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After Diagnosis


Registered User
Jan 17, 2016
Hi :)

I'm new here and a little scared, but I wanted to ask a lot of questions and get some advice. Hope that's okay?

My 80 year old Grandma has recently been diagnosed. The memory team assessed her and she came out with a score of 76/100 (is this good, bad, normal - I don't know?). She then went for hospital tests, and then the memory team came back to tell her it was Alzheimer's. They are going to prescribe her donepezil, is this effective at slowing the process? I looked it up online and it says it might only slow it for 6months (that seems unbearably short).

I'm finding it incredibly difficult to get my head round this. She's my last grandparent, she's clever and funny, and my most hilarious friend. I've tried to tell her not to think about it, and she even joked something else will kill her before the Alzheimer's takes hold anyway. Like how fast does this even progress?

I think I'm still in disbelief. I'm sure they don't get diagnosis wrong, but I don't want to believe that this will happen to her. When the memory team came to give her the results she could even still remember the questions and answers from the memory test two months earlier! Before the test I had not even noticed her as forgetting anything, she's always so sharp.

So many people are in the same situation and yet I still feel like it's unbearably unfair, I'm almost inconsolable. Should I not think so far into the future?

If anyone has any advice I'd be most grateful, even if it's just to tell me to suck it up! Like what can I do to make this better for Nan, what can I expect etc?



Registered User
Aug 28, 2014
Welcome to TP. First advice is deep breath and try not to panic. After diagnosis my mum carried on for a few years before her symptoms caused real problems. Nobody can predict how your grans illness will progress. Just take it one day at a time. Enjoy yoyr gran and live in the moment. Thats good life advice as your gran already knows. She sounds wonderful. She has you which is also wonderful. Big hugs xx Quilty


Registered User
Jul 20, 2011
Hi sophie
How lovely you are and how precious you must be to your Grandma.
I don't know what the results are but 76/100 sounds pretty good to me.
A good way to approach this is one day at a time, enjoy all the time that you have together in the way that you have always done and don't look too far into the future.

How wonderful that Grandma has been given the drugs so early on - no-one can predict the future and i'm sure others will be on soon with more experience but none of us know how long someone will have, how quickly it progresses. One thing we do know is how important the love of our families is.

There is lots and lots of support on here and at every step of the way people will be able to help, advise and support you. Welcome to TP - try to look after yourself, the more you look after yourself the more help you will be to your delightful, funny and much loved Grandma xxx


Registered User
Jun 2, 2014
Hi Sophie,
It's very hard when a relative is diagnosed. Sometimes it's a shock or sometimes, as in my case, it's a bit of a relief that you finally know whats going on...but either way it is hard.
Everyone is different in terms of progression of the disease and there is no typical. But nothing will happen overnight and your Grandma is still the same person today as she was before the diagnosis. It might be a really slow progress - and it does sound as I she might be in the really early stages. In my Mum's case progression was really gradual for the first three years.
Take a bit of time to get your head round everything

Bessieb x


Registered User
Jul 8, 2014
I'm sorry to hear of your grandmother's diagnosis. This can come as a huge shock and in some ways the days and weeks after finding out are the worst as after that you learn to adjust and not to look too far into the future and you realise that it is possible to carry on leading a relatively normal life by just making a few adjustments.

I don't know where the figure of 6 months for donepezil to be effective comes from. My Other Half has been on it for 18 months and is still doing really well