permanently. I've been visiting him daily and the visits are really difficult.

Yes. I wish I could say this phase would pass quickly. But nobody knows. One other thing you really need to think about now is getting him a GPS tracker wrist watch. These things are quite difficult for the impaired to remove. Some require special tools. They do seem to get used to them, and in the event, .......
 

Frank Jr.

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Life can be very difficult and seemingly cruel sometimes. God bless all of you and may he give you strength and guidance in these difficult times.
 

TheForce

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I've renewed until the end of the month for respite care. On Wednesday, he fell onto his walker and broke two ribs. Had to take him to emergency room for diagnosis and now is doing better and when he was lucid on Friday I explained that he would have to stay and he said he understood. Said the food isn't bad and the nurses all seem to be very helpful and he had no complaints.
Then last night I got a call and he tried to escape again and fell in the bedroom doorway. They report by phone call to me every incident. Considering he fell at least twice a day at home, this hasn't changed much since going to the nursing home.

Navy- I thought about the tracker last year when he was more mobile but today, he can't go 5 steps without falling and limbs locking up. Nobody is worried about him getting too far, rather his falls are beginning to cause bone breakage.

Thanks for all your kind thoughts. As I see it, I've traded one set of problems for another but time will tell which is less frustrating.
 

navychop

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I wish there was something to be done about falls, but I know of none, other than bed restraints (not good).
 

navychop

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Thank you. That was a very good article.

My FiL has for some time been disturbed by crowds, noises and lights. He does not like the confusion. Or so we thought. For New Year's eve, My MiL had to deliver something to someone at the facility party. FiL did not want to go, wanted to go to sleep. She took him there, saying it would only be a moment. Once there, the place was packed with people, loud noise and lights, people doing poppers (the pull apart for a prize type ;)), and certainly not to his liking. Only when she said "let's go" he said no. He was having a good time. Go figure. They stayed till past the ball drop. There was a huge amount of food and a very large and varied bar, all free - fits in with the article above, I guess.

You just never know.
 

TheForce

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dfergie said:
It's the little things that make them happy from my experience with my Mom and the other residents...

After about 3 months of rough going, I got my father liking the nursing home. I still visit him several times a week as I got him into a place that is just around the corner from my house. He now has made several good friends who had similar life experiences, military, construction, and a pilot. My dads physical health is doing fine and since getting him on a drug regime for parkinsons dementia and alzheimers dementia he has been doing better these past couple months. No more nightmares, can now navigate with his wheel chair and has stopped complaining about not being able to drive and do roof repair on his house.
 

navychop

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Had a bad weekend visit from in-laws. FiL got angry when we took back a trivet he swiped from the dining room table. Usually he gets sheepish and forgets in a few seconds. Not this time. Had to give it back to him and retrieve it later. And he can no longer remember where the bathroom is, even where he lives (it's almost directly across the hall from their bedroom). Makes middle of the night visits a bit tough on MiL. How much longer before he forgets what a bathroom is for?

Sorry. It's just that he's been on a plateau for so long. Now it looks like things are sliding again.

On a good note, after so much "heck" getting my MiL to agree to move them in to an assisted living facility, she's now pretty much taken the place over. Committees, the store, newsletter, the charity team that clears out apartments (etc) after someone passes and the family takes all they want. She's active or running them all. Not to mention the clubs, sorority and art classes. Busier than she's been in years.
 

navychop

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Yes. She covers, but at times we can see what a strain it has become. Perhaps all the moreso, knowing it will only get worse. At LOT worse.

I am thankful that so much progress is being made in this field.
 

navychop

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My FiL had aricept. He's on memantine and something else also.
 

navychop

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Namenda and Memantine are the same thing. My FiL is the poster boy for success in the trials, generally some combination of 3 drugs. Most credit, I think, goes to Memantine- for him. Way too many unknowns about why some stuff works for some but not others. I really think our medicine is crude.
 

TheForce

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From what I understand the Aracept and Namenda will not reverse the symptoms of the disease but just slow down it's progress. Aracept is for patients in the early stages of the disease and Namenda is for later stages. My Dad has been on Namenda now for slightly over a half year and during that time I have observed his mental state has stabilized. Physical weakness is also a problem to include muscle shrinkage. He can stand for short periods of time but can't walk anymore. He is far from overweight and has dropped to 130 pounds but eats a normal 3 meals a day. He says he is not hungry but put food in front of him and he devours it all. The constant Parkinsons shaking is the most muscle exercise he gets these days.

Saturday night he was taken to the hospital for infection of the lower digestive track. Tomorrow he is to have a sigmoidoscopy to check the condition of the tumor he had in 2006 that shrunk over time. They now have his white cell count lowered but not quite normal yet. As with most Alzheimer's progression goes, it follows a stair step reduction in memory capacity with each traumatic experience. I expect to see a further reduction after this hospital event. Yesterday when I saw him he asked me if I had called the undertaker yet. I saw this as two good signs. One, he remembered who I was, and two, he remembered the family undertaker by name. But he could not remember what city he was in or what a hospital was or why he was in the hospital. He also couldn't remember that my mother died.


My MIL died of Alzheimer's last November. Her last 5 months of life, she couldn't feed herself and needed assistance in eating and swallowing food. She was 3 years younger than my dad.
 
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