When do Alzheimer's patients lose basic common sense?

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My mom is 86 with mid stage alzheimer's. Up until now, I have trusted her to be alone in a room for a few minutes with my 2 year old grand daughter. This morning, I went into her bedroom and my grand daughter had an open jar of vics rub and had it all over her hands. I told her that she shouldn't have given it to her and she said that "she just took it". Do Alzheimer patients have periods of common sense or do they just lose it? Obviously, I won't be leaving the two alone any more!

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Ditto to the comment above. My mother can be lucid one moment, paranoid the next, depressed the next, and completely content and happy the next...well, you get my drift. All of these emotions can be seen sometimes in just a 3 hour period. Sometimes she can be like she used to be--a kind, compassionate caring person, other times like an impatient and irrational 3 year old, and then a stubborn and sullen teenager who is ready to argue and try to reason her behavior at a moment's notice. Sometimes she is scared and needy. All of the above can happen within an hour period. She will praise me one moment, and when I leave the room, will speak to my daughters words to the contrary. But--she's my mom--what to do? When I have time today or tomorrow I plan to post a beautiful poem on my site. Two days ago my mother broke her back from a fall she had at her AL. I was angry because the nurse at the AL did not report the fall to me (the caregiver finally told me 3 hours later), the doctor or to the staff on her shift or on the shifts to follow. My mother was undergoing unbearable pain for some time before we heard what happened from a care giver. Anyway, as I was "going through it" I discovered a beautiful poem on the wall of the Alzheimer unit and will share its encouraging words.......when I have the time. Right now I am taking steps to assure that the above does not happen to others in the AL to follow, and am taking steps to move my mother to a Rehab facility. May we all hang in there and continue to encourage one another! Psalm 34, Hopeful2011
I typed my encouraging and inspiring poem today, but cannot find it on this site, so thought I would try to type it again to bless all of you. It is a gift of encouragement to all of us. I'm about to send it to our relatives and friends, and plan to find a frame and put it on the wall at home.

Do not ask me to remember. Don't try to make me understand. Let me rest and know you are with me. Kiss my cheek and hold my hand.

I'm confused beyond all concept, I am sad and sick and lost.
All I know is that I need you--To be with me at all cost.

Do not lose your patience with me. Do not scold or curse or cry.
I can't help the way I'm acting. Can't be diffeerent 'though I try.

Just remember that I need you. That the best of me is gone.
Please don't fail to stand beside me,
Love me...til' my life is done.

This might've been posted somewhere else, but it can bear repeating. Sorry about my lack of tech skills...I wanted to be sure to follow through and submit this.
For my mother, common sense came and went daily. It was so frustrating because you can start thinking they're ok for a while and then they do something crazy. I'm sure there's a lot of common ground but I would guess that everyone is different and progresses at different time intervals. There are no standard answers... that's for sure.

On the bright side at least it was Vics and not something like paint!! :o)
I am watching my MIL on a daily basis as a full time caregiver. It is one of the hardest things I have ever had to do in my life as I see the changes. One day she may seem like she is ok, then BAM..there is no way she can even think correct on her own and must be prompted to do anything correctly. So yes, be careful with leaving her alone with children because even though she does not mean harm, a child can talk her into doing anything because her mind may be as a childs at any given time. It is the worst disease to be around as you will see it progress. Wishing you well, it will be a tough ride honey. Hang in there and just know to love her when you can because it can go fast, it can go slow..so love her when you can..even though sometimes you may feel like yelling at her, it won't help. Just pray for you to stay strong as she progresses because I am down mentally and physically from being around it so much even though my husband takes over most care when he gets home from work. I guess I have given you more information that what you wanted...I think I just needed to vent too...SMILES...Hang in there....Love to you....And this sight is great...because NO ONE understands unless you have gone thru it like all of us on this sight....Best of luck with mom. God Bless.
Lily, I am so grateful the baby is ok. And as everyone has said, it can be a roller coaster ride, not knowing what to expect from moment to moment... As was stated,she meant no harm, but common sense comes and goes. If she is in mid stage Alz, I doubt there will many common sense moments. It is the most horrible disease that I know of. I hate Alz. with a passion. No two are the same, some meds work some don't. Just try to hang in there and post and vent and get angry and shout at us, that's what we are here for . We KNOW how you feel and what you are going thru...
hopeful, I am so sorry to hear about your mom and twice as sorry to hear no one contacted you.... guess that is why so many are giving up their lives, jobs, ect. to take care of elders at home... who can you trust when they are out of our sight????
Please keep us updated on how things are.. will be looking for your poem..
noname, please vent, say how you feel, tell us what is going on and we'll be here for you. This is a hard job under the best of circumstances and we all understand... many here will support you without shame or guilt... we get tired, we get crazy, and we need a place to put it so we can be effective in our day to day lives...
Hugs across the miles to all of you, post often..
My mom also has mid stage Alzheimers...after 2 years of caretaking,I had to put her in a nursing facility as she has other medical problems, too. I feel everyone's pain here. As someone stated, it is the most horrible disease. I hate it. Sometimes my mom seems normal, but 2 minutes later, she is making up stories that don't make sense. We go along with them, and keep her happy and contented. She also displays bouts of anger, frustration...then suddenly will tell you she knows her mind isn't working right. My father who is 86 is having a hard time accepting the whole situation.
I don't write much on this site, but I get plenty of comfort from reading everyone's posts. It truly helps.
Everybody hang in there....I always tell everyone...at least I still have my mom and dad...many people lose them at an early age!
Speaking of "Common Sense", I was going to ask the same thing, only I was going to say "Does anyone know why common sense is not a requirement for Assisted Living care givers?" The things I have seen at my mom's AL go way beyond what anyone would believe. How can we make a difference in how our elder's are treated? I think we should pull together and see what we can do as a group to change the current requirements of caregiver's. It's unbelievable!!! Just like hopeful2011 stated, A man where my mom lives, fell and cried dout for help. he care giver did not respond because "this man always yelled for help". Turns out, his leg was broke and they moved him and didn't notify anyone for 3 hours. He ended up having surgery and returned to the AL. They care plan was not changed to reflect his current needs and he ended up dying 8 days later. This caregiver still works at this place. The incident is being investigated, but who will tell "his story". He was alone without family!! He has no voice!
i too care for my husband who I have been told is in the late stages of Alzhemiers.
He does not know who I am but smiles at me and tells me I am a good woman.
He talks to the "Man" in the mirror everyday...even tries to give him something to eat. He has been on all the meds the patch the drink and all the pills. Nothing worked so the Dr said no need for it. He spits pills out if you try to give him one anyway.
He is wetting himself more now, and says I dont know about that I didnt do it!!
I cry a lot but not in front of him. His sons will not help me at all with him and will not even come see him, they "Cant stand to see Dad like that". One day they wont have to, but I dont make them. He is the love of my life we have been together 45 years and he has the sweetest smile. I dont mind cleaning him when he needs it.
Today we went on a picnic and he laughed and had a good time. He is losing weight really fast and sleeps a lot more now. I am taking care of him at home. Please pray for us and I will for you all. The poem is priceless. I think I will send out a few copies to some so called " family and friends." No I am not bitter or mad just tired and heart sick.
I'm with anyone who wants to pull together to help the elderly..not only in any facility, but also to get the in home care they so deserve and their caregivers deserve!! President Obama needs to make changes to help!!! We can do something...Is anyone able to start a letter to the Government or State or Whitehouse? I will be behind you 100 percent. Our elderly need to be cared for and in home caregivers need help wether the parent has money or no money!! They are treated like dirt and so are the caregivers!!!! Let's take a stand...I am with you.. Keep me posted as to what to do. Unfortunately I can not be the leader...I must go...The bell tolls....SMILES...
ladeeda, thank you so much...I have shed many tears. I took care of my parents even tho they were still in their own home for 2 years. It was too much for me once my mom got sick...my dad has had 2 strokes and a heart attack.
I hate Alzheimers...these people were once very productive citizens, and that's how WE still see them...but this illness takes hold of their brain.
What wonderful people on this website...as I read everyone's issues, I can relate to so many things. It does help to share our problems and lean on each other. I have the utmost respect for all of you who take care of parents, spouses in your own home.

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