Patient Comments: Alzheimer's Disease - Symptoms

Please describe the symptoms you or loved one experienced with Alzheimer's disease.

Comment from: Walleye, 75 or over Male (Caregiver) Published: November 25

My father had Alzheimer's disease. When he was in the nursing home and didn't want to get ready for bed at 6:30 p.m., it was classified as a "behavior problem," and he was given Risperdal or Seroquel. These drugs had terrible side effects for him. The carpeting was blue in the nursing home, and after receiving these medications, he thought that the carpet was water and that he was going to drown. The staff would hold him down, and he felt that they were drowning him. Why give someone with a disease of the brain drugs that are made for mental illnesses? They are two different problems. I firmly believe “less is more” when it comes to drugs and Alzheimer's.

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Comment from: pam, 75 or over Female (Caregiver) Published: October 16

My mom has had dementia, going on for three years. I have been her caregiver the whole time. It is very stressful. In the last 6months she has went through combative stages, not eating unless forced. She can remember old times, talks out of her head, sees things not there, she screams out like someone is killing her, she is afraid, she is in pain, her mind no longer tells her body what to do, she begs to go home. She wants to get or steal back what doesn't belong to her. She is now eating soft foods only because she doesn't know when to chew, sometimes swallow.

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Comment from: lovudad, 75 or over Male (Caregiver) Published: October 16

My father had Alzheimer's. My mother cared for him at home for a time, until she could no longer physically do it. I give her a lot of credit for all that she did do. As the disease progressed, he couldn't remember where the bathroom was and my mom would find in the garage trying to go to the bathroom. My mom lost 50 pounds in the 9 months that my father was in a professional treatment center. She visited him every day. (You see they had a long love affair--always) I helped Mom with my dad, and I didn't think that I could. While he was still at home, he only wandered away once. His behavior did change at times. My father was aware that something was happening to him and it bothered him tremendously. To me, it seemed like he would fade in and out of the dementia state. Mom told me that at one time, she found him sitting on the side of the bed with a gun in his hand. My father was never a violent man. He was scared and I don't blame him. This Alzheimer's causes unusual changes in a person's behavior. But even shortly before Dad passed away, I could tell that he knew me, even when he couldn't remember my name.

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Comment from: 75 or over Male Published: October 13

My grandfather had this. I saw him get worse through my childhood. First he knew and loved me. Then he forgot my name and had to be reminded. He named a stuffed animal my name and did not know who i really was. Then he forgot English and went back to Bulgarian. He would rant about the war and how his family is and how evil the Nazis were. He could not feed or wash himself. He was placed in a home and became violent. he would scream and yell and refuse help and he forgot my grandmothers name and that she was his wife. I saw him in his last week. He was strapped down to a bed wearing protective gloves. He did not know language. Only moans. Not a moan you know, but a moan with so much pain and I don't know how to describe it except for he sounded like Frankenstein. He lost all his hair, lost the color in his eyes, he was bruised, and he had a different skin tone, almost bluish. I kissed him on the cheek and he slapped me away. Anyone with this disease or the family of the victim I have the utmost sympathy for you and my family regularly donates to the Alzheimer's foundation

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Published: July 28

I believe my new husband has early Alzheimer's. He fits the criteria very well. I sometimes feel anger towards him for repeating stories I've heard many times and not being able to do things well, like cooking and he is quarrelsome- every conversation we have, he insists on being right about everything even when he obviously is wrong. He misplaces things all the time. He also interrupts when others are trying to talk. I feel guilty for feeling angry at him but his behavior is getting increasingly obnoxious and unpleasant. Is there some way I can cope without feeling angry?

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Comment from: Zola, 65-74 Male (Caregiver) Published: July 01

Unfortunately, so many of us find out or realize too late that our spouse/significant other has Alzheimer's. In my case, my husband was an attorney who handled all of our business, banking, and finances. When his memory began to concern him, he went to his family for help and gave them power-of-attorney, etc. and their "help" ended up costing us our home and all of our money. For the past two years, I have struggled to care for him; fight his family and numerous lawsuits against him; endured the embarrassment of bad credit; and wondered how in the world I could have been so blind and how in the world he could be so clever as to keep all of this from me. Now that I am aware and angry, I cannot confront him because he remembers so little of any of what he did. I found that joining an Alzheimer's support group to be immensely helpful. Still it is difficult to cope with the irregularity of life and his new habits. I feel helpless; have had to take on duties unknown to me and pray that I do the right thing for him as well as for myself. I have discovered that so many partners were not aware until the disease was beyond stage one. Bravo to all of you out there having to go through this.

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Alzheimer's Disease - Treatments Question: What stage of Alzheimer's disease are you or your loved one currently experiencing, and have any treatments been effective?
Alzheimer's Disease - Prognosis Question: What is the prognosis for your friend or relative who has Alzheimer's disease?
Alzheimer's Disease - Dementia Question: Has a friend or relative been diagnosed with dementia? What are her/his symptoms?
Alzheimer's Disease - Warning Signs Question: Do you have any of the warning signs of Alzheimer's? Please discuss your symptoms and concerns.
Alzheimer's Disease - Home Safety Question: In what ways have you made the home safer for a friend or relative with Alzheimer's disease?
Alzheimer's Disease - Medications Question: If your relative is on a medication for Alzheimer's, what changes have you noticed?
Alzheimer's Disease - Driving Question: What motivated you to take away the keys or car from your loved one who has Alzheimer's?
Alzheimer's Disease - Experience Question: Please share your experience with Alzheimer's disease.

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