My husband (68) with vascular dementia. Mild at this time, but could he wake up one day and be much worse just like that?

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That is what I fear now. I do notice him now asking the same question he had just asked 2 minutes ago and he hadn't done that before. He asked the cashier if she had any ice he could put in his coffee and she said no then 2 minutes he asked again. This sort of scared me. I consider him young for Dementia but I am out of denial now.Thank you

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Usually most dementias progress gradually. They all get worse, but each at its own pace. Usually if there is a sudden decline that is related to a disease (such as a uti) or to a change in medications. Those issues can be addressed and often the person can come back to the previous baseline.

Alas. "Usually" is not "always," and there is no certainty that your husband won't wake up some morning in a whole different level of need.

As you already know, the time may come when your husband needs more supervision and care than one person can provide in a private house. Thinking ahead about that is prudent. But you also have to live in the moment.

I hope you will be able to build many more good memories with your loved one, even as the difficult times get more difficult. It ain't over till it's over.

I think that technically "early onset" is considered to be when the symptoms become obvious before age 65. So your husband is beyond that milestone. But whenever it hits, it is hideous.
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Vascular dementia typically gets worse in small steps, but they can have bigger strokes too. Is he on anything preventive for that? Sorry you may be looking at a bleak future, but maybe there are some good times still possible too...also, if there is diabetes, getting optimal control of that may help too.
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I hope they can find solutions to all the dementias - Alzheimers gets the most attention. I absolutely have no intention of doing this to my children or my husband.
I'll go lie down in the woods in the middle of a blizzard and let nature take its course. Hypothermia is not a horrible way to go. You think you are warm at the end.

I knew that I could not handle my mother in my home for many reasons. She has mental illness (bi-polar & other problems) on top of the dementia. She required a lot of supervision in the moderate stage. She was a wandering risk. Her paranoia and suspicion were through the roof without meds. She was combative, verbally abusive, loud, angry, and mean as a snake.

Mom never did the repeating thing, or if she did, it was before I moved her and had more time with her. Mom did pick at her skin, and had OCD obsessions over other things.

Sometimes lately mom thinks she's a little girl in her grandmother's house, which would have been in the early 1940s. She thinks she hears and sees animals - mostly cats & dogs. Or she used to. I haven't heard her say anything about cats & dogs in a while. She misunderstands noises a lot.

I don't have the anxiety I could have because she is in a place that will keep her safe from herself, the world, and make sure she is clean, fed, medicated appropriately, and handled correctly. I could never do this in my home, working full time with two teenagers and the need to actually sleep at night.
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I hope they do develop a truly good treatment or cure. We are all susceptible.

No one can tell you how fast the repeating sets in or how long it will last, but my loved one started at least a year in advance of her diagnosis. She could run her own household, pay bills, get groceries, care for her cat, etc., but she would repeat a couple of stories over and over. Every time she would speak with me, she would tell me these two stories. I would interrupt her and tell her that she had told me that many times before, but she would not stop and tell it again. It was odd. We still did not know she had dementia. She also would not bathe, obsessed with her cat, bought large quantities of unneeded items, like 49 room freshners and picked arguments for no reason. I thought she was spoiled.


Later, her short term went fast. She would ask me where her cat was and I would point to the cat on the couch. She would then ask me again within 3 minutes. She had no memory of anything she said to me minutes ago. She would constantly call to her cat and ask me the same questions over and over. You can write out the answers and hand them to them or post in on the wall, but it doesn't matter. They don't know to read it and don't understand how the writing answers their question. It doesn't process, so it doesn't help them.

I will say it is a very difficult thing to handle. The patient may often talk constantly, repeating the same questions over and over. You can try to divert the conversation, but that is difficult to do. You can ignore them, but they will keep repeating. You can try to busy them with something else, but they are not prone to be occupied with activities for more than a minute.

It's hard to understand how stressful this can be. I would locate a place that you might go for a visit, so you can see what I am describing first hand, like a Memory Care unit. You can look online, but it's different to actually be in the same room and see the agitation, distraction, repeating, etc. I would consider if I could handle this type of behavior long term, 24/7. This is in addition to agitation, resistance, and violence. Some people can do it. I could not.

Medication may help. And I think that it goes in stages. My cousin doesn't repeat nearly as much as she used to, but other behavior has replaced the repeating.
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What an analogy! I know my DH has had some small strokes because he would say boy I have a horrible headache and I never get those ! I assume small strokes. But what I found out the other night from his memory specialistis that prior to getting a diagnosis of Dementia or Alz. your brain cells have already been dying for 15 years. Then add about 12 years of having it total of 27 years from start to finish ! That totally blew me away and I'm thinking what about me, have I started this already (64yrs old). then really what is the point. Then the doc said within 5-10 years they will totally be able to STOP Alzheimers and all that goes along with it. So that gives me hope thank God. I am arming myself with everything I can read about...Thank you..
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Oh Tarajane. Arm yourself with as much information as possible. Accept that you will not be able to handle it by yourself for the entire duration. This is a marathon, not a sprint.

Vascular dementia is one of many types, and they all progress their own way. Alzheimers has a typical pattern of progression, but Vascular is different. So are the other dementias.

My mom has advanced dementia and her symptoms are more consistent with Vascular than Alzheimer's. Mom had a big stroke in the 90s and lots of little ones since. She has swiss cheese brain. It's very surprising what's in there or not from day to day. But once an ability is lost, it's gone.

I think Vascular is pretty difficult to deal with as a caregiver, because a lot of the time in the early stages, they can cover up and appear to be quite fine most of the time. Until they're tired, mad, stressed, etc. People have no idea what you're dealing with until much later.

My mom's dementia was a lot worse than we knew, for longer than we knew.
Her changes came on very gradually. Many were quite subtle and she always had an excuse to explain it away. Accepting change and loss was extremely difficult for her on a normal day, so taking away her emotional regulation and ability to process steps and information only made it harder on her.

There will be difficult days ahead, but information will help you understand what you are seeing, detect subtle changes, and communicate with the doctors. This site is full of that information and people who are going through/have been through this.
We are here to help you with anything.

My mom is now in hospice, and she is not progressing like someone with Alz. She has up days and down days, up and down, up and down over and over. It's like watching a car rust from the inside out. You know it's happening, you can't drive it anymore, but you can't really see too much until the bumper falls off.
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