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My doctor told me that at some point they do not recommend continuing the standard meds for alzhiemers. Problem is..he was not able to tell me when that was. If it prolongs a life that makes a person miserable .... Why r we prolonging it? For us...as caregivers for the ones we love... Because we can't let them go? Or for them.... At what benefit? I'm truly confused about that. I've told my kids that if I am afflicted with this dreadful disease...make me comfortable and let nature take its course. I don't want my life prolonged if I can not enjoy the life left.

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I hear u about the suffering. It is quite en emotional and ethical quandary. It is so sad when we r not allowed to keep our dignity. We have wills, trusts. Blah blah blah. But in the end we still have to watch our loved ones suffer (and ourselves) because the exact TIME it ends is taken away from us. If my husband realized what he was doing to those he loved so much...his choice would not be to prolong the process. If there is no cure, no hope, no change, no future, no life as we know it....why would we not have a choice. Funny...we love animals. At some point after loving the for their entire life, after them giving us so much joy, they are family. Yet when their body shuts down and they can no longer live life, are in pain and more....they are allowed the dignity of having someone they love make a difficult choice for them. To stop the misery. Yet humans don't have that choice. Interesting.
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I hope and pray the day will come when our loved ones that take care of us will be able to end our suffering when WE tell them it is time.....If I'm wrong, I'm sorry but that statement is just for me. I am not advocating ending "YOUR' suffering with them.......It has to come out of their mouth and written. That maybe will be in the living will someday. I saw on the news months ago that a woman was able to end her life because she had a terminal illness. Everyone gathered around her and said their goodbyes. I am thinking it was last year around Thanksgiving.
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Sandwich42, so true! Also the possible unpleasant side effects.
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Unfortunately, dementia care doesn't come with the certainty and concrete answers about when to stop or start things. It's a judgement call based on observation and logic, experience, plus data from studies. The uncertainty is just a hazard on this road.

Drugs used in early dementia may not have been shown to have any effect in studies on large groups of patients with advanced dementia in certain age groups, so the prescribing advice is to not prescribe it to older, more demented patients.

Once the brain has degenerated past a certain point, there are no meds to slow the degenerative process down. Paying for & taking pills for that purpose is wasteful.

I can see how doctors get pressured by family to do "utterly everything possible". The prescription is more therapeutic theater for the family who can't handle the reality of what's happening to mom or dad. Facing a potential lawsuit from those same family members is pretty daunting.

I'm of the mind (now) that it's possible to get to a point where more meds aren't helping anything. Less or no meds might be just as effective.

When it's my turn, make me comfortable, keep me warm, and let nature take me when it takes me. I won't turn down a big shot of morphine.
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Alzheimer's specific meds are about slowing progression of dementia and perhaps alleviating confusion, not prolonging life.
Removing other meds such as those for high bp or cholesterol, even chemo for cancer, is something that can be considered when the person enters palliative care/hospice care.
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My mother has vascular dementia from a stroke. The doctor put her on the Exelon patch, but the reaction she got from it was so bad I stopped it. She was more confused, didn't even recognize me, terrible stomach pains headache and was just scared. I wrestled with the decision to put her on the patch in the first place because the doctor said no guarantees that it would slow her dementia down. If your parent seems to be happy in spite of the illness I say leave well enough alone.
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