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As the saying goes, "if you've met one person with Alzheimer's you've met one person with Alzheimer's." While knowing stages can be helpful everyone is different. It's fairly safe to say that the later in the process the person is the fewer people they will remember. However, when that happens varies. In the last stage, however, they will likely not remember anyone except, on occasion, in a rare moment of clarity. Even those moments of clarity don't happen to everyone.
Take care,
Carol
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This chart says Stage 6 Severe Decline that the AD patient may not recognize any except closest family members, though I know some that don't even do that at this stage.. The next stage is 7 or Very Severe Stage. This is where they cannot communicate at all.

alzheimers/stages-of-alzheimers-disease/

My loved one stopped recognizing people in her severe stage, but she got there pretty rapidly. She went from running her own household to needing a Memory Care Unit in less than 6 months. I am her POA and cousin and the only one she really recognizes anymore. I don't know how much longer that will last though.
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Keep in mind, too, that the descriptions of Alzheimer's stages apply to Alzhiemer's. Other kinds of dementia don't follow the same pattern.

With Lewy Body Dementia, loss of ability to recognize people is not usually a part of the disease.

Each dementia case truly is different.
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Is does vary with different people and their type of dementia. I think it's more varied when the patient has mixed dementia, such as Vascular mixed with AD.

My cousin, who has severe dementia, knows certain other residents at her Memory Care Unit, but she doesn't know anyone's name there. You can tell her their name, but she won't remember it 15 seconds later.

One thing I find amusing though is that she believes her roommate is a male. Her roommate is not a male. She is a woman, also in her mid-sixties, like my cousin. But, she has short hair and wears jeans with denim shirts a lot. I just go along with it. They are best friends and get along great.
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My MIL is in and out of knowing my husband who is living with her. She sometimes thinks there are 3 of him (she only has one child - him) and they have different names. Sometimes she calls him by the right name. He gets made when she doesn't and I tell him that it doesn't matter. Sometimes she knows me by face, but not necessarily that I'm his wife or my name, which is fine.

She doesn't have any visitors (burned a lot of bridges), so she doesn't really see others to know them or not. We went to a neighbor's house in June and she was OK with them, but hasn't said much about anyone but her sisters (one of whom recently passed away) and the other doesn't want to see her (again, burned a lot of bridges).

She gets paranoid when there are strangers in the house so my husband limits that, but I say she needs a bit more exposure, especially if we want to hire someone to come in at some point. She's getting more and more late stage.
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Burnsie,
I know what you mean about burning bridges. My cousin did that and I'm the only one left for her. I'm not sure it matters though, because she wouldn't recognize them. She recognizes photos of my parents and my brothers when they were much younger, in the 1980's, but not now. She still knows me, but I'm not sure how long that will last. Still, if bridges weren't burned, I might have some help with her care. She's in Memory Care, but still, I have to take care of everything for her, such as holidays, clothes, checking on her welfare, calls, comforts, treats, accompanying to doctor visits, etc. She was an only child, but her dad came from a large family. Some are elderly and others have died. Still others have chosen to stay away. A couple of people did call and once they found out what the status was, that was it. No follow up at all. Even her best friend cut off all ties.

I'm not sure if exposure works, because they often forget they had the exposure.
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Does anyone think that it depends on the patient's personality before dementia? My dad is 95 and has had dementia for about 3 years at least that I know of. He was always calm and reasonable before dementia and so far is the same. I really can't say that only his short term memory is affected, it seems like he's defeated, if that makes sense to anyone. 24 hr live in aides have been coming and going and he never questions why or anything else. He's going to memory care within the next 2 weeks as he has so stimulation at home. At least he'll have activities and people around. I know I'll get a load of crap from the family who never comes to see him, but I'm an only child with POA and will follow his doctors orders and do what is the right thing for my dad.
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Hey Bookworm54,
Most of what I know, I learned first hand from trying to care for my cousin who has mixed dementia. I got hit with the responsibility pretty fast and had to jump right in. A lot of it was trial and error. I'm still learning though.

Some of it was learned from these boards and some of it was just reading articles. I google a lot and read all kinds of articles from medical journals, health boards, AD Association site, brochures, meetings with assisted living staff and talking to everyone I know who has dealt with this disease. Many people have dealt with it. Many people have a lot to offer.
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It is hard to say. If you see her on a regular basis she will know your face but may not remember exactly who you are. If you dont see her frequently she may forget quicker.
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I am not sure, but I knew someone who lived with Alzheimer's for 12 long years! I met the gentleman 8 years years in and he was simply existing.
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