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I have been waiting for the Dr. to tell us what type dementia my husband has, and the PAC recently told him that he has age related ALZ/Dementia...now we know...I think?


Husband will be 88 next birthday, and was diagnosed as ALZ then later dementia....confusing, that was in 2013.

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I think it helps to know what kind of dementia he has as the dementias have different patterns of progression, so you are somewhat informed as to what to expect For example, my mother had vascular dementia. She always recognized us. Her "old" personality was still there if somewhat subdued. As happens with VaD, she lost muscle strength and mobility over the 5 years she had it. but she retained some cognition. The pattern of the stages of Alz or FTD is different.

From the web The greatest known risk factor for Alzheimer's is increasing age, but Alzheimer's is not a normal part of aging. While age increases risk, it is not a direct cause of Alzheimer's. Most individuals with the disease are 65 and older.

There is information on the web about the stages of Alz. You may be able to estimate where your husband is in terms of decline as you know what his issues are - forgetfulness, poor short term memory, inability to handle finances etc. Since he was diagnosed in 2013, and average life expectancy is 8-10 years, he likely is in one of the middle stages. You need to plan ahead for his care and to look after yourself. This will not get easier.
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no1cares Apr 5, 2019
Thank you for a very informative answer, I have wondered what type he has and yes, it would help me to know what to expect, even though many times things happen without warning, so it is that we never know what is coming...
just be flexible I guess.
I appreciate your taking the time to answer.
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You can have both. Yes ALZ is put in the Dementia category but it effects the brain differently than most other Dementias. But at this stage does it really matter what type?
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Good to hear from you - and, so, how are *you* doing? Are you taking any care of yourself?
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no1cares Apr 4, 2019
I keep trying, doing pretty good, have had several meetings (appointments), and finding out many things...just had one with same dr., but this time had a wonderful PAC that took more than half an hour with us and I told her all that had been going on with hubby...he had an MRI, and will be getting an EEG soon, things that have not been done for over two years, and so this may tell me more, she took notes and it was totally different .
Thank you again for your answers, this forum is great for many of us, take care...
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No1cares, I've been going through your replies mentally adding ! !! !!!!! to them.

I think you did well not to take the PAC warmly by the throat and thank her for her "help."

[private rant - the whole *point* of these appointments is to provide explanation and guidance towards an effective care plan. Epic fail!]

But you mention low oxygen at night - is this related to other medical conditions? What else is your husband being treated for?

Now that a full suite of investigations has been done, you might do better to drop the neurologist and look instead for a geriatrician or an older age psychiatrist. Guessing that your husband would give you a very old-fashioned look if you mentioned a psychiatrist: it's important to remember that all psychiatrists are *medically* qualified, and those who specialise in older age will also be very well versed in all of the chronic conditions that tend to affect older patients.

What you need is someone to sit down with you, your husband and all of the results so far and explain them properly. Just to make sure you're not hesitating about it, this is not you being dim. This is a failure on the part of people who should know better to provide the support to which you and your husband are entitled.
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no1cares Dec 6, 2018
He takes about 15 pills through out the day, and they are for high blood pressure, thyroid, cholesterol,
B-12, potassium, can't think of the rest, but he does this routine each day....complains about it, but keeps on, oh yes, and memantine....this is all from the VA.
When he sees a Dr. there it is over a computer. He has a hearing problem, that's why I need to be in with him, as he misses the words that are said, thinks they said something else. I will think about the Dr. et. you said.
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That makes sense to me about not being called dementia, I was surprised to have her say that and not blink an eye, the Dr. won't even state what type he has, I only ask because after reading so much on all the different ones, I just think it would give me direction as how to take care of him better, and more of what to expect. I know everyone says everyone is different, but even so, a guide line of sorts would be helpful. I always go in with him, he wants me to, but doesn't want me to say anything as to what changes I see, I was told at a support group that it is good to do that as it helps the Dr. to know those things, we are the ones that know our loved ones best. He does have trouble understanding as he has bad hearing, this is another topic of Dementia. Tests include, the MMMSE, brain scans, blood work, and the latest was a computer test, which the PAC said he did fine on, yet I saw the cognition was very low. She acted as though I was to know all that it meant. I do not want this person again, we did not do well in discussing things, I finally just kept quiet.
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It really does not matter too much because the final diagnosis can only be determined by autopsy. Both terms carry the same meaning. You are now about to go on a life journey for which there is not much of a blueprint. My mom carries the term memory loss determined by her PCP. I did not chase after any more specialists wasting my time and adding to her anxieties with strangers. She does not have any behavioal issues that yet require medications. .Try to stay one step ahead by educating yourself and keep safety in mind including for yourself. Start financial and document planning if you do not already have that in place. I do recommend that you attend any local Alzheimer support groups.
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no1cares Dec 4, 2018
Thank you, I do have the POA, he was good about getting that done early on, I explained things as to what could happen if we did not get it done while he could still understand all it meant, so next the financial, which I do not understand, as he always says it is OUR money, what's the problem...guess I better find out.
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Is this doctor a geriatrician or a neurologist? If not you would be able to get more detailed information than a family practice type doc.
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no1cares Dec 4, 2018
We started out seeing this neurologist, but as time has gone by, we end up with PA'S or PAC's, what ever that is, I am sure they are not Dr., but this last one, seemed on the defense as I tried to ask specific questions, and she wouldn't go over the list of things I had noticed since our last visit...she said it is the fact that his oxygen is low and it causes the things I see....problem is, she doesn't see him 24/7 as I do. I think there is more.
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If a qualified PAC told you that, in those words, then that person wants taking out and giving a good slap.

If you go to alz.org you will find much, much better explanations of the various types of dementia.

Alzheimers Disease is one type of dementia. There are dozens of other types.

Then there is normal age-related decline, sometimes called by such terms as Mild Cognitive Impairment. But dementia, as properly defined, is *not* a normal condition of old age.

Because it is a complicated subject which people are often trying to explain quickly and simply, it is sadly true that words and expressions do get used casually when they should really be used to mean something very specific. Did you attend the appointment with your husband, or is that just what he reported to you? - I may be wronging the PAC, it may be that your husband didn't understand or perhaps even didn't properly hear what was being said.

When it comes to understanding what type of dementia your husband has, what tests have been done? Who, apart from the PAC, have you discussed it with so far?
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no1cares Dec 4, 2018
This was not a good appointment as I wanted to ask questions and she didn't want to go along with that, she said she had an appointment in a few minutes and had to get on with this, would not go into the written paper I gave her, just said it was all due to his low oxygen at night, that causes a lot of the things I had on paper. She wanted to know how his memory was, asked him questions which he breezed through, I was surprised, and then she asked if he wanted another memory pill, he didn't and she kept talking about things she wanted to talk about and then she said we will see you in 6 months. Not happy with all that so I guess I will let them know I do not want to see her for my husband. I really don't understand why we can't see the neurologist, she said he was very busy, I am frustrated, they want to know if we see any changes, try to tell them and this time no interest.
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