My mom finally laid down for a cat scan. It showed she has had a small stroke, my dad and I were pretty sure that would be the case. Although now that it is confirmed, I have mixed feelings. Relief and sadness. I don't want there to be anything wrong with her, but I am glad we now know something concrete, rather than guessing. Also who knows a lot about strokes. Will stroke patients start to show signs of dementia or is the dementia type symptoms something completely different?

This discussion has been closed for comment. Start a New Discussion.
Find Care & Housing
Amy, you're welcome...and this is really hard. My mom was not just overweight, but obese and had very poor diet and never any excercise also; she was not all that ill until her 70s though. She died of vascular dementia progressing to brain stem stroke and intractable coronary artery disease after being in assisted living and skilled nursing for about 3 years...she never really gave up thinking or hoping she could go back to living on her own. My hubby is just turning 65 later this year and has a lot of trouble walking; he had been very sedentary and got over 300 lbs; he got down to 250 but is just now getting serious about trying to do something about the weak leg muscles and pain problems he has, but we will probably never be able to travel or enjoy going places together the way we dreamed we would. At one point my son and I threw out all his high calorie snacks because we could see what it was doing to him before he did, but he just bought more; we could not motivate him to quit just sitting for hours and hours playing online computer games and MOVE while he could..he finally decided for himself maybe after seeing what was happening to my parents, and after I dragged him to a "longevity clinic" (geriatric really) and the doctor there told him he was "too chubby."

I am very much afraid more and more people will be like this due to arthitis, diabetes, liver, and heart complications until we win the battles with obesity we are currently having. Both my parents had some benefit from subacute rehab programs though it was too little too late to really give them their previous life back. I hope there is more help for your mom at her age, and wish you all the best.

Thank you so much for your answer. I really appreciate it. My mom is only 59 but diabetic, congestive heart failure and over weight. She has not taken care of herself the way she should have for decades. Her health was slowly declining the last few years but this year in particular has been a doozy. She is falling and cant get back up, her speech was slurred, she is jaundice. She had to start using a walker to walk. She has bowel and bladder issues and has had to start wearing depends. She is getting very very mean and when not mean she is sleepy and confused. My dad and I noticed her meanness or confusion comes on everyday at around 7pm. Alzheimers is on my dads side of the family so we right away thought sundowning.

I am hoping to go with my parents to the neurologist appointment, I have a list of questions and have added the progressive vascular dementia to the list.

Again thanks for taking the time to answer my question.

One stroke can have fairly localized effects, and depending on the details of the cause and the extent of the stroke, it may or may not be part of developing vascular dementia. For example, if a young person has a small blood vessel malformation rupture, that may affect movement on one side of the body, and/or language, and/or something else worst at the onset with quite a bit of improvement to be expected. It may have relativley mild or even no effects on memory or thinking skills, and may not at all be part of a progressive condition. If an older adult has a large massive stroke due to a clot, they may not be able to improve as much but maybe could be prevented from having another one. On the other hand, if overall circulation to the brain is poor, especially with diabetes, the stroke you can see on the CT is a small part of a bigger picture and progressive vascular dementia is to be expected. This commonly shows as decreased judgement and insight first. Alzheimer's type dementia, with more predominant memory impairment, can coexist with this but most people seem to have one or the other. A GOOD geriatrician or neurologist can explain your Mom's situation in more detail, but a lot of docs will simply not understand why it matters. They want you to just look at the symptoms and decide everything that needs decided on, which I find hard, because so many symptoms do not make sense and you don't know what's what, e.g. pre- existing personality, drug side effects, diet effects, etc. plus what will and won't work.

My experience was that because everyone thinks of Alzheimer's type first, I would keep hearing how "sharp" she was just because she recognized people and usually figured out which day of the week it was...though she would then be angry that her podiatrist appointment was not happening on a Sunday morning. I think knowing what is really going on helps, especially when what is going on is going to be tough. That said, if your mom's stroke is just a single stroke, you don't want to be thinking it is the beginning of the end when it isn't, or that she can't get back to a good quality of life when she will, either!

Subscribe to
Our Newsletter