Anyone have any experiance with it? My Dad is 83,and takes Aricept 20mg 2xs a day. Is it used instead of taking Aricept? Or use it together? I'm clueless,and will be researching it online. Any thoughts?
Are you talking about the Exelon Patch? It is the same active ingredient as Aricept but the delivery system is different. Rather than taking a pill it is delivered through the skin via the patch. It does seem to eliminate the gastrointestional side effects (especially the nausea) that you get with the pill forms. I suspect that Aricept and the Exelon Patch would be used together since they are the same medication.
My parents were on the Aricept. Excelon Patch was not introduced until after Mom was diagnosed and she was only on the Aricept for about 18 months before she was taken off due to side effects
You and me both Emma What they do have is so very ineffective even at slowing this disease. But I guess first they need to figure out what is truly causing it. Every week there is something new about how it develops or what causes it. The latest was injecting Alzheimer's brain cells into mice and they develop the disease... not in the same way as an infection but it did survive and spread. One of the huge problems with research is that what is good for the mouse is not necessary good for the human! I swear it is like stabbing in the dark to hit a small dot! Just so frustrating considering the increase in the frequency of the disease.
That is why they call it the long good bye! And why I did not feel the overwhelming anxiety of grief when Dad died. I had said my good byes and grieved long before he was gone. The end was more a blessing and relief for us both.
Today was actually a good day. My Aunt who is 87 visited with Mom today. Mom sat quietly and ate the entire box of chocolate that my aunt brought her while we talked. My aunt is sharp as a tack and I truly enjoyed seeing her. Mom was having a good day and actually seemed to recognize her at first and then made several statements that was almost understandable (if she could have finished them). I had taken two whole days off and was ready to go back. The Mardi Gras celebration was a hit as well. Left Mom smiling ready for her supper One thing this disease teaches us is to appreciate the little victories and the small blessings of life!
There were only 9 pieces. There was one Mom tasted and dropped in her lap. I put it back in the box. She selected it again and put it on the chair arm. I guess she didn't like it. I did snitch a piece for another resident and one for myself... but she ate the other 6 with no idea that she didn't eat them all but that one piece she kept throwing away!!
There are days I am out of sorts as well. I have two ways of attacking that. I either find something totally unrelated to Mom that I enjoy doing or I go to the facility and immerse myself into the residents. Both seems to work well. Anything but just worrying about what has been, what might be, or what I can't control
Helping others, always helps doesn't it? Does she sleep alot? My Dad sleeps so much. We make sure he gets up to eat or to sit in his chair. He can't keep up with TV or read anymore. He likes music as many of them do. He falls asleep when we talk to him. But I guess he always did that! Ha! But is it something they do? Sleep so much?
Dad was the sleeper... with his Vascular Dementia. I am sure some of that was related to his extensive cardiovascular problems. He would sleep 12 hours or more, get up, eat, sleep some more in the chair, eat... you get it. He was probably awake only 8 to 10 hours a day.
Mom on the other hand was an insomniac. She never did sleep much but as her Alzheimer's set in she slept less and less. Getting up before the sun rise and staying up late into the night. Then her days and nights got mixed up with her pacing all night and dozing off and on during the day in a chair. That is when I started her on Melatonin. She now goes to bed at a reasonable hour at night... between 9 and 10 PM. Some days she is up at 6 and some days she sleeps until 9. The late rising is becoming more frequent and I have noticed that after lunch she becomes tired now. She will not sleep in the bed during the day but she will doze in a chair. So yes, now she is sleeping much more than her normal
Mom doesn't watch TV or read. Her auditory input perception went quickly. It is very difficult for her to understand anything that is said to her or to listen to TV. Yep, she can zone right out or sleep while you are talking to her but then again she truly doesn't understand what is being said. Mom's visual perception had been better than her auditory but I am noticing a decline in that as well.
The sleep issue depends on the person and the stage of the disease. I have seen changes in the sleep patterns consistently but it might be more or less sleep and it can change over the course of the disease. Usually from less to more sleep!
Thanks so much Deb! Your so helpful to me! Dad told my husband yesterday that he had to tell my husband something 15 times! Of course, he didn't. But when he said that, I just cracked up and he was laughing so hard his shoulders were shaking. But then again, he has always had a quick wit and a sarcastic sense of humor. Where I get it. So humor is still there.... Which its good for him to laugh. Good for the rest of us too..
I have found that if I laugh, Mom laughs. Doesn't matter what she says she picks up my emotions. If I make it happy then so is she! I have also noted that on my down days she is as down as I am. But the truly funny days are when I am on a roll chewing on somebody. She seems to totally enjoy it! She will smile at me and wink... cracks me up!
I was in the ED's office complaining on after noon with Mom with me. He kept interrupting me to "explain" the unexplainable. Mom looked at him and said..."You talk too much!" Then swiped his candy jar and walked out. It was hysterical!
Yep, you have to keep your sense of humor in tack and look for those moments of joy that will carry you through. You have to love that sarcastic sense of humor that they do seem to retain for a while
At first when I laughed at something he said, it felt as if I were laughing at him. It felt disrespectful of me to him.But I soon figured it out,that we always laughed at each other,and gave each other lil diggs.Why should it change now? It's how the family always was and still is. Humor and laughing is good medicine! Last few days, he has a hard time finding the bathroom. Has forgotten how to lift the toilet lid,or doesn't make it in time. My Mom who is 85,has to clean it up. Big mess. I went out and bought the premoistened cloths that she can throw in the trash bag in the bathroom trash can. She used to use her towels and wash cloths.Which made for more laundry. More work for her. Worked out well, and just in case, I make sure she is well stocked on them. Every day, we figure out how to do something easier or different. As you know, every day something new comes up,and you just deal with it. He isn't incontinent,just doesn't make it in time sometimes. He knows when he has to use the restroom.It's just getting there in time.
I understand and the premoistened wipes are a necessity. You might also want to get her a box of inexpensive vinyl gloves. Also put a small trash can in the bathroom near the toilet with a roll of proper side plastic liners in the bottom of the trash can. Pull one up and put it over the lip. Then when you finish you can tie up all the trash, there is another liner right there, and you have it all bagged and are ready for the next time.
If the accidents become more persistent then pull ups might be an answer. If he makes it then well and good. Pull them down and back up. If not they rip off at the sides and make clean up oh so much easier.
If he is wearing dress pants with buttons and belts you might want to change to pants with elastic waist which are quicker to pull down. You can even put up signs to help him find that bathroom. If he can still read a the word (easy enough to test out) then just print bathroom on a piece of paper with a sign in the right direction and a bathroom sign on the bathroom door. Or you can use a picture that represents a bathroom. It might not be the latest and greatest decorating trend but if it helps Dad then it's all good!
We just had dad sit down every time. Yep, their aim becomes horrible! The other thing Mom can do is to take Dad on a regular schedule. That gives him the opportunity and eliminates the hurried mistakes.
You are right, there is something new every day and it taxes our creativity to find ways to make life better for all
yep pull ups are great, just remember when introducing them to your dad make sure that you do not call them diapers, with my mom we called them magic underwear, when soiled they just came off and a new pair appeared. she was good with that, what ever works, and of course the regular trip to the bathroom as deb said will help eliminate those sudden urges to go. and yes sweat pants, lots of them, they was easy to wash, even throw out if nessecary and they come up and down easy, try and find the ones with the pockets in the side, more man-ly.. we found the ones with the elastic on the bottom of the leg did not work well and ended up taking the elastics out, my mom always said they were to tight, oh ya remove the tie string, really no need for that either. Some sweats sew the outline of a fly on the front, now we are really talking man-ly.... I did a lot of shopping in the good will or thrift stores...
When introducing pull ups to both of my parents I just removed all the other underwear and replaced them with the pull ups. Newest, latest thing... give it a try!!!
I do shop thrift stores and discount places. Big Box Mark Downs are my friends!! The cheaper the better. That way if the spaghetti goes down the front and you can't get out the stain, you don't feel bad tossing them. All of Mom's pants are now knit with elastic waste and all of her shirts are knits, usually in a print (doesn't show stains) that are easy off and easy on with larger neck holes. I gave up on button ups because she just unbuttoned them.
Yep, creativity to overcome the daily delimas is a key to this job.
I was just telling my daughter this morning,that we need to buy gloves,and put extra bags in the wastebasket! Also stock up on the wipes, waste basket bags and hand soap.I suggested the depends to my Mom,and she wasn't too keen about them yet. What just kills you is when they know their not thinking right and know they have AD. Dad will catch himself sometimes and say that was him thinking wrong. My heart breaks for him and my Mom, and for anyone who is going through this. Going out soon to get him a new mattress, because his lower back is hurting him some. He had this before diagnosis. His mattress has to be 20 years old! Ha! No support. A firmer one will help his back,and also be easier for him to get in and out of bed, and also help us help him in and out if needed. Now if we can make him stay out of bed long enough to hqve the new mattress delivered,put on the box springs,and fresh linen put on it! Ha!
Make sure you get a good waterproof cover for that new mattress. I found one that has a fleece type top but a water proof under lay. It's washable and doesn't crinkle like some. Oh... buy TWO!! One for the bed and one for the washing machine. It may not be a problem now but there will be night time accidents before it is over. Especially when you have a new mattress you want to be proactive.
You might want to adjust the height of the bed for Dad. If he is tall, putting the bed up on those blocks used to raise the bed for under bed storage might be a good idea. That way he is getting up from a higher position which is helpful for all. Later, when getting out of bed unassisted is a problem because of fall risk you can put the box spring on the floor or on a low bed frame with no head board. Then put a fall pad beside the bed. That way if he tries to get up he will just roll out on the fall pad from a low position and not be injured. Makes it a little more difficult to get him up or change the bed but sometimes it's worth it. An alternative is a high low hospital bed that lowers to the floor for sleeping and rises for care.
Many don't want to be proactive about the pull ups. Yes, there is a stigma attached, especially for the elderly. They think diapers! It's a signal that they have lost a little more control. Eventually Mom will figure out that ripping the sides and taking it off that way is much better than dragging it down the legs
Those moments of lucidity can be difficult for all involved. When the confused mind collides with a moment of clarity and they realize that something is wrong it gives them a glimpse of what is. I find that one of the blessings (if there are any) in this disease is that most of the time the person with the disease doesn't understand. Especially late in the disease. Each reacts to those moments differently. They didn't seem to bother Dad. He just seems to be ok with whatever. But that was his temperament before. He used them beautifully. Mom on the other hand went to both extremes. On the one hand she prepared... the legal work, the house, anything she could think of. On the other hand she fought against it and when she could not make it better she railed against it. Moments of clarity were NOT good for her. I treasure those moments because those moments are when I have received little blessings. I try not to let Mom center on the negative but try to draw out something positive. At this point in Mom's disease they are so fleeting then come and go in moments. With Dad I would try to draw out those moments and with Mom I hope they don't come.
I have taken the leap I have registered for the Alzheimer's Association Support Group Facilitator training! I truly believe this is something I can do where I can give back even after I am not longer caring for Mom. I am actually excited about it. Since there is no qualified facilitator at Mom's facility, I can take that support group and fly with it. We will see how it goes
The following 2 users give hugs of support to: Gabriel aras (02-26-2012), ninamarc (02-27-2012)