My sweet Mom was diagnosed four months ago with Early Alz. She pleaded to stay at home (she lives alone but I'm close by) as long as possible. She lives very simply, she's happy and content for now.

She doesn't drive or cook (I gladly do all that for her) as doesn't really remember how. She doesn't remember to take her medication, but again I help.

I know there's no magic time-line to tell me exactly how long she can live on her own... Does anyone have this experience and can suggest how long before she starts really slipping? I've already found a facility near me that is terrific. She and I are the only left in our family, but I have a supportive husband and kids... maybe six months? A year? Am I asking an impossible question? Would a neurology workup help me get an answer? Thank you all for the wonderful support I find here.

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I think you are asking an impossible question. I can certainly understand why you are asking, and it is certainly one all caregivers of loved ones with dementia want answered. But there really is no reliable way to predict how long the present situation will last.

It sounds like things are stable for now. Keep a close eye on the situation. I'd be especially worried about wandering. Also disconnect the stove. She can't remember how to cook, but she might not remember that she can't remember, if you know what I mean.

Can you start now taking her to lunch or dinner at the nearby terrific facility? Start getting her familiar with the building and dining rooms, etc.? Could you take her to some activities there, such as sing-alongs or bingo or crafts? Discuss with the facility director ways you be able to begin the transition to moving.

Dementia patients typically cannot live alone beyond the very early stages. This is sad for all concerned, but it is a reality. You are very wise to have already found a place for Mom.

You can call the neurology clinic and discuss the value of a workup at this time. That will help determine exactly where she is now ... I just don't know if it will help you predict how long she will stay there.

Dementia is such a sad disease. Hugs to you as you deal with it.
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Yes, a complete exam with brain imaging would help the MD put a stage on the disease, and help the selection of appropriate medications. Really slipping means doing things that are dangerous, like turning on the gas when the burners won't light during a power failure. Calling you at strange hours in a panic over a beeping microwave. Peeing all over your car seat because she forgot to wear a diaper. Buying the same groceries over and over. Hiding bills because she doesn't like them. Tells you she showers but develops a skin fungus under her breasts. Throwing potting soil on the steps instead of salt. Gets lost in familiar places. Tries to serve you spoiled food. Wants to get a haircut and then cancels when you get to the beauty salon.
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