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I have learned more than I ever thought I would about AD through support groups and the AD association but had to because mom of 85 yrs has it. She has been living with me and my family for three years now. I have seen it change her but the last few days has really taken me for a spin and I am sure it's just the AD and it's unpredictability but can some one educate me more. I think mom is midstage ( who knows any more), She knows me and family when we are around her but I can not carry on a conversation with her for some time now because she will keep asking the same question over and over and I mean literally with in just a minute of previously asking it so it's very difficult to do this unless there are others around or the tv is going to give me some distraction. She can't remember the day or date or the year and she thinks she has been living with me for just a few weeks rather than three years and is just recooperating. This past week I cant explain it but she is asking me to do things for her she has been doing all along like getting a cup of coffee which consists of sitting at the table spooning instant coffee into her cup, two feet away a water cooler that has hot water for coffee and stirring. She seems extra needy extry whiney about not feeling well and extra scared about things such as when i am out of the house and some one else is with her but then she is having more moments of clarity remembering other things and it is scarring me. I have been told to cherish those moments but right now they are making me afraid, I guess afraid that the disease is progressing in her or something and dealing with reality of her. She is calling me on her cell almost every ten minutes as to where it use to be very little. I am sorry I can't describe more. She just seems extra extra needy and of all times I am needing to get her house sold so I have money so when the time comes I can't handle her any more I can put her in a facility to take better care of her than me. Any words of encouragement appreciated. I am just beside myself at the moment and know there are so many out there in the same boat or have been in it and can tell me how to cope. Thanks all

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I can't tell you how to cope. I do send you a hug and tell you that you are doing a remarkable job in very challenging circumstances. Your mother is so lucky to have you caring for her! I congratulate you on educating yourself, and finding a support group, and thinking ahead about the possible need for a care center. I'd say you have mastered coping admirably!

But it is scary. You know that AD is going to progress and Mother's behavior is going to change. But here is a change that seems drastic, and that is frightening. My husband has a different kind of dementia and I can't relate to the specific symptoms you describe. Perhaps other here or in your support group will have experience with those specific behavior changes.

I know that physical illnesses can have a big impact on cognitive abilities. I suggest that you watch closely for symptoms of an illness, such as uti, constipation, a cold, flu, etc. Often my husband would start "acting funny" first for a few days and then the cough and fever would appear. Of course your mother's decline might not have anything to do with bacteria or viruses, but extra vigilance in that area is reasonable.

I am so sorry that you are experiencing this. Dementia (of any kind) is a horribly cruel disease. I'm sure that you'll adjust to the new reality and cope with it compassionately, just as you have for the last three years. And, by the way, it is OK to mourn each loss as it occurs.

I recommend a book I found very helpful: "Loving Someone Who Has Dementia," by Pauline Boss. The subtitle is "How to Find Hope While Coping with Stress and Grief."
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