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Old 11-22-2012, 02:33 PM   #1
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Question Natural Treatments for Alzheimers?

I have a question for anyone listening. I have a husband who we've just recently diagnosed through various avenues as having Alzheimers. My friend is begging me to take him to an expensive natural treatment center to be detoxed and treated for this. She insists that it is helpful and will possibly even bring back my "old" husband, the one I married and was so fond of. He's been showing signs of this dementia for at least 5 years, if not more. Can anyone tell me if this is a valid treatment for this disease? I am not convinced. And I don't have the money to spend on such treatment. Any advice? Thanks! Laura

 
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Old 11-22-2012, 04:14 PM   #2
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Re: Natural Treatments for Alzheimers?

Hello friend, oh how I wish there was something out there that would/could reverse this awlful disease . If there were I am sure the medical community would be jumping up and down, it would be written up in medical journals and heralded as a miracle but alas no such treatment is even close. A lot of these so called miracle treatments will take your money and dash your hope when nothing happens. We have all had good intentioned family members, friends and others give suggestions as to how and what to do. Although well meaning don't let anyone guilt you into something you know in your heart and mind will do no good and even put more stress on you. You don't have to face this alone, you have found us.So many of us on this board scoure the Internet everyday in hopes of someone making a break through. My mom recently pass away from alzheimer/dementc and I have a sister who is being admitted on Monday to an Alzheimer care facility. Please check this place out very carefully before you spend money that could go towards looking after, hiring someone to help you with the day to day care of your husband. Alzheimer's has NO cure and once they start down that slippery slope there is no reversing it. There are some meds when taken soon enough can sometime slow down the affects for awhile but even they do not always work. I am so sorry you had to find us this way, welcome to our little corner of the Internet where we support each other, ask questions and generally look to see how someone else is handling a situation. Please stay with us, we are all on the same road as you, some of us hav e lost more than one person to Alzheimer some of us are just starting down this road. My journey with my mom is over but once again Alzheimer's has struck our family and my beloved sister is the victim. Dam this disease .....,.
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Old 11-22-2012, 05:50 PM   #3
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Re: Natural Treatments for Alzheimers?

Thank you Judy. You are very kind to stop on a family holiday to answer me. I do believe what you have told me is true. I did guess that if there were a proper cure for this disease, it would be more public, and would be in use. Thank you for the encouragement to continue to come back to all of you guys to keep me going. It is comforting to know that others have faced the same dilemmas I am facing, and that I can get such good advice from all of you. It has already helped me to implement some of the advice I have been given. And it has helped my children to understand how to deal with Dad now that they know he's sick, and not just grouchy and hard to get along with for no reason.

This has helped me in considering my answer to my concerned friend. I know she means well, but I have many things to consider in taking on her suggested therapy.

Thank you, and thank you, for your time and concern.

Laura

 
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Old 11-22-2012, 05:52 PM   #4
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Re: Natural Treatments for Alzheimers?

Thank you Judy. You are very kind to stop on a family holiday to answer me. I do believe what you have told me is true. I did guess that if there were a proper cure for this disease, it would be more public, and would be in use. Thank you for the encouragement to continue to come back to all of you guys to keep me going. It is comforting to know that others have faced the same dilemmas I am facing, and that I can get such good advice from all of you. It has already helped me to implement some of the advice I have been given. And it has helped my children to understand how to deal with Dad now that they know he's sick, and not just grouchy and hard to get along with for no reason.

This has helped me in considering my answer to my concerned friend. I know she means well, but I have many things to consider in taking on her suggested therapy.

Thank you, and thank you, for your time and concern.

Laura

 
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Old 11-22-2012, 06:48 PM   #5
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Re: Natural Treatments for Alzheimers?

Laura, Judy is absolutely right. If there was a cure for this disease it would not be in a unknown clinic or the last page of the internet. Imagine what a real cure would mean!! It wouldn't stay hidden

We as humans want hope! We want to be able to do something and fix this thing. We grab for any hope, including false hope. There have been snake oil salesmen since time began selling false hope to those with no hope. In the case of Alzheimer's I find it to be cruel. There is always some testimonial bye some person that is rarely duplicated in the masses. But is this one testimonial on the up and up, or just a way to sell you something? Many are based on old, long since dis-proven, or possibilities that didn't prove to be true. They grab a bit of fact and warp it to be something that it is not.

Until there is a real cure found, safe your money for the expenses you will have in the future. Hang with us here. I am sorry you needed to find us but glad you did This is a mean disease but together we can get through it!

Love, deb

 
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Old 11-23-2012, 07:56 AM   #6
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Re: Natural Treatments for Alzheimers?

Thank you, Deb. You are always wise in your helpful responses. Of course, I can't mark , on the rating, "Solved my problem"! I guess only God can solve this for us all. But you are so smart in saying that I shouldn't try to fool myself into thinking that I can reverse time and make this go away. I understand that there will be more expenses and that i'm losing money each day that my husband can't work. So I will be frugal and try to use the money we have for the right things. Thank you for keeping me thinking straight, and for caring that I make it through. It is so helpful to know I can always call on this group to support me.

Thank you and Judy. You are kind people.

Laura

 
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Old 11-23-2012, 08:53 AM   #7
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Re: Natural Treatments for Alzheimers?

I am so sorry that there is someone in your life to make you do this! How terrible! This person cannot promise you anything but you would have to spend lots of money!!
No way dementia or Alzheimer's can be cured. You just have to deal with it and help your husband one step at a time. There are lots of ridiculous alternatives that may not work. There is no cure so you really should not spend money for that. You will need more money for caregiving or even a nursing home for him later.
Please don't follow the friend's advice and she cannot force you to do that! Also this detoxing thing is for cancer usually. Brain disease is complex and cannot be dealt with like this. He can take Q10 or other supplemental stuff that may help but there is no "alternative treatments" for Alzheimer's.

Hugs,
Nina

 
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Old 11-23-2012, 06:24 PM   #8
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Re: Natural Treatments for Alzheimers?

Thank you, Nina, for your concern for my situation. You are sweet to understand how much pressure she is putting on me, not even knowing it. I couldn't sleep the night after she asked me to consider this alternative. And she is, inadvertently, making me feel guilty if I don't put out this money for the health of my mate. Thank you for reassuring me that this is not a wise use of time and money. It is already difficult enough for me to learn to deal daily with this situation, knowing now that it is not going to go away or get better. And to feel pressure to "do the right thing" is another burden. Thank you for helping me feel better about not following up.

The only question I am going to have now is whether to bring this up to my husband. In the olden days, I would run everything by him! But now he has strange logical ways of approaching decisions, and perhaps he would want to try it? Then I'm back to square one. I will try to figure out a delicate way to tell her that I don't want to do this, and consider that it is probably none of her business how I came to that conclusion or whether I asked him. This is just the beginning of this type of dilemma for me, isn't it!!

Thank you for your concern and very wise advice.

Laura

 
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Old 11-23-2012, 08:20 PM   #9
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Re: Natural Treatments for Alzheimers?

Laura, don't burn your bridges, if this person is a friend no need to explained just that you did some research and it is not to promising a treatment plan, in the future you will need help with many things, even someone to have coffee with hubby while you go out..as we have all experienced, friends like the leaves on trees, they just fall away and disappear..I am sure she is just trying to help.
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Old 11-23-2012, 09:32 PM   #10
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Re: Natural Treatments for Alzheimers?

Turk... you do not need to give anybody an explanation. If she brings it up just say "Thank you for your concern" and leave it at that. She is doing the same thing that you are doing... searching for a quick answer to an impossible situation. It is human nature.

One of the hardest things is to decide what is appropriate to tell your loved one with dementia. Before the disease you probably discussed everything, large and small. You could discuss the details and come up with a decision or compromise that was logical and well thought out. That was before. Now, as you have mentioned, he is unable to assess the situation logically and come to a good decision. So why would you bring this subject, that he doesn't even know about, to his attention? Why confuse him with false hope, explain that it is hopeless, and then ask him if he wants to try it? Just toss it into the "I am not going to worry about this any more" pile and let it go.

Now for the subject of guilt. Guilt is an emotion that occurs when a person believes that they have violated a moral standard. It indicates wrong doing. if there is a situation that you have no control over then you can not assign guilt. You have no control over this disease or the lack of treatment. You have no control over the suggestions that others have given you. You are doing the very best you can in a bad situation. Not only are you dealing with your husband's disease but you are also dealing with well intended friends that put you in a situation to have to make choices that they might not agree with. You can only control what you think and do. You have to do what is best for you and your husband. That is your responsibility. You are not compelled to follow the suggestions of others. What you can do is to control how you respond to their suggestions. Please do not pile guilt, for something that you did not cause or do, on top of everything else you have to deal with We want to please others but we can only please them when it fits into what we know is best. If it is not best for you, then just let it go. There is no reason to feel guilty, because you can not please your friend, by doing something that is not in your best interest.

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Old 11-23-2012, 09:34 PM   #11
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Re: Natural Treatments for Alzheimers?

Please still keep her as a friend. She meant well.
About telling your husband about this. Well, it depends on his stage. If it is early stage, maybe you can ask him for his opinion. It is about his health. But in later stage, he may be too confused to go through that so-called treatments. If you are the POA for him, you get to decide for him about this. It is hard. But it doesn't hurt to mention it. However if you feel that this will make him more confused, then it is up to you to decide. It is your call. In general, the person who is sick should know about it. But a confused demented person can only be misled by the situation.

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Old 11-24-2012, 08:17 AM   #12
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Re: Natural Treatments for Alzheimers?

Judy: I agree with you. I am not a "burning bridges" person. I would like to keep her friendship, but as a passive person, I am prone to let her keep on asking me why or listen to her persuasive arguments. I have to be careful how I answer her, so that I don't make her feel like I'm ungrateful or I don't trust her judgement. It is a delicate situation. But I'll get past it, just like I've gotten past the other impasses I've already been through to date!

I appreciate you and the other ladies helping me understand that there are going to be certain things ahead of me that i have no idea about yet. Thank you for the warnings and the heads up. It helps me so much to know that someone else has been along this road. The road is traveled and there are worn paths ahead of me.

I am going to carefully consider my answer to my good friend.

Laura

 
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Old 11-24-2012, 08:46 AM   #13
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Re: Natural Treatments for Alzheimers?

Deb: You are right, my friend has genuine concern, but she is just a little overbearing in my book. I am not used to that kind of friend, and I gravitate towards those who are more like me and easy-going. But she has been very kind to us already, in other ways, and I want to respect that kindness. I will answer her carefully and fairly. Thank you for letting me know that I dont' have to rattle off all my reasoning. That does help me.

I do like the pile you mention! Nowadays I've learned that there is a pile of "I just don't need to bring that up, and I'll take care of it myself". That pile is bigger than it's ever been, but I believe God is using that to make me a stronger person, so that I can handle the next thing. One day at a time has become the easiest way for me to cope. My husband only knows that he has some memory lapses and that he loses things periodically. He has no idea that he has anything else wrong, so you are right. Why bring up this complicated decision that i have already made a decision on, after much research and time, and make him go through it himself. Very good point.

Thank you for the guilt speech, too. I have already been through the process of worrying that this whole thing was caused by me! I had no idea what was happening to my husband over the years, and I thought that something I was doing was making him very unhappy and hard to please. But I understand now that it was not my doing, and that the disease was slowly creeping up on him. But I do feel guilty on different days about having to do things differently, or about not doing enough to help him get through this. Then my nice friend added another level of guilt to my list! But I will take your advice and do what I believe is best, and go forward. I do not have the time or emotional strength to carry any more burdens. I can only do daily what is appropriate, and ask God to bless my efforts and to give me grace for the next day.

Thank you for this excellent advice and encouragement. It is so nice to be able to learn from all of your experiences and your insight. Such a help to me, as I walk this new road.

Laura

 
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Old 11-24-2012, 09:07 AM   #14
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Re: Natural Treatments for Alzheimers?

Nina: I just saw your reply come up. No, I'm not his POA, and he doesn't even know that we need anything like that at this point. He is still a functioning person, able to do most daily activities, just having some trouble with coordination at this point, and reasoning is a real problem. But he might not be able to make an informed decision, and I think it would overload him to have to think about it. Thinking about larger decisions makes him toss and turn at night, and he can't really get past it. When we went to the urologist to check on his high PSA, he had really high blood pressure that morning, and couldn't sleep the night before. So...this would be even more pressure on him, since all he thinks is wrong is his memory.

I am leaning towards not mentioning it. That seems the easiest route, considering the time and effort I have put into making this decision. I don't want to put myself through it twice. As Deb mentioned, there is that giant pile of "I'm not going to worry with this anymore." So I'll use that one this time! Go ahead and enjoy the holidays with my family and put that decision behind me.

Thank you for the helpful way of looking at it, also. I will have to do research now on the POA. I had not considered that at all, and will add that to my list. My name is on all of our financial accounts, but doctors are not as willing to work with me if I don't have my husband's signature on a paper. Sounds like something I will need in the future.

You are sweet to keep up with me, a novice in all this!

Laura

 
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Old 11-24-2012, 09:51 AM   #15
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Re: Natural Treatments for Alzheimers?

Turk... as I said well intended friends will pile on the guilt unknowingly as they try to be helpful. It is up to us to turn off that part of our personality that makes us feel guilty when we can not live up to their standards and please them by reacting to their suggestions. Eventually you learn how to react to different situations and suggestions. I love the comment... "I am still checking into that but my life right now is so busy!" I tend to follow that up with a suggestion of how they can really help. I truly believe that is what they want to do. They want to help and just don't know how to do that appropriately. So I drop huge hints Giving a friend a specific thing they can do to help will help not only you but them as well.

You do need to make sure you are on the HIPPA list at every doctor. As time goes on he will be less able to manage his own care and it will be up to you to do that for him. It makes it almost impossible if you can not talk to the doctor. You also need to get his permission to deal with any health insurance. If he is on Medicare that is done through the Social Security office. There will be a time when you will need this and the sooner you get it the better.

The same goes for the POA, living will, medical POA/directive, and his will. He needs to be able to make decisions to complete these papers so you understand the need to do it NOW. Without these papers, even if your name is on an account or property, you might not be able to do what needs to be done. There have been many incidents where I would not have been able to accomplish what needed to be done without the POA for Mom and Dad.

In order to get these papers done you need to contact an elder lawyer and determine what is best for your family. As with the treatment you considered, you do not have to tell your husband that he is losing his mind and therefore you need to be able to take care of his affairs. That would send him into a tail spin for sure. What you can tell him is that you are both getting older and this is something that needs to be done just in case the need arises. Ask for the paperwork to be done as a Christmas present or Birthday present so that you will have the assurance that all is taken care of if needed in the future. If he thinks he is doing something kind for you, rather than preparing for his decline, it might go a bit easier. No need to connect this paperwork to his diagnosis. Mom was a stickler for this type of preparation and this is exactly how we handled Dad. In reality we ALL need this paperwork done. We do not need to wait until after the fact. So doing yours and his together will help you both. If necessary put his name on your papers and change them later! Mom did this and it worked like a charm!

You will learn along the way what to discuss with him and what you need to just do. If it is going to cause him distress and you can do it without him, then let him remain peaceful. If the information is not necessary to his well being it is better to let that discussion go. There will come a time when you will feel that you are withholding information. Pile on the guilt time. But I can tell you from experience that withholding information that creates negative responses is a bless to him. When that time comes reread the guilt paragraph. This disease turns what we know upside down. We have to rethink what we have always done and known. We have to put ourselves in the mind of those with dementia to understand that we are doing exactly what they need.

I ran head long into this when my Dad died. Mom was well into her Alzheimer's at the time. They had been happily married for 61 years. Despite the fact that they were in the same locked dementia unit, in the same room, I made the difficult choice not to actually tell Mom that Dad had died. She could no longer communicate effective and her auditory processing was very limited. We did not take her to the funeral either. I did some piling on for a while until I realized that Mom was ok. In her demented mind she compensated for Dad's absence. In her mind he was with his Mom, at work, taking a nap, on a trip, or somewhere else in the moment. She could not connect the moments to comprehend that he was no longer present. Occasionally she would express missing him. I validated that because I did too. Yet I had spared her the grief of telling her he was gone and having to repeat that grief every time it was talked about because it was new to her. She quickly adjusted to the new normal without the heart ache.

Dementia patients do one of two things. They either forget almost immediately or they get it in the moment and can't let it go. I swear the latter is the worst. There is a sweet lady in Mom's facility that was told her husband had died and she cries for him every day. That is what you chance when you bring up subjects that are better left to you to deal with

Knowing your husband, his possible reactions, and where he is in the disease is so very important to making decisions. Some can handle information much better than others. Looking at past situations and how he handled them will give you the best answer for you and your husband. If he has sleepless nights over simple situations then don't present him with the big decisions, or make them very simple and pleasant if possible. If he can still deal with stressful situations (which it doesn't appear that he can) then you can continue to include him. It sounds like you are beginning to do just that and it will serve you well....

Love, deb

 
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