At what stage of dementia do people stop feeling any love or caring for anything or anyone, including children?

Follow
Share
This question has been closed for answers. Ask a New Question.
Find Care & Housing
26

Answers

Show:
1 2 3
Interesting observations, Joshmo.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

My mom and her sister were very close. Visited each other a lot their entire adult lives. Mom had to go to nursing home after an accident leaving her unable to stand or walk. Also was in about 3rd year of noticeable dementia. When her sister unexpectantly died at 87 my mom didn’t shed a tear nor a sad expression. All she says is I can’t believe she’s dead. Mom was then 94. I don’t think Mom “feels” sadness anymore. She also does not seem to mind being in the home after living with me for past 16 years and we are extremely close.
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

Thank you so much, Mrranch2, for sharing your experiences with us! You provide extremely valuable insight.
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

Malachy2, Alzheimer's and Lewy Body Dementia look different in the brain. AZ has tangles and plaques and LBD has tiny clumps ("bodies") of protein where they shouldn't be. It is not surprising that the symptoms are somewhat different, too. And treatments will vary between the two forms of dementia.

Memory loss is often less of an issue in LBD. There are more physical symptoms with LBD (similar to Parkinson's -- which also involved the protein clumps). All types of dementia involve variability but in LBD that is a core symptoms. There are good days and bad days and good hours and bad hours. It is so extreme that persons only familiar with AZ may thing the LBD person is faking symptoms. "He could do that perfectly well this morning. He is just wanting attention saying he can't do it now." AZ often includes eventually losing the ability to recognize family; LBD seldom includes that.

All kinds of dementia can include sleep disturbances; LBD is strongly associated with a specific sleep disorder called RBD, in which the sleeper acts out his dreams.

AZ progresses in a generally recognizable pattern. Stages have been identified and can be helpful in knowing what to expect. LBD does not progress in "stages" -- it does get worse over time, of course, but that tends to mean the "bad" episodes last longer and are closer together, not that the person goes on to new symptoms.

Those are just a few of the typical differences. While the differences in the brain are very distinct, it can be harder to identify the diseases from the symptoms. LBD is often misdiagnosed in the beginning.

The AZ and LBD websites provide a lot more detail.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

I have dementia--FTD and LBD--going on 6 years now. I visually and congnitively know and remember my wife, my grandchildren, my children, my siblings, and I love each, some more than others. Yet I also encounter people who know me but who I don't or no longer know--people who I have forgotten their names, their faces and everything about them but they know me. When reminded I frequently remember, often well, things we did or enjoyed together and sometimes I know and remember them at the same time.

Confusing isn't it? --that's the world of dementia: my wife and I recently met our son to pick up our grandaughter for a weekend visit; while I was sitting in the car my wife and son talked outside; he bent down to talk to me and I visually recognized the 33 year old man he has become, but my mind told me he was supposed to be a teenager. That's memory and dementia!

I find, however, my capacity for loving others is unchanged; indeed it is larger than I ever imagined. Love is caring, and is not necessarily romantic. As I mentioned, my love for my wife and family is unchanged. I have come to realize my love and respect for God is greater than I ever previously thought possible, as is my dependence on and faith in Him, His Son and His Spirit. And I have a deep and abiding love for many other people; people who I have never seen, nor have I ever met--people such as yourselves with whom I have only had contact through the internet or facebook, yet with whom I feel a closeness and kinship, the kind only experienced through love for another person (e.g., through facebook I am acquainted with a couple in Canada who I would love to meet; I truly care for them, and love them, as much as any other member of my family. I only regret we will never actually come face to face in this life anyway)

Going places? I prefer to stay in my den, in my recliner, with my little carepartner - a 14 year old dachsund. My wife is a 36 year RN (great advantage when I have to go to see a doctor). She is a marketer for a psychiatric hospital and travels throughout west Texas: from Amarillo, to Lubbock, to Presidio and Del Rio, to Pecos and Van Horn, to Killeen and Ft. Hood, to Austin. Home base is in the middle, San Angelo, and we live just outside Midland. She covers an area larger than most states (check it out on a map) and is often gone for 2-3 days at a time! Yet I am fortunate enough, at this point, remain home, alone. Dr appointments are worked around her schedule. We have a couple of neighbors I can call on if I need something badly (I've only had to do that once). I can still drive the couple of miles to the Dollar General or the convenience store for milk or dog food, but I prefer to stay at home.

We used to be devout church goers (Sunday AM, PM and midweek). I led singing, prayers, and served communion while my wife taught a class of kindergartners and first grade. Church attendance is still extremely important to both of us, but I rarely go now. I've found, though I enjoy the services as a whole and usually feel edified by being there, I tend to get confused and/or lost in the bible classes and sermons (I wish the teachers/preachers, when they cross reference other parts or verses, would finish with one before going to another), and sometimes the other attendees make me feel overcrowded which leads paranoa and disorientation, all of which results in general confusion, discomfort and "isn't it over yet?" Not worth the risk of disrespecting the Lord or any of his servants; He knows I haven't forgotten Him.

I usually force myself to go with my wife to pick up our granddaughters for a visit or to go to the grocery store; otherwise, I usually stay at home. Why? It's safe! I've had too many experiences of not knowing where we/I are; I've been lost, disoriented and paniced in stores, while standing next to my wife, too many times. I'm concerned about becoming lost while talking my care partner for a daily walk (I wear a medicalert dog tag and use a wonderful cell phone app--Watch Over Me--I highly recommend it) and though I am able to, I don't drive anywhere (including backing the car out of the driveway) unless I absolutely have to (might wind up somewhere I don't want to be and not know how to get back). In short, I have a tendency toward paranoia and panic (also parts of dementia) and prefer not to take the risks.

In addition, I've reached a stage where I sleep--12 to 14 hours at night and generally a 1-2 hour nap in the afternoon (sometimes after being up for only a couple of hours); and I'm becoming more and more incontinent of bowel and bladder (I carry extra depends in both cars). Those latter two things (sleeping and incontinence) are much more embarrassing than not recognizing someone.

I hope this all adds some clarity to your concerns ND-18. Dementia (all kinds), regardless of it's source (mine was triggered by surgical anesthesia in 2010) is a very complex disease, not restricted solely to memory, which is where most people, including us, tend to focus and expect problems. It is one l-o-n-g roller coaster ride that one must learn to enjoy; for there IS LIFE after dementia, and the patient and the caregiver should NEVER GIVE UP.

Hope this helps. God bless you all.
Helpful Answer (2)
Report

How does Lewy Body dementia differ from Alzheimers?
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

Dementia is a brain disease. A patient's ability to show love may be blocked by the disase itself. Assume the patient is grateful for every act of kindness etc if/ and especially when he/she cannot show it. "Love never dies."
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

Dementia slowly kills the brain off...they may not remember who you are at times. But by showing your love for them in little ways, they will feel secure and loved and will respond to it. My sweet mom was always a kind caring person. When the dementia took a drastic turn she was very mean and spiteful. I agonized over the change in her and took it so personal at times. After learning so much about this drastic disease it became clear to me that this was not mom talking..the disease had made her this way. I prayed for her and did what I could to make her feel loved. As hard as it was at times to do it...I made sure that every night before she went to sleep, I would kiss her on the cheek and told her that I loved her. She would smile or giggle..bet after a bit she felt the love, and started to be loving back. Some nights when she would wake up in the middle of the night we would just sit at the edge of the bed...I would rub her back and she would lay her head on my shoulder. Not a word was spoken..we just held each other. I love and miss her so much. I have purposely stayed out of the stores today on Valentines day because I don't want to cry when I pass the cards. I always gave mom flowers and a card. I am feeling a little sad today...cherish the times you have with your loved ones. God Bless.
Helpful Answer (4)
Report

ND18, the responses are all very good. The thing that you wrote that stuck out in my mind is that your mother never showed the type of caring that you needed. I wanted to stop and validate (excuse the cliche') your feeling. I do believe that there are people who are not capable of feeling the type of love that children need. They can feed and house them, take care of them when they are sick, but the sweet type of love is not there. I don't know why some people either don't feel or don't show love.

If that is the case with your mother, she will not begin to feel it now that she has dementia. So it may be good to stop looking to her for what you hoped might be there. There is love all around you, though, so I hope you find it in other people. This doesn't mean that you have to stop loving and caring for your mother, only not to think her not returning the feeling has anything to do with you. You sound like a daughter who is seriously capable of love, and you sound like you're doing your best to take care of her. Go easy on yourself since it's not you. It's her.
Helpful Answer (4)
Report

My dad had Alz and I don't think he ever quit feeling. He always smiled at me when he saw me and held my hand. I was a daddy's girl, I think he knew who I was. One evening I bent down to kiss him and said, see ya later dad, I'm leaving and wanted to say goodbye. He looked me in the eye and said in a couple of weeks we'll all be saying goodbye. Two weeks to the day and hour, he passed away. I truly believe his mind was still working, he was just "locked up" in there somewhere.
Dad had always been a gentle person but the last few yrs of his life, he fought my mother with a vengeance. He was sweet as pie to everyone else but her. We think he was getting back at her but who knows and it doesn't matter now. I miss him terribly.
Helpful Answer (2)
Report

1 2 3
This question has been closed for answers. Ask a New Question.
Related
Questions