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I’m looking for people who have dealt with this disease with a family member – no it’s not me, yet. ;)

Mom is 81 and in fairly good health. But in the last year or maybe two, things are starting to change. Biggest problem is short-term memory loss. She refuses to go see the Doc for it;…. we are working to get her to go…

I have about fried my brain googling this.

But, if you wouldn’t mind sharing; I have this first question – “Was there one thing you could definitely single out as an Alzheimer’s clue?” ….Or was it a series of events that lead you to believe it was time to get them help???
 

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I feel for you Rowdy, its not a fun process. My father in law is suffering. If you can get your Mom to go to the Doc there are some new drugs that can slow it down. So time is of the essence.
Our first clue was a car crash, going the wrong way on a divided highway, which sent him to the hospital and he was diagnosed there. He was a heavy drinker so it was hard to tell what was really going on until then. He had been getting more and more forgetful over time. Usually symtoms are worse later in the day, so if you can spend some time in the morning and then in the evening on the same day you might be able to see how bad it is. Good luck, stay calm, S.
 

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Thank You mt101 :)

We, my bro and family are trying to get her to the doc.
But the problem is the distance; she is on the MX border, I’m on the Canadian, and my bro lives in HI…

I will check for differences in her thought processes now throughout the day…Looking for changes morning to night…

Thank You for your help, and may your journey be a short one also…

danny
 

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Hi Rowdy, My father has Alzheimers. He started to forget things 5 years ago. about three years ago he was driving to a grocery store a half mile from home and landed up over 50 miles away. When the police asked him his address he couldn't remember it. His license to drive was revoked. 2 years ago I went to visit him for his birthday. I arrived at 1:30 PM went to his doctors office. When he came out I asked him what was discussed he didn't remember. That night I was watching TV when he came into the living room and he asked when did I arrive. He didn't recall anything that took place that day. Sometimes he will recall my name, but most of the time he does not know who his children or wife's name is or who they are. It is very hard on the family, especially those that are close in distance and see the family member more than the others.
 

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Some people believe that Gingko Biloba helps to prevent memory loss or makes you recall things better. Ask a doctor if they feel he can take that pill to reduce the memory problem.
 

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Memory loss in your 80's does not automatically mean that someone has Alzheimer's.

A family member has Alzheimer's, in its later stages. It seems to have taken all higher brain function from her. It is a progressive disease. I didn't really get to see the early symptoms very much because her husband was covering for her. After he passed away it became abundantly clear to us that she had more than her fair share of memory problems. It may also be the case that the stress and grief of losing her husband accelerated things.

The best thing to do is go to a good doctor to give a thorough examination. There is no way to be 100% certain at the early stages that it is Alzheimer's, but it is in her best interest to have it diagnosed or ruled out as early as possible so she can start taking medication that can help slow the progression, such as Aricept (can make people irritable, unacceptably so, but might be worth a try because I don't think it does that to everyone...who knows, I'm not a doctor, maybe there is something new or better out, now). It's not a virus or bacterial infection that one can just culture and say, "oh, it's Alzheimer's." So get her to specialist...

If it were me I'd also try to increase her social contact if it is low, as well as her exercise level if it is low, and maybe improve her diet, but there are no guarantees that such things will slow the progression much. There is info out there on things to do to try to prevent or slow it.
 
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Discussion Starter #7
Thank you Marla :)

miatakis – thanks and I agree, she needs to see the doc for diagnosis first…Too many other things like a vitamin B-12 deficiency can cause similar symptoms…

I guess I need to explain more.
It is not just the short-term memory loss, like forgetting things or phone conversations that happened 2-5min ago and having to call me back 1hr later to ask the same thing repeatedly…
Her long term memory, things that happened 10/20yrs ago, is as good as mine or better.
The getting lost thing while driving started this summer, and it scares her.
Forgetting birthdays has never happened before – she missed 2 already this year…

I know, I know – we need to get her to the doc. But trying to get an 80yr old to do something they do not want to do is a challenge…
I’ll need to change tactics then…

Danny
:)
 

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I'm real sorry to hear you're having issues in the family Danny. :-\

They never formally diagnosed my Grandma. They said she had dementia likely brought on by Alzheimers. She was in her mid-80's and having other more readily threatening health problems so I don't think the docs were too concerned about exactly what was causing her memory issues and such.

For her (and us) I guess it was more a series of the little things becoming more frequent and then becoming "bigger" things. She never drove but she did begin getting very confused about things, especially in the past. She would mix and merge memories, often involving completely different people and events that occurred decades apart. Then as she was talking she would realize it and get embarrassed. Later she began to forget names and such.

I hope all works out for you and yours Danny. My sincerest best wishes.
 

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Thank You Erik :)

As an electrician – I have the unfortunate opportunity to work in several rest homes with Alzheimer's wings…Not pretty… :eek:
I do not see how the nurses handle it… :-\
 

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My Grandfather that raised me had it. He quit farming in his 80s and went downhill pretty quick from there although he physically hung around until he was 92. If you were around him pretty regular, he'd remember you. If not, he just didn't recognize you or thought you were someone else. In his last years, he thought I was his older brother who had passed away 20 years before. But his long term memory of things that happed 30 or more years before was pretty sharp.

Another thing was that when he first started losing his memory, he got mean and hard to get along with. Not at all like the man that raised me. I don't know whether that was from realising that he was losing it or not. When it had pretty much set in and didn't know hardly anyone, he calmed back down.
 

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This thread is like me, a bit long in the tooth. However Alzheimers seems to be more prevalent today than ever.
I am not sure that its because MY WIFE has the disease, but everyone you talk to knows a family member or close friend that has this devastating disease.
My wife has all sort of trouble with everyday functions and is starting to find it difficult to select the word she is looking for,
We have a Govt programme called National Disability Support which funds support care in the home, this is in the early stage of 'care' so we will see what happens.
My thoughts go to those that are caring for someone with Alzheimers, though it difficult for us to deal with, I would hate to be the person with it.
Please feel free to add you story and SOLUTIONS for caring for an Alzheimers effected person.

GUS
 

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My wife and I have been caring for her mom for the last 6 years, she was diagnosed about a year before my in-laws moved in with us. My wife's grandmother also had the disease,which has my wife worried she is 52 now, from what I have read there seems to be a higher instance of the disease in women over men but who knows.Mother in law loved to quilt and sew now all she does is take really nice fabric and cut it up too small for anything more practical than cleaning patches for guns.
 
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