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Alzheimer's Disease & Dementia Message Board

Alzheimer's Disease & Dementia Board Index

Re: Decline
Mar 12, 2011
[QUOTE=roxygirl1;4704502]My mother was diagnosed with alzheimers about a year ago; however my husband, children and I started to notice changes about 2 1/2 years ago. Today, we saw a new low. We took my mother out to dinner. She was trying to drink her nectar drink. There was a straw in her glass. She was holding the straw with one hand which resulted in the glass tilting at a precarious angle while holding a roll in the other hand. It was as if she forgot she was even holding the roll. I told her to put the roll down and hold the glass with her hand. She did not respond, even after I repeated the direction. I finally had to take the roll out of her hand so she would hold the glass. When we first sat down, she was holding the silverware in her hand while trying to open the menue with the other hand. I had to prompt her to put the silverware on the table. Again, is seemed that she forgot she had the silverware in her hand. I suspect that she is loosing the ability to carry out sequences necessary to complete tasks. Word finding difficulty and problem solving skills are also getting worse. [B]Is this typical in the progression of Alzheimers?[/B

]My mom is at an assisted living facility. The facility has 6 activities a day. Today, there was exercise class, trivia, bingo, book club meeting, wii golf, a violin concert and a movie. My mother does go to different activities and has friends there. The staff is very compasionate and the facility is very well maintained and looks more like a resort than a facility. Two geriatric nurses are on duty 24/7. They also have a memory unit, rehab center and nursing home so there is a continuim of services available when needed.

Do people find that activities and social envolvement available at an assisted living facility slows down the progression of alzheimers decline?

It was so upsetting to see the new low my mother hit today[/QUOTE]

It happens that we do see the first time when the elder declines. My father-in-law has had Alzheimer's for at least 7 years and we do see him declining every once in a while. It may happen at home or in the park - it goes with the action or the talk and etc. Fortunately we never had the situation when he literally goes like what your Mom did in the restaurant. One reason is that we always make sure he was cared for outside before he started going funny.
Back home he could often show it. e.g., he began to talk like a baby once in a while or began to tell me "wowowow" like a dog.... This means his speech is going downhill and he cannot really express.

The nursing home for memory impaired sometimes does make the elders better. I am not sure it delays the symptoms. But the peers can help motivating the elder to eat and play and etc. In my FIL's case, he was motivated to eat in the new home after he moved. He was literally eating one meal a day and was stopping eating back home last spring. The home also can offer him pureed food to make it easier to swallow.

It is surprsing and scary to see them decline but it does not happen everyday. It does slowly. To us, it is like every 6 months or so. Each hospitalization also makes him decline.


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