My mom has been diagnosed with Alzheimers-she has been living with us for over 6 years now.I am the primary caregiver and get very few breaks.I have heard stories of people with this disease- that they turn into vegetables and even stop eating and even quit breathing-what are the end stages of this awful disease?

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littlekat, I know much of what you are going through. Yes, Alz is lethal. Sometimes other things will take a person before the Alz does, but Alz itself is lethal. It is a progressive disease that "overtakes" a little of the brain at a time with plaques and tangles. For many years the brain adjusts and compensates, but there comes a time when the damage is too bad in critical areas and the person dies.

Alz is a very cruel disease that has different courses in different people. In the end stage, people generally lose their ability to recognize others and to speak. Sometimes they can repeat phrases back to you, but it is not anything meaningful. Still, despite all the damage, you can often see pain, confusion, and hints of the old personality inside. I am glad that you are there for your mother.

Sometimes I wonder if their mind comes back to them when they leave their body. Wouldn't it be wonderful if they could look back and see their loved ones one more time before leaving?
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