Is lack of emotion normal for Alzheimer's patients?

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I am curious if lack of emotion is normal in Alzheimer's patients? My mom gets agitated if my sister is behaving badly, but we just got news that my cousin's wife, in her mid 50's has terminal cancer.

I made sure to tell my mom in a more appropriate place than I found out. But it just didn't seem to phase my mom at all. My mom can tell me back what I told her, but I don't know if it is registering or not. I don't know if she gets it or if she has just accepted the passing of others as a matter of fact.

It is just such a weird reaction that I am curious if it is normal or not?

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I think sometimes there is more emotion than we see. Their faces have that particular "blankness"(from unresponsive facial muscles?), but if they are still able to talk you often find that a lot more is going on inside than you would have guessed by the facial expression.

I do also wonder if the dealing with all the emotional pain a normal person would have just from dealing with having AZ (the grief, fear, loss, inability to communicate) doesn't leave the AZ person with some mild form of numbed emotional exhaustion. I remember a book written by a Nazi concentration camp survivor, where he describes the utter lack of emotion shown by the prisoners after a certain point. They had been through so much that nothing mattered anymore.
I will say that I've noticed the emotions seem more basic (not wanting to be alone, WANTING to be alone, fear, frustration, etc), but we can still get some humor sometimes, some happiness, some enjoyment of songs, food, weather, animals, & trees, though he is much more easily overwhelmed, and has fewer ways to communicate it.
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Dear Twin Laura,
Call hospice right away. They will get there in a day or two. Maybe the same day! They are wonderful and will take over for the really hard stuff. Sounds like he should be in a hospice house with no feeding tube or anything else. They will give him pain meds if he shows the need for it. They are so great. You need a rest and you deserve a huge break! God Bless you for your care. Sounds like you have done way more than you should have had to do. Call Hospice right now!
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Dear Twin Laura,
Call hospice right away. They will get there in a day or two. Maybe the same day! They are wonderful and will take over for the really hard stuff. Sounds like he should be in a hospice house with no feeding tube or anything else. They will give him pain meds if he shows the need for it. They are so great. You need a rest and you deserve a huge break! God Bless you for your care. Sounds like you have done way more than you should have had to do. Call Hospice right now!
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lack of emotion for an alzheimers patient is a stage that is hard to accept. I have been thru every stage, and they are heart braking to the family.. do the best u can do god bless
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hello everyone, i haven't been on here in awhile due to dad's worsening condition. within the past 3 weeks dad has been in the hospital. due to vomiting, and his colostomy braking at least 3 times a day with watery diarrhea. He has been home for a week, and yesterday started with an olive green liquid coming out of his J tube (internal feeding) I cleaned him up, and with in 20 min it happend again. My twin, who doesnt come around, happend to be there when it happened again. She spoke to the visiting doctor, who is a wonderful, caring and intelligent older man, and he said keep an eye on it, stop the feeding, start an antibiotic, and he will see him in the am. I have changed it 20 some times since yesterday at 11 am. Dr. told my mother that dad has been in the hospital too many times, which i definetely agree with. This man has been suffering since she decided to put a feeding tube and a suprpubic cathetar in him. She did the feeding tube because she was getting agrivated due to him not eating... she would yell at him, and just be plain mean. Well, over the months, she has taken everything out on me. It is in dad's will that there were not to be any artificial means of keeping him alive. she went against it. Now when he goes to the hospital, she finally has him listed as no code, dnr, I know when dad is in pain, i have taken care of him for over a year now, he is on ativan, and seraqual three times a day. The body is shutting down, i know, and i think she does now know it, and that she made the wrong choice. my agenda today is to get him on hospice, no more feeding tube, and just make him comfortable and have a dignified passing. I have been thru every stage with alzheimers. I believe now he either has mrsa, staph or another bowel obstruction with the feeding tube. No, i do not have a husband, and i understand in the beginning why she did what she did, but now, in late stage alzheimers, the best and human thing to do is to let him go. I have no one to talk to about this, but most of the family agrees, he has done to much suffering, He lays in a bed, cant walk, talk, of course does not recognize anyone but me, she wont even go by him.... ? i dont know what will happen today, but i have a pregnant daughter, and grandaughter living with us, and it is not safe anymore for them to be around the infections, and possible mrsa, staph, and i forgot to mention C diff. I was in the hospital thurs due to a terrible pain in my head for 3 days that would not go away, doc said it was a stress and tension headache due to my situation at home. Has anyone experienced the last stage of alzheimers, or the stage of dying? I have read it is peaceful on hospice...I need help with this, my health is not well......laura
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Yes, the absence of emotion can be strange, and disturbing to us caretakers. Personally, it has taken me a long time to come to grips with this. My husband was always thoughtful, and expressive. It's still in him, but only shows up very seldom, and I treasure those moments. I have a story to share from last Valentine's... We were in the store, and I walked past the cards... he never forgot an occasion, and I simply stopped and asked if he wanted to look...... his response..... WHY ? .......... I said, no reason, and kept moving on.
Later, I cried. I knew those days of cards and roses were really over. So, our loved ones may not be able to show their affection or love through emotions, cards, or words, but somewhere, in side them..... they are loving you very much. I just know it! God bless us one and all~~
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twinlaura I have noticed the reluctance of people close to a loved one to give them what they consider to be "dope" even if giving it to them may be of some benefit. There is generally a lack of knowledge behind these fears. Have you suggested starting your dad on a very small dosage of haldol or ativan in order to determine how he reacts to this kind of medication ( just now I stopped myself from saying "this kind of drug" due to the negative connotation the word drug has these days which is exactly my point) ? Maybe she is concerned he might become dependant on them. Whatever the cause, and it does seem from your note that perhaps you haven't inquired of your mother as to what is behind her fear other than she doesn't want him 'all doped up' What exactly does this mean to her? Maybe if you opened up that kind of a discussion you could get at the root of her reasoning at which point you may be able to provide information to help alleviate her (understandable) concerns.
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My dad has been on seraquel since last october. He is in stage 7 of alzeheimers His dosage is 25 mg at night. I believe his body has gotten use to the dosage and it needs adjusting. I am not a doctor, but i am a Medical Assistant, plus I am with him 24/7. I am going to speak to his doctor about adjusting his meds. My mother refuses to give him ativan, or haldol because she doesn't want him doped up. With her refusing to give him meds to relax him at night,, she doesn't sleep nor do I,nor does he. I think her refusing relaxation meds is sellfish for him, and I, and her. One night of good sleep for all of us would be wonderful...but what can I do. I am the designated person to take care of ma and dad's medical. But she just does not understand the disease like I do....Any suggestions?
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My mother is almost 87 and is also in the middle stages of dementia. She doesn't express much emotion any more. One of her brothers passed away 4 months ago and when I tell her that he passed away with cancer, although she says she is sorry to hear that, there is no emotion like there would have been in the past. Occasionally, she might have tears in her eyes (twice since he has passed) but in general extreme emotions of sadness or anger are a thing of the past.
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My husband has frontal-temporal dementia (FTD) and about 2 years into it, his father suddenly died of a stroke. He was well aware of what was going on and who had died but couldn't express any sorrow to his mother or sister and actually walked out of the funeral before the service was ended because he said he didn't drive all that distance to go to church. He was on no medications at the time.

Just two years earlier his brother had died and it was a totally different story. He had helped with the funeral arrangements, talked to people and shed a few tears during the service. He offered to stay in Colorado at that time to help with our nieces and really showed he cared.

He is on Serequel now, but not because of his personality changes. He is on it because he yells and hollers for hours. I told his doctor either hubby gets meds or I was going to need some.
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