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Is dementia (even in the last stages) reversible?

Discussion in 'Middle - later stages of dementia' started by BCMiles75, Nov 17, 2015.

  1. BCMiles75

    BCMiles75 Registered User

    Nov 17, 2015
    We admitted my mom to an assisted care/memory center a couple of years ago. Her short term memory has been failing for years. She knows who we are but didn't remember what happened an hour ago. She kept asking to go home every time I visited. She is 93 years old.

    The doctor at the center said she is now in the last stage of dementia and advised that we call in Hospice. They also removed her from her medications, except for pain/anxiety meds. She was sleeping all the time, her fingers and toes turned blue and she was no longer eating. She had lost 40 pounds in three months and refused to eat. She would drink through a straw though.

    We called her priest to give her the Last Rites and waited for her to die any day but something strange has happened.

    A few days ago I went to the center to visit and her fingers and toes were back to normal. She wouldn't get out of bed but she was alert. The nurse said she's been eating again (they feed her at her bedside). Even though she's reverted to being mean again and asking to go home every few minutes, I can't help but think that she is getting better.

    Is dementia reversible? Even when the doctor says she's in the later stages. This past few years have been rough on my sister and I. Just the thought of going all through this again makes me want to cry. Does that make me selfish? Probably.

    If anyone on this site has gone through a relative seemingly close to dying and getting better, please let me know. This is very confusing.
  2. jaymor

    jaymor Volunteer Moderator

    Jul 14, 2006
    Hi and welcome to TP.

    Sorry you are struggling so much at the moment. My husband did the very same 20 months ago. Everything was in place as no one including his doctor expected him to survive. It was many weeks later that he started to regain some strength. He did not return to where he was before the downturn but he is still with us and though we have recently had a scare he is back in his nursing home and doing really well.

    There are so many ups and downs with dementia, it is a hard road to walk and no you are not being selfish. I think we all want the same, our loved ones to no longer suffer, but that means loosing them and we don't want that either.

    Take care
  3. Neph

    Neph Registered User

    Jan 27, 2014
    From my experience with mum, she deteriorates, plateus, deteriorates, improves a little, deteriorates and so on. They gave her weeks three years ago and she is still here. Overall there is a gradual deterioration, but she does have periods where she seems to 'improve'. It is indeed a strange disease.

    She's been fast tracked twice as far as I know, but something is keeping her going.

    At one point while she was in the care home she stopped eating, and drinking and we were all ready for what we thought was the end. Then she got up one morning and had two bowls of cereal and was so much better for a while, but they do deteriorate.

    It is like being on a rollercoaster, you have to take it one day at a time and just deal with it. It's not easy, and to be honest I will be so relieved when the day finally comes, she is just existing now, her body doesn't seem to realise that mum is no longer in.

    I understand exactly how you are feeling, been there a few times. All I can do is send you a hug and my thoughts x
  4. BCMiles75

    BCMiles75 Registered User

    Nov 17, 2015
    Thanks for the info Neph. It helped me to understand more about this disease. I never thought of it as a roller coaster before. All I can do is hang in there and put a smile on my face. Appreciate the hug and thoughts a lot!

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