Patient Comments: Alzheimer's Disease - Symptoms

Question:

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

Comment from: Gillys girl , 75 or over Male (Caregiver) Published: May 16

My husband is 84 and was diagnosed 6 years ago. He has family history of Alzheimer's disease, his mother, 3 sisters and a brother. The all died in the late 80s. He is now sleeping 20 hours a day and has no appetite. I am hand feeding him now when I can get him to stay awake. I have a care giver for 4 hours a day and am considering hospice care. I am blessed with a large family who have set up a calendar so someone is with us on the weekends. I don't how long I will have him with me but, we have had a wonderful life together and my great memories keep me going.

Comment from: Willis, 75 or over Male (Patient) Published: October 04

At age 77, I have noticed greatly increasing symptoms of dementia over probably the last ten years. It is increasing recently at an alarming rate. I notice an increasing confusion, mood swings, and of course, forgetfulness. It has gotten so bad, I cannot trust myself to even do simple things. And, of course, this realization causes even more depression and anxiety. I am a retired fire captain/paramedic, and am married to a registered nurse, so we have a pretty professional approach to this diagnosis of Alzheimer's disease. I would be willing to undergo exams to try to help find a cure for this devastating affliction.

Comment from: Soso, 75 or over Female (Caregiver) Published: April 21

My mom recently may have Alzheimer's. She had a serious stroke last year. After 6 months of her stroke, she started to get confused a little. She cannot remember all her children's (8 children) names. She just remembers my sister's and my name, sometimes my 3 brothers' names. Last week, she refused to eat and sleep, she continue to talk about the past and nonsense. I talk to her then she listens and eats and is back to normal for a few days. But two days ago, she refused to sleep and kept talking about the past and nonsense again. She is confused even more and does not listen to me anymore. I don't know what to do with her and keep her clam.

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.

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.

Comment from: suzlar, 45-54 Male (Patient) Published: July 26

I have wavelike sensations in my head; they sound like pulsations. I can get them any time. I just had a brain flow study done a couple months ago. The neurologist is trying to figure out why I have liquid surrounding my brain. I had a spinal tap done two years ago and they didn't find anything out. The liquid has probably been there all my life since getting spinal meningitis at 6 months old. I've had 9 diagnosed concussions since 6 years old up until last one at 50 from downhill skiing wipeout. The neurologist put me on medications when I miserably failed the last cognitive testing.

Comment from: Ann, 75 or over Female (Caregiver) Published: July 16

Recently my client experienced an Alzheimer's episode that landed her in the hospital and I believe some form of dementia has set in. She's not the same and I had noticed over the past few weeks that her mind was dwindling.

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!

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!

Comment from: ritamco, 65-74 Female (Caregiver) Published: March 03

I just came out of a relationship with a 70-year-old man (I am 11 years younger). I am sure he has the beginning symptoms of Alzheimer's and my life/our relationship got drained by it (not that I did not love him, or did not want to take care of him). I started to realize very disturbing patterns early on: yelling fits for no reason, then asking me three days in a row the same question about a building while we were visiting Brussels. When I would say, "I already told you," he would start yelling at me. There were so many other signs: buying the same books (not remembering having it at home), not remembering when pills were taken, not remembering even that a certain book I asked him to read was given to him by one of his best friends for his birthday only a couple of weeks earlier. I reminded him constantly of appointments, calls to make, and where he had placed stuff he could not find. (We lived in the Village in a tiny apartment.) I was a "new" girlfriend, so it was very delicate. I could not talk to his children about this, nor to his brother because he was convinced there was absolutely nothing wrong with him. If I dared bring up the subject, I would receive another yelling fit with abusive language.

Comment from: Malini, 75 or over Female (Caregiver) Published: June 05

Total loss of memory of recent events, as recent as few seconds but remembers name of place, people and few incidents of childhood. Extremely fidgety, does not rest on the bed or sits on a chair for more than 3 to 4 minutes at a stretch. Likes to have lots of relatives around, mostly listens to them talking, can comprehend conversation in part. Repeats act or some past event which can go on for the entire day. Hallucinates a lot seeing things including people living or dead. She is diabetic and has been suffering from angina past 20 years.

Comment from: mimosa, 55-64 Female (Caregiver) Published: February 05

My aunt, no real relation, has become increasingly forgetful since my mom passed away. They had been good friends since I was a baby. In the last month she has lost three sets of keys to her house and my father's house also. My dad who is her landlord will not give her another set since we don't know where she is leaving them. She walks around with two hair pins and tell us that those are her keys, but they won't work on the lock. She misplaces her money and we try to help her find it in her little apartment to no avail. She forgets everything we tell her in seconds, but easily remembers the past. If we don't make sure she eats everyday I am sure she would go without food. She says she is going to do something and quickly forgets what she was supposed to do. Anything we ask her, her stock answer is I don't know. Still, she is not aggressive, she has good appetite as long as food is provided and I have not noticed poor hygiene, I do think she doesn't do laundry anymore. She won't go to the doctor and we have no rights to force her, and because she is loving and remembers all of us we are not ready to breach the problem with her. Once in a while she will smile and sadly say she is a mess and can't remember much. I am torn by how fast she is declining, she was the smartest woman I ever had the privilege to know aside my own mother. We are at a crossroads with her and do not know what to do for her but continue to love her and do what we can to make sure she is okay without trespassing into her private life.

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.

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.

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.

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

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?

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.

Comment from: Mel, 35-44 Female (Caregiver) Published: November 29

My mother-in-law has had Alzheimer's for almost five years now. She is only 66 years old. She cries all day and some of the night. It is because she hallucinates all day and night, fighting with this girl who wants to take her money and food. It is really heartbreaking to see her like this. I have to give her a lot of drugs to help her sleep. She has vivid nightmares and is scared all the time. Now she is having difficulty remembering to swallow. We are just trying to make it from day to day. We are considering putting her in a home, but it is a very difficult decision to make.

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

My dad was an incredibly smart man, so to see him with Alzheimer's is heartbreaking. My step mother and I had to put him in a nursing home on their 32nd wedding anniversary. She just could not care for him at home anymore. She has done a great job taking care of him for about five years, but it is too hard now. Sometimes I look at him, and I think he knows who I am even though he has not said my name in years. It is bad enough when your parent dies and you can no longer communicate with them, but I think it might be worse when you can sit with them and still not be able to really talk to them. It is hard to explain to my children what is wrong with him, but I hope they learn about unconditional love by watching and helping us take care of him. I would not wish this disease on my worst enemy, and I pray my kids don't experience this with me.

Published: July 29

My husband first experienced confusion and loss of memory in March of 2000 while undergoing rehab for alcoholism. Being home seemed to help him until 2006 when he gradually began experiencing dementia and/or Alzheimer's symptoms. He now has four to five hours a day where he wants to get a "greyhound" to "go home." Also, he thinks I am his sister and believes he has rented a car (he hasn't driven in five to six years). His personal hygiene is in the tank — it's necessary for him to change two to three times a day. He dresses himself with help when he has an accident in his clothes. Without long-term insurance for his care, it is becoming stressful to care from him.

Comment from: deanchilton, 55-64 Male (Patient) Published: July 24

I am 60 and about 11 1/2 years ago I noticed that I was forgetting things that my wife and children were telling me. As time has progressed my memory has gotten worse and I have other symptoms of Alzheimer's. I know longer drive because I fall asleep at the wheel. I can not sleep very wetland my appetite is very bad. I have not been to a doctor yet.

Comment from: riffyone, 75 or over Female (Caregiver) Published: July 24

My mom is in the last stages of the disease and has stopped speaking for the most part. Her name is and she was a vibrant, active person before this disease took over her mind and body. She was a force to be reckoned with and always did things in her own way no matter what. I know that there is no cure for this disease but it is vital that everyone knows how important it is to find one. I have written a book describing the journey from the beginning until now and provided resources, information and more for anyone that needs to get help.

Comment from: 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: July 24

This morning, I became extremely disoriented. I got up as usual, made and drank my coffee w/biscotti as usual. When I went to the bathroom, I suddenly found myself almost at the point of complete unknowing. I finished my preparation and intended to go shopping. I didn't think it was wise to do so, so instead I rested in an easy chair for the remainder of the morning I then went to the store and purchased some BBQ ribs. Came home, ate some and then decided to not to try to do anything else. I decided to go to the computer and try to make sense out of this. I recently had a treadmill at my doctors office and I am scheduled for a thallium tread mill on the 9th of July. I think I may be developing something. I am 72 (born 1936) and have a history of some cardio related symptoms (pvcs). What is going on? I need some assistance with information I live alone. Am I getting Alzheimer's?

Comment from: frances, 75 or over Female (Caregiver) Published: July 24

My mom is 88 years old she will be 89 the 13 of August. It is a blessing to have her with us. She is diagnosed with dementia. Her memory is still good but she keeps asking the same things over and over. Her mobility is limited. She is getting more feeble in the last 6 months. She doesn't know if it's night or day and if she is watching TV she thinks that is real and happening in real life and also she is afraid of a lot of things I hope this is helpful to others.

Comment from: Missie, 75 or over Female (Caregiver) Published: February 05

My mother who is 87 and has dementia is a very difficult case. She refuses any doctor visit and gets extremely agitated when she is asked to do so. She thinks all we (children) want to do is have her committed or put in a home. We want to get her some professional help but just refuses. She cries a lot and frequently asks us to take her home to be with her parents and siblings which are all deceased for many years.

Comment from: malcolm, 75 or over Female (Caregiver) Published: February 05

My mother who is 87 and has dementia is a very difficult case. She refuses any doctor visit and gets extremely agitated when she is asked to do so. She thinks all we (children) want to do is have her committed or put in a home. We want to get her some professional help but just refuses. She cries a lot and frequently asks us to take her home to be with her parents and siblings which are all deceased for many years.

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