Do Alzeimers and Vascular dementia progress in different ways

Discussion in 'Welcome and how to use Dementia Talking Point' started by mickeyplum, Nov 20, 2018.

  1. mickeyplum

    mickeyplum Registered User

    Feb 22, 2018
    I understand each case is different but are some things common to Alzeimers and not to Dementia. Do they progress at the same rate?
  2. AliceA

    AliceA Registered User

    May 27, 2016
    I understand that Alzheimer's is a gradual dying off of brain cells.
    Vascular can drop in steps and plateaus. I am trying to keep us on a plateau with lifestyle as suggested, but one can not stop the tide coming in.
    I was also told that in Vascular it depends in what area of the brain is damaged.

    I hope all is well with you. X
  3. Izzy

    Izzy Volunteer Moderator

    Aug 31, 2003
    My mother had vascular dementia and my husband had Alzheimer's. I did find that my mother's disease did show a plateau then a and dip and my husband's more of a gradual decline.

    You might find these two factsheets useful -


  4. Spamar

    Spamar Registered User

    Oct 5, 2013
    My OH had both. It was explained to us that Alzheimer’s is a gradual downturn, whilst vascular dementia progresses stepwise, each step corresponding to a ministroke ( TIA). What the downturn is depends on where in the brain it is, and how big the affected area is affects the size of the change.

    Added that to the fact that everyone is different!

    With OH the early days were very slow and steady, then TIAs became more frequent.

    Good luck!
  5. mickeyplum

    mickeyplum Registered User

    Feb 22, 2018
    Thanks a lot to you all for the pointers. I hadn't realised my husband will probably progress in steps rather than gradually. I think I'd been deluding myself into believing that his disease had come to a standstill. I'm sure that we carers become experts simply because, unlike with a lot of illnesses, we have an endless need to know and learn more
  6. AliceA

    AliceA Registered User

    May 27, 2016
    Knowledge is power, it does help to understand the process. It is frustrating when people who should don't.

    I am feeling a bit battered after yesterday, we sorted out the hearing aid problem temporarily as our new county has a different policy from the old county, have a tight policy that has to be negotiated. A very kind man repaired one with a returned one and re calibrated. He really walked the extra mile.

    We looked at a day centre attached to a care, I have to organise transport as it's bus will not cross the border.
    It was friendly, my heart went out to the residents, many seemed locked in their own world. Perhaps tired after lunch, perhaps detaching from the needs of others. People seemed cared for. The purpose built rooms were basic, but personalised. I just found it upsetting.
    It was emotionally draining, I want to get a familiar environment in case respite is needed as I have some health issues, we felt the day centre, four hours with lunch, was an idea.
    Tipping points keep comeing don't they.
  7. Grannie G

    Grannie G Volunteer Moderator

    Apr 3, 2006
    I know @AliceA

    I was fortunate in having a wonderful Community Psychiatric Nurse [ CPN ] who drove me to view care homes in our area. It was the most demoralising experience imaginable and even the CPN was upset for me.

    I wouldn`t have crossed the threshold of the home I eventually settled on from the outside appearance, but the inside, although shabby, was homely, welcoming and smelled of good dinners. It was the one I chose and proved to be perfect for my husband.
  8. AliceA

    AliceA Registered User

    May 27, 2016
    #8 AliceA, Nov 22, 2018
    Last edited: Nov 22, 2018
    Sylvia, thank you so much, you have been there so know how I feel.

    It was shabby too and quite basic although was purpose built. The rooms had a washbasin and commode. One chap grabbed us and ask what rooms we were having. We said we were only thinking of day care, I asked if he went to the sessions he said no. In the summer he went outside. He regretted not seeing the Town for a long time. He was there as he had fallen. He said he liked pretty girls and our daughter would do! He seemed a character.
    My husband thought he was funny. He accepted the place more than I.
    We were only enquiringly about the day activities but I was looking at the wider picture. I suppose I was putting myself in his place, a foolish thing to do.
    Our daughter is quite brisk and matter of fact.
    It would be sensible to take advantage, about 8 to 10 go to the sessions plus residents if they wish. There were plenty of pictures of animal visitors.
    I like dogs but otherwise prefer books, plants and other things, again I needed to be more objective.
    I caused a smile when the Carer was given the authentic baby doll, I scolded her for not protecting the head properly!
    I felt my self slipping in to the situation. I almost wanted to stay and care for these people. I need to be a bit more Zen!

    The humour of it was I was only checking the day centre! How foolish am I.

    So now sorting out transport, I think a paid taxi. I did have an offer of when and if I can but I feel I need a more structured arrangement to take advantage of the hours. I could not get out of the village unless I get a lift or taxi. I must not cry for the moon only the light.

    Thank you for your kind reply
  9. Grannie G

    Grannie G Volunteer Moderator

    Apr 3, 2006
    Yes but I think you were thinking ahead, which, however painful, is the wise thing to do.

    When I had my first experience of residential care I looked around and thought `All these people were once pillars of the community. They had homes, jobs, brought up families and took responsibility for their lives.`

    When I was young I didn`t give old age, death and loss a thought. When my grandfather died I was seven and had no idea of my grandmother`s grief. It`s as well I didn`t. We can only take each age as it comes.

    Back to topic; the progression of dementia whether it be Alzheimer `s, Vascular or mixed is different for us all. I don`t seem to remember thinking about the progression, the unknown, I think it took everything I had to live in the day.
  10. marionq

    marionq Registered User

    Apr 24, 2013
    @AliceA you raise an important point which could do with higher level discussion ie the problem associated with people living with dementia in rural setting
    @AliceA you raise an important point about the difficulty of people in a rural setting getting access to services for dementia. We live on the edge of Glasgow so have access to a lot of services both medical and social. That is probably true for most people in cities or large towns. Being able to use the minibus attached to the care home would be such a boon for you that there should be some way round this. John goes to daycare on two days where he is picked up by minibus but on his third day I take him myself to another daycare outside our area by public transport and even that is becoming too much for him. I bring him home by taxi costing £10.

    It seems unfair that if you live in a village there is no plan in place by authorities to see that you are included in the wider facilities. Perhaps we should have a discussion on TP about how this might be improved.
  11. Sad Staffs

    Sad Staffs Registered User

    Jun 26, 2018
    Your post touched me Alice, because you care so much, not just about your husband which is so special, but about all those you saw and met in the care home. You are a lovely person to communicate with. Thank you for always being there for me and for so many of us on TP.
    Love B xx
  12. AliceA

    AliceA Registered User

    May 27, 2016
    Thank you all for your kind thoughts, it made me feel so loved. To day has been good, a slow start, plumber has serviced the boiler and we had an easy simple lunch.
    Tomorrow I shall start again on transport.


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