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How can you spot early Alzheimers?
Old 06-14-2006, 10:41 AM   #1
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How can you spot early Alzheimers?

I talking about really early signs. Reason I ask, my brother called this morning and among other things he told me that my mom is starting to do some peculiar things.

In particular:
1. She starts a little project, like cleaning the glass showcase top with Windex. If she stops for some reason, she never goes back and finishes it. The Windex will just sit there until she decides to put it away.

2. She starts eating her lunch and just suddenly stops. My bother says he just casually asks if she's not hungry and she'll start eating again.

He said it's pretty sublte but that she is forgetfull in way he's never noticed before.

Anyone see this as early onset of Alzheimers?
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Re: How can you spot early Alzheimers?
Old 06-14-2006, 10:50 AM   #2
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Re: How can you spot early Alzheimers?

OAP the first thing that became noticable in my FIL was his inability to do math. He could no longer do his taxes or keep score at bowling. After that it was that he dressed inappropriately for the seasons. It took 10 years start to finish.
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Re: How can you spot early Alzheimers?
Old 06-14-2006, 10:53 AM   #3
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Re: How can you spot early Alzheimers?

OAP,

It's hard in the early stages, and often you just can't be sure. First of all, things like depression, sleep deprivation, hypothyroidism, B12 deficiency, fluid collections within the brain matter, and other things can affect memory. Sometimes it's just the social things that go first - hygiene, appropriateness, temper. And it all has to be interpreted in the context of the underlying personality, result of more formal memory tests, etc.

I think if it persists that it would be worth having her checked out by her internist or a neurologist with experience in the are. Some of the available drugs have real, if modest, benefit and they are best started well before severe symptoms occcur. Any behavior which might affect her safety (leaving the burner on, getting lost) would kick the urgency level up.

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Re: How can you spot early Alzheimers?
Old 06-14-2006, 10:59 AM   #4
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Re: How can you spot early Alzheimers?

Concurr with Rich. She needs a through check-up, let the physician know what family members are seeing. As Rich has commented, it could be a number of things.

Whatever it is, dig into the services and costs of a continuing care community. If she can do it she, you and your sibs, will have a better quality life.
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Re: How can you spot early Alzheimers?
Old 06-14-2006, 11:11 AM   #5
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Re: How can you spot early Alzheimers?

Thanks for all the tips, but wow 10 years of watching someone deteriorate. Must have been hard,

Rich, she is under a lot of pressure right now so maybe it's related to the stress and I think a check-up will be our next step if my brother continues to see this.

She made it clear to him just a couple of days ago that she will not go to a "home" as she calls them. All her relatives have died at their own home and just being honest, I don't think she has enough education on the subject to understand it.

That's something that my brother and I have to take an active role in. Getting her to understand her options and that he/I have the means to support whatever she needs.
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Re: How can you spot early Alzheimers?
Old 06-14-2006, 12:39 PM   #6
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Re: How can you spot early Alzheimers?

Quote:
Originally Posted by OldAgePensioner

She made it clear to him just a couple of days ago that she will not go to a "home" as she calls them. All her relatives have died at their own home and just being honest, I don't think she has enough education on the subject to understand it.
Tough one - she's already drawing a line in the sand.

OTOH, there are homes and there are homes. We are in the process of moving my MIL (the last surviving grandparent) into an Assisted Living Facility. Ranges from fully independent to one step below nursing home care.

This is a beautiful 12 story tower overlooking Tampa Bay. Pool, 1 good meal a day included (more if you choose to pay). Can keep your own car, washer/dryer. Hell, by the time we were done investigating, the DW and I wanted to move in. 1 bedroom=$3000 a month. Expensive, but she probably won't be there all that long and she might as well enjoy it.

So, your FIL may sing a different tune if there is a comparable facility nearby and if he can afford it. Then again, maybe it's just the stress - let's hope.
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Re: How can you spot early Alzheimers?
Old 06-14-2006, 03:14 PM   #7
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Re: How can you spot early Alzheimers?

if it is alzheimer's, eventually &, short of an early death, inevitably you won't have much of a choice but to put mom in a locked alzheimer's unit.

just follow this rule and you'll be ok: safety first.

http://alz.org/
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Re: How can you spot early Alzheimers?
Old 06-14-2006, 07:01 PM   #8
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Re: How can you spot early Alzheimers?

Funny thing is she talks to me about things that happened 20 years ago and has a very good recollection.

But it seems (I'm getting this second hand) that she absent minded as of late.

I see her once a year now and it's hard to pickup changes in just the 4-5 days of visit.
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Re: How can you spot early Alzheimers?
Old 06-14-2006, 07:06 PM   #9
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Re: How can you spot early Alzheimers?

Quote:
Originally Posted by OldAgePensioner
Funny thing is she talks to me about things that happened 20 years ago and has a very good recollection.

But it seems (I'm getting this second hand) that she absent minded as of late.
The former is typical in the aged, the latter could be from a number of causes.
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Re: How can you spot early Alzheimers?
Old 06-14-2006, 10:27 PM   #10
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Re: How can you spot early Alzheimers?

Bear in mind that I demonstrate a lot of these 'symptoms' on a regular basis. I start and stop dozens of tasks every day, much to my wifes chagrin. I think the root cause is about 16 months old and wakes me up early in the morning.
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Re: How can you spot early Alzheimers?
Old 06-14-2006, 10:33 PM   #11
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Re: How can you spot early Alzheimers?

OK
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Re: How can you spot early Alzheimers?
Old 06-15-2006, 04:14 AM   #12
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Re: How can you spot early Alzheimers?

warning signs?

when you come out of a shopping center and go "now where did i park the car"? so you wander around and find the car...you go "of course i parked here..THATS NORMAL!
when you find the car and go "how did the car get here?" thats a warning sign

forgetting where you put the car keys,,thats normal....forgetting you have kids? thats a sign......
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Re: How can you spot early Alzheimers?
Old 06-15-2006, 08:05 AM   #13
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Re: How can you spot early Alzheimers?

Quote:
Originally Posted by OldAgePensioner
Funny thing is she talks to me about things that happened 20 years ago and has a very good recollection.

But it seems (I'm getting this second hand) that she absent minded as of late.

I see her once a year now and it's hard to pickup changes in just the 4-5 days of visit.
the plaque damages the short term memory area of brain first. victims tend to utilize more long term memory at that phase because it gives them a sense of memory as they strive to maintain their sense of normalcy. but eventually that goes too.

not seeing someone for a long period should make changes more obvious, though an alzheimer's victim can fool someone who just does short visits. many people didn't know my mom suffered alzheimer's disease even into stage 5 if they were only with her for 10- 20 minutes at a time.
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Re: How can you spot early Alzheimers?
Old 06-15-2006, 09:38 AM   #14
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Re: How can you spot early Alzheimers?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cute n Fuzzy Bun'ny
Bear in mind that I demonstrate a lot of these 'symptoms' on a regular basis.* I start and stop dozens of tasks every day, much to my wifes chagrin.* I think the root cause is about 16 months old and wakes me up early in the morning.
CFB: Not to make light of a very tough subject, (I went through the Alzheimers problem with my father, not fun on anybody's part) but we had a very funny post sometime back re: Senior Attention Deficit Disorder. (I'm very familiar with that).

About a month ago, my wife was going to town with a friend of hers, and asked me if I was going to play golf. "Nah, I'm playing in a 3 day tournament in a couple of days, I think I'll just stick around, and organize the garage." Good idea.

After starting that chore, I found a couple of repair kits for slow leaks in a couple of fawcets, and decided to do that first. After taking care of that, I noticed a letter on my desk from the CDF. (They are getting very aggressive about brush clearing in the Sierras). I was suprised that I was running out of time to take care of their results of the inspection of my property.

Got the chain saw out, and cut and removed 6 p/up loads of said brush.

About 4:00 decided to call it a day. Went in took shower, grabbed a beer, and was watching an afternoon ball-game.

My wife walked in about 5:00, and I was sitting there with a beer in my hand, watching the game.

"I guess you didn't get around to taking care of the garage."

"Nah, I'll take care of it after the tournament."

Still haven't done it.






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Re: How can you spot early Alzheimers?
Old 06-15-2006, 09:51 AM   #15
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Re: How can you spot early Alzheimers?

Yeah I wasnt making light of it either, but as alluded to...a little lost sleep, some stress and a lot on your mind will produce some fairly 'senior moments' in all of us. Just hoping its nothing serious and temporary.
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Re: How can you spot early Alzheimers?
Old 06-15-2006, 09:58 AM   #16
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Re: How can you spot early Alzheimers?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cute n Fuzzy Bun'ny
Yeah I wasnt making light of it either, but as alluded to...a little lost sleep, some stress and a lot on your mind will produce some fairly 'senior moments' in all of us. Just hoping its nothing serious and temporary.
I can report similar "senior attention deficit disorder" issues at the young age of 26. Although I also suspect the problem is 15 months old and consists of hours of labor each day after work, stress, and sleep deprivation.
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Re: How can you spot early Alzheimers?
Old 06-15-2006, 10:01 AM   #17
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Re: How can you spot early Alzheimers?

See the 'thursday jokes' thread for a repost of the bit that jarhead alludes to.
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Re: How can you spot early Alzheimers?
Old 06-15-2006, 10:24 AM   #18
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Re: How can you spot early Alzheimers?

My direct interface with her last September was when I suspected she was avoiding talking about things. Not sure how that ties in. But if you asked her to let's think the issue through in real time, she would get busy cleaning or sorting.

Kinda irritating!

It was as if anything that was going to require concentration or logical thinking scared her.
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Re: How can you spot early Alzheimers?
Old 06-15-2006, 10:26 AM   #19
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Re: How can you spot early Alzheimers?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cute n Fuzzy Bun'ny
Yeah I wasnt making light of it either, but as alluded to...a little lost sleep, some stress and a lot on your mind will produce some fairly 'senior moments' in all of us.* Just hoping its nothing serious and temporary.
this is actually why testing early on is so important. i think 100% diagnosis still requires autopsy and you really don't wanna do that until, um, after the last minute. up until then it is important to rule out treatable causes of alzheimer-like symptoms.
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Re: How can you spot early Alzheimers?
Old 06-15-2006, 01:29 PM   #20
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Re: How can you spot early Alzheimers?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cute n Fuzzy Bun'ny
Yeah I wasnt making light of it either, but as alluded to...a little lost sleep, some stress and a lot on your mind will produce some fairly 'senior moments' in all of us.* Just hoping its nothing serious and temporary.
A few years back my spouse's relief arrived in Hawaii after east-coast sea duty.* After not seeing his parents for over three years, he and the family visited his mother's Omaha house for a week of quality grandparent-grandkid time before making the trek to another remote duty station.

When he arrived in Hawaii he was pretty upset.* It turned out that the rest of his siblings had been viewing Mom with increasing concern over the last year and had finally decided it was either dementia or early-stage Alzheimer's.* Among themselves, without his knowledge, they'd decided to use their bro's visit as his chance to be a guinea pig.

When he got together with his sister a few days after arriving at Mom's, he said "Hey, have you noticed...?"* At that point they ambushed him with all of their stories and their conclusion that Mom needed additional care.* They were right and he agreed with them, but he didn't like the way he found out about it... he also didn't appreciate having to explain Alzheimer's to his 12-year-old who was wondering why Grandma was so different.
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