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  • Newly diagnosed 80 yr old husband

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    Old 06-30-2015, 02:39 PM   #1
    Join Date: Jun 2015
    Location: Texas
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    sassylou HB User
    Newly diagnosed 80 yr old husband

    My husband is doing well right now. No trouble with "routine" things like walking the dogs in the morning, taking the trash out daily and weekly garbage day.

    He forgets where things are kept that have been in the same place for years. His train of thought is not real good. He sleeps a lot, can't do the crosswords he has done for years.......

    His doctor prescribed Aricet (?) but he had bad night time leg cramps and his appetite was bad and he lost weight. Now his doctor has prescribed Namena. His sister passed away 6 weeks ago with this ugly disease and her husband said she was on both drugs and he couldn't tell it helped at all.

    He is saying he doesn't want to take anymore drugs. Do any of you have opinions of the effectiveness of the Namenda?

    The unexpected is the hardest for me. I blamed a lot of his problems on his very bad hearing. I finally got him to get hearing aids and he could not figure out how to put in and remove the batteries and always said they didn't help. Now I feel, maybe, he wasn't able to really work with the hearing aid person when he was tested. Thanks for any help.

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    Old 06-30-2015, 08:59 PM   #2
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    Re: Newly diagnosed 80 yr old husband

    Sassy, I am so sorry you are having to deal with this. Namenda and Aricept both have side effects that cause some to be unable to take them. They are not a cure or a treatment for the disease.... they just help the brain perform a little better with what is left. Beyond that, they do not work for all that take them. Even the ones that show some improvement, it only works for a short time and does not change the course of the disease.

    Do you know what type of Dementia her husband has. Has he been diagnosed with Alzheimer's, Vascular Dementia, Frontal Temporal, or Lewey Body? It is important because those two medications are not one size fits all. While they may help with Alzheimer's (both Aricept & Namenda), and Vascular Dementia (only Namenda), they do not work with Frontal Temporal or Lewey Body and could make matters worse with Lewey Body. That is why a proper diagnosis is necessary.

    Dad, with Vascular Dementia, did take the Namenda and Aricept but I am not sure it helped. Mom, with Alzheimer's, was unable to take them and they did nothing for her but make matters worse.

    The unexpected is what haunts all of us. We do need to stay in the moment. Dementia is different for every person so it's hard to look at the averages and possibilities and know what is next. Just stay in the moment and as positive as possible.

    He probably worked as well as he could with the hearing aid person but the problem may not be his hearing. With many types of dementia is the ability to process what they hear that is the problem, regardless of a hearing problem. I will say that any new appliance or aid is difficult for someone with dementia to understand. My Dad had hearing aids long before he had Vascular Dementia. He never did have any problem with putting them in. He eventually started having a little problem with the batteries but not putting them in. After he we well into his Vascular he was changed to an over the ear style rather than an in the ear style. He never did get the hang of that one and we had to go back to the in the ear style. Mom didn't get hearing aids until after she had Alzheimer's. She never did use them. Hated them to be exact. Could not get them in her ears and if I put them in she pulled them out because they were unfamiliar. Both were hard of hearing but even with the hearing aids they still did not understand instructions because their ability to process the information they were hearing was impaired. Mom's Psychiatrist equated it to listening to somebody speak a foreign language. You get a word here and there but not the context or meaning of the sentence.

    I will say that routine is his friend. Doing the same thing repeatedly, day after day, in the same way, at the same time, will make life easier for you both.

    Hope something here has been helpful and I do hope you will come back with any other question you might have.

    Love, deb

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