Hello all, Till now I have not had the opportunity to write on a forum like this but I feel that perhaps I should start sharing my personal experience as it might help others. My mother passed away from Alzheimer's disease several years ago now. She had the disease for about 7 years. Her first symptoms were forgetfulness, but then the behaviour became weird - forgetting words, names, putting things in strange places (teapot in the fridge syndrome :0) . So my dad took her to the GP who ordered a scan. They diagnosed presenile dementia which a lot of arteriosclerosis in the cervical vascular system. This diagnosis gradually became one of Alzheimer's as her condition followed a typical path. What annoys me is that we were not told what really to expect. I think we thought she would just go mad. But the decline is much worse, and more spectacular. We went through all types of phases - forgetting who we were, mistaking my dad for an intruder, thinking she was the victim of a plot, depression and frustration with lots of tearfulness, wandering (we lived in a fairly rural area near train lines so this was quite dangerous), inability to dress properly (we had to supervise washing, put clothes out for her and help her to dress a bit later), even speaking strange language, as if she were speaking in tongues! Then the speech problems abated because she could no longer speak, just groan and moan, she stopped wandering because she became very unsteady walking and eventually muscle spasms left her bedridden. Her life became one of pressure sores, home nursing, catheters, massage to abate the muscle atrophy, she was in a fetal position most of the time. The last days she could not swallow and eventually could not urinate: she developed pneumonia and kidney failure and died after a couple of days in hospital. I feel that in the early stages we were not given enough information on how the disease would develop, and there were no drugs available then to assist in slowing the disease. Her decline robbed her of her dignity. It makes me very cross when people describe anyone with a bit of memory loss as having Alzheimer's. It is a slow, cruel degenerative disorder that leaves the person withered, almost paralysed and completely vegetative. I want to ensure that the courageous people who participate in caring for a member of their family can prepare themselves for the worst so as not to have as much of an unpleasant surprise as we did. I want to emphasize to carers to look after themselves: I am sure that it was through looking after mum, that my father developed high blood pressure, diabetes and bowel cancer (which thankfully was treated). I wish all carers and loved ones courage in this painful journey.