Is there no return?


Registered User
May 22, 2004
I have been reading various messages and found it very comforting that people share their stories and help others cope.

My mother is 77 and was diagnosed with Alzheimers about 4 years ago. Her progression through the stages has been, in my opinion, quite fast and she displayed symptoms of a late stage. She recently had a fall and hit her head. Immediately after the fall, whilst in hospital, she was speaking. After four days, she started speaking much more, showing that she recognised her children. After a few more days, she stopped speaking altogether and just stares into the distance.

I am worried that this fall may have caused permanent damage and wonder if my Mum will come back to us? When I feed her, I sit her up and as the food approaches her mouth, she opens her mouth and eats and drinks so she obviously understands that she's being fed. I don't know though what else she comprehends.

Is there a possibility that as she heals from this fall, that she will become more of the person she was before the fall?

An additional question, as I do not know of anyone else who has suffered with this disease in my family, how do I know if I am likely to suffer from it in the future and is there anything I can do to prevent this from happening?

I would appreciate any replies on either point.

Many thanks & best wishes.



Registered User
Jan 31, 2004
near London
In observing the development of dementia in my wife, I have never seen her improve after any major incident. The path is invariably downwards.

That isn't to say that the situation with your Mum will be the same!

I guess you will simply have to wait and see. There is always the possibility that something will click, and she will improve a bit again. Don't count on that though.

Regarding the possibility of your having dementia in the future.... that's a question that most people who have a family member with the condition will ask themselves. Every time I forget something these days I think 'oh it me now?'

So, to answer your question "how do I know if.." - you simply don't, and that is probably a very good thing, since I know of no regime that you could take on that would protect you from it.

But just imagine if you were to know you would 'inherit' Alzheimer's in 10 years time, and there was nothing you could do about it. Would that be any better than not knowing?

Just stick by the motto of anyone who has been in any way touched by dementia - "Live for each day".


Registered User
Apr 1, 2003
Hi Bruce/Sotos,

I agree with Bruce that there are some things better not knowing and after looking after someone with dementia you have a completely different outlook on life ... my depleting savings account will vouch for that ;-)

It's a thought that slips into my mind a lot when I put a T'Bag in the kettle, sugar in the fridge...but I try and put it down to my mind being full of so many problems that the basic stuff goes to pot. If it is inherited I don't really want to know about it.

There was a great documentary a few months ago where a group of people were DNA tested and then offered the results of the tests which could pretty much pinpoint when each person would pass away and what they would cause their death. Now that's very scary and controversial stuff - I'd have been the guy running down the street with his fingers in his ears shouting "can't hear you, can't hear you"

I'm with Bruce, live life for the day, which ironically is my dads motto. He had a sign made up which he'd keep right infront of him wherever he was working: