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I've learned that my LO, who's in assisted living, has good days and bad with her dementia. Sometimes she recalls people and events and other times she's completely off, very emotional, crying, paranoid, etc. I know that symptoms vary from dad to day when it comes to dementia, but does that fluctuation also include physical symptoms? Some days her legs are very weak and stiff and I can barely get her to lift her foot to get in the car, but other days she's moving her legs like crazy and rushing down the hallway in her wheelchair by the force of her feet and legs. Her legs don't seem stiff at all. How is that possible?

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lwentanon, it's funny you make that point about sugar. Her dementia has been slowly progressing, though we didn't catch it at the time, and one of the things about her that was so odd, was her sweet tooth. It was unreal how much she craved sweets.

She practically lived on little cakes, doughnuts, pastries, rolls, croissants with sausage and cheese, mostly all highly processed foods. I could not get her to eat real food. She still avoids real food and the only thing she likes to eat now is ice cream.
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There is a clear parallel with exasperated symptoms of behavior and eating carbohydrates, sugar, processed foods or pure starch. Unfortunately all the stuff they suggest for Alzheimer's/dementia patients include altering their diets with empty calories by adding ice cream...to fill the void of elders not eating or not eating well.

I chose to add whey protein powder, coconut oil, The Alzheimer's dementia brain craves sugar, I just do not give in to it, in that way. For oatmeal, I leave the oats uncooked now, and warm the rest.
I notice too, that Candida and urinary tract infections take them in a downward spiral...
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You know what is so odd? One day my cousin used a word that she would never have used before her dementia. In fact, she has asked me the meaning of much more commonly used words in the past. I have no idea where she got it from and find it highly unlikely she overheard it in the ALF. PLUS, she forgets most everything anyway. She has no memory of any name of anyone in the AL facility and she's been there 5 months.
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Yes. The brain controls much more than the mental aspects: initiation of movement, coordination of movement, temperature, touch, vision, hearing, judgment, reasoning, problem solving, emotions, and learning.
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Correction to above post. She has NO memory of refusing food, meds or to get out of bed.
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This makes sense. My cousin was barely able to move at the doctor's office on Friday. He legs were like blocks with no strength, then on Sunday she was moving them much better in the wheelchair. This explains it.

Her mental stability changes and I was prepared for that. She has declined a lot, but some days she refuses to get out of bed, refuses to take meds and to eat. She says she has decided to quit. For awhile, I thought she meant quit her job, but I think it has a deeper meaning. I think she's tired of fighting this condition. It's heartbreaking. Later, she has memory that she was like that.
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I have been a professional caregiver for about 13 years and I can tell you that mental and physical abilities fluctuate as much as mental issues do, particularly with vascular dementia. The blood flow is better some days that others, eating the right foods changes, and they will physically move around more some days than others, all of which affect physical and mental function. The worst declines seem to happen when people sit all day and/or eat bread mostly or only bread products. It seems like as the physical damage changes the 'connection' to the 'real' person changes too.
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My mother is up and down, both mentally and physically. From my limited experience, I would say yes. I don't have an explanation, though. One thing I am beginning to notice with my mother is that after we have an active day that she enjoys, the next day will be a bad day mentally and sometimes physically. I don't know if this happens with other people.
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Delusions and confabulation are part and parcel of dementia. Knowing is the report of illness is factual by the person is terribly hard.

Carefully readJennifer Ghent-Fuller's article,
"Understanding the Dementia Experience"
tinyurl/pzof7an
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We all have good days and bad days. In a group setting, it seems as if moods are contagious. If one starts yelling, others yell back. If there's bad news on the TV, everyone gets upset. This is why staff tries so hard to redirect, to reassure and to get a smile going.
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