Where do I start when my 57-year-old wife was just diagnosed with Dementia?

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My wife is not able to sleep at night and sleeps most of the day. Is this usual for patients with dementia? Would you reccommend a neurologist or a Geriatric Dr.

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Yes. Twelve years ago my Maternal Uncle who was a Catholic Priest, had been exhibiting some strange behaviors which we attributed to a previously diagnosed problem called Global Amnesia when he was in his late 50's. Go forward to Sep 2001 and he is operated on for a joint replacement. He did not come out of the anesthesia for 5 days. When he did wake up he was mentally in 1953, and within a few months was diagnosed with ALZ Dementia. He never got his memory back beyond the late 1960's. One day he was a very well functioning day to day Pastor of his parish, next day on is way to the Lord. He suffered for four more years. I hope this is of some help. Now, I am 57 and have been diagnosed with Early Onset ALZ. God Bless you and your family
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Can a person go into the hospital normal and come out a week later with Alzheimer's?
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I'm sorry you and your wife are having to deal with this heart wrenching disease so early in life.

You mentioned a neurologist or a geriatric MD - please keep in mind a geriatric psychiatrist as well. So many unsettling behaviors and thought processes can occur with dementia- things like paranoia or extreme aggression and a geriatric psychiatrist can be the best person to address these issues.

My elderly mothers doctor really didn't seem to have a clue and was starting and stopping seemingly random medications that neither the nursing home staff nor myself could keep up with or make any sense of.

Finally when my mothers behavior became too much to bear, I got her in to see a geriatric psychiatrist. This doctor admitted he couldn't make sense of moms GP orders either - so rare to have a doctor actually say out loud that another doctor is just wrong - anyhoo - the psyc overhauled my mothers medications and after a month mom was 1000x improved. I wish I had known to take her to a geriatric psychiatrist a whole lot sooner - which is why I'm mentioning it to you now.

You may not need this level of intervention for a long time. But if and when you do - be prepared ahead of time with the name of a good geriatric psychiatrist. I can almost guarantee you'll be glad you did.
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I suggest increased patience and understanding from now on. No, you don't need to totally know about her condition and what it may be or why it is so in order to love her.
She is who she is; you are who you are. Life happens and we continue on.
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BJ, I am so sorry for your loss.
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Zyprexa killed my mom in three weeks. Would love to have her back. Zyprexa caused swelling which she never had before... It caused skin problems and itching. It's not to be given to an elderly person. It causes early death...
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My best resource for my spouse who is 59 and recently diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer's is the book just published this year by a very, very, caring professional expert in the care of persons with dementia is "Alzheimer's Disease and Other Dementias - The Caregivers Complete Survival Guide" author Nataly Rubinstein, her book is priceless........ God Bless you, Gisele
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Honey, I am so there with you. My husband, now 57, was diagnosed after a long ordeal of knowing something was wrong. My heart goes out to you. I was just searching for my posted question on how to deal with taking the keys away. Tough, tough, issues. Maybe we can help each other and find help through these resources.
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Dementia is a progressive condition - a gradual process. No need to panic; nothing is going to happen overnight. When you find that her forgetfulness is progressing, simply hold her hands in yours, make eye contact on her level, and speak to her kindly about whatever issue is at hand. That way, she is more likely to log it in. It really is not so much about forgetting, or memory loss, but about logging it in to start with. Dementia patients lose cognitive ability. Put valuables, keys, and items that could spell potential danger (stove or oven dials, knives, etc.) out of reach. You have plenty of time to reorganize so that she'll not notice. Always practice patience, because you see, in her mind it's all about survival--week to week, day to day, and eventually moment to moment. Never put more responsibility on her than she is comfortable with. When she's ready to stop a particular activity that she's done for a long time, then stop it. She may not want to talk about why, but rest assured, there's a reason. When personal hygiene becomes an issue, explore options. Remember, there's a reason she may not want to get her hair wet. The sleep issue may never resolve itself completely, but her doctor may have something that will help adjust her sleep pattern gradually. Avoid long afternoon naps if possible. Moderate exercise later in the day on a regular basis will help. Too early to bed, though, may cause her to wake in the wee hours of the morning. Large meals at night also disrupt sleep for some. Creating a sense of normalcy and love and affection are paramount. Never worry her with issues that she cannot handle. It will only create a habit of worrying. Always research medicines that are prescribed. I can't say that enough. Had I researched Zyprexa when Dr. Murdock prescribed it for my mother about 3 months ago, she'd still be with us. I'd have insisted that she be taken off of it. The FDA has not approved it for elderly dementia patients, and, in fact, has issued warnings concerning serious and fatal side effects. One article about the practice of elderly euthanasia in Alberta, Canada has Zyprexa as the "drug of choice." I'd give anything to have my mother back. All the best to you and your wife. K.
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She is young and the diagnosis is a surprise, so I assume she is still managing. Make your bucket list and go for it all out!!!!!!
Anything you pictured doing with her --- DO IT.
Have lavish anniversary parties and birthday parties. Invite everyone who loves you all.
Think bout things like RV's that let you go to your beautiful place, but allows her to nap and have a potty close.
Take some good portraits.
Make sure the grandchildren know her before she gets kooky and un approachable. My mom is nutty now, but my kids bond with her is 10 years deep. They still love to make her smile.
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