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Later stages of Alzheimers or Frontotemporal lobe dementia?


Registered User
Jan 12, 2009
North Somerset
My mother was taken to the assessment ward of the local hospital yesterday (she was formally sectioned in case she kicked up a fuss) and will remain there for 3-5 weeks so that a clear assessment of her needs can be made, and consequently the right care home environment found for her.

It was a difficult decision to make, but her increasingly wayward mood swings, anger and recklessness made it an essential one. Despite being 85, she is very fit and can out-run not only my 87-year-old father, but her middle-aged live-in carer. She was becoming a danger to herself and to others.

Yesterday, the consultant referred to her as having frontotemporal lobe dementia and not Alzheimers as was first diagnosed. This is the first we had heard of this and, in all the kerfuffle of my mother being taken away, it went unremarked. I have done some (very brief) research and although she certainly has some of the symptoms, her regress over the last seven years has been pretty classic Alzheimers, I would have thought.

So my (long-winded) question is this - do other people's experiences of the later stages of Alzheimers mirror my mother's? Or could this consultant be right and the previous consultant wrong?

It's not just an academic question - I am afraid that it will be harder to find an appropriate care home if this is the correct diagnosis, as I presume she will be harder to manage and potentially a danger to other residents.

Or just tell me to be more patient - after all, this is what this period of assessment is all about!

Thank you in advance.


Registered User
Sep 21, 2013
why do you think it will beharder to find a home for her if it is dementai .there are over 20 types of dementia as i understand vascular ,frontal lobe and Alzheimers are just 3 of them.


Registered User
Nov 28, 2004
I am currently in a similar situation, though my Mum is becoming physically frail also. Her diagnosis was Alzheimer's-type some 12 years ago, and so far as I can tell it has been a long, very slow progression, more or less following the rough stages we read about for Alzheimer's. Due to severe behavioural problems she is now in an assessment unit and rather than frontotemporal we are told she probably has Lewy Body. I have akways suspeced frontotemporal or Lewy body, and the distinction can be important when it comes to medication.
I can't tell you anything other than our experience, but prior to assessment Mum was in an EMI nursing home. We now need to look for a challenging behaviour unit, and I believe the beds are not so numerous as they are ever more specialised. Perhaps it may be different where you live and you will have choice - I hope so.
I have found the assessment unit to be a very good thing, and Mum is receiving the best of care in there.
So sorry you are havig to go through this as well. It isn't easy.