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Old 10-12-2011, 02:39 PM   #1
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Unhappy alzheimers

My mother in law has recently had a scan for alzhiemers the results are due on the 28/10/2011.within the last week or so her husband has had 2 heart attacks and is now in intensive care in a local hospital.
She has all the symptoms she is not aware of where she is times or what happened 5 minutes ago.
We have contacted her gp who will not do anything to help her until he sees her on 28/10/2011.she does not really know her daughters and is spending time wandering about the house at home and crying.
She is very distressed about her husband naturally,has anybody got any ideas of who we should contact.
She needs to be undressed,cleaned,and fed things she will not or cannot do herself.
Her immediate family are finding it very difficult to cope and nobody seems to want to help any guidance please would be gratley appreciated thankyou.
We are desperate for help or advice.

 
Old 10-12-2011, 03:26 PM   #2
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Re: alzheimers

I am so sorry about your FIL. Hope he will recover soon.
I think at this moment for urgency, the family needs to hire a caregiver or CNA (certified nursing aid) to see to your MIL to make sure she is cared for.
For sure she has dementia although you need to wait for 10/28. Frankly the doctor cannot do anything except prescribing aricept for her. The caregiving part is the family's business. She cannot be home alone so someone has to be in her home to make sure she is OK. Maybe full-time to help her get dressed and prepare the food.
You can call home care co. in the local area and find out how they can help her. It is better if you get a home care nurse who understands dementia. Since her husband is sick, I don't think she can help him.

In the long run, they may need to go to an AL or a memory unit for your MIL. Your FIL may need help temporarily. There are many books about dementia and the family needs to get a book on Alzheimer's as well as caregivers so they know how to care for her.
e.g., your wife would need to go to her Mom's house to make sure her Mom is safe and etc. The doctor will only tell you to give her a controlled environment so her confusion can be controlled. If she is upset, she should not go to the hospital for now. She cannot help there given her dementia. If she is very confused, I suggest that your family don't tell her any bad news from her husband. You could tell her later when the caregiving situation is settled. Tell her white lies to calm her down.

I am so sorry about this family tragedy. Hope you will find help ASAP. Check with senior center and etc. She can go to a day care center.

The key is really caregiving so your family needs to find her a caregiver in the house.

Regards,
Nina

Last edited by mod85; 10-12-2011 at 03:29 PM.

 
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Old 10-13-2011, 05:19 AM   #3
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Re: alzheimers

MARC... it is typical for doctors to want to wait until all reports are in and they see the patient. The scans are to rule out other possibilities and not to actually diagnose dementia. There is not much a doctor can do if it is one of the various types of dementia. There is no medication that is going to cure or make it better. The best you can hope for is that one of the memory drugs will possibly slow down the progression of the disease.

Major life events such as her husband's heart attacks will bring out the worst of the disease. She has little understanding of what is happening and trouble remembering. There are probably other brain changes that make it difficult for her to deal with this life changing situation. She needs somebody with her at all times.

My first suggestion is to call your local Alzheimer's Association. They are world wide and an amazing organization. I am uninformed concerning the medical/social system in Spain. If there is an agency that deals with the elderly then please call them and see what can and will be done. If there is a social worker at your FIL's hospital, you can also ask them what help might be available. Your Mom's health and well being will have a direct impact on your FIL's ability to come home for recovery so the hospital social worker needs to know about your Mom's condition.

I am so sorry your family has had this double whammy of crisis. I am sure the stress of your FIL's situation is impacting the ability to deal with your MIL's situation. Just know she can't help the confusion that has fogged her head. For now, take turns being with her. Keep her life as structured and calm as possible, and check out any possibility of help. Bottom line, for most, the care giving responsibility does fall on the family.... to either handle themselves or to find alternate care in the form of care facilities. Sorry you needed to find us but glad you did. We here are all walking the same path as you are.... so keep typing

Love, deb

 
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Old 10-13-2011, 07:48 AM   #4
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Re: alzheimers

Quote:
Originally Posted by ninamarc View Post
I am so sorry about your FIL. Hope he will recover soon.
I think at this moment for urgency, the family needs to hire a caregiver or CNA (certified nursing aid) to see to your MIL to make sure she is cared for.
For sure she has dementia although you need to wait for 10/28. Frankly the doctor cannot do anything except prescribing aricept for her. The caregiving part is the family's business. She cannot be home alone so someone has to be in her home to make sure she is OK. Maybe full-time to help her get dressed and prepare the food.
You can call home care co. in the local area and find out how they can help her. It is better if you get a home care nurse who understands dementia. Since her husband is sick, I don't think she can help him.

In the long run, they may need to go to an AL or a memory unit for your MIL. Your FIL may need help temporarily. There are many books about dementia and the family needs to get a book on Alzheimer's as well as caregivers so they know how to care for her.
e.g., your wife would need to go to her Mom's house to make sure her Mom is safe and etc. The doctor will only tell you to give her a controlled environment so her confusion can be controlled. If she is upset, she should not go to the hospital for now. She cannot help there given her dementia. If she is very confused, I suggest that your family don't tell her any bad news from her husband. You could tell her later when the caregiving situation is settled. Tell her white lies to calm her down.

I am so sorry about this family tragedy. Hope you will find help ASAP. Check with senior center and etc. She can go to a day care center.

The key is really caregiving so your family needs to find her a caregiver in the house.

Regards,
Nina
sorry to be ignorant but what does the drug aricept do ?

 
Old 10-13-2011, 01:43 PM   #5
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Re: alzheimers

Quote:
Originally Posted by 9MARC View Post
sorry to be ignorant but what does the drug aricept do ?

Aricept is the drug name for donepezil. There are at least 5 types of dementia drugs that could delay the symptoms 1 to 6 months. Some of them are aricept, namenda, exelon and etc. Usually it has side effects and it depends on the stage of the person. The following is some info. about this drug:

"Currently, there is no definitive proof that use of donepezil or other similar agents alters the course or progression of Alzheimer's disease. However, 6-12 month controlled studies have shown modest benefits in cognition and/or behavior. Pilot studies have reported that donepezil therapy may potentially have effects on markers of disease progression, such as hippocampal volume. Therefore, many neurologists, psychiatrists, and primary care physicians use donepezil in patients with Alzheimer's disease. In 2005, the UK National Institute for Clinical Excellence (NICE) withdrew its recommendation for use of the drug for mild-to-moderate AD, on the basis that there is no significant improvement in functional outcome, of quality of life, or of behavioral symptoms. However, NICE revised its guidelines to suggest that donepezil be used in moderate stage patients for whom the evidence is strongest. It is currently not licensed for use in the treatment of Alzheimer's disease in the UK at any other stage."

But you need to know that these drugs may not work out well. My FIL who has stage 7 Alzheimer's had taken these kind of drugs for 18 months. But in the end, it is the side effects that made the doctor drop the drugs. Now he no longer takes it. He takes antidepressant and antipsychotic drugs now. He could not take aricept because it gave him loss of appetite. He had namenda and exelon but the doctor stopped them due to too much confusion in the morning.

Regards,
Nina

Last edited by ninamarc; 10-13-2011 at 01:47 PM.

 
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