My MIL has just been diagnosed with Alzheimers. I've read the sticky with information on the different stages. From what I read she is probably at Stage 5. Her dr. called it "beginning stage". Can she be at Stage 5 and in the beginning stage of the disease? How did she get to stage 5 without the family noticing more of the signs? She hasn't forgotten names, still seems to know us all....she has failing eyesight so when she mentioned seeing this or that we thought her confusion and "seeing things" were because of her eyes. In the last yr. or so she also has mention smelling something that none of the rest of us would seem. And hearing noises at night.
I'll admit I have a lot to learn about this disease. I've been reading through the posts here and am learning what I can.
Stage 5 is not the beginning. Sometimes doctors want to sweeten the bitter pill by saying things like "a little Alzheimers" or "old age dementia, not Alzheimers" .. however, stage 5 sounds very concrete and to me is late middle stage.
Good luck and welcome to this forum, you will find a lot of understanding here.
Thanks for your reply, Martha. She is 79, a widow, and has moved into the house with my husbands brother. She is unable to stay alone because of not eating and taking her meds. as needed. She also has had hallunications. She sees people in her house, smells bad odors no one else can smell, thinks children live in the trees outside her home. She does seem to be doing better last few days. Is it common to have good days that slip back into bad days? I keep wanting to think she has been misdiagnosed and they will find something that can be treated. The burden of her care has fallen on DH's brother. Wish I could do more to help, but right now we are all just trying to figure out what works..
Going from good days to bad days is normal, and so are hallucinations. My Mom saw a monkey in a tree outside my brother's home. This lasted for a few weeks. She talked to it. She also saw people who had died years before.
She also did odd things like going out in the middle of the night to find something she thought she had left outside. She put herself in danger by forgetting what the red light and the green light means on street corners ...
and got lost frequently until we got a home health aide to stay with her during my work day.
The person who lives with her gets the worst burden - it may be too much for your husband's brother to deal with. You may want to make an alternative plan and at least give him time off very often by having her with you or elsewhere for a day or a weekend or a week from time to time.
This is quite a terrible disease. I wouldn't wish it on anyone. But we do learn to deal with it, often by trial and error. Doctors are not much help and drugs are not very effective. Our solution in the end was a nursing home.