1. Expert Q&A: Protecting a person with dementia from financial abuse - Weds 26 June, 3:30-4:30 pm

    Financial abuse can have serious consequences for a person with dementia. Find out how to protect a person with dementia from financial abuse.

    Sam, our Knowledge Officer (Legal and Welfare Rights) is our expert on this topic. She will be here to answer your questions on Wednesday 26 June between 3:30 - 4:30 pm.

    You can either post questions >here< or email them to us at talkingpoint@alzheimers.org.uk and we'll answer as many as we can on the day.

Any advice or thoughts appreciated

Discussion in 'Recently diagnosed and early stages of dementia' started by Varilite, Jan 26, 2015.

  1. Varilite

    Varilite Registered User

    Jan 26, 2015
    8
    Hi, Please bear with me, I'm new to this in every sense.
    Mum was diagnosed with Alzheimer's last Tuesday. She's 86 & was fine up to a fall and bleed on the brain 6 months ago. Her memory problems & confusion have only been apparent since, & immediately so. The doctor said the brain injury isn't the cause of the problems but may have speeded up the Alzheimer's. She was prescribed Aricept which arrived Saturday, but now she says she doesn't think she wants to take it. Reasonably she says that not being able to remember ever living in her current home where she's been for 50 years or thinking I'm someone else, even after I told her who I was, doesn't worry her. It's what happens when you get old. It doesn't affect her day to day life, she has carers twice a day for meds & a meal. By and large she's content; when told it could help get some of her memory back she says she's not bothered.
    The good thing about what happened to Mum was that she missed the gradual decline, knowing something was wrong, so no distress. I don't know if anyone has had any experience, but if she got some memory back with the Aricept, might the losing of it again be distressing or is that not how it works?
    Equally, I'm guessing that if she decides now she doesn't want it, there aren't any second chances. In a short while she probably will have no idea/forgotten any medication was offered & is likely to deny she made a choice.
    Of course I'd love my Mum back, if only for a few months, but that's selfish. I totally see what she is saying about not wanting to bother, plus I don't want to do anything to worry, upset or distress her. But equally I don't want to deny her something that might be good & make her feel like she used to, by helping her make a decision she would regret.
    I know she's asked me what I would do & I could persuade her; I'm horribly aware of that & am not sure what to do.
    Any thoughts or advice would be gratefully listened to...or even just to say 'yep, welcome to our world!'
     
  2. Beate

    Beate Registered User

    May 21, 2014
    11,496
    Female
    London
    No Alzheimer's medication gives you memory back. It can halt or slow the decline for a short while but that's more or less all it does - it does not reverse memory loss. There are side effects but they are different for people. It did help my OH (he said he felt more positive) and he is still taking it though I have no idea what good it does now.

    Maybe focus on keeping her content, making sure she gets all the help she is entitled to including Attendance Allowance and get that LPA sorted while you still can.
     
  3. garnuft

    garnuft Registered User

    Sep 7, 2012
    6,589
    My understanding of Aricept is that it may slow the progression of dementia in some people but sadly I'm afraid I don't think there is any drug that can 'cure' or bring a person back to their previous state of cognisance.

    My mother had mixed dementia, Alzheimer's and vascular dementia, she was 80 when it showed itself fully but 82/83 before it was diagnosed (health problems caused through her not taking her tablets were what first alerted us).

    She tried Aricept for two weeks and it caused her to have profound mental upset almost immediately... paranoid thoughts, nightmares, extreme anxiety...it wasn't suited to her.
    Lots of people manage well while taking it but not all.

    It's so hard isn't it?

    One of my Mam's catchphrases, whenever I wanted her to eat, take her tablets, drink her tea, eat her lunch, have a shower, was...

    'I will, Hinny. In a minute.' :)

    Sometimes 'not bothering' seems like a good ethos to have.

    Best wishes to you and your Mum. x
     
  4. Kevinl

    Kevinl Registered User

    Aug 24, 2013
    4,668
    Salford
    Hi Varilite and welcome to the club
    I don't think there is any proof Aricept or any other type of medication gives you anything back nor do any make that claim all they may do is slow down the decline, I only know my mother who was never given Aricept (a few years ago when it was very expensive) when down hill a lot quicker than my wife who's been taking it for about 4 years now and is still pretty alert if very forgetful.
    Based on my experience if it were me and I was diagnosed I would definitely want it, I'm not saying it works for everyone and some people do have a reaction to it but I want to give it a try, it could be the difference between a few more years in your own home rather than a few more years in a carehome and I know which I'd rather have.
    For me it's a bit of a no brainer but that's just my experience.
    K
     
  5. Lyncus

    Lyncus Registered User

    Oct 30, 2014
    16
    Warwickshire
    My mums been on Aricept since diagnosed, she still declined over the past 3 years. We actually ran out of the drug and we noticed an improvement in her well being for a while she actually seemed more "with it", when we went to the clinic and was given another prescription of the meds, which we administered only to find it was making her violently sick, we believe its because that start you on a lower dose then put her up to the maximum dose. she doesn't take it now and it just a steady decline with good and bad days in between.
     
  6. Varilite

    Varilite Registered User

    Jan 26, 2015
    8
    Just to say 'thank you' to everyone who's taken time to consider & respond to my query. It's made life easier & helped me think clearer. It's good to know you're all out there!
     
  7. Concerned J

    Concerned J Registered User

    Jun 15, 2014
    66
    London
    Hi,
    Just wanted to say "welcome to our world"
    My Mum had one prescription's worth of Aricept tablets which she hated as she was nauseous all the time. Went on to patches - no problems apart from forgetting whereabouts on her body she'd put them. She decided when that prescription ended she wasn't going to continue.
    She finally decided to carry on when she realised(after a lot of convincing from me) that they were beneficial even if this is not immediately obvious.
     

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