Re: grief in the dementia patient

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none Re: grief in the dementia patient

Quite a regular
From: Rowlett
Posts: 56
I am so sorry for all that you and your family are going through right now . . . there are so many issues that you are struggling with and I'm not sure how well I can address them here, but I will try.
To begin with, have you contacted the Alzheimer's association in your area? It may sound like I'm not really addressing your concerns but they really do have wealth of information on how to cope with many of the issues that you have - even if your father does have a diagnosis of vascular dementia. Please see for their website for information about support in your area.

You may want to seek another opinion on his diagnosis from a neurologist to see if this may be Alzheimer's disease with a vascular component which is not unusual for the elderly. Hopefully, he is or will be prescribed the meds for AD to help with symptoms of AD - these meds would be donepezil and memantine, usually.

And, vascular dementia generally progresses differently from AD becuase the cause of the memory problems is coming from vascular issues and not so much from the plaques and tangles that are related to Alzheimer's disease. HOwever, the course of the disease is not necessarily shorter - unless a person has a stroke or another acute vascular related event . . . it is all very confusing and that's why it's good to talk with a neurologist or a doctor who is very experienced with AD and vascular dementia.

Lastly, your guilt that you mentioned is so very understandable and so very common among caregivers . . . just please remember that you ARE giving your father the best care right now by having him at an Assisted Living center where the staff is trained to care for persons with dementia. You may want to check out caregiver support groups in your area (again, check the Alzheimer's Assoc.) where you can talk with others who may have already been through some of your struggles and suggest ways of coping.

Lastly, please let me know if I can assist with more information - I do work at UT Southwestern's Memory Research Unit and would try to address any specific concern relating to Alzheimer's Disease as possible. However, I know that there are many other ElderHope member caregivers who have coped with Alzheimer's disease issues with their loved ones - they really are the experts and I do hope that someone is able to share some of their thoughts too . . . .

In the meantime, please take care -
Barb Davis

Posted on 2008/6/4 10:13

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