I have become obsessed with figuring out what stage of dementia my mom is at.

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I am not sure why but whenever I find a quiet moment I find my self on google trying to figure out what stage my mom is at. I believe she is at the moderate stage. Why do I want to fit her into a peg? Could it be my fear of the unknown everyday? Has anyone else done this or been through something similar?


Tatoo, I certainly did that when mom was first dxed with dementia. Then realized that with Vascular dementia, all bets are off.

I think we who post here are for the most part, competent, fix-it types. There must be a manual on how to fix this, right?

It's a feeling of defeat and ultimately of realizing this is all beyond our control.
I went through a time where I think I thought it would give me answers. The thing to remember is that the stages are not clear cut. My mom always has characteristics/symptoms from more than one stage at a time. At this point we call her stage 7 or severe but she still has more language than is typical that stage.
Familiarity with the stages can help you see about where your LO is in the progression. It also helps you to prepare for what is coming next. Just try not to dwell too much on the stages. Each person's progression through this awful disease is unique. Just try to navigate it as best you can with your LO. May peace be with you.
I've belonged to a support group for persons taking care of loved ones with Lewy Body Dementia for a dozen years. What stage is my loved one in? is one of the first questions newbies to the group ask. And I think it is a way of trying to tame the unknown. It is not only "where are we?" but also "what comes next?"

There are some 50 types of dementia. Some of them progress by predictable stages (ALZ does) some of them seem to progress randomly. They all go through "mild, moderate, severe"). Caregivers can pretty well figure those designations out themselves. Your mom may well be in the moderate stage. But I'll bet she also has days when you think, "Maybe she is still in mild dementia." And probably there are incidents where you wonder if the severe stage has begun. Am I right?

Each type of dementia has its own timeline. For example, in ALZ hallucinations tend to come late in the disease. In Lewy Body hallucinations are often the first symptom. So looking up when hallucinations occur wouldn't help unless you know what type of dementia was present. And some people with ALZ or LBD don't have hallucinations at all. Each individual has variations.

I think your current obsession is perfectly understandable. It isn't apt to be as helpful as you hope, but no harm, I think. Belonging to a local caregivers support group -- one specifically for dementia if possible -- is likely to be more productive. You'll get more out of the time you put into it than the obsessive Google searches.

I see that your profile says you are taking care of someone with diabetes. Is the dementia a recent development?
I know my aunts (90) dementia is mild but I have to laugh when I think of her level. This past week I noticed she was finishing my sentences.....correctly. I would be making a statement and hadn't spoken the last few words and I would pause and then she would say what I was going to say. This happened more than once. Then when I was making her lunches she said, "wow, you are making so many!" I had about 10 containers that I use for her lunches on her kitchen table.
I said "Well, when I come back each week, you hardly have anything left to eat." She skipped a beat and then said. "It looks like to me that you aren't planning to come back next week". I laughed and she laughed and I said "people with dementia aren't supposed to be able to reason". She said "Who has dementia, I don't have dementia. I'm just old." And then I said "and hungry" and she said "and hungry". More laughter.
So my question lately is what level am I at, never mind her? She seems sharper than me. She's got me happy to be making her lunches. I know it won't stay that way. She's at a good place today so I'm just thankful for that.
I love your story, 97yroldmom! Isn't it wonderful when their old self shines through?

In LBD (which my husband Coy had) memory is often not the main problem area. And cognitive ability fluctuates widely. Fairly often I would forget something and Coy would know the answer. I'd say, mock indignantly, "Hey wait a minute! Which one of us has dementia?" He enjoyed those instances.
@jeannegibbs Yes. She is a type 1 diabetic and was found in a Diabetic coma January 2106. Never recovered and officially diagnosed with mixed dementia in September 2016.

Have Google and read so much lately I do believe she was showing very early signs before the coma, including not taking her insulin properly.

I do think I am trying to figure out what is coming next. She seemed to progress so rapidly and just not sure if I should expect it to stay this rapid.
You would be surprised what you learn from in-person seminars that focus on either ALZ or dementia. Find a place that does monthly meetings. Others attend that have been dealing with this for years and others are just starting out with dementia-diagnosed parents. My father was diagnosed with vascular dementia, etc, and I was confused also because a lot of the types of dementia, parts of it can be reversible somewhat based on a lot of factors of course. When I mentioned that point to a person who leads the meetings, they informed me vascular dementia is not reversible. I had to let that soak in, and it makes sense especially in the case of bypass patients who later develop vascular dementia, for example, due to circulation and recovery and not being able to take care of themselves. Research is a great place to start, but then take that research to a meeting, i.e. a place that does this all the time, and you will gain even more perspective. In short, before the actual diagnosis occurred, because I had researched it, I knew the one that likely fit, i.e. vascular dementia because of the medical history, and my gut instinct was accurate, except for that in research I mixed the types of dementia that can be reversible or better managed with the ones that not or not as reversible. Not every town has these organizations but research those as well and attend. Just attending one will confirm your research
Hi tattoo chick. I do the same thing. This is a life changing event for the person with the disease and the care taker. It is really hard not to be consumed by what has taken over their lives and ours. It's basically all I think about. What's next ? Where is my mother going to be a year from now. ? How long can I keep taking care of her? Why does she seem normal today? Then the next day comes , and I'm asked 6 times in one hour, "is there a game tonight"? God help us all
Thanks everyone, I was actually starting to feel that their was something wrong with me.
Tatoochick, I've done the same thing. Most of Mom's symptoms appear to be in the 4-going-on-5 stage but truthfully, she's got symptoms all over the place. They first started appearing 10 years before her diagnosis. Mom has mixed dementia, which even further complicates any hope of putting together a timeline. I agree with others here who've suggested this "obsession" to categorize has its roots in uncertainty. We want to know what to expect, which is absolutely natural!

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