Early Stages of AD

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normal Early Stages of AD

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Quite a regular
From: Rowlett
Posts: 56
The following messages and responses are posted per a reader's approval with the hopes of getting further help from ElderHope readers. If you have any thoughts or feedback that you could share with this reader, it would surely be appreciated! Here's her concerns:

Reader: My father in law is acting very strange, I'm not sure what is going on could you please discribe the first stages of Alzheimer's Disease?

Response: Thank you for visiting ElderHope! In response to your message, there could be many factors relating to your father-in-law's strange behavior . . .
adverse reactions to medicine, some type of infection, depression, etc. It
may be good to suggest that he contact his primary physician for a
check-up. Because there are so many possible reasons for "strange" behavior in the elderly, and because if he does have the disease, the doctor can prescribe an Alzheimer's-related medication to address the symptoms, I think that a visit to the doctor may be wise.

If his behavior does relate to Alzheimer's disease, early stage behavior
may include frequent memory slips, difficulty being able to say what he
wants to say - can't find the right word, apathy, and more. For a good
overview of the stages, click on this link:
http://www.alzheimers.org/slides/Mod1/sld010.htm . Also the Alzheimer's
Association has a list of the 10 warning signs of AD:

I do hope that this helps. If you have any other questions, we will
certainly try to assist you. Please take care

Reader: Thank you for answering my e-mail. I know he has Alzheimer's. He is seeing a doctor who has increased his medicine for memory, but how far along he is I'm not sure. I have heard some scary things about this. I am worried about my mother in law. Depressed, forgetful so far are the only things I've heard about the disease. Could he become violent? He sleeps alot, but she has mentioned that he's up at night. Is this common? Can you suggest any reading material that could give me a better understanding of behavior traits? He's always been the man of the house, his laws were law. I don't think my husband or my mother in law has ever gone against him in anything.
Sooner or later they will need to be a little more aggressive. But how? To
do what?What can we do to make his life easier? I know he is unhappy.
I know I sound confused. It's nice to know I can talk to some one. Thank you so much.

Response: It sounds as though the sleeping irregularities, getting up at night, and related behavioral concerns could very much be related to Alzheimer'sdisease. Do you know what medicine his doctor has prescribed for his memory problems? You may want to talk with the doctor about your concerns - perhaps she or he could give you a little more specific information about your father-in-law's current level of dementia, about how to deal with specific behavioral symptoms that you are concerned about, and about resources available in his community through the Alzheimer's Association (look on ElderHope's "link" page to find the local chapter of the Alz. Assoc.-
http://www.elderhope.com/Alzheimers_links.shtml?menu=90000 )
There's a good book on Alzheimer's disease, The 36 Hour Day, that you can find at your library or just about any book store and through our website,http://www.elderhope.com/Alzheimers_books.shtml
Just scroll down to the bottom of the page . . . you can get more info about that book and others that we have found very helpful for caregivers.

However, as you are reading more about the disease and the stages, please remember that each person may react differently throughout the progression of the disease, so that you do not become overly concerned about what WILL happen but just to have an idea of what types of behavior MAY be seen through the stages of Alzheimer's.
Again, I hope that this helps in some way. I do understand how frightening
this disease can sound - but there are many good and healthy ways to help your father-in-law through the disease and to take care of yourselves in the process!
If you would like, check out our Forums page to connect with other
caregivers who are also coping with a loved one who has Alzheimer's disease.
Please keep in touch and let us know how your father-in-law, you and your family are coming along. Barb

Posted on 2002/2/28 19:13

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