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  1. #1
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    Is this last stage vascular dementia?

    Mum has been diagnosed for 6 years but we feel she had VD for at least a year before that. She is in a very caring residential home. She often has "sleepy days" but on awake days she could hold a reasonable conversation, was walking slowly but unaided, liked to sing and loved eating sweets.

    Six weeks ago she had a fall and badly bruised her back. She was in a lot of pain and had tramadol and slept all day. So it was changed to a Butrans patch. She was still very sleepy and had no pain, but she stopped walking, eating and drinking. She was only having a couple of teaspoons of food and sips of liquid. She got a urine infection and would not take medication. I had to push the hospital to admit her, but she has been on a drip and the urine infection cleared but she is still unwilling to eat or drink much. After 6 weeks not eating she is unable to stand and spends a lot of time asleep. Her neck seems to be permanently bent forward and to the right. She wants to lie in a foetal position on her right side most of the time but can stretch her legs. She can't or wont hold a cup. Often she is indecisive and will say "I don't know" "What do you think?"

    They have done a brain scan and tell me she has very little functioning brain left and is in the last stage and needs paliative care. But she is still often talking fairly lucidly eg looking round and asking "Am I in hospital?" I helped another patient to the toilet and she said "Well you've done your good turn for the day."

    Has anyone else experience of people in last stage who make lucid logical statements?
     

  2. #2
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    Last stage of vascular dementia

    Dear Ding Dong,

    I am so sorry you are going through this difficult stage.

    It does I'm afraid sound very much like my Mum. She was diagnosed with vascular dementia 3 years ago although we knew she had it long before that. The early stages were quite easy to cope with but gradually she went downhill. On Dec 9th we think she had another TIA and ended up in hospital until Jan 20th. We were told to expect the worst several times, she got pneumonia nd several UTI.

    When she came out she was bed bound, totally unable to walk or recognise people other than Dad and only sipping at her drinks and having to have pureed food as the swallowing reflex had gone. Three weeks into this she had a lucid week, where she recognised us all and happily chatted. This only lasted that week and she continued to deteriorate.

    She died on April 12th at 7.15pm.

    Any more questions please ask as we have just gone through this.

    All you can do is make them as comfortable as possible, we were told not to force food into her if she did not want it,she ended up with a catheter and carers 4 times a day.

    Best wishes to you

    Debbie xxxxx
     

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by debbiemfg View Post
    Dear Ding Dong,

    I am so sorry you are going through this difficult stage.

    It does I'm afraid sound very much like my Mum. She was diagnosed with vascular dementia 3 years ago although we knew she had it long before that. The early stages were quite easy to cope with but gradually she went downhill. On Dec 9th we think she had another TIA and ended up in hospital until Jan 20th. We were told to expect the worst several times, she got pneumonia nd several UTI.

    When she came out she was bed bound, totally unable to walk or recognise people other than Dad and only sipping at her drinks and having to have pureed food as the swallowing reflex had gone. Three weeks into this she had a lucid week, where she recognised us all and happily chatted. This only lasted that week and she continued to deteriorate.

    She died on April 12th at 7.15pm.

    Any more questions please ask as we have just gone through this.

    All you can do is make them as comfortable as possible, we were told not to force food into her if she did not want it,she ended up with a catheter and carers 4 times a day.

    Best wishes to you

    Debbie xxxxx
    Thanks Debbie, listening to others really helps.
     

  4. #4
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    It certainly sounds like last stage, however everyone's experience will be different and the duration may also differ. mum lost her battle 20th April. A lot of what you say reminds me of mum, definitely the foetal position. It is amazing how quickly things happen. We nursed mum at home,so any questions you have please ask and I will see if I can help.

    Jeanette
     

  5. #5
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    I don't think there are any rules. However, my mother became more lucid and coherent in the last two days of her life that she had been for years.
     

  6. #6
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    Can I just say that this stage could go on for a while? My mum has vascular dementia and has been bedbound for over a year (nearer two, as she was only hoisted to a chair and back before that). She has had a seizure, pneumonia and pressure sores with MRSA over the last year and has recovered from them all but has deteriorated a lot generally.

    For a period of time - perhaps two months - last year she stopped eating but now she has put on weight and eats well again. She can no longer feed herself and she is losing the ability to hold a cup up. She can't move and can't be bothered to speak much (she can speak sentences but it just comes out now and again like "I hope you haven't got any germs" when I kissed her)

    This 'end stage' could last for years. For everybody's sake I hope it doesn't but she is a tough old bird! I have heard of others lasting well beyond the stage where you think their bodies cannot take any more.
     

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ding Dong View Post
    Mum has been diagnosed for 6 years but we feel she had VD for at least a year before that. She is in a very caring residential home. She often has "sleepy days" but on awake days she could hold a reasonable conversation, was walking slowly but unaided, liked to sing and loved eating sweets.

    Six weeks ago she had a fall and badly bruised her back. She was in a lot of pain and had tramadol and slept all day. So it was changed to a Butrans patch. She was still very sleepy and had no pain, but she stopped walking, eating and drinking. She was only having a couple of teaspoons of food and sips of liquid. She got a urine infection and would not take medication. I had to push the hospital to admit her, but she has been on a drip and the urine infection cleared but she is still unwilling to eat or drink much. After 6 weeks not eating she is unable to stand and spends a lot of time asleep. Her neck seems to be permanently bent forward and to the right. She wants to lie in a foetal position on her right side most of the time but can stretch her legs. She can't or wont hold a cup. Often she is indecisive and will say "I don't know" "What do you think?"

    They have done a brain scan and tell me she has very little functioning brain left and is in the last stage and needs paliative care. But she is still often talking fairly lucidly eg looking round and asking "Am I in hospital?" I helped another patient to the toilet and she said "Well you've done your good turn for the day."

    Has anyone else experience of people in last stage who make lucid logical statements?
    Dear Ding Dong

    I have recently lost my mom on March 15/13.
    On Feb 13 the doctors told us she had a month or two to live and the dementia had progressed fast, during that time she too was not eating or drinking and they gave her a supplement meal which last about 3 weeks. She was able to walk during this time and right up to 7 days before her passing she was dancing and laughing. The 7 days up to her passing she had a moment where she told me that she was very sorry that she was in palliative care and that she did not blame me for putting her there.

    The last 3 days she was non responsive and did not have any thing to eat or drink for that time. On the morning of her death I had noticed that her hands and feet were turning blue because her body was shutting down. On March 15 at 735 pm my mom took her last breath. She is now with The angels.

    I am so lost now as I spent all my time with mom, she was my rock.
    Treasure each moment and that you have with your mom as these memories will get you through so much.

    My thoughts are with you.

    Nancy
     

  8. #8
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    Hi Soobee
    Your mum saying "I hope you haven't got any germs" when you kissed her, is just the sort of comment my mum comes out with. It show that she knows what is going on, has thought about it and is making an appropriate and almost sarcastic comment - yet the doctors say her brain scan shows she has very little working brain ! Two weeks ago, when she seemed to be barely conscious, my husband said" Bye mum, see you soon." She suddenly opened her eyes, stared at him and said"And when will THAT be?"

    We just can't work out what is going on. It soes not seem to fit with what the doctors are telling us.

    Thanks everyone for your replies. It really helps.
     

  9. #9
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    brains are amazing and awesome things - very little working brain can be enough to get by with. I think one of my mum's old scans said something like 40% of her brain was affected and that was in 2008, the most recent consultant I spoke to said her more recent scan was consistent of someone with advanced dementia.

    It is quite shocking when you are told these things even when you really know in your heart that the deterioration is profound. I still thought of mum as moderate until that point. I find that the changes take a while to come to terms with. I'm now taking regular photos as it helps me to look more objectively for differences from previous months.
     

 

 

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