Patient Comments: Alzheimer's Disease - Describe Your Experience

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

Comment from: julie, 75 or over Female (Caregiver) Published: January 14

My mother is 80 and she has Alzheimer's. In the last 3 years she has on occasion (4-5 times) just fallen unconscious. She stays that way for around 12 hours then wakes up as normal as she was before. Her doctor says this is not a stroke, she has no lasting damage and she has had x-rays to check for blockages, all in all nothing was found.

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Comment from: concerned, 45-54 Female (Caregiver) Published: May 07

My father used to be a very talkative man. He is now 87 years old, and he forgets many things. He repeatedly asks to go home. He wants to plant his garden. My mother was taking care of him until recently when she was trying to get in the car and the door was stuck in the snow bank, and she told him to wait while she shut the door. He didn't wait and knocked her over, breaking her hip. He got out of the car and asked what she was doing on the ground. She told him she had asked him to wait until she shut the door; he yelled at her and said she was lying. He was taking junk mail to his banker thinking it was important papers, and meanwhile, he was throwing the important papers away. He was sending money to everybody that he got junk mail from. Most of the family is quite a distance from my dad and caring for him at home has become impossible for my mother. He doesn't remember from day to day what is going on, doesn't remember to eat, doesn't remember to do his personal cares. Tells everyone that he should still be able to drive but doesn't remember where he lived for 42 years. This is the most awful disease I have had to deal with. How frustrating for him it must be that you know you know something but can't remember it. He has now started to wander away from the assisted-living facility and is angry at everyone. He said his family is out to get him. I only hope the good Lord gives us all the strength to deal with this -- especially my father.

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Comment from: Ann, 65-74 Male (Caregiver) Published: May 07

This is what happened in my case. I have been in a long-term relationship with someone who always seemed a little eccentric anyway, which was part of his charm! But, little by little, he was less able to cope with banking, keeping a checkbook, and began cashing pension/disability checks and losing the cash before even getting home. He continually lost his wallet, check book, keys, money and we both spent countless hours searching for things. Still, we racked it up to fallout from chemo and radiation treatments several years past. We had reason to believe that his need for a pacemaker and his deteriorating hearing, and increased floaters and debris in the eye gel where all from the cancer treatment. Maybe they were, but about six months ago, he was involved in a court case that found him on the losing end, and he almost lost his beloved home. It was recovered, but the angst and anger he felt over the whole thing seemed to trigger a decline that spiraled into more symptoms within six months that led him to get lost while driving, and to cry at the drop of a hat. Since he had been a tall, robust rowdy kind of guy in his youth, it was heartbreaking to me to see him hunched over, walking precariously, unsteadily, and rambling in his speech, constantly retelling stories from his early 20s when he was in the military. I was annoyed and impatient, and our love life was a chore, not a joy. If only I had taken the time to research Alzheimer's (I knew his dad had it), but I was so busy semi-caretaking my elderly mother, working a full time job, commuting in a metropolitan area, and now taking on more and more of my best friend's control of his life. He resented it and me ... and left. In doing so, he got disoriented and lost, and ended up in a hospital 60 miles away. He's there now with a family member who is in charge of his care, and we're waiting to see if anything can be done to slow the progression of his dementia ... or discover if his cancer has returned. Fortunately, his retired income can enable him to be in an assisted living facility, but I never thought to lose him so soon. If only, if only, if only someone had whacked me on the head hard and said, "Hey, wake up! He is in trouble! Get him checked out." I will say again though, that I began trying many months ago to get him to see a neurologist, and he kept saying he would ... later. If anyone reading this needs a "whack on the head," let this be it!

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Comment from: skeeter01, 35-44 Female Published: May 07

I was engaged to a man I worked with. He was in incredible physical shape, worked offshore, and was a very talented musician. After living with him for three months, it became very clear that something was very wrong. He had had a hip replacement surgery, and he told me the surgeons told him the medication they gave him during surgery would cause short-term memory loss. Well, a year later, he still had memory loss. I tried to get him to go to the doctor, but it didn't work. (Just give it some more time!) He could not handle his finances, nor make decisions. His teenagers would let him know in advance of their weekend plans, but he would forget and yell at them for not keeping him informed. He was 50 years old and had no known history of Alzheimer's in his family. I broke the engagement because I didn't quite understand what was going on and because one night he became physical and I couldn't control him.) His son called me to tell me that his dad had been officially diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease. I feel guilty that I didn't figure that out, but I didn't realize that someone his age could get it too! Thank God, he has other family to take care of him, because I left. Pay attention to the younger people too!

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Patient Comments

Viewers share their comments

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?

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