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normal Dementia

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Quite a regular
From: Rowlett
Posts: 56
Dear LK,
I really want to "ditto" everything that Mike said in his reply to you . . . plus just a few other things -
If your mother is taking Aricept, her symptoms may not seem to be dramatically different while on the medication, but it may still be slowing the progression of her disease process and resulting symptoms. It's important that she stay on the mediction unless told to stop by her physician.
Also, regarding your main question about the best way to deal with her agitation and "do we smile and agree with everything?", my reply is, "It depends." First, try to remember that rational thinking and logical reasoning probably won't have a positive effect when talking with your mother. Many times, trying to 'reason' with a person who has dementia will only result in more agitation and confusion. These are the times that simple, one word replies may be best. Other times, it may be most helpful to simply walk away from your mother before a full-blown argument ensues. Have you contacted the Alzheimer's Association in your mother's community yet? They have a boatload of resources available, including free pamphlets and brochures, on how to deal with agitation and other behavioral concerns that persons with dementia may exhibit. Also, check out their website,, for online information. Although there is no one right way to deal with agitation and aggression with persons who have dementia, generally speaking, keeping it simple and not arguing will be most effective.
As Mike stated, "dementia" is not an outdated term, but relates to the many behavioral, emotional, physical and cognitive results of the effects on the brain from the disease process of Alzheimer's disease, etc.
However, it's important to know what's the probable cause of your mother's dementia . . . her doctor should be able to give you some answers after a thorough evaluation.
Lastly, watch your mother's driving and see if you begin noticing any changes in her driving - be aware of "fender-benders" or shopping trips that take much longer than they should - maybe because of forgetting her way back home, etc.
Sure hope this helps . . . and let us know how things are coming along with your mother . . . AND, take care of yourself in the process!

Posted on 2002/12/4 9:08

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