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My Mom has been in AL since November and the decline has been profound the last month or so. She is aware that something is wrong but she is unable to ask or verbalize her concerns. Our conversations are simple - she usually doesn't finish a sentence and I fill in the blanks for her. Her caregivers told me this is the most difficult phase of dementia for loved ones. Watching her struggle with the knowledge that something is wrong is heartbreaking. But I fear the day she passes into the stage of being oblivious. Does anybody have experience with watching their LO pass into the stage of no longer knowing they are sick? Was it a better place to be or is my Mom going to change dramatically and I will long for the day when she was struggling and so confused? I hate that there is so little that can be shared with us on what to expect and when with this disease! It's a constant state of fear...

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Myworld,
My mother's dementia has not been at ALL like I thought it would be. I did a lot of research on it (after her diagnosis) but I guess my 'experiences' with demented seniors are what I based my thoughts on. I was wrong.

My mother was a narcissist and we didn't really get along in my youth. We didn't really have much of a relationship during my adulthood except for holidays.

When she started with the symptoms of Alz., I denied it at first. Then she became a danger to herself by confusing her medicines and taking the wrong med for the wrong reason. I'm the only child and her husband had been dead 30 years. I stepped in, got her tested, then moved her to a non-assisted senior facility near me. I took over many responsibilities, more as the disease wore on. She was angry about her diagnosis and she's never gotten over that. She blamed me for everything and said very hateful things. I know it's the disease but I really believe she feels that way too.

I had to put her in memory care a year and a half later. She got more and more forgetful and angry but never has become the "little old lady happily babbling away to unseen people and picking at her blanket". That was what I had pictured in my head.

Sorry to say, she's entering the last stage (7) and is just mad, unable to form thoughts, disgusted, frustrated, exhausted with living and stating she wants to die. I believe she feels like we would if we had been kidnapped and drugged. You don't want to be where you are but you can't spit the words out because you can't think straight.

It's hard to watch my mother fade away. I wish she was able to be the happy, confused old woman in my thoughts. At least she would be unaware and content.

I'm sorry you will be on the journey the rest of us are on. Read as much as you can. Inform yourself but dementia is different with every person. Try to be flexable. No one can say HOW your mother will progress. Unfortunately, there are no pat answers for this disease. We are on a roller coaster and we can't stop the ride.
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Observing my husband, my sister said, "If I ever go to lala land, I hope I just arrive there, without observing the journey!" But we don't get to choose. We'll notice something is wrong -- something very scary -- or we'll be oblivious. There are pros and cons to both, but it is not as if we get to think it over and decide!

My husband was a mechanical engineer. Cause-and-effect was a basic life principle to him. He needed to know WHY he was having so many problems. Of course, if he had been oblivious to the failings it would not have been an issue, but Lewy Body Dementia is characterized by great fluctuation in cognitive ability, and on "good" days he was very aware of what was happening. He needed explanations. He lived with LBD for ten years and he never lost the awareness that he was sick.

My mother's primary coping device throughout her life was denial. She never acknowledged that she was having difficulties. She finally accepted that she had some memory issues, and that her arthritis gave her limitations, but she never knew she had dementia, and she never seemed to wonder about why she was declining.

Which is easier for the caregivers and loved ones? I just don't think "easy" belongs in a sentence about caring for persons with dementia. All we can do is deal with what presents itself.
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For me is was very painful, and I believe also for him, watching my father struggling with the reality of his decline, and much less so once he had lost that awareness. The same with my mother. No one likes knowing that they are declining. She too was at more peace when she had passed that stage. (((((hugs)))) I know this is a difficult time for you.
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Knowing something is wrong is harder for her. Passing into not knowing is harder for you. Hugs to you my dear friend. It's not easy.
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