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He was forgetting things that happened recently, but talking constantly about the old days, was confused, having close calls while driving, acting out sexually, etc. following me everyplace. Dr. put him on Aricept and later Zoloft. Now I am questioning myself. Am I losing it?

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Don't let this disease fool you.. it is relentless. Try not to put things off. I waited thinking I still had lots of time and I didn't. The changes can happen so quickly. Overnight it seems he went from 'ok at home' to needing a nursing home. I was pretty much unprepared. Now I am scrambling to find the right place. Get a case worker from your local ADRC or senior center or where ever. Good luck and God bless
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I'm not a doctor or nurse, but I do gather from reading here & elsewhere that "dementia" is sort of a catch-all phrase, describes symptoms more than a definitive disease. So there is going to be a huge variety of severity of symptoms. Just like some cancer patients can go into remission there are probably dementia patients that have "good" days. Again I'm not a medical professional. After the Aricept and Zoloft the brain is now functioning differently-- just as someone with OCD might feel better after optimal dose of Paxil (SSRI), what that means is Good News: the medication is working! It does not mean that the diagnosis was wrong--in fact if the medications were stopped the symptoms might well return. Don't stop any meds without doctor approval!
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If he didnt have a UTI, sometimes a b12 deficiency or a D deficiency can cause the acting out too. When my Mom broke her hip the hospital found she didnt even register on the B12 chart so they gave her shots for weeks. Sometimes my Mom seems better, I feel like she is growing brain cells back when she understands me. Its almost like she had a clot in her brain that burst when she had her stroke and started to heal, I know, sounds stupid but one can only hope. The zoloft might have calmed him down, it also stops the sexual urges, so maybe thats all he needed, enjoy!!
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If he has been diagnosed with dementia, then he has dementia no matter how he presents. The Aricept may be slowing the progression of symptoms of the disease but there is no cure. I have spoken to people and didn't recognized they had dementia until much later because they presented well. If he is having close calls while driving it may be time for him to stop driving. If he were not demented he would probably feel bad if he had an accident and hurt someone. Only difference now is he doesn't recognize the risk. In my experience, those with dementia can vary from day to day, one day can be good the next day they can be very confused and combative or are acting out behaviorally. Enjoy the time you have together, discuss the 'old' days, laugh and love him as much as you can for the time you have left together.
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Ill say it again, I wish I had found this forum while mom was alive. I was told she just had dementia and years later she was diagnosed with LBD and Parkinsons. Made a major difference after researching it. Good luck .
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Discuss the changes you see with your father's doctor. If your father seems to be experiencing "peaks and valleys" in his cognition it is possible he has Lewy Body Dimentia and not Alzheimer's. Although there are similarities between the diseases they are quite different. Also, Lewy Body patients experience some of the physical characteristics of Parkenson's Disease (parkensonisms). The three diseases are different and are treated differently. Research LBD and if you see identifiable symptoms ask his doctor to consider a possible change in diagnosis.
I suggest that you start by Googling the Lewy Body Dimentia Association. also, if your dad hasn't already signed a HIPPA form allowing his doctors and other medical professionals to speak directly to you and other family members, be sure to do so ASAP. You can get template forms off the internet.
Good luck with the journey ahead.
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Is he still taking the meds? BTW my mother has had a number of small strokes or TIAs and they leave her really mentally debilitated for a few days, sometimes weeks when she has several. She is 103 and on meds for it + baby aspirin, but sometimes she just seems to falter. Could it be a stroke. People recover from strokes.
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Any systemic infection--urinary, oral, ??, not to mention possible side effects of medications, particularly statin drugs, might be causing similar symptoms.
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Alzheimers is not a diagnosable disease. The only way to diagnose it is with an autopsy. I would guess that your husband was misdiagnosed. (it's a guess at best.) One of my clients almost died from hypothyroid because she was misdiagnosed with Alzheimers. It has the same symptoms as do a plethora of other conditions. He could have had a urinary tract infection and recovered. UTIs will make an elderly person CRAZY. Be thankful that your husband is recovering and think positive. Perhaps he had something that was quite temporary.
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Please remember, as others have said here, Alzheimer's is not curable. Think of your brain as you would your fingerprints - no two people have exactly the same fingerprints. No two people have exactly the same brain. Yes - the brain performs the same functions for people but each is very different from the next person. With this in mind - certain drugs work for one person and not the next. If your loved one seems better - take the advice of many other here on this site - enjoy the time you have... Best wishes on this journey.
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They have good days and bad days. Mom can remember intricate details of events that happened 70 year ago, but can't remember what she was doing 30 seconds ago. This is typical. It's the nature of the disease -- short term memory goes first, with long term memories hanging on longer. Very strange that she can seem completely lucid one moment, make a completely sensible, logical and truthful remark, and then retreat into utter nonsense seconds later. She does have what I call her "second Springs" that last, sometimes, for a day or two, when she almost seems "normal". They are becoming less frequent and poop out more quickly. Take advantage of that time as best you can. I use it to get mom out of the house, going to some of the places she used to enjoy, like eating out and shopping at some of her favorite stores or visiting with her friends that are also homebound.
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NOTHING FIXES IT! The drugs are probably slowing the disease, but nothing stops it. It goes very slowly, insidiously at first. I left my husband alone while I went to teach school for 5 years. But then I saw changes that made me know I had to retire. I have been home with him now for four years. He is now totally dependent on me to do his activities of daily living. Next year he will probably go to the last stage. But no one know how long it will last. I pray that God will take care of us and make me strong enough to deal with this. I have a Stephen Minister,and 2 days of Adult Medical Day Care at this point. I am supposed to get 12 hours of free Nursing care at home in the near future. (From the VA) I am excited about that! He still know me at this point, but doesn't know I am Nancy or that I am his wife! The stephen Minister is just a friend from church who volunteers to come once a week and just listen to me. I always need that since Bill does not communicate, having lost most of his vocabulary at this point. He can still show me what he wants! Bill is sweet and gentle and even though he is not the man I married, he is still someone I love very much!
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One more. Many people with Alzheimer's stay at home for the rest of their lives and they are ok as long as there us help. For some, like my mother, it will become necessary for them to move to a nursing home or memory care unit. The best advise I have received--from a doctor whose grandmother and mother both had Alzheimer's at the same time was "plan for two steps ahead. " So while things are smooth now, I would start looking into what your home care options are. Do you know someone who dies this, maybe a family member or retired nurse? Are there people in your church you could employ to help? What about family members? If you know anyone who has needed home care, ask for references. Look at agencies too, and start to think about how you would pay for this. I almost want to suggest pre-emptively going on medicaid now so you won't have to worry about the five year look back if and when a nursing home becomes necessary. And speaking of, I would start looking at nursing homes in your area. Take tours and ask questions now. Have a plan now while things are going well. You may never need this, but if you do, you'll be so glad the leg work is over. Good luck and enjoy all your good times.
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My mom is on Aricept; dr wanted her to try an add'l Alzheimers drug also but she started to swell up from it. Since mom has problems with osteoarthritis, she took her off of the add'l med. The dr felt that it was worth a try but since it wouldn't 'fix' Alzheimers only slow the progression, she took her off of it. Mom has her challenging moments so the family and I try to grin and bear it knowing it's only going to get worse in the future. We try humor, a little 'space' when we've had too much (we take turns), and some tongue biting !!! LOL... It sure isn't easy but it isn't any better for Mom...we try our hardest to remember the 'good days' versus the bad days...and repeat, repeat, repeat the good days... On my hardest days/moments with Mom I look at her, I am so sad sometimes but I don't let her see it and just want to protect her from everyone and everything which is why I'll keep taking care of her as long as I can. I'm going to miss her, even though she'll be right in front of me and that's what I think of when I look at her. THAT's what gets me thru....grit your teeth, set your boundaries, maintain daily care and just love your parent/spouse as much as you can for as long as they are here. Don't get me wrong, I get so frustrated alot, but when I stop to think of what I just wrote , somehow it gets me thru.
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Good advice already- would only add: think about your longterm plans for yourself and your husband, and begin to do some research so you can prepare realistically. You'll be educating yourself on what changes might be coming up and how to handle them calmly.
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Thanks, and hugs to all of you! I guess I just needed to be reassured! It is indeed a mysterious journey!
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my mom is on Aricept and Zoloft as well for the first 2 years I was sure that she had been misdiagnosed BUT the last 6 months have been an eye-opener . The Aricept slows down the progression of the disease but just be ready and enjoy the calm before the storm.
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Agree with ferris. My mom also seemed much better after initially being put on aricept and namenda. Enjoy him now and make yourself some good memories. Best of wishes on your journey.
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This disease is such a mystery, and no one yet has quite figured out all the symptoms. From my experience as both a nurse and caregiver of my husband, improvements can be seen temporarily, and Aricept and Zoloft will not cure this disease. Nothing can. Just know you are in for a long, hard road and prepare for it. It is not easy, but you are a woman, and you can get through it!
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