Do Alzheimer's patients lose common sense in middle stages?

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lady i take care of just dont seem to have any common sense with most things. do these patients lose common sense? its so frustrating for me, cuz she knows she's right about a certain situation and u cant convince her otherwise, even though if she used common sense she would get it. example, i noticed she was starting to spit everywhere, after a day or so , i asked her why she was doing that. she said the spit in her mouth was ganna kill her. i told her to think about that, if swollowing ur spit is ganna kill u, we'd all be dead. but she is dead set on it.

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For my mom, common sense was the first thing to go. She was declining in this area before she was diagnosed. When mom was diagnosed with Dementia at mild stage, I ended up moving in with her. Not so much about care needs but about safety. I am not surprise she didn't burn the house down or get robbed, or even worse yet be in a major car accident that could have killed someone.

For me it was easier not to make a big thing about it, just try to help situation. Mom was still in her right mind enough to fight with me about things she thought was right. I learned how to work around her mindset. But that wasn't easy. So I left it go unless there was a safety issue involved.
Top Answer
Yes. Having dementia means losing the ability to reason and to apply logic. There is no point in trying to reason with someone who has lost that capacity. And if you could somehow convince her, she probably would forget an hour later, or sooner.

Figure out what bothers you about her spitting, and then work on that. "Oh. OK. If you are needing to spit often, let's get you a spit cup to carry around." (Or a hanky, or a little pack of tissues, etc.) Or you might even say, next time I come I am going to bring you a special spit sanitizer that will clean your salvia and allow you to swallow it. (It is amazing how much the spit sanitizer looks like peppermint life savers.)

In other words, work within her reality, because you are not going to bring her into yours. She needs to know that you are on her side, that you accept her, and that you'll try to provide comfort and protection. She doesn't need you to correct her, because that just isn't going to work.
Any suggestion aboutAlz patients gathering and hoarding paper towels/napkin/toilet tissue/ keeps getting new ones and packs purses, drawers, inside clothes/ can"t seem to get enough at home or wherever she goes. Is there a reason. Welcome helpful suggestions.
Jeanne is so right and I've said the same thing. We can't expect our loved ones with Alzheimer's or dementia to be able to live in our world anymore so we have to crawl into their world to be with them. Sometimes it's a world of half-sentences, uncompleted thoughts, poisonous spit, hallucinations, etc. Arguing with someone who has lost the ability to reason will only make us go crazy and in opinion, it's a little cruel.

The candy idea? The "spit sanitizer"?? Brilliant!!!! That's thinking outside the box and making things easier for both of you.
Loss of reasoning is probably why family members of people with dementia know the diagnosis much faster than the doctors do. People with dementia often fixate on a problem that makes no sense at all. Sometimes it is irritating, but harmless, such as spitting because saliva is poisonous. Many people may tell the person that it isn't so, which may convince them for a few minutes. But the obsession returns. Sometimes offering a quick fix, such as the breath sanitizer works. But often THAT part of their brain is still working, so they aren't fooled or they figure out that their saliva is so toxic that the sanitizer didn't work for them. I guess the only thing to do in that case would be to provide something to spit in, since swallowing might cause much anxiety. We just have to play it by ear. Some obsessions fade away with time. Others take hold and don't pass. I hope this one passes for the lady you help so you can take her places without concern.
My first clue that there was something wrong with my Mom was her how odd her thinking became. And it has only gotten worse. Maybe during a "lucid" moment, she will have some common sense, but don't count on it.

BTW: I find in the general population of people, common sense isn't really that common. So expecting it in an Alzheimer's victim isn't really fair.
You might also want to consider taking her to the dentist. A lot of Alzheimer's meds give them dry mouth.
Great point in reference to dry mouth and meds. Also about the life savers.
Sometimes when you are in the middle of a strange conversation with someone with the big A, you lose your own logic. So it helps to have friends like you to come up with these great ideas. So many of my caregiver friends tell me you feel like you are losing your own sensibilities when you are taking care of loved ones with dementia etc. I get it.
Are all of the topics above for a person in the middle stages of dementia/ALZ or beginning stages of this? This sounds like what is happening to our mother and recently we've had to move her to her daughter's home in Feb... but now it seems that her symptons have gotten increasing worse??? Does anyone know how long this stage lasts and what else can be done to help her... meds or ?
star02, no, no one can tell you how long this stage is going to last. You can look up stats about averages and variables, but your mother is not a statistic or "average."

You can pretty well count on things getting worse. That is what a progressive disease does. But how fast it gets worse and how long each stage lasts is far less certain. And what is "worse" clinically might not be worse for the caregivers.

Also the published descriptions of "stages" of dementia apply only to Alzheimer's. Nearly half of persons with dementia have a different kind -- instead of or in addition to Alz. While it can be helpful to read those stages don't be surprised if they don't match your loved one's.

As for things that help ... yes, sometimes there are meds or adjustments to current meds that can help and also ways for the caregivers to approach things that help. I suggest that you start a new post asking specifically about the behaviors that concern your family, and those of us with experience can respond specifically.

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