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Up until six months ago, we figured Mom was just suffering dementia, doing weird things, forgetting, etc from old age. At 100, we would expect that. But then the doctor said she has Alzheimers. At first we denied it, but based on the things she is doing now, I have to accept she does. Since she moved to AL a few weeks ago her symptoms have accelerated and I wonder what to expect next, how long this will go on before it gets worse and how it will get worse. She has increasing problems with incontinence, her short term memory is about 2 minutes long, she barely eats, she is paranoid and is writing little notes all over the place. In IL, she wrote on the refrigerator. Now she is writing notes on blank checks. She says she wants to go home which isn't surprising because she is miserable wherever she lives (but its as if she never lived 8 years in IL, she seems to have forgotten it completely) She is referring to her car and her dining room set - both of which were gone when we sold the house in 2006. The other day she asked whether her house was sold yet. She is looking for her social security checks. She can't remember how to get to her room, after almost three weeks there. (and it just means going to the elevator pushing the button for the 2nd floor and her room is right across from the elevator.) She only stays for 10 minutes at any event - then her attention span is gone and she leaves. But most frightening, I spent the day with her yesterday and took her to the audiologist. (She asked if I was taking her home to her house) Today my sister was there - Mom told her she hasn't seen me in weeks, she can't remember I was there or going to the audiologists. An hour after my sister left she called me and asked how my brother-in-law is. I said you just saw my sister. She didn't remember she was there. What stage is she in? What should I expect? What kind of plans should we make.

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Mom was recently hospitalized for bronchitis. Since she was discharged back to nh she has become very paranoid. Has refused her meds consistently. Her hemoglobin is low and her levels for her thyroid are flutuating. She says people are sneaky and are giving her medicine that make her sleepy and drugging people with needles at night. She's also been saying that I was kidnapped. I only listen and I really try to go along with what she says. Any suggestions. Are these behaviors of any stages. Any advice. I'm really concerned of her meds. I'm hoping she will consider to take the important meds. Thanks.
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What will be will be.

You can read about the stages of Alzheimer's in many places. And that may give you some clue as to what to expect (assuming your mother really has Alzheimer's and not some other kind of dementia. This can be very difficult for a doctor to diagnose.) But each person is different, and each stage can be very short or years long. It is good to have a general idea of the progression, but no one can give you very precise estimates of what will happen when.

In your mother's case, the move itself is a complicating factor. As she slowly adjusts to her new surroundings some of her behavior may actually improve. And if the doctor finds a medication that helps her, that will be an improvement, too.

My three sisters and I visit our mother at least once a week, and a couple of brothers also visit periodically. Mom has family visitors nearly every day. She does not remember the visits specifically, but she is aware that family visits often. And sometimes something will trigger a memory. "Oh Mom, I love this new door decoration!" "Yes. One of the girls brought it to me." "Mom, I think it was Patty who brought it, when she visited you yesterday." "That's right. She was here, and Bob came with her."

I realize that this loss of short-term memory can be very scary and upsetting. But keep doing the same things you would be doing if she could still remember. The overall pattern makes an impression, even is specific events can't be recalled.

Eventually your mother may not recognize you. (This applies mostly to Alzheimer's. It is not necessarily common in other forms of dementia.) This is heartbreaking. She will still know you are a nice person and someone she likes to see. Continue to treat her as you would if she recognized you.

Give Mom lots of time to adjust. When the staff's observations or your own make you suspect she may be in the very last stage, ask her doctor if it is time to consider hospice care. Those very experienced and specially trained people can give you a fairly accurate idea of what to expect at the very end.
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Hi
it's so hard to be your loved ones advocate regarding medication when you don't get answers from the dr at the facility. Is it possible you can call the dr yourself and express your concern about the medication?
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Amy, when is your mom going to be seen by this doctor? Your profile doesn't say where you live; are you anywhere near a teaching hospital?
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I'm not a doc, but have dealt with several cases if Alzheimer's including my mother & grandmother, a former dearest friend ( now deceased) & several friends in a monastery. Aricept only helps in the very earliest stages, & only slows progression; it does not restore memory.
As Alzheimer's progresses the person eventually "forgets" the automatic bodily functions such as breathing, speaking, etc.

There are many descriptions of the stages of AD that you can find online. My dear friend was about 8 years in a locked facility-- she was a wanderer. My grandmother had AD much longer than that.
By the way, think of a child's growth; tha aD patient's path mirrors the child in reverse. Read the book "still Alice" and you will see that progression. I'm not sure it's as clear in the movie version.
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The AL does not have a doctor, but they communicate directly with the doctor (they recommended to us) per our permission. I can't find a geriatric psychiatrist in our area, none at all.
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Babalou, no Mom is not getting antidepressants or Aricept yet. I've been communicating through the new doctor practice portal and his nurse said she expected she would be given Zoloft and asked if she had ever been on Aricept. I answered her, and have not heard back nor has the AL nurse. Its so frustrating. I expected they would phone it in to the AL directly but they have not. She is getting nothing.
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Im sorry, I hate this auto change spell check or whatever it is called!
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When I moved my uncle to skilled nursing his primary suggested that i switch over to the doctirs and nurse practionees at the facility. The new doctors would be able to come to my under rather then taking him out. Cthia wS much more helpful, even just to get his toenails cut, they had doctors come in for that too. Good luck
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Wait, Amy, I thought you said in another post that mom was now getting antidepressants and antianxiety meds. Is this not true? You need a geriatric psychiatrist to see her; in the meantime won't the the AL doc prescribe something?
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Yes, she is still confused, poor thing. We are STILL waiting for the doctor to prescribe something for her. I sent them an e-mail on Monday, the AL nurse also called them and had not heard back. I sincerely hope the doctor is not waiting for her next appt on the 23rd before he prescribes. I don't know what else we can do to get the doctor to do something. Its frustrating. I haven't found anyone who specializes in senior psychology or neurology. Mom has a personality disorder to begin with and now it is complicated by the dementia. I just feel so bad for her, and helpless.
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Amy, I think in part your mom is still confused by the move. The meds probably haven't kicked in yet. Does her neurologist have an opinion about how rapidly this is progressing? I know, I'm not being much help here, but others will have better advice.
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I don't know the answer, but let me tell you something. My MIL has vascular dementia. Diagnosed probably 10 years ago. She has lived with us for 7 years, and we have lived in this house for close to 20 years, ok? More and more often, we will say it's time to go to bed, and she will, in all innocence, look at us and ask if she has a bed to sleep in. She has slept in the same room and same bed for nearly 20 years. She has spent overnight visits with us every other weekend for all those years and has lived with us seven of those years. She doesn't ask every night, but it's more and more often. Go figure.

Somewhere on this site, I don't remember what heading it's under, is a list of the stages and the symptoms for each.
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