Dad scored a 25 in June of 2005.
He dropped to a 17 in Jan. of 2006.
This past week he scored 22.
He has seemed more "with it" to me on my last couple of visits also.
What would account for this? The Dr. who gave him this last test said a 17 could not draw a clock - which he did perfectly. He answered so many questions correctly, I was shocked. When he scored a 17 a year ago he thought it was 1986, had the wrong month, etc. - now it's all correct.
It's bothering me because he seems too well to be in that facility all of the sudden. Aren't you supposed to get worse? I know you can't get better, but what I am seeing lately is not what I expected.
I'm happy for you! Some ideas on what the reasons could be
-have they changed, added or taken away any medication?
-has he been taking any vitamins, more exercise, more fresh fruit or anything else that could make a difference?
- is it possible the last test was done at a time he was not feeling well?
That's about all I can think of, but enjoy the improvement while you can. My Mom also has moments or even days if seeming enightenment, then goes right back to asking a silly question and not knowing who you are. It can change within minutes, now she has more 'good moments' than good days...
regular medication is many times, half the problem when they're admitted, as is dehydration ... one in the facility when things are regulated and routine, many residents DO improve !! The stress of keep up appearances is gone (because of the routine, they no longer have to wallow in confusion of what to do next)
The MMSE score is out of 30, and anything under 25 is a concern, so he's still within the 'bracket' of needing specific help. 17 is QUITE a concern, so it's pleasing to note that the NH is doing their job, and well by the sounds of it!
The test is also somewhat subjective, and there might be a range in results depending on who is giving it. In my husband's second annual visit, he told me that the person giving the test gave him some answers and fudged a little on the timed tests. He was still well enough to know that his test results were going to be skewed. Perhaps the test results were skewed down instead of up in your Dad's case.
The improvement could be anything form medicines, mood, the amount of rest he had, or the fact he's adjusting so well to the facility. Whatever the reason, that's terrific for him and for you! The days that appear to be better will be fewer as he goes along, so they are blessings.
We'll be going in for my husband's annual MME in the next week. I dread the results this time, since I'm expecting that the test will show a very steep drop from last year. I misspoke in an earlier posting, counting back. We're going into year four, not year five (maybe it just feels like five). Yr 1 --no complicated tasks but I could ask him to empty garbage cans and take the garbage outside. He'd be able to check every garbage can. Yr 2 -- I'd ask him to do the same chore, but he'd miss a few cans, or leave the garbage bag in the garage instead of taking it outside. Yr 3 -- I'd have to ask him to empty one can at a time (please empty the kitchen garbage can. please empty the bathroom garbage can) and then have to ask him to take the garbage out. The bags might end up in the outside cans, the garage, or anywhere else. He could do one chore at a time.
Now -- he might get to the door of the room and ask me what I wanted him to do. If he got to the kitchen, he will ask me again what to do. I need to show him where the garbage is, or he'll either stand in the room or start opening kitchen cabinets. He knows he wants to do something, but not what it is. He is finding it harder and harder to talk. He still knows he's ill, and is starting to show frustration for the first time.
I agree with Beginning. When Mom took the test the first time, without any medication in her system, she scored 10.
The doctor had given it to her and let her answer totally on her own. A couple months later, after taking Aricept, he had her take it again but had a nurse give it to her.
The nurse stated she'd never given it before, which was obvious. You could tell she felt sorry for Mom and hinted at the correct answers to help her along. Mom scored much higher. (15-17)The doctor kept Mom on Aricept for this very reason, but really, it would have been the same if it hadn't been for the nurse fudging on the answers.
When I mentioned it to the doctor, he said it really didn't matter. Her scores were so low, either way, they knew what they were dealing with. Yet, that was the reason he continued the Aricept.
Come to think of it, the Dr. kept prompting dad when he didn't answer immediately.
I am still shocked at how well he drew the clock and numbers - it was perfect, and the fact that a 17 couldn't do that. But he could not do it at all in the past.
Just a month ago dad was trying to figure his age and sat with a paper and pencil and wrote the numbers and stared at it, then he gave it to me and told me to do it as though it was just too much to subtract the two numbers.
Now he can draw a clock.
Thank you all for your insight. I hadn't thought about some of these things. He is on Vitamin C for his low hemoglobin count. Other than that, maybe the routine is helping him. He still asks for the passport and wants to get out though. Those things are not changing!