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My Mom always dressed from head to toe like she was from royalty. Her mom taught her that at a young age. My Mom used to be very intelligent, sometimes too intelligent for her own good. My Mom was very independent. My husband died at her feet in 2015 and since that day, my Mom's mental status started to diminish. In 2017 we learned she had 3 mini strokes and her brain never fully recovered. This is what started the early onset dementia. She was still very active and would say I have dementia, it doesn't have me. Now I can't get that same enthusiasm out of her. The doctors seem to think she has a long life still ahead of her since it was caught early. I see it differently. It is so confusing to me and I am not sure I like the way things are going with her. I need some positive ways to handle this and get a little bit of my Mommy back.


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Hi allcaredout1: My 89 yr old dad has vascular dementia. His brain scan shows large patches of dead brain tissue. Years ago when he had stroke symptoms he "self medicated" with aspirin but never went to the doctor. He had several (5-6 incidents). This all started in 2007 or so. In 2016 he had a bigger stroke but regained all his function. Sept 2018 he had a major step down in his memory. He woke up one morning and asked my daughter and SIL (they live with him) "where's my wife? where's .....(sons)." So now, overnight, we have to learnd to live with more stroke damage where we are asked where everyone is. He has gone back in time. He thinks his home of 36 years is his parents home. He thinks my mom who died in 2012 "left us" because he does not remember her cancer, dying or funeral (same with all other relatives who passed). It's hard. But like countrymouse has stated, WE have to adjust to his growing disability. I have read that those with vascular dementia (and usually there is regular dementia and perhaps Alz in there too; combined) the person usually passes from major stroke or heart attack. So I am on the lookout for that as I care for dad (along with daughter and his hired caregiver). I'm sorry you are going through this. It is such a difficult thing on all involved. God bless you for loving your mommy as you do.
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Reply to Janny61
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Every patient is different, that's true, but, I would keep in mind that normally the dementia cannot be reversed. Her doctors tell you that she has years ahead? Do they regularly treat patients with her condition? I'd keep reading and discussing to see what the options are. My LO also has Vascular Dementia. She had multiple strokes and when it was diagnosed immediately got her blood pressure, cholesterol, depression and blood sugar under control. She had excellent heathcare since that time, however, her condition continued to progress and she is now end stage dementia, double incontinent, wheelchair bound, on hospice 5 years after diagnosis.

I'm no expert, but, I might explore if she is depressed and can have her mood lifted with meds or some other therapy. Or, her disinterest could be a progression of her condition. I'd read a lot on dementia and how it causes the patient certain symptoms, such as, they may not remember how to do basic things like work remote or make a sandwich, they may forget words, not be able to keep up in conversations, forget faces, feel like they are dreaming, have poor balance, fear falling, have confusion, be frightened, AND a biggie is lose initiative. Losing initiative is a biggie because, it may seem that the patient just isn't interested in doing something, but, it's not intentional on their part. It's due to the brain not having the normal ability to cause action. So, the patient will see a book, but, have no initiative to pick it up. See a tv, but, have no initiative to turn it on, etc. So, the patient needs guidance and constant supervision to be able to enjoy activities. It's not their refusing to do things, it's their lack of stimulation from the brain. I hope you can figure out what's going on with her.
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Reply to Sunnygirl1
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Is Mom on medication for the Dementia? Because all they do is slow down the process. Good in the early stages but there comes a point they are just prolonging the inevitable and they don't really help. The person with Dementia is already confused and frightened and you want to prolong that? With Dementia the person loses empathy and the ability to reason. Processing what is being said takes longer and finding the "right" words.

My Mom came to live with me Nov 2014 by Sept 2017 she had passed. We think a head wound from a fall hastened her Dementia. (There were subtle signs before) That was in Aug 2011. So Moms journey was about 6 yrs. I have read were this is normal for Dementia patients. Unlike ALZ who live 10 yrs or more which is what my Gmom and Aunt did.

The brain dies little by little. Starting with shortterm memory. My Mom was a reader and lost that ability. She never played games, puzzles, or crafts. Can't be taught once u lose shortterm. They can be in one stage for awhile another they go thru faster. Stages overlap. It can happen overnight. There is no ryhmn or reason. Just have to go with the flow. Strokes will hasn't its progression.

Its going to be hard to hold her attention because her mind is all over the place. She will ask u something and before u can answer her mind is somewhere else. My DH would get upset at me because Mom would get started and I wouldn't answer her. Why, because she was just rambling.
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Reply to JoAnn29
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If the mini strokes are part of a picture of vascular dementia, and you have noticed a sudden falling off in her, I would suspect two possibilities: one, further strokes; two, clinical depression. Have you noticed any other changes? Was this change quite an abrupt one?

In any case, DO report this to her main physician. I'm only guessing, and there could be all kinds of other things that need to be considered.

But meanwhile... I'm sure you already know that in vascular dementia, lost brain functions are usually gone for good. I'm hoping that if your mother is depressed, her mood can be improved; but if it should turn out that there has been deterioration in her dementia then you'll feel better if you can adjust to what matters in your mother's life and your care of her. There will still be nice things to do and share, but maybe not the same as before. I know it's very hard to watch - I still tear up thinking about crosswords - but she's still in there somewhere. Hugs to you.
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Reply to Countrymouse
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