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Alzheimer's Disease & Dementia Message Board

Alzheimer's Disease & Dementia Board Index


Mom had been diagnosed with dementia but my Dad came home one day with her and say 'the doctor said your mother has Alz'. Only she didn't seem to exhibit any symptoms to us and Mom was always very high-strung and sneaky
by hiding money and things.

We started to notice her decline in the mid-90's. It was most evident when they came from their Pennsylvania home to the NJ home they had lived in the longest. It just seemed like Mom couldn't remember what cabinet to open or drawer to open to get what she wanted. But that slip was usually only 24 hours long. And he would say the same thing would happen to her when he went back to Pennsy. Then he started to say "why don't you stay with the girls, and I'll go back to pennsy. I'll be back in a few weeks again, and you can visit with them" but Mom insisted on being with him and going back and forth with him -- now I know why he tried to get her to stay in NJ. Each trip over the 7 years they were out there, she was more confused for longer times than normal.

After Dad died and we moved her back to NJ full-time, she drove and was living 'fine?' but our doctor said that its probably just that she's living on her long-term memory not short-term. But during this time she'd pick up my daughter from school and drive her to the next town for gymnastics. Then my kids started saying things like Grandma drove the wrong way down a street or grandma turned on a red light when she wasn't suppose to.
When she had the hit and run, I took the driving priveledge away totally.

A year or so later, when sister made an attempt to work after losing her job, Mom started having panic attacks real bad. I'd come home from work and find her sitting in the dark dining room crying real bad because my sister was not home for either working or shopping for groceries. I told sister she needed to start 'planning' things so that someone was home with her while sister went out. But she never planned, she just think "Oh, I need x, and take off in the car thinking my mother would be fine for an hour or two".

One big thing everyone picked up on was that Mom started to forget to sign the cards she gave out. There would be a name at the top and some sentence on how much she loves us and then Love (blank) nothing. We'd all laugh.

And then Mom started forgetting words in sentences as she was talking. And then she had difficulty in actually writing totally. And then the day came when she started becoming more quiet and not talking at all -- she started making moan sound upon breathing in and out but then even that left after a few months of annoyance to anyone in the same room as her. She wasn't aware of it.

Then came the constant hand pounding, foot stomping when sitting, and yelling 'no no no' and her grabbing at her head and holding it. This was the longest time and the most aggravating.

After that came the food hiding, purposeful food spilling, throwing or whatever, Sister kept saying it was because she knew the medicine was in it.
Then we all know the last step was she was taking very long to eat, sister had to start to feed her and then she wasn't able to swallow, dehydrated, fell and was put in the hospital, tranferred to NH and died 2-3 weeks later

So that's it with Mom. Hope the info helps. Since my cousin had a Dad who has Alz diagnosed at 55 and was dead at 57, I think Alz patients go much, much faster than Dementia patients do. My girlfriends x-husband just died from Alz and it was pretty much the same, diagnosed 2 years ago and died last week and he even had a heart transplant 15 years ago!

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