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Caring for mum who has vascular Alzheimer's

taliahad

Registered User
Nov 22, 2021
14
0
Hello all. I would like to ask about vascular Alzheimer's as this is the type of dementia that my mother has. I would really appreciate hearing from other people who have experienced caring for someone with this condition because I'm finding it so very, very hard. Mum was diagnosed almost two years ago but has shown symptoms for at least two years before that. I must admit that I hate seeing what my mother has become and I am very concerned for the future. Caring for my mum is the hardest thing that I have ever done and I'm so very grateful to my wonderful family for all the support that they are giving me. To every other carer out there, I admire you so much. How do people cope?
 

nae sporran

Volunteer Host
Oct 29, 2014
8,388
0
Bristol
Hullo and welcome, @taliahad. My partner has vascular dementia, too. Her diagnosis followed a stroke and it's been a long road for these past 10 years. It's good to see you have support from family, that will make the job easier.
Have you asked social services for a care needs assessment for your mum and a carers assessment for yourself. They can provide a sitting service for an afternoon to give you time off, or help with personal care and cleaning to take some of the work away. They can also provide a small grant to pay for a spa day, a couple of days break or new computer. I have taken them up on the small break and the computer, but whatever it is you think might help.
Enough from me, you will meet many others here who understand what caring means and what it is like to see a loved one struggle. So, stick around and ask any questions you want.
 

taliahad

Registered User
Nov 22, 2021
14
0
Thank you nae sporran (what an amazing user name) We have had a carers assessment and failed to qualify for help as mum's savings were over the threshold but eventually that will change as the savings are diminishing. It's certainly not an easy life.
 

Sarasa

Volunteer Host
Apr 13, 2018
3,920
0
Hi @taliahad , and welcome to Dementia Talking Point.
My mother has a diagnosis of vascular dementia. Unlike Alzheimer's it tends to go in steps, so there can be a steep decline followed by a period when things seem to plateau or even slightly improve until there is another decline. With all dementias there is no one size fits all prognosis, some people decline quite quickly others much more slowly.
Mum was diagnosed two and a half years ago, though the family had been aware she was obviously having problems for a couple of years before that. In hindsight I think there had been warning signs for a few years before that which I put down to mum's more annoying character traits becoming more pronounced as she aged. Now mum is in the advanced stages. She doesn’t always recognise me, makes very little sense and is spending more time in bed. She has been in care since shortly after her diagnosis as she needed more support than the family could offer.
I’m not sure if you live with your mum or just visit regularly. Either way now is the time to get some support in. As your mum is above the threshold for SS funding you can organise that.
Do you have Power of Attorney. It will make things a lot easier as your mother's dementia progresses if you have.
 

taliahad

Registered User
Nov 22, 2021
14
0
Hi Sarasa, yes I have POA, as does my brother. My brother and I are sharing her care between us, my dad died suddenly in June and we now share mum's care between us, I'm on duty until February. Regarding these steep declines, what exactly happens? This is such a terrifying and lonely journey to be on, I just wish it would end as there is very little of mum left.
 

Violet Jane

Registered User
Aug 23, 2021
411
0
You can organise carers yourself if your mother doesn’t qualify for free or subsidised care. It will be very difficult to manage at home without some sort of care and / or respite right until the end of your mother’s life.

The progress of vascular dementia seems to be particularly uncertain compared with, say, Alzheimer’s Disease. People with advanced dementia can live a surprisingly long time provided that they are still taking in sufficient fluids and nutrition. It’s hard to remember but I think that my mother lived with advanced dementia (Alzheimer’s Disease) for a couple of years. That was in a care home.
 

taliahad

Registered User
Nov 22, 2021
14
0
Thank you, she does have a carer once a week to shower her, that's all that's tolerated at the moment and it's a battle. I
 

Sarasa

Volunteer Host
Apr 13, 2018
3,920
0
Hi @taliahad , regarding the declines with vascular dementia, they often happen after a transient ischemic attack (TIA/mini-stroke). I didn't notice that so much with my mum, though she did have several funny turns at about the time things really started to go down-hill but it seemed slightly more obvious with my mother-in-law. She had a series of falls and I think they were caused by TIAs. She very much avoided hospitals unless it was essential and my brother in law aided her in that. They even talked about practising memory test answers on the way to A&E once. She seemed to rally after each one, but never quite back to where she was before. By the time she was assessed this summer her dementia was very advanced and I'm not quite sure what the exact diagnosis was
 

jennifer1967

Registered User
Mar 15, 2020
6,826
0
Southampton
my husband has vascular dementia. its little things, he used to remember the grandkids and whos was whos then he cant remember their names or mix them up and confused who they belong to. then he will go along for a bit and nothing changes. then he will have another step that he doesnt always understand how to sweep, go and get dustpan brush without explanations. its not always big steps but steps all the same. another step was his swallowing problems. steps rather than a general gradual slide.
 

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