My mother used to make a nice ginkgo tea for her patient. The family thought he was getting too well because he started asking questions about his money. Some folks benefit from parents being senile.
My grandmother atacked my then 4 year old son twice. Once with a large book and then with a pair of scissors. She was not provoked either. That is when I knew I could no longer care for her in my home. Alzheimer's is one of the most evil and vilest diseases out there.
My mother was diagnosed with Alzheimer's about 4 years ago. Her's ended up being a very aggressive form. I went through hell for 2 years....Alzheimer's victims tend to take it all out on their closest and most loved ones. My mom is currently in a nursing home and the worst is over. By that I mean the violent, aggressive outbursts that break one's heart. She remembers basically nothing other than her childhood. She still thinks her parents are alive even though they died over 20 years ago. I, my cousin, her brother and a few close friends are the only people she remembers. She will, sometime in the near future, even forget us. This is the most excruciating, heart breaking thing I have ever gone through. My mother was a dynamic individual, a business leader who was elected business person of the year in our community 25 odd years ago. To see what this disease does is absolutely the saddest thing I've ever witnessed. My heart goes out to all Alzheimer's victims and expecially their families who must cope and love the victim in spite of the progression of the disease.
Alzheimer's is not something I would wish on anyone....including John Kerry. It is the most cruel disease to both the victim and his/her family. My mother in law was diagnosed with Alzheimer's 7 years ago and is still the same, sweet person she always was, only she has NO short term memory. My husband and I call her Dory when we're alone because she is just like the blue fish Dory in Finding Nemo. That might sound cruel & mocking to some, but when a family watches a loved one slip away, sometimes the only thing left is to laugh. The best part of her condition is that she has no idea what is wrong with her as she has since forgotten her diagnosis. Prayers for anyone who is suffering.
My father in law died of Alzheimer's last year after he had reached the point where he forgot how to swallow and inspired food, leading to pneumonia. Over the previous four years, we had watched the progress of this disease until he no longer recognized any family members, knew who he was or what he was doing. This from a man who had been the auditor of a major corporation, who was well read, and who enjoyed life.
He was good natured to the end and never got violent or mean. This is a cruel disease.
Bump For Later
This thread caught my eye because I had just gotten off the phone with my wife. She hosts a Bible study in our home every Tuesday morning and this morning an elderly lady who's been visiting our congregation showed up. [I'd be interested to know what first brought her since our worship service is decidedly contemporary in style. She keeps coming because she said she could tell our congregation was genuine in our faith...] She told my wife she's been diagnosed with Alzheimer's and it saddens her because she's been forgetting things about her faith. Sorry, something in my eye...
My wife told her that even though she might forget, the Holy Spirit doesn't and he knows just how to pray for her even when she doesn't. She seemed to get a lot of comfort from that. I think I'll change from my usual seat this coming Sunday and try to get to know her a little better.
We're just about to complete a home addition to house my mother-in-law, who has alzheimers. We should have her with us by Thanksgiving. We'll keep her as long as we can. My wife's grandmother also had the disease..... so needless to say.... my wife is researching anything she can do to make it skip her.
My boyfriend had atypical Parkinson's Disease. It started when he was in his forties and developed with a mixture of Parkinson's and Alzheimer's symptoms, also including paranoia and, at times, violent outbursts. He died after twelve years -- from a brain tumor that hadn't shown up on MRVs a year earlier. I empathize with all who have to care for these patients. And decisions about what to do become more complicated still when the individual is not married. Note that all these stories involve people who -- for all their suffering -- are lucky enough to have a devoted spouse who will devote himself totally to their welfare. When you are not married to the ill person and have to earn your own living, the choices become even more difficult.
I had my boyfriend committed once because he was threatening suicide -- and seemed to want me to take this action. After that, however, he became more secretive. Drug addicts preyed on him, pretending to be his friends and running up enormous credit card bills ($67,000)by taking out cash advances. At times he wanted to be rescued by me, at other times he insisted on seeing these people and there was nothing I could do. He punched a stranger on the street and knocked him down. When I let him stay at my apartment, he could not be left alone for an hour -- started fires,called our friends to complain that I was holding him prisoner, and so on. Unlike the patients in the article, he still youthful looking and powerfully built, so if his medication was working it wasn't always obvious how sick he was. I lived in terror that he would end up arrested.
Though it was clear to me that he was not competent, he managed to pull himself together during visits to his doctors and pass their tests, so he was not considered a candidate for residential care. He could turn on the charm and seem like the most reasonable person in the world. I was the villain for thinking it might be necessary to hospitalize him.
I'm sure this case isn't unique -- and in the future,with so many adults who are single, divorced or otherwise alone, the problem will become more acute.
Tragic and sad but very real. My husband's grandfather, Granpa George, had Alzheimers. He had some occasions where he burst out at Grandma. Part of it was frustation and loss of memory. He was agitated for a time. One he progressed beyond that, the episodes stopped. It's hard as a family to see someone forget them. Grandma developed it later. They always cooked in aluminum cookware...don't know if that is a factor, but I threw away all my aluminum cookware.
There is a condition called NPH that mimics Alzheimer's. Can be found with an MRI. Worth checking our if you have a loved one with problems. NPH is fluid in the brain and there is successful treatment for it.
We hired a woman who lived with Mama and took care of cooking, etc, because she was still ambulatory, but just needed supervision. While she was ugly to my sisters, she was NEVER mean to the caregiver, Mary. Once, when she yelled at Mary for some reason, Mary just told her that she must have mistaken her (Mary) for one of her (Mama's)children. Mama apologized!
When she no longer recognized her house as her own, and when she'd become more medically needy, we put her in a nursing home. She lived for a couple more years; she died this past summer. But she enjoyed the nursing home. She chatted with the nurses, but not so much with the other patients, and was more like her old self. She even still recognized her children and grandchildren, her siblings and some of her nieces and nephews; the great grandkids were too difficult to remember.
When she died this past July, peacefully in her sleep, all of us breathed a prayer of Thanks to God. She had never gotten to a bad stage where she didn't know anyone, so we were grateful for that.
I don't know that there's anything people are doing that is particularly causing Alzheimers. I recall about 20-25 years ago that Alzheimer's was only diagnosed if you got it in your 50s or 60s *and* had a conclusive brain autopsy. Senility or dementia in older years (i.e. 80s) wasn't considered to be Alzheimer's.
Now the diagnostic criteria seem to be greatly widened, and so practically every loss of memory/personality in old people, even the very old, is considered to be Alzheimer's. Is it? I don't think (correct me if I'm wrong) that there's any conclusive diagnostic way to tell during life.
IMO, we're seeing far more senility of all kinds because people are simply living longer, unlike decades ago when people died more frequently, and more quickly, from strokes & heart attacks.