My husband was diagnosed with Alzheimer's/dementia in 11/2009. Other than the memory issues, what can I expect over time regarding health?


My husband has moderate memory issues, like forgetting where he place things the day before let alone of recent. His hygiene has totally gone out the window, and eating is not like it used to be several meals a day. He does nothing to much other than reorganize what he has so called organized 4 or 5 times the same things over and over. Has a defense for everything. He looks at television all day and wants to do nothing to much of anything anymore. He still likes to look good and can put this clothes together well. Goes to church about once a month and demands from those he sees "why haven't you called me"? Gets tired quickly after a visit to the doctor when errands have been planned for the day. So to cater to his every whim and not know from one minute to the next how his mood will be is a bummer. Getting used to the adjustment of his moods and every day is a challenge, is and can be quite stressful. Some say a person can go downhill fast and some say it can be years this disease can go on. Not knowing what to expect day to day is and can be frightful.

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Not knowing what to expect day to day is and can be frightful.

You got that right! You've been at this caregiver business more than four years already. You no doubt have learned a great deal through experience. Have you joined a support group for caregivers of persons with dementia? Have you read online articles and books about the progression of dementia and what can be expected?

The challenge is that dementia can go racing downhill or it can coast very gradually. And it can alternate between the two. The kind of dementia my husband had, Lewy Body Dementia, is called a "roller coaster" because of its frequent ups and downs. Some periods it felt more like a pogo stick! So even if you learn what to expect in the future and it is from a reliable source, there is no assurance that it will apply to your husband and no way of knowing how long each behavior might last.

Not knowing what to expect each day is frightful, so arm yourself with what knowledge and support is available, but also accept that this is a disease that much be dealt with one day at a time.

If you are not in a support group, I highly encourage that!
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