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Old 06-07-2005, 12:18 PM   #1
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Aricept for Dementia?

Does anyone know of someone with Dementia who is on Aricept???
I was told it is only for Alzheimers. I thought they were all the same (pretty much anyway)
tx Karon

 
Old 06-07-2005, 01:51 PM   #2
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Re: Aricept for Dementia?

Karon, my dh was first diagnosed with Alzheimers, and he was on Aricept and Namendan--once it was determined that he has Frontemporal dementia, Mayo Clinic took him off both drugs. Said they could actually harm him. So my limited knowledge is that it is only for Alzheimers

 
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Old 06-07-2005, 02:00 PM   #3
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Re: Aricept for Dementia?

Dear Karon,

Although my Mom was never called an Alzheimer patient, her doctor tried her on Aricept last November. His diagnosis was 'old age dementia' (perhaps a euphemism for Alzheimer's) .. Unfortunately it did not help her at all and the side effects were too terrible for her to continue on it.

Hope you can get the help you need.

Love,

Martha

 
Old 06-07-2005, 05:27 PM   #4
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Re: Aricept for Dementia?

Alzheimers is a form of dementia. My husband was on Aricept for awhile, but the nauseau and other side effects were too tough on him. He switched to Reminyl, and is able to tolerate it a little better. It's hard to tell if any of these drugs actually do anything, since they don't "cure" the disease -- hopefully, they just slow it down a little. We're about to add Namenda. I'm hoping that he can tolerate taking two drugs for the dementia, plus vitamin E and baby aspirin.

 
Old 06-16-2005, 05:11 PM   #5
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Re: Aricept for Dementia?

My husbands grandmother has dementia and lives with us.
She is on Aricept and has been for about a year. She also had nausea from it in the begining but now is doing fine. It has actually helped her alot. She had alot of anxiety problems in the begining( when first diagnosed). She would think that she would see people hanging from trees,a nd theat her shoes were missing and ect. The problem I see wiht her now is that it is very hard for her to make decisions on her own. Also, she has to do things every day in the same pattern. (like eating watching tv ect) I was hoping that some other caregivers could give me some advice. Latly I have been getting very frustrated. She will ask me things over and over, like"should I brush me teeth now?", "is this my plate for dinner", just little things but it gets on my nerves due to the repedativeness.
I also have two children, a 8 yr old and 10 yr old, and she will go to them to ask what day is it, are we going anywhere today. Its as if she is afraid to ask me or my husband. And I have never showed my frustration to her. Just wanting to know if this is normal. And are there some things that I can do for her to rember daily tasks, like taking a bath, vac****** her room, ect. PLEASE HELP!!!!

 
Old 06-16-2005, 05:55 PM   #6
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Re: Aricept for Dementia?

Joann, all I can tell you is that what you describe is part of my day.. My hubby asks me all the time--can I help you-is there something I should be doing---what are we doing today--am I okay--- it is constant. I am sorry you have small children involved in this cannot be great.

Somewhere in their mixed up brain they do realize that they still want to help and do things and contribute but are never sure how to execute it.

You are not alone, drugs may help, did not with my hubby, but each person is different

 
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Old 06-16-2005, 06:11 PM   #7
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Re: Aricept for Dementia?

Quote:
Originally Posted by joann33637
My husbands grandmother has dementia and lives with us.
She is on Aricept and has been for about a year. She also had nausea from it in the begining but now is doing fine. It has actually helped her alot. She had alot of anxiety problems in the begining( when first diagnosed). She would think that she would see people hanging from trees,a nd theat her shoes were missing and ect. The problem I see wiht her now is that it is very hard for her to make decisions on her own. Also, she has to do things every day in the same pattern. (like eating watching tv ect) I was hoping that some other caregivers could give me some advice. Latly I have been getting very frustrated. She will ask me things over and over, like"should I brush me teeth now?", "is this my plate for dinner", just little things but it gets on my nerves due to the repedativeness.
I also have two children, a 8 yr old and 10 yr old, and she will go to them to ask what day is it, are we going anywhere today. Its as if she is afraid to ask me or my husband. And I have never showed my frustration to her. Just wanting to know if this is normal. And are there some things that I can do for her to rember daily tasks, like taking a bath, vac****** her room, ect. PLEASE HELP!!!!
Joann:

I can understand her going to the kids I think. I suspect she's asking
the kids because she'd thinking she really should know the answer and
doesn't want you to know she doesn't know. More than being afraid
it's probably trying to protect a bit of her pride.

Maybe not. That's part of what's so frustrating with this stuff. I'm
trying to learn to stop trying to figure it out. Even if there is an
answer for why my Mom does what she does today, the answer may
change tomorrow!

Good luck to you in the battle.

 
Old 06-16-2005, 06:23 PM   #8
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Re: Aricept for Dementia?

Thank you so much. I am so glad there is a web sight out there for this type of thing. I have looked into going to support groups but due yo work, hardly have the time. I guess we are very fortunate, because she knows not to use the stove or the phone or anything like that. The problem I have is that she doesnt want to help, I ahve to ask her or tell her. I even have to tell her to take a bath. I have tried reverse psycology when guestions come up. Example: she will ask should she brush her teeth after she eats and I will say, do you feel like you need to, and she will respond with I dont know. So like you said I guess you have to come to that point to where you have to stop trying to figure it out. And I think I am finally reliezing that.

 
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Old 06-17-2005, 02:25 PM   #9
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Re: Aricept for Dementia?

There is no figuring it out. My mom was dx'd with dementia and somewhere along the line it has turned into Alzheimers. She still has more lucid times than not however all short-term memory is gone. Questions are constant. All activities have to be coaxed. She does nothing on her own and it is very sad to see. My kids are all older and have children of their own. I know they understand the situation but it still hurts them when grandma doesn't know their children. She is still very loving and has never had a mean reaction so I guess that's a plus. She is on Reminyl and Namenda but I'm not sure they have slowed down the disease. One day at a time. This too shall pass.

 
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Old 06-19-2005, 11:22 AM   #10
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Re: Aricept for Dementia?

I agree that the questioning is probably because she doesn't really know what to do anymore. My hubby has started doing the same thing. My heart breaks, since I can tell that he gets very worried. He will ask our kids if the garbage needs to go out or if he should take a shower over and over, and he does try to avoid asking me questions if he can ask the kids. I suspect he's trying to avoid being troublesome. He isn't capable anymore of complex thinking about whether or not he's being a burden -- he just knows that there are things that he should be doing or taking care of, and is trying to function like he used to. We try to keep everyone up-beat and as helpful as possible, since it really appears that he loses ground whenever he gets stressed out over something -- and once he loses certain words or an ability to do something, we've discovered that he usually doesn't get that ability back. Every day I tell myself that this is still the good time, since the future will be worse...living one day at a time. The caregivers all seem to have the philosophy of "one day at a time" in common...

 
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Old 06-19-2005, 01:22 PM   #11
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Re: Aricept for Dementia?

I often wonder if I should have here doing some diffrent things to work he mind. Weather it be reading, or sowing or something like that, or if it would just cause more frustration. All she seems to do is watch tv. Also how do you caregivers get your breaks? Just to stay sain? I do work every day so that helps. It seems to bother me more on the weekends when I am home. I pray, ALOT!!!! I should say that its bothersome, but sometimes it is. I just tell myself that it's not her fault, and that she really doesn't know what she is doing.

 
Old 06-19-2005, 04:01 PM   #12
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Re: Aricept for Dementia?

Hi JoAnn,

My little mother was on Aricept, but I could not tell it helped at all. By the time she was put on it she may have been too far gone. I lived out of state and only got glimpses of the coming trouble as I visited. By the time we knew it was more than a messy house and confusion about how to handle the incoming mail, it was just 3 weeks between her driving her car to a night when the black sky and a clock that showed 11pm meant nothing to her. The same week she could not understand the pronoun "you". Nothing I could say, do , act out like charades, or write down helped her understand that it was night and she could not leave the house or that when I said ,"Do you want to have lunch now" that I was talking about her choice. Those meanings and connections had simply disappeared from her mind. 3 weeks later she was living in an assisted living facility (still just 5 minutes away from her older sister's home) and I'd locked her car in the garage and taken the car keys back to Texas. For their safety and wellbeing, you have to do what you have to do.

I think using reverse psychology and other techniques that work with kids and others, are of little use with an Alzheimer's patient past a certain point (and for each patient, it's different). My mother mentally "youthened", becoming at last concerned she'd be late for school and that her mother didn't know where she was, so talking to her like she was a small child worked. "It's time to brush your teeth now" or "Let's go brush teeth" or if she asked if it was time, I just said "yes" or "no". If I needed her to do something, I asked her, showed her, or told her without giving her a choice. Each day was different, her understanding came and went, then finally stayed gone and she even forgot me.

I was never her primary caregiver as I lived too far away until her last 2 years and by then she was past my ability to care for due to my own limitations (lupus) and the fact that we had a son at home.

I wish you well in your efforts to care for your grandmother. Do please be aware that the time will almost certainly come when you cannot keep your grandmother home with you because of the needs of your children, your husband, and your health. That's okay. Many come to that point, amid tears of frustration and regret. Families seldom can be awake 24/7 for the Alzheimers patient who needs just that.

I hope the Aricept works wonders for your grandmother and that the miracle of a cure comes quickly. Stay in touch!

Blessings - Barbara

Last edited by BarbaraH; 06-19-2005 at 04:03 PM.

 
Old 06-19-2005, 09:20 PM   #13
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Re: Aricept for Dementia?

Hello again,

My father was diagnosed with Alzheimers a little over a year ago. He is taking Aricept. He took the lowest dose for 1 year and then it seemed to not work anymore - or as well. Now his doctor put him on a larger dose. Said it might help him and it might not. He does seem to be going down a bit faster. He still lives at home with my mother and I see them 1 or 2 times a week and help out. If something happens to her he cannot live there by himself. So, I am starting to check out homes and day care. They would fight me tooth and nail if I even mentioned moving right now!

Take care, Wannabe

 
Old 06-20-2005, 10:06 AM   #14
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Re: Aricept for Dementia?

my mother has been on Aricept since her symptoms began... oddly enough, these symptoms had nothing to do with memory loss... she became malnourished because of odd ideas she had about food and she became very argumentative and very concerned about her health and wasn't able to understand new things. I don't know if it's working or not... her memory's still pretty good and I don't know whether to attribute it to her being on Aricept from the earliest stage or whether she's having atypical symptoms in which acute memory loss isn't as prominent. I think it's worth a try though. Good luck.

 
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