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Yesterday he had balance issues and looked so sleepy. He sat in front of the tv with is eyes half closed and it took him forever to raise his hand to scratch his head and he left it up there for a minute without scratching. I am scared. New to this. He is only 67. He wanted to argue about driving but lasted only a minute. Thank you.

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My definition of a good day was when anxiety was at a low level. The physical things weren't as hard to handle, but when anxiety, paranoia and generalized fear took over there was a terrible feeling of helplessness on my part. I hated seeing that.

I hate seeing this with the person now in my care, as well. Anxiety is so debilitating and the onlooker can feel completely at a loss about what to do to ease this person's internal. hell. Of course, staying with a schedule, limiting outside stimulation and those things can help but sometimes the anxiety is simply coming from the person's chemistry and it's hard to help. Just comforting and waiting it out is sometimes all we can do.

All of the things described in this thread are so helpful. Keep contributing your definition of good days, vs. bad days. It's different for everyone and different in every stage.

Carol
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My definition of a good day vs a bad day is relative to my husband's condition. On a good day his behavior is consistent with most of his days. A bad day is one where he is not as mentally or physically focused as he has been on previous days. We can go a week without a bad day and then have several in a row. What is a good or bad day for him now is not the same as a good or bad day for him a yr ago or even six months ago.
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After going through all the answers and seeing so many of the same patterns that my man has experienced, I think my definition of a good day is when I can just cope and get a laugh with him. You never know what the day may bring. Sometimes a fall, sometimes paranoia and sometimes he forgets my name. I guess I have learned to take it as it comes. A good day is when I am not crying. I prefer to make myself as happy as I can. Then I can hope to get him laughing. That's a good day for me.
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(((HUGS)))Tarajane - my Mom is midway+ through vascular dementia. Her progression at first was very rapid, then it slowed. She had been at a steady, relatively stable until a few months ago. The doctor first thought Alzheimers. Because she didn't progress in on the same timeline, he did further testing and amended her DX to vascular. They are basically the same, just a different timeline.

Mom doesn't really have many "good" days. Until a few months ago she would not balk at going out. She kept her apartment cleaner than now. Lately her hygiene is suffering a bit, she will not eat or drink unless "forced" to. She does not want to leave the house for any reason. She never moves - she lays on her bed in the same position for 23 hours a day. She has done this for years, tho. She moves like she is underwater, she is very weak and unsteady. She truly doesn't think there is anything wrong with her except that she is an old, old lady - she just turned 79. She falls and has no idea how to get up. She needs lots of cues to get up from a fall, or sitting down in a chair or getting up from a chair. She has developed an aversion to water - she will not wash her hands unless I make her do it. She has developed a bit of bowel incontinence and does not wipe well.

Until a just a month or so ago, Mom could hand up her tops with not muc\h trouble - now, she has a difficult time. I have to prompt her to do most anything physical. She used to be an obcessive reader - now it takes her a week to one book. I am not sure that she retains what she reads, I think she is just reading the words. She does almost everything from memory. I have found lately, that she leaves something she heated up in the microwave - she never ate it. She only wants soup, candy and chips. Nothing good and healthy. Those things are the everyday reality with Mom now.
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I do feel for you. My cousin was diagnosed with vascular dementia mixed with AD last year. It had been progressing with her for a couple of years before that. I will say that it seemed to progress with her very quickly and in steps. In less than a year she went from running her own household to being double incontinent and in a wheelchair. She turned 64 this week.

My cousin is in Memory Care, but I cared for her before she went in for a short while. I would say a good day is a day that she did not fall down. Balance is a huge issue and I have seen her walk around her walker for no apparent reason and then let go and go backwards. If I was not standing there, she would have fallen backwards. They forget they have balance issues, forget they need a walker, and forget to hold on and not fall. They don't know what happened when the hit the floor. This can result in many ER visits and multiple fractures. I don't know any remedy for this, unless you constantly monitor them. The only reason she doesn't fall now is that she is in a wheelchair. A good day is no falls.

I would say a good day is if she is not repeating everything constantly. That phase was rough, but has gone away. She doesn't have much to say anymore and usually answers with a yes or no response or I' don't know or I don't remember.

We had some bad days when she was very anxious and crying. She didn't know why she was upset. After she was placed on Cymbalta, that went away. She is normally content and happy and so that's always a good day.

As she has progressed with this illness, her doctor has commented on the progression. It's sad to see that, but I expect it. I think the good days are knowing that she is not in pain and is getting her needs met.
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I hope so Tarajane. Everybody is different though. Some people don't progress so fast. They are able to live at home and enjoy life for many years before it progresses. And every day is different. You may have a bad day and then a good day after that. It's good you are there for your husband.
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Wow, seems like he is walking underwater just about says it all !!! Hunched over. I will watch him when he is sitting out on the patio and sometimes he will just almost go to sleep with a soda in his hand, then he will come in and say he wants another one because he spilled the one he had. It is so sad to watch him. He is no longer the man I married, but I love him just as much. We have been married for 48 years. Thank you all for being here.
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For my dad and I, a good day is when he actually does something. He had a day about a month ago when he finally got his hair cut after 9 months (it was horrid). He also tried to cut his ingrown toenails and got blood all over but at least he tried. A bad day is his normal day of doing nothing. A worse day is when he has a diarrhea explosion, and I have to clean up the result.
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With my mom, who is 88, her anxiety level seems to depend a lot on my own. If I can remain patient, tolerant, and loving, (as you caregivers know, some days thats's a huge challenge) she does so much better. If I start the day out with a loving greeting, a hug and big smilebig smile, I can see her respond immediately. She has been with me for 6 months now. It was a nightmare in the beginning. I was exhausted all of the time, because she was getting out of bed at night, and falling, and getting up from her chair daily. She can't walk at all without assistance. She was fighting with me at every turn. She wouldn't let me out of her sight. She would start with calling my name, then literally chanting over and over until I came. Then she didn't know why she needed me. It was exhausting. I couldn't step out of the room even to prepare her meals without her yelling. I nearly had a breakdown. Finally, I got the strength to stand my ground, and over time she has gotten the message that I will not be able to keep her with me if I can't keep her safe. It took me telling her this over and over again, and I still repeat it often, when necessary. Her dementia is between a 5 & 6, but there are still moments of clarity. Clearly she still has some ability to learn. When that clarity is apparent, I seize the opportunity to explain to her that sometimes she does things that are dangerous, because she forgets. I do that as often as I can. It seems to be working, for now at least. We have settled into a routine now, and it has eased her anxiety as well. I'll take it. With this disease, I have learned quickly that it's one day at a time.
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It sounds like he is not getting the connections in his brain to use his muscles. Balance issues can be helped with exercise. Get him in a shallow swimming pool and let him walk. It has done wonders for my husband and he is walking much better. Every day from now on will be different. No one can tell you what is "good" and "bad" days. They are all good since he is still alive. Cherish each moment you have with him. Best wishes to you both!
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