Ever worry you will get Alzheimer's disease too?

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I suppose I don't have to tell anyone here that caring for my 80 year old mom with AD is consuming. I've educated myself about the disease and how to care for her. I'm 50 and don't have any obvious signs, but at times I worry. My husband's father was diagnosed at 78, but died of unrelated issues & I worry for him also. Both our parents were avid readers, did crossword puzzles, took care of their health and didn't have any risk factors. Yikes.


Ginger, I know exactly what you mean. I had also studied up on the disease to a point of overload information. I wanted to be ready, but all that studying I really didn't need as my parents bouts with dementia were only a few months before they passed in their 90's. Everything else was general age decline.

I am in general age decline due to my age [early 70's] but if I forget something, or find a miss-typed word, or I forgot to do something, I go into a frenzy and get the shakes. Oh how I wished I could be uninformed about dementia for myself. There would be less sleepless nights :P
Oh yes. My LO was 62 when diagnosed with VD. It's terrifying. I discovered that I was freaking myself out with stress, exhaustion, poor diet, etc. So, I started eating better and making my health a priority. I improved and so did my memory, concentration, focus, etc. Then, when I felt real feisty, I got my realtor license! It was not easy. I had to prove it to myself and I feel ok now.

I think we get so absorbed with caretaking and the person's ailments, like dementia, that we are too close. I've read where this happens to a lot of caregivers.
Dear GingerMay,

Since my father and grandmother passed, I have this general worry too. I don't know what's worst sometimes losing one's body or one's mind. I am trying to eat better, move more and I hope be able to tell my loved ones in advance how I wanted to be cared for in case this happens to me.
I console myself by thinking that both my parents were alcoholics who fried their brain cells. Therefore, because I rarely drink, I won't get it. Maybe not true, but it comforts me.

Of my four grandparents, one (also an alcoholic) had dementia, and one only lived to 54 (skin cancer). The other two (paternal grandmother and maternal grandfather) were spitfires till they died. So there's no way of knowing which way the genetic wheel will spin....
I'm not going down without a fight! There's no gene that guarantees Alzheimer's or dementia (except, perhaps, for early onset). There are things we can do. Look up Dr. David Perlmutter if you're not familiar with him.
I purchased a "23andme.com" kit. Get the "Health + Ancestry" kit but look for a sale on TV/internet to buy it cheaper than the retail $199 (still cheap for the forecast it could bring!). I'm still waiting for the results, which takes months to get. I'm 55 and my maternal grandmother, uncle, and now my own mother have A.D., which makes me want to know and plan far ahead if there's a big chance in my own DNA. If a high-positive is returned, my first instinct will be to retire earlier than expected to enjoy life while there's time, and to be ready to put things in order at the first signs of trouble.
I've been forgetful all my life. My kids used to tell me they'd never know if I got dementia. All kidding aside, yes I worry. Grandma had it, and Dad had some form of it. My aunt lives with us, probably vascular dementia, though at 96 it may be becoming another kind as well. So when I began seeming worse, and with a gentle push from hubby, I saw a neurologist.

It helped me immensely. Yes, I was having issues, but not dementia, and he quickly told me what was really going on (besides taking care of someone with it). Two of my meds interacted to cause brain changes, my sleep apnea mask was probably leaking, and I had mild depression, the kind that exercise and self-care would help. Taking care of myself, and getting my paperwork organized, are two things I can do, then letting go of the unknown future (not easy!) I am fortunate to have options with my aunt. Good luck everyone, and we are normal to have concerns.
The prospect terrifies me. I know what I need to do (exercise more, and be better at self-care overall), but it's been difficult to marshall the energy to DO it.
My mother had Alzheimer's but it did not manifest until she was almost 90, and she died of an unrelated illness. Her Alzheimer symptoms were not horrible. She remained in her own home, living with my unmarried sibling. She took daily walks and exercised mind and body - with caregiver help. If she was staying with me, I'd do My walk by pushing her in a wheelchair (indoors at a mall in bad weather). Grandparents and my father all died young.
Scary, seeing my brilliant mother affected. I too looked into research. I discovered years ago that I could reverse a genetic predictor of coronary heart disease (which runs rampant on my father's side) by following the Dean Ornish program. I was diagnosed in '05 but no longer have it as the plaque is gone. Then, I heard about the Blue Zones, several places in the world where quality longevity is common and there is virtually no dementia.
I read The Alzheimers Solution. These research doctors wondered why people in Loma Linda CA (turns out, one of the Blue Zones) do not get dementia. Basically, the plant-based diet, social connectiveness, stress-managing, and throughout-the-day movement (you don't have to run marathons!) are the keys. Im trying their advice. Personally, I felt I was starting to become forgetful. But, lately I've noticed these little things....leaving a clothing or reading article, glasses, purse somewhere and REMEMBERING where! What joy! So, who knows? I'm pushing 70 now. Every day, my husband and do some sort of activity for well over an hour. Walking, biking, (skiing or alpine). I took up golf 5 years ago to stimulate balance, rhythm, and mental acuity. My PCP retired and I researched 50 doctors in order to select one that is knowledgeable and promotes such things. During my first appointment, she mentioned Perlmutter, Andrew Weil, and that a patient had just given her The Alzheimers Solution to read. My former doctor told me years ago that Ornish was a scam (I think he came around eventually) so I am glad to find someone who is supportive.
I hope my post is helpful and wish everyone a future without this horrible disease.
I currently am in my mid 60's
At this point I have lived past the age of my Mom and my Dad. My Mom died when I was 11 my Dad died 4 years later. My Grandma lived past 90 and sharp as a tack! (I think it must have been the old Canadian stock she came from) Both parents and Grandma died of smoking related cancer. (guess what I don't do)
My husband died of dementia. The diagnosis was Alzheimer's but I think he may also have had Vascular as well. Neither of his parents had dementia, both died of cancers.
I have decided if I am diagnosed I will move to a state where medical assisted suicide is legal. There is no way I would put anyone through what I went through with my Husband. And to know I would be loosing a bit of what makes me ME every day, every month and year is not something that I want to go through. Born and raised Catholic but no longer "practicing" I know this is something that is "wrong" but this is just another thing that the church and I do not see eye to eye on. They will not change their mind and neither will I so I remain a non practicing Catholic.....
On a happier note I am active, I keep busy, sometimes too busy I am past the age that my Husband was when he was diagnosed and I had seen little signs for a few years prior so at this point I guess I am alright.

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