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My father has been developing dementia for some time, but over the last year he has gotten much worse. I was in denial until recently and looking back he has been forgetful and having to leave notes all over his house for a few years. He has over the last year had a rapid decline and his short term memory is all but gone. He doesn't understand complicated matters or much of what you are trying to explain to him in general. He can forget things in a matter of seconds , but other things he may remember for days. Its so hard to understand how this disease works. He also doesn't sleep well at night and has started having violent nightmares. Has anyone else noticed their loved one having these issues? My father had uncontrolled diabetes and has severe COPD that the Doctors think caused his dementia. He also has a family history of alzheimers. He seems to be getting worse and knows he has something wrong and doesn't want to live like this anymore. Its been a very rapid decline this year for him. I know that its impossible to predict and there are certain stages of the disease, but does anyone have any idea how rapid this can progress and how long of a life the patient may have left?

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"does anyone have any idea how rapid this can progress and how long of a life the patient may have left?"

No. Professionals may be able to guess at some ranges, but each case is different and there really is no accurate way to predict how long any phase will last. I wish I could give you a formula, but I think we each have to take this one day at a time. Sorry.
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My mother was diagnosed with dementia in Jan. of 2010. She did well all of 2010, was still driving, taking care of all her finances. She continued to drive until late Sept. of 2012. My sis and I notified DMV that she was an unsafe driver due to dementia and they sent her a form to take to her dr. My mother had a couple minor out patient surgeries and both caused her to advance because of the stress and trauma she emotionally experienced.After she lost her drivers license, she declined rapidly and in the fall of 2012 could no longer take care of her finances. By April of 2013, she was diagnosed as mentally incapacitated by a neurologist. We needed this diagnosis to activate the springing type of DPOA my mother had written up by her Elder Law Attorney.

From what you have written, it sounds like your father has progressed at a normal pace up until recently and that too is normal. I suggest you have your father evaluated by a geriatric physician who specializes in the care of the elderly. From there it may go to seeing a neurologist especially if you need a diagnosis of mental incapacity to activate a DPOA so you can make decisions and take over the care of his finances. This is not easy and my heart goes out to you as you and your father continue this journey together. Hugs to you!!
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Hello, my Dad had dementia which was gradual but went full blown when he fell and entered the hospital for fractured ribs. He was placed on psych meds but it started being a roller coaster but the highs and lows were always a surprise. We were fortunate to have the VA who was very helpful. Everyone in medicine seems to have different opinions and diagnosis but if you can find a good and more importantly reliable neuro psych dr they will be able to help. I found that the physical ailments such as dysphasia were the scariest unknown situations. They don't tell you that swallowing then walking become physical problems caused by the disconnect in the brain. My dad "forgot" how to walk it was literally his brain mot remembering but my mom was convinced he was choosing not to walk. I found that he was much less agitated when I would play checkers or cards with him anything that could keep his attention short as it was but as his memory decreased I would just change up the game we played to meet his ability to concentrate. It drove my mom crazy but it was so helpful learning to let his mind make the changes and my handling it with humor. This sounds so confusing sorry....I took care of my dad for almost three years and all of the hallucinations (always happened when he got an infection) and his anger and his limited physical abilities were frustrating and scary but he was here with me and laughing was all I could sometimes. I miss him terribly and will never regret taking care of him but do regret that I found my sense of patience and humor so late into the progression of his decline. Stay on top of his behaviors and when you see even a slight change insist he be seen by the doctor. I was always right when he was entering a new phase and no one would listen at first but they finally accepted I knew what I was talking about. I was his daughter and it is like knowing when your child has an ear infection without a fever. Stay strong and send me an email if you want to talk more!
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