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Mom, 84, Vascular and Alzheimer's, stage 6, has completely lost her short term memory. She no longer remembers who I am plus she doesn't remember my visits. It doesn't matter if I visit her in the morning, then again in the afternoon or evening, it's as if I was never there.


I constantly remind myself, to keep from having a guilt overload, that it's okay if I take a day off from visiting and do something for me. Still, it's hard. My visit time seems to be getting less and less as it's hard for us to do anything other than sit and have a Q and A session. It's the same with each visit. I take Mom snacks she loves like popcorn. It's little things that make her happy and it makes me happy when she's happy. Nothing holds her attention. Not TV, or puzzles, or BINGO, not even my presence, and I'm her only child.


She has declined so much just in the past 6 months. For those who are farther along with their LO, what should I be looking out for in the days and weeks ahead?


Many thanks.

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It's hard part to the end of this chapter. So, breathe, slow down, take it Easy. Play your mom's favorite music. Don't try to get her to remember anything. Just enjoy your presence. Bring her, her favorite snacks food etc.
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AbbyRose, I'm going to be frank. Your mom is not aware of who changes her sheets. Staff is set up to wash messy sheets all the time and not run you ragged. Pay for the laundry service!

You might be grieving. I know I was beside myself things turned down. It really helps to talk to a therapist. I think it was the best thing I could have done for me and mthr. A good therapist will help you with this transition. It helped me so much and put my mind in a better place so I am more effective as a daughter, a wife, and an individual.

Another thing I had to do, but was hard, was to sign a DNR - do not resusitate. I don't want mthr to suffer any more than she has, and making her live longer through resusitation would be cruel! CPR at this stage breaks rib bones so when they wake up, instead of being on heaven, they are in the hospital with broken ribs with every breath torture! A great book for you to read for your own future as well as moms is "Being Mortal" by Dr Atul Gwande. He really spells out what our end of life choices are. My husband says if he gets dementia, to feed him chocolate ice cream and show replays of his favorite basketball team until he's gone. If he can't enjoy basketball, it's time to let him go. That's the kind of conversation every family should have. <3
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AbbyRose Dec 30, 2019
I am a planner and have prearranged all of my mother's needs, including medical DNR and final arrangements. Yes, it was the hardest thing I've done, but I believe by taking care of these important issues now will save me grief later. At least I hope so.

This disease is so brutal. Thanks for everything.
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My godmother did not know who I was when I went to see her in the nursing home. It is heartbreaking.

I’m sorry you are dealing with this. You’re a lovely daughter. I don’t know how you are doing all that you are doing. Please rest when you need to. Please take time to do something that you enjoy.

Take care. Hugs! Continue to lean on this forum for support.
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AbbyRose Dec 30, 2019
Thank you for taking a moment to respond. This horrid disease is the hardest thing I've ever endured. I love my mom so much and it's killing me to see her suffer, knowing there is nothing I can do.
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Hi AbbyRose, I’m sorry your Mom and you are going through this. I don’t have any insight to offer but believe my Mom is not far behind your Mom. My Mom also has vascular dementia, Alz, and normal pressure hydrocephaly seen on last MRI. Mom still knows who I am but I see a rapid decline over the last several months and wonder how quickly the rest will come. My heart goes out to you. I feel what you are feeling. Take a break when you feel you need to. It’s ok. Your Mom is so very lucky to have you as her daughter,
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AbbyRose Dec 30, 2019
Thank you for taking time to respond. It's just so hard watching our mom's suffer, isn't it? Hugs to you, Sweetstuff
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Here is what I've read about the last stages of dementia:

STAGE 6
In stage 6 of dementia, a person may start forgetting the names of close loved ones and have little memory of recent events. Communication is severely disabled and delusions, compulsions, anxiety, and agitation may occur.
SYMPTOMS OF MID-STAGE DEMENTIA
Problems sleeping and confusing day and night
Behaving inappropriately in social settings
Wandering or becoming lost
Difficulty with perception
Delusions and/or hallucinations
Increased aggression and irritability
Inability to recall personal history, address, and phone number
Changes in sleep patterns may begin
STAGE 7: LATE-STAGE DEMENTIA
This final category of dementia includes one stage. Stage 7, very severe cognitive decline lasts an average of 2.5 years. A person in this stage usually has no ability to speak or communicate and requires assistance with most activities, including walking. During this stage, caregivers will focus mostly on providing comfort and quality of life. Care options may exceed what you feel you can provide at home since around-the-clock care will be needed.
SYMPTOMS OF LATE-STAGE DEMENTIA
Difficulty eating and swallowing
Considerable changes in weight (both loss and gain)
Incontinence
Gradual loss of speech
Restlessness
Angry outbursts due to confusion
Increasingly vulnerable to infections, especially pneumonia

Wishing you the best of luck navigating this difficult road.
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AbbyRose Dec 30, 2019
Thank you for replying. I have read the stages multiple times on the internet. Since each person goes through this journey differently, I was curious as to others experiences. Have a good day, lealonnie1
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Sadly she may start acting catatonic . As more and more cells die she'll eventually just be existing.
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AbbyRose Dec 30, 2019
This I know. Just makes me so sad and feel so helpless. Thank you for commenting.
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AbbyRose, I'm really impressed that you have enough hours in the day to work full time, visit mom, and be a good wife to your husband. Do you need a break? I am of the opinion that your mom does not know if you are there or not. You are going for yourself - your mom's brain is broken and she can't fathom the effort you are making. You have been wonderful to her! However much you want to give is enough.

When my mthr found herself in this stage, it was about 2 years at the same level of not-knowing combined with total incontinence. She slowly stopped walking - first it was just in a wheelchair with the weekend staff, and then it was a wheelchair for all meals, and then it was a wheelchair full time. During this time, mthr would tuck one of her legs under then other, crossing them to keep them off the floor since she did not have the footrests. No one noticed, but she was being motionless and lost her range of motion in that leg, causing a contraction in the ligaments. To prevent this, you can ask the staff to exercise her legs mildly when her diaper is changed and to make sure her position is changed every hour or two.
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AbbyRose Dec 30, 2019
Surprise, Thank you so much. This is what I was asking. What things might I expect next from others who have already journeyed this path with their LO. Mom has started falling. Over Christmas she fell twice within a 24-hour period; one fall landed us in the ER. Thank goodness she was only bruised. She is on a blood thinner and the ER doctor suggested a conversation with her doctor as a fall could lead to a brain bleed. Mom is also having bouts of incontinence. Again, over Christmas I bleached her sheets and changed her bed until I thought I would lose my mind. I have since placed bed liners in her bed to hopefully help with the problem. I choose to do her laundry and take care of her bed because Mom would not be happy if she knew someone else was doing her laundry. She was always so particular with this.

Again, thank you for responding. I appreciate your time.
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