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Re: Dementia Expert Series, Week 3

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@lb19994799 I'm not 100% sure when my Dad was officially "diagnosed" with Alzheimer's because he had talked with his doctor about his memory, and he had a doctor who had been doing the annual cognitive screening tests, so he caught the beginning changes very very early, when Dad was still quite independent and functioning full force. He started on medication to help the symptoms very early on. I would say the very first early signs started 12 - 15 years before he died. We asked him to stop driving about 9 years ago, so you see he was still doing quite well in the first few years. 

 

The disease progressed very slowly for Daddy, and I did everything I could to support him in being as independent as possible for as long as possible. So he did things until he just couldn't - not just when they began to be difficult (i.e. dressing, eating etc.) 

 

If you're experiencing the ups and downs, you may be dealing with sundown syndrome. Perhaps this column I wrote with tips to deal with it can be helpful to you. 10 Ways to Manage Sundown Syndrome. Even if the ups and downs happen at different times of day, you can still use the techniques I outline to ease anxieties and confusion any time! 

 

Take care,

Amy Goyer, AARP Family & Caregiving Expert

Author, Juggling Life, Work and Caregiving and

Color Your Way Content When Caring for Loved Ones

 

 

 

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Re: Dementia Expert Series, Week 3

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Starting to experience similiar actions with my mom

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Re: Dementia Expert Series, Week 3

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Hello Amy!!  Thank you for posting your article, it was very helpful to me.. May I ask how long your dad had dementia before he passed?  My spouse is having good days and bad days and sometimes the days are even half and half.  He will be fine the first few hours and then totally lost the rest of the hours.  Thank you!

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Re: Dementia Expert Series, Week 3

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Definitely! For my Dad, who had Alzheimers, when he was tired ALL the symptoms were worse! His language, reasoning, judgement, mood  and coordination were all much worse. Sometimes that was a signal that somethine else was going on - he had a cold or infection. Dad had congestive heart failure and as that got worse he was tired more often and all of his cognitive skills were affected. 

 

The weather also affected Dad's skills - cold rainy weather affected his mood, probably pain levels (arthritis) and his ability to understand and reason. 

 

Dad also had seizures as Alzheimer's increasingly affected his brain, and "seizure days" (as we called them) were always difficult. It took him hours to sleep and recover and usually was never quite himself until the next day.

 

And there were many times when he just wasn't have a very good day, for no apparent reason. I'm sure there was a reason, but it wasn't something we could easily discern. 

 

Daddy passed on just 4 1/2 months ago, but right up until the end my sister and I knew from the time he woke up what kind of a day it was going to be. If he woke up smiling and talking more, and drank more water - it was going to be a good day. If he had a hard time waking up, was groggy, drank very little, it was likely going to be a more rough day. Regardless, we loved being with him no matter how rough it got. Smiley Happy 

 

Take care,

Amy Goyer, AARP Family & Caregiving Expert

Author, Juggling Life, Work and Caregiving and

Color Your Way Content When Caring for Loved Ones

 

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Dementia symptoms: good days and bad days

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Some days, do the symptoms seem so much worse than other days?  Talk about this with our expert

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