How long can I expect my Mum who has mixed dementia diagnosed 3 years ago to remain in this moderate state? - AgingCare.com

How long can I expect my Mum who has mixed dementia diagnosed 3 years ago to remain in this moderate state?

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She lives with her husband, not my dad, and she's really kept hold of her pleasant personality but she's scared stiff because she k owz she can't remember anything. I've been reassuring her for three years saying don't worry mum it's just old age.increasingly she's becoming more frightened. I thought she wouldn't have such a clear introspection at this stage so it wouldn't be painful or scarey. How long will remain scared? I know everyone is different but on average how long is this clear insight likely to last?. I'd love to hear of examples of others who have treaded this muddy path....thanks

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Aw so your cousin must be in the severe stage now sunnygirl? It's good that she seems content and calm with the cymbals. I suppose that's the only consolation when it becomes severe they have less insight into their condition. Just want to do everything I can, (like everybody else does), to keep her as happy as possible for what life she's got left. Thanks for sharing your experience...
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Oh Angela,
I never thought it was important to dwell on my cousin having dementia. She was limited in what she could understand, but she did understand she had memory problems. One day she told me she hated it, because she didn't want to lose the memories of her parents, because they were so good to her. So sad. When we were in the neurologist office, he gave her a test and she did very poorly, though, I don't think she knew she did. He told her he wasn't sure what was causing the memory problem, but named a list, including Alzheimers. She didn't comment on it and I never did either. Now she doesn't know she has a memory problem. Her Cymbalta keeps her anxiety down and she's quite content. I have no idea how long she was in the moderate state. I think about 2 years. It went from there to severe very quickly.
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Yes you're right sunny girl she could be very easily led. But she is always either with me or her husband and he takes care of all finances. I do double check what she tells me and numerous times she's got it completely wrong.....sigh!! Thanks
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Oh, I forgot to add that I would keep a careful watch on her. Sometimes people seem fine and then you find out they have let a stranger in the house and provided them their social security number, made a large and unnecessary purchase or stopped taking their medication. I would double check what she tells you. It may not be exactly as it appears.
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I would just make sure that your mom has her legal affairs and finances in order. When some people are no longer able to do things, they often will not recognize it. It becomes a problem trying to get things away like check books, car keys, etc. I would have a plan in place for when those things happen as well as legal authority to act on her behalf.
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Thank you Windy ridge and Jeangibbs, I know mum's anxious personality, she'd be devastated if she knew she had a terminal illness and she copes thinking it's old age and happens to everyone. She still dresses nice, keeps her home nice and she is on an antidepressant and donepezil. I can accept the dementia (well sort of lol), but I want to protect her from fear as I know she's frightened. I wish she could go from moderate to her death because I think it's awful that physical and mental suffering. It's gives me hope Jeangibbs that your loved one only lasted half a year in severe stage. Thanks for your replies....much appreciated xx
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How long with the moderate stage last? Another 3 months. Or another 3 years. Or until the final stage suddenly appears.

True answer is, who knows?

Enjoy it while you can! Do your best to help Mother enjoy it.

I suggest that you don't try to minimize her symptoms. She knows something is very wrong and she is confused enough about what is going on without you contradicting her fears.Whether or not you use the word dementia is up to your knowledge of her personality, but I think it is best to at least acknowledge that she has something wrong. My opinion, of course.

My husband knew from the very beginning that he had dementia. It was terrifying for him. He gradually took comfort in the number of people who were looking after him. When we'd go to a doctor he'd tell the staff, "She comes with me. She is my memory now." When he had a bad day I'd commiserate and assure him that he had a very smart brain and an excellent memory but the dementia wasn't letting them work right today. I never told him "Oh, it's just old age." He knew better than that!

My mother, a very different personality, has never been told that she has dementia. But I can see that her memory lapses are bothering her more and more. Visiting her in the NH this week she went to the bathroom and then 10 minutes later said she needed the bathroom. (It takes 2 persons and a lift machine to get her out of her wheelchair and onto the toilet and she hates the whole experience. This was at mealtime when aides are extremely busy.) I told her she had just been to the bathroom and she denied it and was upset. I hugged her and said, "Mom, you have a problem with your memory." She said, "I know it." I tried to reassure her, "The people here know about that and they help by remembering things for you. You are lucky. Everyone likes you and will help you when you forget things."

Enjoy this moderate stage. My husband's dementia lasted 10 years, and I'd say he was in a moderate stage 8+ of those years. (The first year was awful cognitively and behaviorally, and the final half year was severe physically.) Each case is unique. Take it day by day.
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I should add, I think it's good for you to reassure her about her memory. Tell her anything she needs to hear to give her peace and calm. How is her husband dealing with this? Does he understand how to deal with her? You may already know this, but avoid correcting her, arguing with her, and saying things like "Don't you remember?" Work with her reality. And you might talk to her doc about anti depressants if she is nervous and unhappy all the time.
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It's very difficult to know how fast dementia will progress. My Dad seemed to "Plateau" a couple years ago and stayed at roughly the same level of comprehension. And I've read that this is fairly common. Now he seems to be progressing fairly quickly. For example, he started having trouble keeping the day and month straight about a year ago. I bought him a "Memory Clock" which spells out the month, day and time in big, bright digital letters. He loved it! I call every day and he would always tell me how great that clock was. Now.....It's just become part of the wallpaper. He doesn't remember to look at it and will ask my mom 100 times a day what time it is and is this Monday.

That's just one small example. He still functions, drives to the store, cuts grass, but I think it will be ending soon. People can "Fall off the cliff" very rapidly also, almost overnight, have good days and bad.
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