My mother was diagnosed with Alzheimer's 8 years ago. Her progression through the disease seemed to be moving quickly, her language was unintelligible and she needed help with all activities. She had a strong tilt backwards when she was standing, so needed to be held carefully, but could still walk.. She was very pleasant, and always willing to go for rides, or out to eat, but wasn't able to really engage with activities.
About 1 1/2 years ago she fell and had a cut on her head. Soon after that her eating habits changed. Feeding would take a couple of hours. She was losing the ability to swallow, particularly with liquids, and lost about 30 pounds over a four month period (120 pounds down to 90). In consultation with her doctors, we explored hospice and she qualified.
After we started hospice her weight stabilized, but we continued with hospice. After 15 months on hospice, she'd gone down to 80 pounds, but a couple months ago, she started to regain some abilities she had lost... she would try to feed herself and her appetite improved. (It can be messy because she doesn't always reach her mouth with a spoon or glass). She started standing on her own (which she hadn't done in a long, long time) and was even walking around on her own.. a little wobbly, and we were always very close to her in case she fell, but the distinct "tilt backwards" she used to have was almost gone. She's also a lot more vocal... sometimes she can talk literally for hours. This isn't a complete 180 in her behavior, and she's had periods of a few days at a time where she seemed to be more cognitive, but this has lasted close to a couple of months this time.
I'm thinking this is just a long phase in the unpredictable journey that is Alzheimer's, but her hospice nurse and doctors were surprised by these changes, so I thought I'd ask here if anyone else has seen changes like this.