Alzheimers; a right bastard

StBob072

LE
Book Reviewer
Alcohol-Related Dementia: Harriett’s Story – Caregiver's Companion

I've been doing a bit of Google-based research for a mate who has a family member in a similar position to that described at the link. Pretty sobering stuff.

The most shocking thing about that is that, allegedly, her own doctor recommended her to have "one or two beers in the evening to relax".

Wtf?? No doctor in this day and age should be prescribing alcohol, and he presumably knew she already had psychological problems.

Hope the cnut was struck off.
 
The most shocking thing about that is that, allegedly, her own doctor recommended her to have "one or two beers in the evening to relax".

Wtf?? No doctor in this day and age should be prescribing alcohol, and he presumably knew she already had psychological problems.

Hope the cnut was struck off.
I was bloody surprised to read it as well. To be fair, I think said recommendation was in the 70s or 80s.
 
The most shocking thing about that is that, allegedly, her own doctor recommended her to have "one or two beers in the evening to relax".

Wtf?? No doctor in this day and age should be prescribing alcohol, and he presumably knew she already had psychological problems.

Hope the cnut was struck off.


Its was apparently "a doctor" in the "mid-1960s".

Possibly advising a (then) young fit person to have a moderate drink (it was US beer, after all) in the evening to relieve stress was a healthier option than getting them hooked on anti-depressants. Who knows what the circumstances were?

I imagine that, back then, they were also advising people to smoke half a packet of fags in order to relax as well!


Not sure how a family could miss alcohol abuse in a dementia patient, though. A sniff of alcohol (under supervision) utterly scrambles what's left of my father's brain (pick him up/ clean him up/ deal with the flood of delusions/ etc). Like a lot of families, when the occasion demands we give him some of the alcohol-free stuff. Fortunately, he hasn't the sense of taste any longer to detect the ruse!
 
I never knew what Alzheimers was until a few years ago when I met someone who was looking after a parent with it. The rest of the family wanted to get her in to a home, but the woman I knew fought to keep her at home and look after her there.

I can see why it's not talked about. As if anyone would listen anyway. I guess it's the bullet that has 'to whom it may concern' written on it, and you have to be hit by it before you take notice.

Takes real hard dedication and love and sacrifice to do that.

What more to say? Hope it never hits you or your family. But when it does, it will need to be dealt with. Some people get all the luck.

No matter how shitty your little life is, there is always someone that has it that much worse. Doesn't come much worse than Alzheimers though from what I can tell.

Everything we are, the whole core of our being is centred around our memory, short-term, long-term. I suffered severe memory impairment a year or two ago because of a bad vitamin deficiency. It was extremely frightening and frustrating. I see where the frustration comes from (and the associated violence).

Just a very very small taste. Enough for me.

It was B12 deficiency if you are interested. It mimics the symptoms of dementia, and can even cause it long term. But short term deficiencies can be put right fairly easily. I was ok after a few days of super dosing on B12.

People with dementia benefit from taking B12 as well, and also folic acid (another B vitamin).

You can take massive doses of B12 and it is not toxic, unlike some other vitamins. Do your research. It won't hurt you. It's water soluble so will probably only be a waste of money and you end up excreting it via urine if you take too much.

The research is out there.
 
I never knew what Alzheimers was until a few years ago when I met someone who was looking after a parent with it. The rest of the family wanted to get her in to a home, but the woman I knew fought to keep her at home and look after her there.

I can see why it's not talked about. As if anyone would listen anyway. I guess it's the bullet that has 'to whom it may concern' written on it, and you have to be hit by it before you take notice.

Takes real hard dedication and love and sacrifice to do that.

What more to say? Hope it never hits you or your family. But when it does, it will need to be dealt with. Some people get all the luck.

No matter how shitty your little life is, there is always someone that has it that much worse. Doesn't come much worse than Alzheimers though from what I can tell.

Everything we are, the whole core of our being is centred around our memory, short-term, long-term. I suffered severe memory impairment a year or two ago because of a bad vitamin deficiency. It was extremely frightening and frustrating. I see where the frustration comes from (and the associated violence).

Just a very very small taste. Enough for me.

It was B12 deficiency if you are interested. It mimics the symptoms of dementia, and can even cause it long term. But short term deficiencies can be put right fairly easily. I was ok after a few days of super dosing on B12.

People with dementia benefit from taking B12 as well, and also folic acid (another B vitamin).

You can take massive doses of B12 and it is not toxic, unlike some other vitamins. Do your research. It won't hurt you. It's water soluble so will probably only be a waste of money and you end up excreting it via urine if you take too much.

The research is out there.
If you don't mind me asking, how did you become B12 deficient?
 
If you don't mind me asking, how did you become B12 deficient?
I'm on Lansoprazole for acid reflux and apparently that can cause a B12 deficiency as it reduces the levels of acid needed to break down and absorb it. My GP hasn't mentioned anything about this, and at the moment I'm happy enough that my chest and stomach aren't on fire constantly, but it's something to look out for.
 

StBob072

LE
Book Reviewer
After having gone into a slow decline with vascular dementia, and having been in a care home for almost three years, my mother seems to have gone downhill a bit more in the last week or so.

Of course this coincides with our going away for two nights this weekend, our only break since a week away in June.

Bugger.
 
The most shocking thing about that is that, allegedly, her own doctor recommended her to have "one or two beers in the evening to relax".

Wtf?? No doctor in this day and age should be prescribing alcohol, and he presumably knew she already had psychological problems.

Hope the cnut was struck off.
As others have said, probably a doctor of the 50s, 60s or 70s. My mum said she was “prescribed” a bottle of Guinness or two in the evenings after giving birth- to counter iron deficiency apparently.
When you think that doctors also used to prescribe (and effect) orgasms for “hysterical” women, a recommendation of booze and fags doesn’t seem that surprising.
 
Update to the saga of Mrs Dave (last post 169), who is suffering from Normal Pressure Hydrocephalus, a form of dementia which can be reversed.

Mrs Dave had the op last Monday to insert a stent into her brain down to her stomach to drain the cerebro-spinal fluid from her brain cavities.

She was released on the Tuesday evening (I thought she'd be in a lot longer, but no). She was terribly confused at first and slept fitfully up to bedtime, whereby I helped her upstairs to bed, leaving her at her bedroom door (we sleep in separate rooms due to me being up every couple of hours at night).

Wednesday morning came round "Did you have a good sleep?" "No, very cold.."

I went into her room and found her with her head at the bottom of the bed - she'd climbed into bed the wrong way round and only covered her head with the duvet, leaving the rest of her body to the elements. Anyway, I got her up and dressed and the rest of the day she spent sleeping very fitfully in 3 hour stints, only waking for lunch and dinner. Into bed OK on Wednesday night and an undisturbed night.

On Thursday there seemed to be a vast improvement - her need for the loo was greatly diminished, her memory* seemed to be OK and her walking, well, her walking hadn't improved at all. Friday, Saturday and Sunday everything beside her walking had improved

One week on and it is plain that the operation was a success, albeit we don't know if the symptoms will return. Her general demeanor is good, it's nice that my old wife from 5 years ago (and more) has mostly returned and she is not the just sitting around looking vacant most of the time. She is sitting up and taking notice, is making conversation and her feistiness has returned.

All in all a very good conclusion to a difficult situation. I am told from various people in the know that her situation will gradually decline, but for now we can be thankful that Mrs Dave is back and enjoying things - just in time for a very significant birthday.

* On Thursday in the period of an hour she asked the following questions, which alarmed me considerably and I thought the op had failed:

"What time do we pick up the children?" "Today's Thursday, dear, we pick the kids up on Friday!!"

10 minutes later, "What time are you going to the match?" "The match is on Saturday, love, today's Thursday!!"

45 minutes later "What time do we need to go and get our flu jab?" "The flu jab appointment is at 9 o'clock on Saturday, today's Thursday!!"

Fairs fair though, she's been on the ball ever since, thankfully.
 
My dear mother, a widow of 8 years, died a month shy of her 90th Birthday, last Sunday, she'd had Alzheimer's for 4 years, three years before the onset she had experienced periods of confusion and was diagnosed with and treated for a B12 deficiency and prescribed B12 shots every 3 months - it was like a magic bullet - her vibrancy returned and she was able to enjoy life.

Until last May she was able to function quite well with the aid of her house cleaner, visiting carers, and catered meals. Her beloved dog gave her added impetus and she was able to walk him, albeit short distances, three times a day. In her final 18 months she didn't recognize anyone but me, her cleaner and her dog though remembered her way around on her short walks.
Come May, almost overnight, her condition deteriorated, she became very demanding in an almost childlike way and had to be cajoled into eating.
She took to her bed in September and refused to get up. I found talking to her, singing, and reminiscing (her long term memory was still sharp) about humorous events cheered her up, but only as long as the conversation which, within seconds, she forgot. It was heartbreaking to witness the deterioration of a once vibrant, vivacious, witty and intelligent woman.

I give thanks for her long and happy life and a happy marriage of 63 years spent all over the world as an Army wife and nurse - and curse Alzheimer's!
 

StBob072

LE
Book Reviewer
My dear mother, a widow of 8 years, died a month shy of her 90th Birthday, last Sunday, she'd had Alzheimer's for 4 years, three years before the onset she had experienced periods of confusion and was diagnosed with and treated for a B12 deficiency and prescribed B12 shots every 3 months - it was like a magic bullet - her vibrancy returned and she was able to enjoy life.

Until last May she was able to function quite well with the aid of her house cleaner, visiting carers, and catered meals. Her beloved dog gave her added impetus and she was able to walk him, albeit short distances, three times a day. In her final 18 months she didn't recognize anyone but me, her cleaner and her dog though remembered her way around on her short walks.
Come May, almost overnight, her condition deteriorated, she became very demanding in an almost childlike way and had to be cajoled into eating.
She took to her bed in September and refused to get up. I found talking to her, singing, and reminiscing (her long term memory was still sharp) about humorous events cheered her up, but only as long as the conversation which, within seconds, she forgot. It was heartbreaking to witness the deterioration of a once vibrant, vivacious, witty and intelligent woman.

I give thanks for her long and happy life and a happy marriage of 63 years spent all over the world as an Army wife and nurse - and curse Alzheimer's!
Very much like my mother.

Sorry for your loss.
 
Update to the saga of Mrs Dave (last post 169), who is suffering from Normal Pressure Hydrocephalus, a form of dementia which can be reversed.

Mrs Dave had the op last Monday to insert a stent into her brain down to her stomach to drain the cerebro-spinal fluid from her brain cavities.

She was released on the Tuesday evening (I thought she'd be in a lot longer, but no). She was terribly confused at first and slept fitfully up to bedtime, whereby I helped her upstairs to bed, leaving her at her bedroom door (we sleep in separate rooms due to me being up every couple of hours at night).

Wednesday morning came round "Did you have a good sleep?" "No, very cold.."

I went into her room and found her with her head at the bottom of the bed - she'd climbed into bed the wrong way round and only covered her head with the duvet, leaving the rest of her body to the elements. Anyway, I got her up and dressed and the rest of the day she spent sleeping very fitfully in 3 hour stints, only waking for lunch and dinner. Into bed OK on Wednesday night and an undisturbed night.

On Thursday there seemed to be a vast improvement - her need for the loo was greatly diminished, her memory* seemed to be OK and her walking, well, her walking hadn't improved at all. Friday, Saturday and Sunday everything beside her walking had improved

One week on and it is plain that the operation was a success, albeit we don't know if the symptoms will return. Her general demeanor is good, it's nice that my old wife from 5 years ago (and more) has mostly returned and she is not the just sitting around looking vacant most of the time. She is sitting up and taking notice, is making conversation and her feistiness has returned.

All in all a very good conclusion to a difficult situation. I am told from various people in the know that her situation will gradually decline, but for now we can be thankful that Mrs Dave is back and enjoying things - just in time for a very significant birthday.

* On Thursday in the period of an hour she asked the following questions, which alarmed me considerably and I thought the op had failed:

"What time do we pick up the children?" "Today's Thursday, dear, we pick the kids up on Friday!!"

10 minutes later, "What time are you going to the match?" "The match is on Saturday, love, today's Thursday!!"

45 minutes later "What time do we need to go and get our flu jab?" "The flu jab appointment is at 9 o'clock on Saturday, today's Thursday!!"

Fairs fair though, she's been on the ball ever since, thankfully.

Glad for you, you must be pleased
 
My dear mother, a widow of 8 years, died a month shy of her 90th Birthday, last Sunday, she'd had Alzheimer's for 4 years, three years before the onset she had experienced periods of confusion and was diagnosed with and treated for a B12 deficiency and prescribed B12 shots every 3 months - it was like a magic bullet - her vibrancy returned and she was able to enjoy life.

Until last May she was able to function quite well with the aid of her house cleaner, visiting carers, and catered meals. Her beloved dog gave her added impetus and she was able to walk him, albeit short distances, three times a day. In her final 18 months she didn't recognize anyone but me, her cleaner and her dog though remembered her way around on her short walks.
Come May, almost overnight, her condition deteriorated, she became very demanding in an almost childlike way and had to be cajoled into eating.
She took to her bed in September and refused to get up. I found talking to her, singing, and reminiscing (her long term memory was still sharp) about humorous events cheered her up, but only as long as the conversation which, within seconds, she forgot. It was heartbreaking to witness the deterioration of a once vibrant, vivacious, witty and intelligent woman.

I give thanks for her long and happy life and a happy marriage of 63 years spent all over the world as an Army wife and nurse - and curse Alzheimer's!
Sorry for your loss
 
Wife's godmother is hanging onto existence - I won't call it life as she no longer recognises her husband of 60+ years other than very occasionally ditto her son and daughter and then only for a few seconds at a time.

She is bed bound and essentially in a semi-vegetative (95+% vegetative) state.
Less than 3 years ago she was a sprightly and intelligent 85 year old who walked 3 miles daily, had written and published a book in her early 80s and had a keen interest in photography. We often communicated via email as she was profoundly deaf from her late 20s.

We, including her husband, are hoping that she will die soon.
Your last is something I've found in common with the thoughts of many people in the same situation, including myself, mother & siblings.
IMO it's not in the least callous, only a recognition that the person you knew no longer exists, only an empty & often suffering shell.
 
Filthy affliction......... as a plumber, I've grown old with a lot of my customers, and I've seen some lovely intelligent people go this route.

Just been out to a lovely family a couple of days ago.... fiercely independant, but the old boy is going downhill, the wife has a lot of serious health issues herself, the son who's acting as a carer is struggling.

Getting old is a bastard.
 

StBob072

LE
Book Reviewer
Your last is something I've found in common with the thoughts of many people in the same situation, including myself, mother & siblings.
IMO it's not in the least callous, only a recognition that the person you knew no longer exists, only an empty & often suffering shell.

Thank you. I'm not alone then.

Funny thing was we visited friends last weekend and one of the first things my friend said was, in a quite matter-of-fact way "don't you just wish they'd die - I wish mine would". I was slightly taken aback, but at the same time I knew she was not being callous or sarcastic, just realistic.

I've lost count of the people who say "You're mother's 98? What a great achievement. That's marvellous..." etc. etc., and also suggesting that I can look forward to a long life myself.

I have to bite my tongue - what's great about living to 98 if you're not even aware of your surroundings for the last 10 years or so, have increasing disabilities, and no desire to go on cluttering the place up!


(Phew, that's better :D )
 
Thank you. I'm not alone then.

Funny thing was we visited friends last weekend and one of the first things my friend said was, in a quite matter-of-fact way "don't you just wish they'd die - I wish mine would". I was slightly taken aback, but at the same time I knew she was not being callous or sarcastic, just realistic.

I've lost count of the people who say "You're mother's 98? What a great achievement. That's marvellous..." etc. etc., and also suggesting that I can look forward to a long life myself.

I have to bite my tongue - what's great about living to 98 if you're not even aware of your surroundings for the last 10 years or so, have increasing disabilities, and no desire to go on cluttering the place up!


(Phew, that's better :D )
In your heart you want to keep your mum/dad for as long as possiable,
your head tells you it would be kinder to let them go,
It's an emotional war within yourself
 

StBob072

LE
Book Reviewer
In your heart you want to keep your mum/dad for as long as possiable,
your head tells you it would be kinder to let them go,
It's an emotional war within yourself
Fecking tell me about it! I've been going through the shite of trying to sell her house (my only family home) for a couple of months, in order to pay for her care.

To cut a long story short, people say to me - surely there must be another way. Basically it boils down to the fact that I didn't expect her to live to the age of 98. The mind is gone, but the body goes on because she has "nothing to die of ...".
 
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