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Was touring an assited living place with my Mom. We were explaining my Dads dementia behavior to the facility director and she made a point about a difference she sees between Alz and dementia. In a nutshell, she stated that often people with non Alz dementia can become angry and hard to deal with because they realize they are losing their abilities and it's very scary and confusing to them, whereas Alz people think everything is just fine and don't realize that have lost the ability to reason. This describes my Dad very well. He refuses to be tested but his doc says he has all the classic signs of Alz.

So, does this sound familiar to anyone? Dad is not angry, has Zero short term memory and cannot reason with obvious problems with Moms health or how dilapidated the house is. He'll spend hours on fixit projects usually just making a mess of things. I just spent a week with them and he drives me nuts refusing to do anything that makes the slightest sense.

I know better than to argue with him or correct him very much. If he gets mad at me he usually forgets all about it in a couple of minutes. I've disabled or removed all the power tools but he still putzes around with hopeless projects in the garage.

I know that you use the same techniques with all kinds of dementia, divertion, theraputic fibs etc, but Alz can be different as it progresses, eventually causing death.

So back to my question, is the AL women correct about the differences between Alz and dementia or is this just anecdotal observation?

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Thanks for all the good info. The women I refered was not the director of nursing. She was admin/sales person. Yes, her spiel sounded a little simplistic to me but I wonder if she was just trying to placate Mom a little.

I've looked at 3 care facilities in the area and this one really impressed me. It's smaller and I think residents get more attention than the huge complexes I visited.

Dad was never a type A personality and so far he is still a pretty sweet old guy, just very stubborn and can't reason things out any longer. He does occasionally snap at Mom if she tries to argue with him but so far it's nothing alarming or frequent.
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I agree with Countrymouse...
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I am deeply unimpressed at the nursing director's comments. Speaking for myself, I would be looking for a facility where the nursing director is not a muddled moron.
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I read the quote, " If you've seen one case of Alzheimers, you've seen one case of Alzheimers." In mom's case she was just getting forgetful at first. No wandering or hostility. Then, her speech and vocabulary noticeably declined rapidly. This is called Aphasia. We think it is atrophy of the frontal lobe part of the brain. Then tests and MRI results confirmed Alz.
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My understanding is that there are stages of Alz, one of which involves combativeness. I don't know if that's common to other stages of dementia.

My mother was D'x'ed with Dementia, Alzheimers type, but she was never combative. She had never been combative in her life and never became so.

We knew someone whose wife did have Alz, and I recall the shock of seeing her turn from a pleasant conversationalist to an angry person in a split second. I'd never seen anything like that before.

I wouldn't agree with the person who felt that Alz people think everything is just fine. The friend whose wife had it eventually could not take care of her at home because of her anger and hostility.
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I think that was just anecdotal observation.

All the types of dementia Glad refers to progress. They are all terminal. They each have particular characteristics, and may progress in slightly different ways. People with ALZ may have hallucinations, but not usually until later stages. People with Lewy Body Dementia may have hallucinations as the very first symptom. That is a general difference, but it would not be impossible for someone with either type of dementia to have hallucinations at any point in the disease. And it is like that with any symptom -- some are more common in one kind of dementia than another, but even within a single kind of dementia, symptoms vary.

It is also possible to have more than one type of dementia. Researchers are saying that is more common that formerly believed. That complicates diagnosis.

I am glad that your father is so docile in this stage of his disease. The ALF you place him in, and perhaps someday a nursing home or memory care unit will need to deal with his behaviors and symptoms as they occur, no matter what the diagnosis.
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Windy, Alzheimer's is a type of dementia, there are more than seventy of them. Alzheimer's is the most frequent. As far as combativeness in other dementias? My mom is diagnosed with alz. Yet she frequently gets quite angry these days. I don't think that anybody can say a happy, calm demented is Alz while the combative is another sort of dementia until medical science figures out a way to reliably diagnose all dementias. Now the only way to diagnose Alzheimer's is post mortum with an autopsy of the brain.
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