The Evolution of Alzheimer’s from Early to Late Stages

Alzheimer’s progresses through several different stages, though it’s effects vary from individual to individual. Learn the common symptoms and changes that occur throughout the evolution of Alzheimer’s.The Evolution of Alzheimer's: From Early to Late Stages

In the United States, around 5 million seniors have Alzheimer’s disease. That number equates to one in nine (or 11%) of all people age 65 and over.

Currently, experts have identified three major stages of Alzheimer’s: preclinical, mild to moderate, and severe. Here’s a breakdown of the symptoms that occur within each of these major stages, according to information from the National Institute on AgingWebMD and the Alzheimer’s Association.

Stage 1: Preclinical Alzheimer’s

Symptoms present: None to very mild cognitive decline.

Changes that may occur: Mild memory lapses, such as forgetting everyday words or where things are kept. A medical exam shows no signs of dementia. Studies indicate that brain changes precipitating Alzheimer’s occur during this stage, which may begin as many as 20 years before symptoms are present. So researchers are working to validate biomarker tests that can detect mild cognitive impairment due to Alzheimer’s before the onset of symptoms.

Stage 2: Mild to Moderate Cognitive Decline

Symptoms present: Noticeable difficulty with memory and concentration that progresses over the course of several years.

Changes that may occur: Trouble remembering words and names; greater difficulty performing tasks at work or in social settings; losing or misplacing valuable objects; increasing problems planning and organizing; and personality changes.

A doctor’s exam detects clear-cut Alzheimer’s symptoms, such as challenges remembering recent events or performing math tasks. Individuals in this stage may also forget their own personal history and address, make poor judgments with their health or money, and become moody or withdrawn, particularly in social situations.

As this stage evolves, the person’s struggles with memory and language will worsen more and more. He or she may require a trained caregiver at home or a residential care setting during this stage.

Stage 3: Severe Cognitive Decline

Symptoms present: Inability to communicate or perform personal care; a decline in physical abilities.

Changes that may occur: Loss of coherent speech; trouble controlling bowels and bladder; wandering or getting lost; groaning or moaning; increased sleeping; forgetting how to swallow; and weight loss.

During severe Alzheimer’s, the brain seems no longer able to tell the body what to do. Individuals become entirely dependent on others for care, including bathing, dressing, eating and other daily tasks. They may recognize familiar faces but not know names and suffer major personality and behavior changes, including delusions and paranoia.

People in this stage typically require assistance walking and may be unable to sit up, smile or hold up their head. Wringing hands and shredding tissues are also common as are abnormal reflexes and rigid muscles.

Eventually, the person may spend the majority of time in bed as the disease reaches its most severe phase.

Rate of Alzheimer’s Progression

Each case of Alzheimer’s is different. On average, people age 65 and over survive four to eight years after Alzheimer’s diagnosis. However, some live for as many as 20 years. The bulk of that time (around 40%) will be spent in the most severe Alzheimer’s stage.

Researchers continue to try to unravel Alzheimer’s stages, and great strides have been made in early detection and treatments that can slow the disease’s progress. Some of these treatments have the potential to extend earlier Alzheimer’s stages when symptoms are less severe.

What changes have you seen in your loved one with Alzheimer’s? Please share your comments below.

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Please leave your thoughts and comments

  • naryjo

    My husband is in the second stage. He can care for his physical needs, but has lost memory abilities. He doesn’t remember things 5 minutes after he has been told. He constantly asks where things are, sometimes the same things, many times a day. He has little energy or interest in doing things like visiting relatives, a movie, etc. He is very lonely if I leave him at home to participate in things. He remembers bits and pieces of his past yet has no recollection of some of his history. His personality has always been sweet, but lately he has been a little annoyed with me and acts like a child when I tell him not to buy something at the store because we already have it at home. He has snapped at me a couple of times when I disagree with him, but then later will apologize or tell me how much he loves me and needs me. When we go somewhere like a party, he stays as close to me as he can and rarely enters into any of the conversations. His illness has been developing since 2004 (10 years). He has been taking namemba and Aricept for probably 8 years. Other medications he takes: simvastin, clonidine, remeron, tramadol, Mobic, terazosin, altenolot, lisinopril, many say they may cause drowsiness and when he takes them (mostly in the evening), he is apt to fall right to sleep, wake up an hour later and go to bed. I am his only caregiver. He has three daughters who have very busy lives and help out rarely. I would like to be able to have a day off a week to just do whatever I please, maybe nothing. I have tried to get him interested in the idea of day care as there are facilities nearby. I have also suggested I find someone to come and spend the day with him. He balks at either of these ideas.

    • carolhaka

      If he was in the military during a war period he may qualify for Vet VA Benefits. Check into it to see what benefits you may be eligible for. I am in Texas and have my Mother. She qualifies for a caregiver 25 hours a week. Look for help or you will burnout. Tell his daughters to help or pony up for the cost of a caregiver. Try to get him into Day Care. Take him whether or not he wants to go. He will adjust.

      • Mary Jo

        Thanks for the suggestion. I did check out the military thing and he is not eligible for that. I have used ComForcare in my area or daily babysitting but still would like to establish a regular weekly care taking for some freedom for myself. We will be going to FL this winter and I have a facility nearby our place where I can take him for daily care. Thanks again, Mary Jo

    • Jill

      Please try to find a day center for him… You will burn out.
      I am taking my Mom to one three days a week. At first she did not like it, but after about 2 months she would ask to go there rather than sitting home bored. She loves it there now. A small and very caring group.

      I had to tell her I had a new job to go to, so she need to be there and not home alone.
      Yes a lie, but a lie that was good for the two of us.

      • Mary Jo

        Thanks so much for responding. I have found ComForcare in my area and have had them babysit for a day about 4 times this summer, but when we return to FL next month, I plan to set up a weekly schedule for him to go to a senior care center. Thanks again, Mary Jo

    • SandiO

      Naryjo, I hope by now you have checked out one of the day care facilities in your area with your husband. My father-in-law, who lived with us during his Alzheimer’s didn’t like the idea at first either. But, once he got involved with the staff and the people he met there, he looked forward to going. The facility that we used had us drive up to the front and one of their staff came out to meet my father-in-law and walk him inside to take a look around. From then on he got cleaned up early, in preparation of going. I think in the end he felt that was more his home than a place away from home. It was a God sent gift for my husband and I to have that time to ourselves. You cannot ‘ask’ would he like to do this or that…the answer will always be ‘no’. Wishing you the best. – SandiO

      • Mary Jo

        Thank you for responding. I have been in touch with ComForcare and they have provided a babysitter for me which I have taken advantage of, but we will be returning to FL for the winter and I plan on setting up a regular weekly plan for caregiving there. Thanks, again, and by the way, my name is Mary Jo, must have been off on my typing. LOL

    • Joyzelle

      When you wrote this last year, it is now my experience with my husband, almost exactly except he’s not on that many medications. However, I don’t see anywhere on these posts what I’m dealing with, which makes me feel horrible about myself. I find that I’m having panic attacks around him, I’m angry, sad and depressed all rolled into one, and hate the thought that I would need to medicate myself to get him/us through this. I also have an older autistic son who lives with us, and legal custody of our grandson since he was born who is also autistic (he’s 18 now) and has Tourettes (he is from another son) … and I work 3 part time jobs to make up for my husband’s lost income. We lost our home, as I could not afford the mortgage with his loss of income, and each time a bank almost worked with us to refinance – they sold us off to another mortgage company – this went on for years. So, now we’re renting a small place, and I miss my house so much. My husband seems perfectly at peace, as his memory is like Teflon – every conversation we have is gone within 5 – 10 minutes, and then he keeps asking the same question over and over again till I feel like a drill is buzzing in my mind! He loves everything, everybody, like a happy golden retriever, while I’m doing…everything, as you all can imagine. Driving them all to dr’s, haircuts, grocery shopping, paying the bills, etc. I don’t know why I’m so resentful towards him, almost like I’m blaming him for getting this…and I hate being demoted from wife to caretaker. We were a team helping out with our sons – and now I feel that he’s crossed over to their side, and I’m left alone to fend for myself. Does anyone out, who has a spouse with Alzheimer’s, feel abandoned and scared like I do? Would love to know that I’m not alone and maybe I’ll learn how to cope from something you had to do or say to yourself. Much appreciated.

      • Mark

        Joyzelle, just reading about your situation almost gave me a panic attack. I am retired, with a good pension, so I do not have to work. Both our kids are raising their own families, and only occasionally do we have a grandchild over for the day or weekend. And yet, I still get resentful of the things I cannot do – the trips I thought we’d take in retirement, going camping with my buddies, even going on a bicycle ride or long walk for a couple of hours. I can’t leave her for more than about an hour without worrying that I’ll come home to find her gone, looking for me; or, at least, upset over not remembering where I was and when I was coming back. I feel guilty about feeling resentful, and I also feel abandoned, and that my wife’s friends have abandoned her – we moved about 4 hours away from our hometown of fifty years to be near our children and grandchildren; but, now none of her friends ever calls, and they know she has Alzheimer’s.

        I have been told that the caregiver needs to take care of himself first; else, he cannot care for the spouse. I have started taking my wife to daycare at a nearby memory care facility one day/week. She does not like it, but it is something I have to do for myself. In the Austin, TX area, this runs about $75/day for 8-5 with breakfast and lunch. Not cheap, but less expensive than an in-home service (which she was also resistant to). With three family members with significant medical issues, perhaps you could talk with your local state government’s aid to adults/families agency about available services. Also, check with ALZ.org for the local chapter and resources, and whatever national association for autism for your son and grandson. I attend a caregiver support group once per month which has been helpful – both in providing resources and in reminding me that I’m not alone. As you are not alone. My heart goes out to you.

        • Lisa

          I remember seeing customers at my job bringing their spouses with dementia and/or alzheimers..I would help watch their spouse so they could go shopping at the commissary..little did I know that I would be leaving my job after 15 yrs, move to another state to be a caregiver for my mom..No Regrets though, I feel blessed to be there for my mom-as she was always there for me..blessings to everyone..always take time for You/caregiver..And don’t feel bad or guilty..:) God Bless!

      • Elaine Bryant

        Joyzelle, I appreciate your post. I understand your feelings so much that you actually helped me define mine.
        My husband was diagnosed with Early Cognitive Dementia about 3 years ago with a prognosis of 5 years to reach severe. He is 57 now and I am 46. We have 8 children total, 3 of which are still home at the ages of 13, 14, and 15. The 15 year old is HF autistic with a brain tumor. I notice my husband’s changes and mourn secretly. Friends and family do not recognize them yet. ….but he is starting to rapidly progress. He forgets where he is going, he forgets short term memories, he asks me now if he has seen a movie as he can’t remember, he forgets what day it is, he can’t do math, he can’t comprehend instruction, he can’t repeat statements I make to him, he struggles for words when conversing, he gets over whelmed, he has momentary lapses of surrounding, he stays fatigued, he is always on his phone playing games, he zones out when company is over, he doesn’t help around the home like he used to, he waits for me to serve him dinner when he used to help, he struggles as an RV salesman at his job because he had trouble communicating and remembering, he changes the course if conversation without realizing it by blurting out comments that have no place. I have also noticed a change in our sex life. It goes from no interesr with only comforting him at night to sex that he would never do before. He only wished to make love to me as his Sweetheart for 15 years. …. now he wants hot sex experimenting with things that disgusted him before. I do not mind. ….but it is a concern that I cannot share with friends as they may not understand what I mean.
        I am scared of loading myself in his disease as early onset moves rapidly, and I am scared of the burden I must bear for my entire family. I do get upset that I have to do this despite my love for him. I am in college so I can get a good job next year to support my kids after we file his disability this year. I handle my husband’s health and my son’s. I am struggling to prepare. ….life insurance, Wills, funeral arrangements, letters to kids, finances…. I have friends lined up to take the kids into their homes when my husband becomes severe.
        My thoughts are consumed with his dementia despite my own responsible to church as the pianist, to students as the piano teacher, to college classes and clinicals, to children and family, and to friends. I want to know what to expect. I want to know how much longer before he forgets us. I want to know how long before he is incontinent. I want to know how much longer he will make love to me as a wife. I want to know how long before he dies. I study and research for answers, but no two cases are the same. I am string for my family and husband, but I am terrified of not having enough strength for me. I am scared of losing the spark that makes me ME.
        Thank you all for your testimonies. I do find some comfort in them.

      • Karen

        Sometimes I feel so alone. My Mom has Alzheimer’s. I also have adult handicapped children. One lives out of the house with 2 children who are also handicapped, both autistic and have a genetic syndrome. I help out as much as I can. My other three children live with me and 2 grandchildren. I have to cook, clean, do the bills, shop, do laundry, get the grandchildren ready for school, do homework, take them all to doctors appointments and what ever else they need. All while taking care of Mom, who is going into the final stages. She has had Alzheimer’s for 15 years. She is 92. My husband just retired unfortunately he is not well himself, but he does help out a little here and there. I feel at times I might lose my mind. I find that if I don’t think about what I am doing the time goes by faster. It’s hard to do anything for myself. The good things that come out of this is I feel needed and wanted. I feel also that I am doing something important. Someone had faith in me to take care of another person. A person that could not do it alone. As life goes on I look around me and see I am not the only person that has it rough. If it is not one thing to bare it is another. So how does one cope? You take the minutes or hours away and make the best of them. You do something for yourself. You buy something small for yourself. You take an extra three minutes to put on purfume and do your makeup. Sing in the shower. Smile even though you want to cry. I lost over 100 pounds doing exercise in the house, cause I could not get out and needed to be in better shape to help everyone. It is so hard at times , but we must not dwell on that. Find outside help if you need to. You don’t have to feel bad for asking for help.

      • Linda

        I’m so sorry Joyzelle. The person in my life who has severe dementia is my 90 yr. old Momma. I always say on the outside she looks like my Momma but my Momma is not on the inside. My Daddy was a farmer and she and him did everything together. They were married 73 yrs. when he passed away in May 2014. It was shortly thereafter that her memory started failing. I can so relate to being asked the same question over and over and over. I feel like I could just scream and it’s all I can do not to lose my temper with her. I remind myself that she sacrificed a lot to take care of my sister and I growing up and I’m sure we gave her many a headache. You almost have too much on your plate between your jobs, sons and husband. Talk to your doctor about getting help from Home Health. Any little bit of help you can get would be good. You need some time for yourself……go to a movie, have coffee with a friend, etc. but you’ll need somebody to at your home in your absence. Home Health shouldn’t cost you anything although Daddy was on a Medicare so I couldn’t swear to that. But you definitely need to contact a group or hospital counselor or your doctor or your church pastor to ask for help. You definitely are not alone. I already had a Generalized Anxiety Disorder before all this and I do take daily meds to help and they do help. I’ll keep you in my prayers because you took the first step just by posting here!

      • Joyce Hood

        Yes, I can relate to your feelings of abandenment. Nobody calls that often but I am guilty of not asking for help because I feel no one really wants to share the burden.I have friends who have ask me if they could sit with my husband and give me a break, but I always see where they have their own problems and I need to take care of this responsibility myself. Jesus has given me a lot of help by giving me energy that I never knew I had, so I am grateful. I also am very dedicated to my husband because he was such a wonderful husband a made my life very happy and fulfilled. Now it is my turn to take care of him.

        • Olivia Beach

          I suffer that too–nobody asks us out, even though Bill sometimes acts so normal you wouldn’t know there was anything at all wrong with him. Nobody will come sit with him, even though I’ve asked and offered to set up a schedule. I can still leave him at home alone for short periods, he sings in our church choir, and is still quite capable, but people are running for the hills. Joyce, when you say you’d ask people to help but you notice they always have their own problems, I’ve noticed THOSE are the people most likely to help. My dear friend–and she’s 15 years younger than me, with small children–lost her husband to cancer last April. She organized a meal train for me when I had back surgery, and paid somebody to clean my house, all while dealing with her husband’s deteriorating condition. Those are the people who will help because they know what we’re going through, and they also know we’ll be there for them when the time comes. In fact, I heard a radio program on NPR about a study that found people going through bad times (of any kind) who help others actually feel better about their situation and cope better. So maybe what we need is a share & care network.

        • MiddleSister

          I could have written this same post, word for word, Joyce. I am with you. I hope we can think of each other now & then, and know that we are not alone. Tina

          • Carol

            Had a meltdown this morning and read these posts. I am not alone! Word for word what I read from Joyzelle and the replies. I am calmer. I am not alone. My husband is blind and with mobility difficulties so I do have carers in. But sometimes I just want them all to go away. I dont get out like i used to even on the days when he goes to a centre. He is happy enough. oblivious I think and today I felt unable to cope. Hes been off ill for a couple of week and the cabin fever, lack of communication got to me. The grandkids are off on their Easter hols and I dont want to be a burden to my children at their joyous times so they rarely see this part of me. I have Jesus but I feel guilty and ashamed at my limitations. i am only 66 and he is 70. Just struggling witht it all. he is a lovely man and I have lost so many parts of him and us. I guess the loss sometimes rushes in and overwhelms. Got a bit more equilibrium. Thankyou lovely ladies. Carol.

          • Victoria

            Dear Carol – TELL your children! My Darling Mother struggled alone until she was diagnosed with cancer. Mum passed away at the end of last year and now Dad is my concern. It kills me that she suffered in silence and due to pride and not wanting to bother us – there were a lot of confused feelings. I thought for ages that my Dad didn’t love me and that I had done something wrong. No one should go through this alone.A month after Mum passed, Dad ended up in hospital with a back injury, but it enabled us to get him the full time care he now needs due to his memory problems. You would be amazed at how much you are hiding his condition from the family. Best of luck Victoria

    • Mark

      I am having a similar situation to yours with my wife. As the only caregiver, I need a break, and have started taking her to a nearby memory care center for daycare on Mondays. I get a chance to get to know the facility and staff, how they operate, what activities they offer, etc., before having to move my wife in somewhere. She is also pushing back, part of the problem being she doesn’t want to be anywhere without me and part of it being she is – at 63 – fifteen years or more younger than “those old ladies.” When I pick her up Monday evenings she is likely to be crying, and will spend most of the rest of that evening crying; but, I have to do it for myself. I can’t handle being “on the job” 24/7, and the compromise is I’m only doing it one day a week instead of the two or three I would gladly pay for.

      I know this is a year after your comment – have things improved for you at all?

      • Ohio12

        I would like to hear more about your situation because ths sounds like my mom! She has early onset Alzheimer’s but she doesn’t understand that she has it! Do you have that problem too?

  • Bill Keating

    Never has so much been written about something about which so little is known. This article is an example.

    • Patty Burnley

      You are right on, Bill. Read the book, “Alone and Invisible No More” and also, “I Am Still Here”…and you will be amazed at how these wonderful doctors view this disease. We have kept my Mom in her home for about 8 years now (she is 91) and she has good moments still. Each case is different. The key is finding ways to deal with the problems as they occur and knowing that what happens one day won’t always happen the next. The brain is a challenging thing to figure out but the best thing we can do for Alzheimer’s folks is to never give up on them. You just never know when their brains will “kick in” and they have a recollection out of the clear blue. Lots of love and hugs for these folks is what we should be focusing on…not trying to narrow it down to specific years and stages…because each case seems to be different. If people would concentrate more on adjusting to meet their needs and not try to give false deadlines it’d be more helpful. Just my opinion of course.

      • Jill

        After several years of being an independent caregiver you have hit it on the nail. Lets also focus more on how to keep them alive inside especially because you never know when they will have that time where there are all here in there minds. I am just now trying to start and focusing on 2 things my patient loves and can still do well at what ever stage she is in and that is play bridge and gin rummy like she did when she was not having stages. I read several articles on how these are two of the best things for them if they can do it but when I searched out to find a place to take her to and do they do not excist in the Dallas,Texas area. How sad I thought. So I have just begun trying to create those social events for them. I have found one bridge club that raises lots of money for the associate of alzhimeirs with bridge tournaments but had never even thought of getting an organization up with just alzhimers players that would play with each other the way they can play. I do not know yet rather there is a need for these 2 things but I am going to start research and get involved and see if there is.

    • Rosebud

      So true. Both my father and mother have Alzheimer’s. My 84 year old father was diagnosed nearly 15 years ago. My mother was his main caregiver and she now has it; diagnosed at 74, she is about 3.5 years into it. They are completely different in their presentation. Dad can walk around and use the bathroom himself but Mom can’t walk unattended without falling and she cannot manage her bathroom or hygiene needs. Dad was more of the ‘classic’ presentation where he would repeat everything over and over and ask the same questions. Now he is more confused, doesn’t always know where he is. He does know everyone but gets names wrong. His sleep schedule is very out of whack. We’ve started giving him the lowest dose of melatonin and that seems to have helped him sleep more soundly but still we don’t sleep listening for him. My mother, on the other hand, once in bed, is asleep until morning. We have a live-in caregiver plus several part-time people. When the live-in takes off every month for 4-5 days, I’m here. She’s out of the country for six weeks and I’m here. I’m the middle daughter. I’m glad to be able to care for them but it certainly takes a toll physically and mentally. I also work full-time which I can sometimes do from the house but I cannot concentrate well when I’m with them. I’m sorry to ramble on and on. I pray for all of you on this road. It’s disheartening that so little is understood. I feel terrible when I wish that they would both pass before they have to leave their home. I’m sure you all get it.

  • Joan

    I was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease approx. 4 years ago. I am doing fairly well but, of course, have memory issues. It’s strange in some says; I can remember things regarding the distant past – but have problems with recent things more & more. I have been preparing legal documents (will, who is “in charge” of my health care decisions, and plans to enter a place that begins with my own apartment and then as symptoms worsen I will enter a different level of care as the disease progresses. I have a family that is so helpful. I have doctors that are great too. I am still able to drive but am limited as far as where I go, of course. I know what the future holds – just not how long it will take as I travel through the various stages. I have gone through various stages: total shock when diagnosed and times of serious depression & suicidal thoughts (and two attempts). But, first, I think was denial. That didn’t last long. Fortunately, I am not traveling this journey alone! Many people do. Most friends will stop visiting, of course, as I become worse. However, I have a very close bond with my siblings & I know that they will not abandon me until I take my last breath. I am a widow – and I’m 71 yrs. old. I advise people with this disease to exercise their minds with various things – puzzles, crosswords, reading, anything that keeps the mind working as well as possible. Socialize and don’t isolate yourself. Don’t keep it a secret from friends – it’s not something to be ashamed of. My friends include me in all things and spend a lot of time with me. That is key: stay in touch with people and keep them in your life, until you no longer can.

    • Paula Hunt

      Dear Joan,
      I don’t know if you will see this reply. I hope that you are well or as well as can be given the circumstances. I am so happy that you are active mentally even still. My mom was 83 when she was diagnosed but had shown some symptoms off and on for several years before. My mom was an R.N. in her professional capacity and an avid gardener in her freetime. Mom unfortunately was never happy to just sit calmly and read. It was difficult to get her to play games but we could usually get her to play scrabble with us. Now, almost 5 yrs into her diagnosis, mom is so very difficult to entertain. She is now in the wandering stage and wanders in and out of other resident’s rooms which is aggravating because her things are missing but mostly because she seems so bored. I love this woman beyond words and I just don’t know what to do for her anymore. I have aged a thousand years in the last 5 yrs. It sounds like you are fighting a good fight. Peace be with you Joan.

  • Barry

    At
    the beginning of January 2014 it marked the “Ninth Anniversary” with my
    capricious bedfellow… and I find myself pondering as just where those past now almost
    Nine and a half years have gone to since I heard those fateful words from my
    doctor (Sorry Mr. Barry, ‘But’ you have mixed dementia with Alzheimer’s) and
    the sound of those words still echo out in my thoughts each day and I start to
    wonder just how many other people have heard those exact words in these past Nine
    years… which I’m sure by now must run into the tens of thousands, and then with
    the sudden realization that you have to try and adapt to the whole new way of
    daily life that any type of Dementia brings with it that can cause us all (meaning
    both sufferer and spouse alike) to have more high’s and low’s than the Pyrenees
    mountains…

    But now when I try to recollect over my past Nine years I have little
    recollection of what’s been happening, the only way I can tell is to read the
    notes in my daily diary and when doing just that it horrifies me as to the many
    changes that have taken place within my being and my personality.

    Where,
    and what, has devoured at the once placid man that had immense confidence in-himself,
    who could stand unfalteringly for hours in front of a vast audience lecturing
    and demonstrating about his profession as a Master Baker and Confectioner, who
    could answer any technical questions on that given subject and demonstrate the
    skills within his hands… that once man has now become a quivering wreck that
    shies away from any direct human contact due to his inability to clearly
    communicate as a result of the Alzheimer’s/Dementia yet sits fighting with the
    computer each and every day trying to find the words now lost within his
    brain…

    As we all know it’s an illness that destroys the heart, soul and spirit of a
    person… yet we must not acquiesce to its relentless bombardment of
    bewilderments at our being, we must stay as steadfast as is possible, and for as
    long as possible, everyday fighting our way through the density of clouds that
    form in the mind that can lead us astray and towards an abyss in life.

    ‘NO’ it’s not easy and there have been days over the past Nine years when I’ve
    said “I’ve had enough of this life” not just with regards to my own anxiety…
    but because of all the anxiety it causes my dear wife Sumi who at the best of
    times feels helpless as to knowing just how to help me, I’ve said this before,
    but I will say it again, for those of us with this terrible illness our days
    will slowly diminish beyond comprehension, but for our spouse the torment goes
    on beyond our demise, and one thing I know for sure is that without my darling
    Sumi at my side to support me, then I don’t know what I would do, so for Sumi’s
    sake, and for the sake of my children, and my grandchildren I will keep on
    staunchly fighting until the heavenly clouds of God come to carry me away…

    “BUT” having said that over that time I
    have managed to write a book about how the illness affects me and my dear wife,
    a book of dementia related poetry, and have just completed writing and publishing
    two books of Bakery recipes which is the
    culmination of many months of exhausting work that’s had my brain going in
    overdrive trying to remember all the recipes and making me delve deep down into
    my faltering memory bank for the preparation methods, but I finally got it
    done, which has given me a great sense of satisfaction and achievement, as in
    truth this was something that I wanted to do an extremely long time ago just
    after my early retirement but kept putting it off and then when Sumi and I
    opened our own bakery and café out here in Dander Indonesia where we live there
    never seemed to be the time as the business was going so great right from the
    start that it kept me working from 4am until 8pm 7 days a week, but then
    Alzheimer’s and Dementia arrived on my scene which put pay to my active working
    days and to be very honest that last thing on my mind then had nothing to do
    with writing my recipe book as my mind and body are being consumed by this
    devastating illness “Yet” here I am now over nine years into my illness and
    I’ve finally done it, which seems a bit strange!

    In truth it
    would be all so easy to just sat back and let the Alzheimer’s and dementia take
    utter control of my mind and body but I was determined right from the moment
    that I was diagnosed in January 2005 that I wasn’t going to acquiesce to the
    illness and let it take control of my life (well not as yet!)

    Thus I decided
    to set about this my second recipe book not as my swansong but as my deepest
    inner personal quest to try and retrieve what the illness is slowly taking away
    from me and to prove to myself that I still have some determination and the
    spirit to fight back against overwhelming adversity.

    It’s not been
    easy and I must be honest and say that I did make some silly mistakes when baking,
    and forgot various things, but to coin a phrase I always used in my past
    working life when decorating cakes (If you don’t get it right first time, then
    scrap it all off and start again) until you get it right, which is exactly what
    I did, hence my motto…

    So as far as I’m
    concerned the more you fight against the illness the more it can help in
    delaying its progression and as they say (there is still life after diagnoses )

    “Continuing
    my baking has become my mother of intent in fighting my Alzheimer’s”

    Barry

    • Diane

      Barry, Good for you, you are obviously smart enough to fight this disease and it looks as though you are winning the battle. I take my hat off to you keep up the good work.

    • Brenda

      Barry, My husband is in the final stage. He was blessed in that he never really understood what was happening to him. I see him everyday and feed him his evening meal. Even though he has forgotten me I have not forgotten him. I know your wife and family will never forget you. Please find comfort in that if you can 🙂
      I love to cook and bake and would love to read your cookbook…was it published? If so how do I obtain one?
      God’s blessings to you while you walk this path.
      Brenda

      • Debbie Foster

        Brenda, that was such a touching comment for Barry! My mother is 73, has Alzheimer’s and lives with me. I know that eventually I will have to place her somewhere or take a leave from my job. For such an insidious disease, it has blessed me (it has brought me closer to my mother (who lived out of state for 20 years). I believe she has had it for about 7 years. I spoke to her daily on the phone and could tell by our once a year visits and our phone calls that something was wrong. I kept a journal and could pick up things that she’d say or didn’t say. My mother was adopted and sometimes I feel like I may have the beginning stages. However, it makes me want to live each day the best I can. Thank you for your touching comments. I could relate to them. I hope you are doing okay. How is your husband? Sincerely, Debbie

    • Brandi Mitchell

      That was beautifully well written. I felt lost in a good book for a moment. I am so happy to see you fighting the good fight. I wish you the best of luck and that God be with you.

    • Elaine

      It seems to me he was wrong
      9 years and you can put this down on paper yes you should not have been told this so soon

  • Patty Burnley

    We must never give up on these folks. My mother has fought Alzheimer’s for about 8 years now. What everyone needs to remember is that all along the way there are moments where their brains “kick in” and they are able to process things. Do not give up on them. Try to keep them into the experience of life as long as you can. We handed my 91 year old mother a swiffer the other day and she loved being active again. She draws for hours. She enjoys riding around and still have good, happy moments. Never, ever give up on them. Everyone should read the book, “I’m Still Here,” and also the book, “Alone and Invisible No More” both of which are EXCELLENT in dealing with these folks.

  • Jill

    My patient is declining with the beginning stages of alzhimeirs and has the short term memory loss starting to not be as good on her feet etc but she is 90 but can still play bridge and gin rummy very well. I read up that the 2 things that are great for this disease is Bridge and Dancing which I thought was awesome. I have been searching the web and talking to people day care centers,alzhimeirs homes etc and no one has any type of these two activities for these patients at this stage.Which really shocked me because it says stimulating the brian will not take the disease away but will help them so why are there not any of these places. The places I looked at(in dallas,texas area) where either assistant living which you could not have the disease or alzhimers home or ward that where at middle to late stages and could not do bridge or dancing which would have depressed my patient (I am a 24/7 caregiver) and put her in more of a depressed state which in my mind gives them more of a reason to give up and die sooner. I did reach a bridge club that raises alot of charity for the diease and undestood my problem and thought it was interesting and is going to get 2 people with the right personalities to come have a bridge game with them once a week. I am praying that it will go well and be the future to us starting a program and places for alzhimeirs patients to go will they can still us there mind and have a purpose to life and not just sit around until the reach the next stages. Also I have tried looking for dance clubs for alzhimeirs patient for therapy and great exercising for them since that is another thing that relaxes alo them that have the disease. I have found lots of places that have music to listen to but no one that puts on a dance encourageing them to do what they use to love to do. I know at this stage of my patients alzheimers she would be so happy if she could dance with the old music by fred astaire,bing crosby,ginger rodgoers etc. Even if she could not remember it 2 minutes after we got in the car to go home I know for at least those couple of hours she has forgotten her uneasyness and confution of why can’t I remember and what is wrong with me. Just to see a smile and laughter from them gives me great pleasure and I hope that I can some how get these to things in motion to add to helping them thru the stages of the disease. If anyone knows how are of places that have bridge and dancing for them or has any suggestions on how to get it started please share with me. I am very blessed to be given this gift of loving to comfort and help and be with these people till they go home as they always say at the end 3 to 6 months before they go home, but it breaks my heart when I see they can still function and have lots of emotion and loneness and want to get these 2 things out there to help fill another void in there life. Thank you jill

  • Marie

    I am a part Tim caregiver for my husband’s grandmother. It seems like she is in stage 2 but quickly entering stage 3. I read other comments and noticed that playgin bridge is a good activity for those with Alzheimer’s. That is awesome because she is an avid player about surprisingly is good at it. I think these activities that challenge her mind have kept her going pretty well but lately other things have progressed. One being that she is having issues swallowing. Everything that I have read says that trouble swallowing doesn’t start till the last stages of the disease. So far this is the only issue that seems apparent in this stage for her. It definitely is getting harder to keep her in good nutrition and hydrated. Right now I’m not sure ho long she has. The swollowing issue has been going on for about 3 weeks but unfortunately I don’t see things getting back the way they were. It just seems life everything changed so quickly.

    • Jheng

      Hi! Yesterday, my boyfriend and I were tackling about his recent job. I was stunned because he told me he started working two weeks ago but I can’t remember anything within those week. All I know was that he just started a week ago. That incident wasn’t my first time because, I’m also having difficulty remembering what happened when I graduated in college. All I could remember was that I am seated on the front but the whole ceremony, I could not. I’m 25 and this has been troubling me.

      • Marie

        I’m sorry. I know that is probably confusing and scary for you. I would highly recommend going to a doctor and discussing your symptoms. They would run a series of tests to really pin point what might be going on. Also talk to your family about this. A good support system is priceless. Wishing you the best!

  • Mary

    My uncle is very forgetful losses thing everyday and forget what we say in just seconds. Now he wants to sleep a lot like every 3 hrs he want to take a nap. And if my mom tells him he just got up he get mad and says no I did t and fights with her. She has to give him his Meds because he don’t remember taking them. Or to even take a show is a fight.

    Just the sleeping bothers me the most is this normal if he has Alzheimer’s.
    And my mom don’t want to believe or bring him to the Dr because I think she is afraid of finding out what they will say. So I have to help with both of them.
    Please help to see if there is anything I can do or help.
    Thanks

    • Mary

      I ment to say take a shower not show.

    • Cathysdaughter

      Dear Mary
      My mom was diagnosed in February after she landed in the emerg after cutting her head. I think that it is really important to get to a doctor and have a diagnosis. At least then, you can make the decision to take meds or not. To do something or not. It has been very difficult these past 4 months as my mom declines. Knowing what is happening is better then not knowing and guessing. It has been very difficult getting my mom to see the doctor, but at least I can make phone calls and have a diagnosis to base my questions and concerns on. I am still trying to get her the help she desperately needs. One day at a time. I wish you luck in this journey.

  • PJ Davis

    Hello, I am wondering….my mother in law lives with us and has a diagnosis of Alzheimer’s. Her member is still good a majority of the time. BUT she is forget how to walk, forget ing how to eat (stab food or scoop). She has a care giver during the day and we care for her the rest of the time. She is mean toward the caregiver, refusing to leave the house, walk, eat food that is given to her. IS it possible for the Alzheimer’s to hit physically before severe memory loss? Thank you.

    • Tammy Cornelison

      YES! Some people wander, some get physically abusive, some even start cussing when they never did before. I have read this is because they lose that part of the brain that tells them about self control.

  • TRACEY

    The gentleman I take care of now has started to stay in his bed with the blanket pulled up over his head either laying down or sitting up. This is new has anyone else experience this?

  • Lisa Florence

    Hi My name is Lisa, about a year ago my Mother in Law was diagnosed with Alzheimers, stage 2 she has since gotten way worse. She don’t remember her son’s 95% of the time.She talks all the time but of nothing that we know what she is talking about. She just recently started to not to be able to control her bowels or urine. She eats and 5 minutes later swear she hasn’t eaten,. Just the other day she ask what the Tv was. She has a lot of anger I noticed today when she was walking she was all humped over. She thinks my Father in law has many other women. And the only women that comes around is family. My question is what stage is she in now? She has wondered off 4 times in the last 3 weeks, while the person sitting with her was in the bathroom. We never leaver her alone. I read all the stages, but can’t pin point where she is. I think 6 but i’m not sure. Please help?

  • Rashida

    I have been taking care of my Mother since she was first diagnosed with Alzheimer’s 7 years ago. It has been a long and challenging road but I been by her side 100% without help from my family. She is now in the late stage and it breaks me down with sadness to see her go through these changes

  • ConcernedFriend

    My friend and colleague has been forgetting how to do simple tasks on the computer, such as saving a file to a specific location, finding a saved file, etc. This has been worsening for over a year. He frequently calls me into his office to help him do the most basic stuff, that he used to be able to do. He is under a lot of stress, so maybe that is the reason? Should I be otherwise concerned that he has beginning dementia?

    • Tammy Cornelison

      This is what happened to my cousin, she was in her 40’s when she began to forget things at work. She was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. If you know the family I would call them with your concerns and explain what is happening so they can have him tested. If he has no family try and talk to him about having a test completed.

  • Jane

    ..

  • Samantha Rodgers

    I cannot yet relate to any of these postings or progressions. My mother is a seemingly independent woman working full time,she is 76 years old, and she seems to be exhibiting early signs of dementia or alzheimers, I don’t know which. I have been unemployed recently and have spent much more time than usual with her and accompanied her to work, and have gone shopping with her, run errands with her, spent the holidays with her….. I have noticed she does not remember things as i think she should. For Christmas she wanted to make her prized pineapple souffle and could not remember what ingredients went into it or how long to cook it. She asked me several times how many eggs, how much pineapple, what other ingredients went into it and how long it should be cooked, this is something she has cooked for years and was well known for. When I went to work with her she could not remember where her resources were, files were, how she could find them and how to complete daily, necessary tasks. On a daily basis, I speak to my mom and she is frustrated when I ask her where something is or if she accomplished something because she does not remember or recall even doing a task. I know she is experiencing dementia. Her mother died of cancer in her 60s. Her father was completely incapacitated with dementia or Altzeimers in his 70s. Please advise. I can see it happening but really want to help her and stop it. My mother is my best friend. Help me.

  • Heart Broken

    My aunt received a call from her sister (my mother) from an out-of-state hospital stating that my mother has Alzheimer. My mother abandoned me when I was 15 years old, 36 years ago. She lives in another state and now in a nursing home. My aunt who is also elderly gave the nursing home my contact information. The social worker allowed me to speak with her and her conversation shocked me; It’s as if I am the Prodigal Child in the bible. A few days later she rejected me and said, “My husband____is coming to live with me”. This was the man who attempted to molest me until I fault him off. My mother moved to another state with him while I was in school. Once the Social Worker was informed that she was communicating with him via a cell phone, the phone was taken away. He is in another nursing home.

    All of this is so disturbing and I am not sure how to cope. She gave me life, so I want to make sure she is okay. She needs clothes and her hair managed so I am placing a package and funds in the mail. The Social Worker sent me a picture and I did not recognize her. She is so thin! I cannot afford to travel to see her because I am just recovering from five knee surgeries and preparing to return to work. To be honest, I do not think I can visit her.

    If anyone has advice, please share. Please try to be kind. This is a lot! Praying for all of you and your love ones.

    Heart Broken

    • Victoria

      Dear Heartbroken – firstly, be kind to yourself! This disease is horrible and for those whose loved one has been kind and loving to them all their lives, it is very easy to want to take care of them in their time of need. I feel that you are wanting permission to move on with your life – if the Aunt had not made contact you would be none the wiser. I nursed my Mother to the end with cancer but she was so very loving and it was a privilege to care for her. My Father now has Alzheimers but he is a very difficult man. He sees me as a child and only a female at that! He is in care now as he will not listen to me and engages in risk taking behaviour. I know he is safe and well cared for – he is also happy. Not all patients are sweet and loving. Do what you think is right by you and then get on with your life. Best wishes and good luck Victoria

  • Lisa Faye Smith

    Hello everyone.I am dealing now with my moms last stage,i really dont know how to make it threw this.She is in nursing home but me and my sister takes days so mom would have one of us daily.Usually for the past year when mom has gotten worse we could blame it on a UTI but Friday my worse fears were confirmed she dont have one.Two weeks ago i could get mom to eat 60% of her meals and drink at least 1 cup of coffee.But last week i noticed changes,she leans a lot more to the right,she only responds to me when i get right in her right ear and keep repeating myself(deaf completely on left ear)and noticed she stares into space constantly now and wont interact.Well yesterday i was trying to feed her and she had her eyes open and didnt really respond at all to me i finally nudged her and said mom she came out of it for a breaf second.i went to the bathroom there and cried like a baby and got myself together and came back like everything was normal.i am getting obsessed with reading up on other peoples stories.Today was so hard i wanted to scream god dont keep her like this.My question is in the last stage of this evil disease what should i watch for a few months or weeks before death?I have to prepare myself or i will crack.God bless all who are going threw this.

    • MiddleSister

      God bless you, Lisa. ❤️

  • Heidi

    Hello ,,I’m also taking care of my mom of 78,,,my dad passed in 2013,,,I think it was the trauma of how he died it was supposed to be a one day surgery that went horribly wrong,,,After that she was never the same started wetting her self,,,forgetting to pay bills forgetting where things were,,forgetting people’s names,,,she hadn’t driven in years my dad did all the driving,,I lived in florida with my family,,so for the first year I stayed up in ct with her to take care of her,,,now she has been here in florida with me for two years we go back and forth my brother stays in her house,,,I think that might be confusing her more but she insist a on going there,,,she will not eat if I don’t make it for her or push the liquids so she drinks,,,she wears depends I shower her dress her,,,everything,,,I have not had a day off in 3 years and during this I’ve battled breast cancer and beat it,,,I’m getting tired my sister lives 5 minutes away and never calls never visits her, I’m looking into her insurance to see if they will cover a home health aide maybe just on the weekend so my husband and I can go be alone for awhile,,,she sleeps most of the day if we’re not grocery shopping or up at the park,,,but it’s when she awakes she is mean and paranoid and thinks her dog isn’t her dog,,,,kinda like she’s having hallucinations ,,,,thanks for listening,,,,my heart goes out to anyone dealing with this nasty disease

    • caitlinburm

      Oh Heidi, we are so very sorry to hear that. Thank you for sharing such a personal story with us and please continue to share or vent whenever you feel the need to.

      We will keep you and your family in our hearts and minds during this time.

    • Rosebud

      Heidi, I am so sorry for your situation. My parents’ friends do visit but it gets harder as they progress. My mother can’t talk really and my father is losing his ability to converse which he loves to do. My mother sounds like your mother.
      I made up my mind when this all started that I could not spend energy worrying about what other people wouldn’t or couldn’t do. It gets to me of course, but it’s energy I can’t afford to expend. They will have to deal with what they did or didn’t do.
      For the agitation and anger, you may want to ask her neurologist for a change in medication. My usually pleasant father was getting angry and aggressive a few years ago. He started generic seroquel and that behavior stopped. He is now only a bit agitated at times if he feels we are pressuring him to do something he doesn’t want to do. Most of the time they are both pleasant and cooperative, for which I’m thankful. Prayers to you and your mom.

  • r budd

    My husband has had alziehmers for 5yrs but could be 7yrs he is now getting worse in aggression and mood awake at night dont know how long l can deal with him at home who decides

  • Raylin

    I’m sing a lot of love and support in these comments. Thank all of you for being so kind to each other. I found this website will I was looking for coping tips for late stage alshimers, my great grandmother is 92 and in the late stages. It hurt my heart to see her so upset about “not remembering anything about the past 5 years” She wonders where she is some times and confuses loved ones for. …different loved ones. And it hurts to see her confused. Anyway everyone’s sweet comments and advice to each other helped and gave me hope.

    • caitlinburm

      Raylin,

      We are so sorry to hear about what your great-grandmother and family are currently going through with Alzheimer’s disease.

      Please continue to post here in our community whenever you feel the need to share.

      We will be keeping you and your family in our hearts and minds during this time.

  • Georgene Andersen LaRossa

    Mom has dimentia after hip surgery, went through different fears,crying,scared,hallutiations,now she does not know who she is. Is this what happens?

  • Cowee Chrystal

    After being in relationship with my husband for nine years,he broke up with me, I did everything possible to bring him back but all was in vain, I wanted him back so much because of the love I have for him, I begged him with everything, I made promises but he refused. I explained my problem to someone online and she suggested that I should rather contact a spell caster that could help me cast a spell to bring him back but I am the type that never believed in spell, I had no choice than to try it, I mailed the spell caster, and he told me there was no problem that everything will be okay before seven days, that my ex will return to me before 7 days, he cast the spell and surprisingly on the fourth day, it was around 7pm. My man called me, I was so surprised, I answered the call and all he said was that he was so sorry for everything that happened, that he wanted me to return to him, that he loves me so much. I was so happy and went to him, that was how we started living together happily again. Since then, I have made promise that anybody I know that have a relationship problem, I would be of help to such person by referring him or her to the only real and powerful spell caster who helped me with my own problem and who is different from all the spell casters out there. Anybody could need the help of the spell caster, his email is (prophet.abuvia@abv.bg tel.+254-7921-77506) you can email him if you need his assistance in your relationship or anything.he has a website too, http://www.prophetabuviasolutiontemple.webs.com

  • tspanl

    My journey began four years ago when my husband suffered a massive brain bleed. They told me it was a stroke, but I think it was probably an aneurysm. Since that time I have noticed his memory going down. June 2015 he started hallucinating at night, seeing rats, snakes, cats, dogs, people, etc. When he had is physical in August, I asked that they test his memory and on the test he is moderate-severe. The neurologist said he has Lewy Body Dementia. This past year, he has gone down even more. He has no concept of time and is constantly asking “when” something is going to happen. He can function very well physically, the memory is the biggest problem at this time. I have found items misplaced, e.g. scissors in the freezer. We just returned from a trip and all his computer cords are missing. Wondering where they will show up. I have started my own journal so I can look back and see what is going on with him. I need to learn Patience! I have to learn Patience! I have looked into Adult Day Care, but at the moment he wouldn’t go, or I don’t think he is at that stage. I am grateful for my faith and I know God is watching us.

  • faith goeson

    And then you have those of us with spouses with younger onset, children to raise, and absolutely ZERO support. All we ever get is, “Sorry, you have to be 65 to get…”

  • Sharon

    I quit my job of 25 years to go back to school to become a CNA to further myself with knowledge so I could take my godfather who was put in a nursing home out of that place…he was healthy but was living by his self and got a urinary tract and was catherized and kept pulling it out..long story short they put him in a nursing home. I took him out and he has been with me for four years now…I am dealing with the Alzheimer’s now. He is a wwll veteran and still very happy..I am watching this disease take him slowly….God is good and he will be with me til the end…

  • Vicki Seiler

    I have a question for all of you. I just fell in love with a man I’ve known for 3 years. Less than a week into our new relationship he shared that he was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. Do I move forward in the relationship? How would I walk away now? I’m not new to Alzheimer’s. I was my mother in laws caregiver in her moderate stage. Any insight you can help me with will so appreciated.

    • REGINA MCKNIGHT

      Please don’t do it. I am warning you. How do you know the stages and how long it will take for them? I have my husband going on 80. I have no life at all. I used to love movies, plays , concerts, art museums. historical places, church, decorating. reading great books, etc. I have lost it all because of my caretaker duties. My identity is down to zero, The average for day care is $100 a day. The average for nursing homes is going up to $100,000 a year. How about taking him to different doctors, twisting my shoulder and back from lifting him up? I had a shoulder dislocation in this time. I was dancing and doing exercises and all that is gone. You must have tons of money and access to great support to take on a sick person with Alzheimer’s. Please there is no reason on earth for you to enter into this life that is horrible. You cannot imagine what dementia is. You cannot imagine what it is to take care of a person who is like a baby. My husband is now into his !7th year of symptomatic Alxheimer’s. He was born with it as his brother died from it and his sister has it. To go forward in this you would need a psychiatrist to understand yourself.60% wander as my husband did. The police wrote a report when I would call them for help. My district said that if it continued that they were going to take away my guardianship over him and place him where he could not roam. This meant that they would decide where to send him no matter the cost and I would have to pay the costs even if I lost everything. So I put in alarms, locks, etc. to keep him in and then paid a lawyer thousands of dollars for the guardianship. I cost me over $15,000 for the guardianship. Now he is at home. It is a thankless job. Why ask for problems. Just continue to live your life but continue to be considerate. You have no reason to feel terrible by making a decision that is best for you.

  • Kolin Andrews

    i dont know exactly how to talk about this but im having a hard time with my grandmother, she was diagnosed last week, and prior to her diagnosis she was having problems with putting together simple sentences which i understand but after she was diagnosed it seems like shes skipped the early stage and went straight to the middle stage, shes become aggresive and extremely depressed i dont really know how to handle the situation any advice would help

  • Jennifer Glomski Hanes

    We are just beginning to need to care for my 67 yo mother-in-law. She recently took a trip to see friends and they were very concerned, noticing her repeating questions, taking notes only to lose them, leaving a $5 bill for a group of 5 at a restaurant. She is separated from her husband but not divorced and two of her three children live out of state. We’re having a hard time agreeing on next steps of care. Some are of the opinion that she should only be driving in her familiar area, others believe she could go visit relatives if she chooses on a case by case basis. Can any of you that have experienced this tell me what is the best course of action at this stage? Some siblings want to err on the side of caution, others want to give her as much freedom as possible for as long as possible….

  • Theresa Masterson Greenlee

    We are just beginning this journey with my husband’s twin brother Terry. Terry is 54. No real diagnosis yet, but Terry is exhibiting signs/symptoms of some form of rapid cognitive decline. This is something that was never on our radar….

  • Tina

    I was told by my doctor that I have early Alzheimer’s I’m 42 years old and feel like my whole world as gone I love my husband very much but he is putting his head in the sand I find myself snapping at him which is not what I want to do or a become pardoned about who he is texting why do I feel like this ? And when I try and talk about the illness nobody in my family will talk to me about it but I feel like I’m losing not only my mind but my husband also

  • breadro

    My dad was diagnosed with Dimentia and Alzeimers 8 months ago. He has short term memory loss. He now sleeps alot. He is averaging about 4 waking hours a day now. He cannot make decisions such as what to eat for dinner. He no longer can learn new tasks either. But he is still functional in other areas such as maintaining his grooming, showering, doing laundry and routine chores around the house. So we are trying to figure out what stage he is in.

  • p.

    As a caregiver I have 5 different dementia or alzheimers clients. It is interesting to watch each person with their level of lucidity. I lost one earlier this year to a combo with cancer. It was difficult to catch that she was at her last days. She had stayed strong til her last week will eating virtually nothing. I just noticed that she was always very sleepy in the last few weeks. Again it was difficult to see if the cancer was taking her last breath or was it the last stage of dementia

  • Michelle

    My dad has Alzheimer’s since 2011, our worry is his sleep pattern, he is awake for around 5 hours a dad, he just wants to go to bed all the time and is draining on my mother who tries very hard to keep him up or take him out, he’s wakes up for about 2-3 hours in the morning and sometimes does not get back up till 6pm and returns back to bed at 8 or 9 pm, a lot of forums state that increased sleep is another sign but this seems excessive !!!

  • Lakia

    I am a private duty NA II and I currently care for a patient who has incoherent speech and recently started sleeping a lot and finds it difficult to walk alone. I don’t think the family is aware that this is a late stage of Alzheimer’s.

  • Cathy

    I’m tired! My husband and I were so close, we never went anywhere or did hardly anything without each other. I’d have to say, we both understood each other completely, without question. My Husband was diagnosed with dementia in 2008. I am 43 and my husband is 52. I now spend everyday, hour, and a lot of the time, minute of each day trying to keep him engaged in life, family, projects, anything to keep him aware of his surroundings and to keep him with me longer. All he is interested in (if you can call it that), is sitting in a chair outside, staring at nothing, literally. If I let him, he would be there for hours. In the beginning, I did nothing but give him space and the time to ‘think’ I thought he needed. He doesn’t talk to me, unless its to answer when I say his name, and even then, it’s rare. Everyday is devastating living with the person he is now. He no longer shows love or caring, but I of course, wait for that smile I used to know so well, it never comes. I’ve become isolated with the daily emotional, physical and financial responsibilities that now fall completely onto me. How do you handle everything alone, when your used to being the one cared for! Therapy is great, if we lived in that controlled environment when his anger takes over, or he won’t believe you when you tell him, “Our neighbors house is not OUR home to walk into and sit down”. This morning, I told him I love him, as I do every morning. I’m writing this because, today, instead of the usual no response, he actually looked at me and said it back! I was so happy and had hope again of a ‘normal’ day. I didn’t write to get a response of comment from this post, I just wanted to talk to someone who understands what we’re going through, without judging from people that don’t understand why I don’t just place him in a care facility. Thanks for reading and my best wishes for all of the caregivers who think they’re alone.

  • Googran

    My husband was getting forgetful but since he began having prostate issues & had a TURP procedure done 2 months ago he’s worsened..he obsesses over everything. It’s either when & how much water to drink .. or he is dizzy or now he’s not sleeping even with a prescription sleeping pill..He has had some issues with constipation but lately he takes stool softeners throughout the day to where he now has trouble controlling his bowels. I’m beyond frustrated to how to deal with him.

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