How to Recognize the Symptoms of Alzheimer's

Alzheimers Disease


Alzheimer’s is a terrible disease. In fact, I’m convinced that it’s just about the worst fate that can befall a human being. Not only is Alzheimers disease tragic for the person who suffers from it – it’s also devastating to the family and friends of the patient. Alzheimer’s disease can completely change the patient’s personality into someone you don’t know, and it can be utterly terrifying for the person affected. When my mother's disease was in the early stages, she understood what was happening to her, and she was scared beyond belief. As a retired nurse with decades of work experience, and as the caretaker for my grandmother, who also suffered from Alzheimers disease, mom knew her fate all too well.

My grandmother suffered from Alzheimer’s, and so did my mother. For several years, I was Mom’s caretaker, so I saw firsthand the symptoms that ravaged her mind. I was there for the entire time, from the early symptoms of Alzheimer’s through her progression of the disease, until her death.





Mom's last Thanksgiving.
Mom's last Thanksgiving.

Alzheimer’s Symptoms

Mom began exhibiting symptoms of Alzheimer’s at around the age of 80. At first, the Alzheimer’s symptoms were mild. As a result, my family and I were somewhat in denial at first. We tried to convince ourselves that it was just a normal part of aging. Also, my father had just attempted suicide by shooting himself in the chest with his pistol. He lasted three weeks on life support before he died. Of course, this took a huge toll on Mom. They had been married for 60 years, so it was easy for us to blame some of Mom’s problems on grief and shock. The rest of the family was in extreme grief and shock, too, so I suppose these things clouded our perception in relation to Mom's Alzheimers symptoms.

My husband and I moved in with Mom once we realized that her behavior was not normal. We finally had to acknowledge that she was exhibiting Alzheimer’s symptoms. After a couple of years, we had to move Mom into an assisted living facility. We could no longer leave her alone while we went to work. She lived in the facility for two years but ultimately had to be moved into a lock-down unit because her Alzheimer’s symptoms had escalated. Before being placed in the lock-down unit, Mom had begun to wander off in her attempt to "escape" the assisted living facility.

Below are the symptoms of Alzheimer's we noticed with both my grandmother and my mom.


Short Term Memory Loss

One of the first Alzheimer’s symptoms we noticed was short term memory loss. In other words, Mom would forget the names of people she’d just met or information she had recently learned. She’d forget that she was cooking something on the stove, and she’d forget that she was running a bath. This was easy for us to dismiss as a normal part of aging. At the time, I was in my late forties, and I forgot things sometimes, too, so we were not alarmed at this point. Sometimes it's difficult to tell the difference between the short term memory loss of senile dementia or aging-related memory loss and Alzheimers disease.

Alzheimer's symptoms include memory loss. When Mom forgot how to make biscuits, I knew there was a major problem.
Alzheimer's symptoms include memory loss. When Mom forgot how to make biscuits, I knew there was a major problem.

Long Term Memory Loss

Symptoms of Alzheimer’s also include long term memory loss. This type of memory loss was more troubling for us. I’ll give you an example. My mother always made great homemade biscuits from scratch. She’d been making the same biscuits for over 65 years, so she didn’t need a recipe. She could practically make the biscuits in her sleep. When it got to the point that she could no longer make her famous biscuits, I knew something was very wrong. She would also forget how to do simple tasks like washing her hands. Actually, she could remember how to wash her hands, but sometimes she couldn't remember to turn off the water after she was done. She flooded the bathroom on several occasions.

Near the end of Mom’s struggle, she could no longer remember much of anything. I remember her trying to remember my father, and she couldn’t. According to her, she could not recall a single thing about their life together. Memory loss is one of the saddest elements of the disease.


Problem Solving

Another of the Alzheimer’s symptoms we noticed was trouble with problem solving. The simplest problems became huge for Mom, as she had no idea as to how to remedy them. For example, if the batteries in the TV remote died, she couldn’t figure out that the device needed new batteries, and when she was told to replace the old batteries with new ones, she couldn’t figure out how to do so, even though she’d done it many, many times before. Problem solving can be seen in even simpler tasks, too. Just deciding what to wear can be difficult. For example, if I were taking Mom on an outing on a cold day, she often had trouble figuring out which clothes were warm. On the other hand, she might decide to wear a heavy coat on a hot summer day when we were going out.

Planning Ahead

Mom was always big on planning ahead, but as the Alzheimers advanced, she could no longer do this. This is one of the classic symptoms of Alzheimer’s. Before I moved in with mom, my youngest daughter often did the grocery shopping for Mom. She’d make a list, and my daughter would go to the store and purchase the items. It got to where my mother would have trouble deciding what she’d need for the next week.

Mom had always enjoyed planning for family get-togethers, holidays, and parties. She had always been a wonderful hostess, planning down to the tiniest details. With Alzheimer’s disease, she just couldn’t wrap her mind around the concept of planning.

Completing Tasks

Alzheimer’s symptoms also include trouble completing tasks. It became problematic for Mom to complete simple daily tasks. She’d get started with something, then quit before it was completed. Sometimes she’d stop because she felt overwhelmed or frustrated, and sometimes she’d lose track of what she was doing and abandon it. We saw this with routine daily chores like doing laundry, dusting, and even watching a TV show or movie. Paying her own bills was one of the first things to go as her disease took hold. The task was too overwhelming for her.


Losing Things

Common Alzheimer’s symptoms include losing things. I’m not talking about misplacing your car keys once in a while – we all do that. I’m talking about losing several items frequently. Sometimes she couldn’t remember where she kept her winter clothes, for example. Later, she didn’t realize that she kept her undergarments in her chest of drawers. She might have trouble remembering where the bathroom was in her own home or in her own room at the facility. Of course, this started with Mom’s misplacing things once in a while, but it escalated over time, as Alzheimers tends to do.


Concentration

Symptoms of Alzheimer’s includes trouble concentrating. Early on, Mom had difficulty balancing her checkbook. She just couldn’t concentrate long enough. For decades, she had sat down at the kitchen table on the first of every month and paid her bills. She was no longer able to do this. Her concentration and attention span were just not long enough. If she wrote a check, she couldn't concentrate long enough to subtract the amount of the check from the balance in her checking account. Of course, problem solving was also an aspect here, and simple adding and subtracting became too difficult for her to do.

Loss of Time

Another of the Alzheimer’s symptoms might be losing time. In other words, the patient might not be aware of time. Mom began with not knowing what day of the week it was. Later, she had no idea as to which season of the year it was, and ultimately, she had no idea as to which year or even which decade it was. Time meant nothing to her. I went to see her almost every day, yet when I arrived, most of the time she'd comment that she hadn't seen me in ages.

Loss of Place

Loss of place is another of the common symptoms of Alzheimer’s. Mom got to the point that she had no idea where she was. She’d often ask, “Where am I?” when she was in the assisted living facility. Later, even very familiar places became strange to her. When we’d bring her home to the house she’d lived in for more than forty years, she might say something like, “This house looks familiar. I think I’ve been here before. Have I?” In her last year, she no longer recognized her home at all.


Loss of Vocabulary

Alzheimer’s symptoms also include a loss of vocabulary. My mom was very intelligent and had a large vocabulary, but over time, she “lost” words. Even in casual conversation, she would often be unable to find the right word to use. I remember once she couldn’t remember the word “bedspread.” She wanted a new one, but she had trouble conveying it. Finally she told me she needed “one of those things you put on the bed.” She had the same problem with “bedroom shoes” and “pajamas.” For her, they became “those shoes you wear at night” and “those clothes you sleep in.”


Lack of Judgment

One of the most troubling symptoms of Alzheimer’s is a lack in judgment. Fairly early in her battle with Alzheimers, Mom exhibited this. She would buy expensive gifts for people she didn’t know. She once bought a set of china for a checkout girl at Kmart when the employee mentioned that she was getting married. She bought me an expensive string of pearls, and I rarely wear jewelry. Anyway, I already had some pearls and didn’t need or want more. I made her return them, but in a few days, she bought me another set. She was also supporting numerous charities. I’m not saying this is necessarily a bad thing, and she had always donated to her church and to two other charities, but it got to the point that any charity that called Mom could be sure of a generous donation. She really couldn’t afford all these charitable donations, but she lacked the judgment to realize it.


Vision Problems

Along with other Alzheimer’s symptoms, Mom experienced trouble with her vision. She could see, but she often had trouble with colors and space. It became difficult for her to tell how far away things were and how large or small items were. It sometimes took her a while to “focus” on something, too, because of blurred vision. Sometimes she couldn’t distinguish orange from red, or blue from green. I’m not sure, however, if this was a true vision problem or whether it had more to do with judgment. It could have even been a problem with vocabulary.


Severe Mood Swings

About midway in her disease, Mom experienced other symptoms of Alzheimer’s. One of the worst was severe mood swings. She had always been a very happy, easy-going person. With Alzheimers, however, she began to have wild mood swings. One minute she’d be happy, and the next minute she might be crying. She could also go from smiling to being very angry in the blink of an eye and often for no reason, or for imagined reasons. Anything could set her off, so there was no way for us to prepare ourselves. This was one of the hardest things for the family to witness. The severe mood swings Mom experienced were alarming and could even be terrifying to watch.


Personality Changes

One of the most devastating of the Alzheimer’s symptoms is a drastic change in personality. Fortunately, we didn’t see a lot of this with Mom. We did see some, however. Mom was a sweet, caring individual who rarely got angry. With Alzheimers, however, she sometimes went into rages. She uttered curse words I didn’t even know were in her vocabulary. She was often paranoid, thinking the nurses, the cleaning staff, and even family members and friends were stealing from her.

Near the end, she became very withdrawn, too. This was totally out of character for Mom. She had always been a gregarious person who absolutely loved interacting with other people. She got to the point where she stayed mostly to herself in her room.

Sundowners syndrome can be terrifying.
Sundowners syndrome can be terrifying.

Sundowners – Alzheimer’s Sundowning

Alzheimer’s symptoms also often includes sundowners syndrome. There might be a more scientific term for this condition, but this is what Mom’s doctors and caregivers called it. Many individuals with Alzheimer’s sundowning will get nervous, fearful, and angry in the evening. They might have been fine all day, but when the sun starts to go down, their Alzheimer symptoms escalate. They often become unmanageable.

Sundowners was a huge problem for Mom. When she was still able to use a telephone, she’d begin calling me every night at dusk. She’d continue phoning me until she finally went to sleep, usually every few minutes. These sundowners calls could be described as desperate, demanding, terrified, or full of rage. She might also be sad and crying. Sometimes a single conversation would include all of these emotions.

Face Recognition

One of the saddest of Alzheimer’s symptoms for close family members is the loss of recognition. Mom began by not being able to recognize close friends, but it later spread to family members. She almost always remembered me, but she couldn’t always figure out who I was. Sometimes she’d think I was her mother instead of her daughter. Sometimes I’d ask her if she knew who I was, and she’d often respond, “I can’t remember your name right now, but I know you’re someone I love.”

Sometimes she didn’t even recognize the attendants who helped take care of her every day. of course, this was scary for Mom, as she thought total strangers were in her room, “doing things” to her and handling her belongings.

Nursing Homes

At this point, we didn’t have a lot of options. We had a couple of nursing homes in our town, but Mom had always hated the idea of going to one of them. Also, she didn’t really know anyone in the nursing homes. Luckily, we also had an assisted living facility that had just opened a new Alzheimer’s unit. It was more expensive than nursing homes would have been because it wouldn’t allow Mom to be placed on Medicaid. Her retirement check didn’t quite cover the monthly fee, so my brother and I made up the rest.

If you’re considering nursing homes as an option, please be sure to check out the facilities well before deciding on one. Some nursing homes are wonderful, while others might be deplorable. My daughter, a nurse, has told me some terrible things that went on in two nursing homes where she worked. She tried to make changes while she was there, but she finally quit her job in frustration.

Alzheimer’s Treatment

Unfortunately, there is no cure for Alzheimers. There are, however, drugs that can slow the progression of the disease and help diminish some of the symptoms. Therefore, it’s important to be able to recognize the symptoms of Alzheimer’s as early as possible. Alzheimer’s treatment options are usually aimed at managing the disease and its symptoms.

Mom’s Alzheimer’s treatment included a drug called Aricept. Aricept helps retain a brain chemical, acetylcholine, which is partially responsible for brain activities like memory. Unfortunately, Aricept doesn’t work on all patients, and even when it does, it usually is effective for only a few months.

Sometimes another drug, Namenda, is used along with Aricept as an Alzheimer’s treatment. Namenda helps to manage levels of glutamate, another chemical in the brain that’s associated with cognitive abilities like remembering and learning.

Other Alzheimer’s treatment options focus on some specific side effects of the disease, including depression, irritability, paranoia, and anxiety. For these, drugs like Paxil, Zoloft, Haldol, BuSpar, or Xanax might be prescribed.

A non-drug Alzheimer’s treatment has recently become popular. It’s called sensory therapy, and it involves using prompts to stimulate the five senses. For example, art might be used to stimulate sight, music might be used to stimulate hearing, aromas might be used to stimulate the sense of smell, and foods can be used to stimulate the sense of taste. For the sense of touch, different textures and shapes are used.

Caregivers Support

I can’t stress how important caregivers support is! I was Mom’s main caregiver for a couple of years, and it’s the most demanding job I’ve ever had. People with normally functioning brains use logic, so I often tried to be logical in dealing with Mom. That doesn’t work with Alzheimers patients because they don’t think logically. Advice on caregivers support will help you learn to manage your loved one.

Support for caregivers can also be found from friends and family members. I strongly advise you to get all the help and support you can get – you’ll need it. Caregivers support might include someone to relieve you so that you can take a much-needed break. Sometimes the best support for caregivers is just having someone to confide in and talk to about your experiences. A strong shoulder to cry on is also often beneficial. It might also help to talk with someone who has gone through the same experiences.

Alzheimers Support Alzheimer’s Foundation – Alzheimer’s Association

If you have a loved one who’s been diagnosed with Alzheimers or is experiencing the symptoms of Alzheimer’s, get help. There are several Alzheimer’s organizations that can assist you. One of the best is the Alzheimer’s Foundation.

I often visited the Alzheimer’s Foundation site when I felt lost, afraid, frustrated, or angry. You’ll find a wealth of information there, and you’ll quickly realize that you’re not alone. With the Alzheimer’s Foundation, you’ll get all kinds of support, including tips for caregivers and strategies for dealing with someone suffering from Alzheimers. To visit the Alzheimer’s Foundation, click here: http://www.alzfdn.org/

Another valuable Alzheimer’s site is the Alzheimer’s Association. Their website is http://www.alz.org/index.asp. The Alzheimer’s Association provides information for caregivers, healthcare professionals, and for patients themselves. Included is advice about Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security Disability, and other financial matters. There are also tips about finding nursing homes and other facilities for Alzheimer’s patients.


The Final Chapter

When Mom reached the end of her battle with Alzheimers, she had experienced most of the classic Alzheimer’s symptoms. My grandmother had done the same thing. In her last weeks, my mother was completely isolated and withdrawn. We tried to get her out of her room, but she didn’t want to leave the familiar security, I guess. She would often just lie on her bed and stare at the wall. She didn’t have any desire to watch television, and her face no longer lit up when she saw me. Mom died at the age of eighty-eight. The mother I knew and loved, however, had left us years earlier.

Signs of Alzheimer's:

Symptoms of Alzheimer's disease:

More by this Author


Comments 70 comments

alternate poet profile image

alternate poet 6 years ago

The sadness seeps through the paper it is written on, not many redeeming features about this desease are there.


msorensson profile image

msorensson 6 years ago

Phenomenal observations from someone with direct contact. You would have made a terrific Scientist. This is a beautiful hub, habee. For everyone.

There is no cure for Alzheimers. We can, at best, halt its progression.

As far as the patient is ooncerned, there is no harm to the body as long as someone is there to care for the bodily needs. It is where compassion and understanding is needed the most.

Thank you


katiem2 profile image

katiem2 6 years ago from I'm outta here

habee, Thank you so much for the helpful information. I do feel any of us facing this would no doubt lean toward denial. Your Mom looked very good and well taking care of in the photo's of her last, you did a great job taking care of her. Again thanks for the tips on a very painful subject. Blessings and Peace


50 Caliber profile image

50 Caliber 6 years ago from Arizona

Holle, it's a hard thing to witness one falling to this disease, I watched a friend go through this at an early age from getting Lymes disease from a monumental encounter with tick bites. Quite sad, 50


2besure profile image

2besure 6 years ago from Charlotte, North Carolina

This must be so deviating. When I first started going through menopause, I went through a period of being very confused. I am glad it passed. I can't imaging losing who I was. Thanks for the article on how to recognize Alzheimer.


Pamela99 profile image

Pamela99 6 years ago from United States

Habee, This is a very touching hub and I think you have taught us all just how difficult it is to see the disease until it is full blown. I know this had to be a difficult hub to write but I appreciate how thorough you were with all the details. I am sorry you had to experience all those difficult times.


habee profile image

habee 6 years ago from Georgia Author

No, Poet. Nothing good about Alzheimer's. Thanks for reading.


habee profile image

habee 6 years ago from Georgia Author

Melinda, thanks so much for your kind words. I hope a lot of people who need this info will find it.


habee profile image

habee 6 years ago from Georgia Author

Hi, Katie. Mom was always well cared for. She never went to a "nursing home." She was in two private facilities, and both were awesome.


habee profile image

habee 6 years ago from Georgia Author

Oh, 50, that's terrible. It's bad enough when an old person goes through it, but even worse for a younger individual to endure Alzheimer's.


habee profile image

habee 6 years ago from Georgia Author

2b, Alzheimer's is devastating for everyone involved.


habee profile image

habee 6 years ago from Georgia Author

Pam, when I started re-living all of the Alzheimer's symptoms Mom had, it did upset me. It was a terrible time for all of us.


sheila b. profile image

sheila b. 6 years ago

I liked seeing the pictures of your mother and it's obvious she was well cared for and felt loved.


Scribenet profile image

Scribenet 6 years ago from Ontario, Canada

habee Great first hand information for those that might wonder about a loved one's state of mind.Hope time will replace that terrible time with happier earlier memories. Bless you for your strength in sharing your experience about a dreadful ailment.


H P Roychoudhury profile image

H P Roychoudhury 6 years ago from Guwahati, India

It is a reminder to everyone how to recognize Alzheimer, a deadly disease.


Mike Lickteig profile image

Mike Lickteig 6 years ago from Lawrence KS USA

Alzheimer's is one of the saddest, most tragic afflictions one can suffer from. It is hard to imagine what it must be like to have your memories stripped from you so nothing is left. That must be a most terrifying experience. We wondered if my father suffered from this, but he did not. He is simply getting old. His memories mean so much to him, and I am glad he is still able to sit back and remember the "old days".

Thanks for the look into this awful and terrifying disease. I will bookmark this to refer to in the future.

Mike


Micky Dee profile image

Micky Dee 6 years ago

It's a very terrible disease. It can be just horrible for the sufferer and family. It's very disheartening. Everything is new to them of a brief memory of the past. At the same time they're seeking. There are all sorts of scenarios they can be going through. And some are frighting. Thank you Ma'am!


G L Strout profile image

G L Strout 6 years ago from Ohio, USA

What an outstanding article. Very helpful and concise. I have watched someone "fade away" from this disease and it is terrible to be so helpless to fight back. Thank you so much for sharing.


MartieCoetser profile image

MartieCoetser 6 years ago from South Africa

This is so scary! Thank you for sharing this information. Info shared by people who have 1st-hand experience are worth much more than info provided by encyclopedias and medical reports. I would also like to congratulation you with your 100% hubscore.


Kaie Arwen profile image

Kaie Arwen 6 years ago

Great compilation of information, but a sad story. I remember the first time I walked into a room and my grandfather didn't know me anymore. For the longest time he believed me to be my mom and my daughter to be me. That made me smile, but the disappearance of recognition was devastating.

Your mother was a beautiful woman............. she was lucky to have you! Kaie


leni sands profile image

leni sands 6 years ago from UK

Very informative. Very sad. Thanks for sharing.

My father-in-law is in the early stages of dementia and although some of the situations he gets into because it of are are funny we fully understand that the disorder is not. My hub 'The Apology' shares one or two of those situations in a light hearted way.

Alzheimer’s Disease is the most horrible of the two, I guess, but it is still heard to watch someone you love fall victim to either of these diseases.

You are a wonderful person with a wonderful family. Chin-up.


Teddletonmr profile image

Teddletonmr 6 years ago from Midwest USA

habee, How to Recognize the Symptoms of Alzheimer's is a great hub, filled with information everyone needs to understand. My mam is seventy, and my wife and I fear she is in the early stages of Alzheimer's.

Thanks for sharing the pictures of your mother, and all the insightful information on what we should be on the look out for and what to expect.


nifty@50 profile image

nifty@50 6 years ago

Alzheimer's has to be terrifying for the person suffering from it, because friends and family strike you as strangers and enemies. Your familiar surroundings become strange foreign places. Your whole historical perspective of events are turned upside down!


parrster profile image

parrster 6 years ago from Oz

Informative and emotive hub. This is a very real and feared decease that some of we who comment here may one day fall to. Let's hope we have as caring people around as you if such should be the case. voted up.


akirchner profile image

akirchner 6 years ago from Central Oregon

One of our best friends is early stages and it is really noticeable. It is also really sad! I think I must have it as well - ha ha - or just old ladyitis. Great information on the symptoms of Alzheimer's.


habee profile image

habee 6 years ago from Georgia Author

Thanks, sheila. she was very loved.


habee profile image

habee 6 years ago from Georgia Author

Scribe, I do have wonderful memories of Mom before she experienced the symptoms of Alzheimer's. Thank goodness!


habee profile image

habee 6 years ago from Georgia Author

Thanks for reading, HP!


habee profile image

habee 6 years ago from Georgia Author

Hi, Mike. I hated that the Alzheimer's symptoms for Mom included long-term memory loss. She said it was if someone had stolen her life.


ezhuthukari profile image

ezhuthukari 6 years ago from Kerala

Alzheimer's is such a terrible condition. Can't imagine how difficult it must have been for you and your family. Thank you for sharing your experience


Dolores Monet profile image

Dolores Monet 6 years ago from East Coast, United States

habee - this is so frightening because many of the symptoms do pop up occasionally in all of us. A dear friend of mine went into Alzheimer's and I learned about the sundowners syndomre. I made sure to visit her during day light hours so we could enjoy our time together.


habee profile image

habee 6 years ago from Georgia Author

Mick, thanks for reading about Alzheimer's symptoms. Thanks also for commenting!


habee profile image

habee 6 years ago from Georgia Author

GL, Alzheimer's does indeed make loved ones feel completely helpless.


habee profile image

habee 6 years ago from Georgia Author

Many thanks, Martie!


habee profile image

habee 6 years ago from Georgia Author

Kaie, thanks for the kind words! Mom was a knockout in her youth. she also had a beautiful mind - before the symptoms of Alzheimer's.


habee profile image

habee 6 years ago from Georgia Author

Leni, sometimes you have to laugh. Alzheimer's symptoms aren't funny, but sometimes you have to have some comic relief from the madness.


habee profile image

habee 6 years ago from Georgia Author

Teddle, I hope your mam is not experiencing the early symptoms of Alzheimer's! Maybe it's just dementia?


habee profile image

habee 6 years ago from Georgia Author

Nifty, Alzheimer's is terrible. About midway, Mom knew what was happening to her and she was terrified.


habee profile image

habee 6 years ago from Georgia Author

Thanks, parrster. I hope they find a cure for Alzheimer's soon!


habee profile image

habee 6 years ago from Georgia Author

Buckie, some days I'm convinced I'm experiencing the early symptoms of Alzheimer's. Seriously!


habee profile image

habee 6 years ago from Georgia Author

Thanks for reading, EZ!


habee profile image

habee 6 years ago from Georgia Author

Dolores, sundowners is one of the worst Alzheimer's symptoms. Glad you can work around it with your friend.


MPG Narratives profile image

MPG Narratives 6 years ago from Sydney, Australia

Habee, thanks for sharing such a sad story. Sad too that both your grandmother and mother suffered. Both my grandmothers had Alzheimers and the one who lived with us in Australia seemed to have a more severe form. Her mood swings were very bad at night and she accused us of stealing from her.

It is such an awful disease and at times I think it takes over me, I'm always forgetting things. Oh dear!


prasetio30 profile image

prasetio30 6 years ago from malang-indonesia

Good information from you. I learn much from you. I'll try to search more information about this disease. Thanks, Habee.


kingkhan78 profile image

kingkhan78 6 years ago

nice and interesting hub thanks for sharing


Hello, hello, profile image

Hello, hello, 6 years ago from London, UK

What must you have gone through, seeing your mother going like that. The worst is that until the disease is full blown you don't recognize the symptems. There are now medicine to halt the disease but as I just wrote until the disease is full blown you don't realize. It is awful.


mulberry1 profile image

mulberry1 6 years ago

I had a couple of Aunts who died with Alzheimer's and I know it's something my 83 year old mother fears more than anything. My mother definitely has trouble finding words but the reclusive part is her natural state. I see hints of memory problems but she seems to organize her day and tasks well. Thanks for the info as to symptoms, I'm always on the alert.


habee profile image

habee 6 years ago from Georgia Author

MPG, my mom did the same thing. She thought everyone was stealing from her!


habee profile image

habee 6 years ago from Georgia Author

Thanks for reading, Prasetio!


habee profile image

habee 6 years ago from Georgia Author

Thanks for visiting, King!


habee profile image

habee 6 years ago from Georgia Author

HH, Alzheimer's IS awful...and terrifying.


habee profile image

habee 6 years ago from Georgia Author

Mulberry, it's good that you're on the lookout for Alzheimer's symptoms. Good luck with your mom!


ethel smith profile image

ethel smith 6 years ago from Kingston-Upon-Hull

Very informative, and so sad for you to recount. It is as if the person we knew and loved has already died. The shell lingers on.


habee profile image

habee 6 years ago from Georgia Author

Right, Eth. It's like those with Alzheimer's suffer two deaths.


Eileen Hughes profile image

Eileen Hughes 6 years ago from Northam Western Australia

you have given a very good description of coping with a loved one suffering with this debilitating and degrading disease.

It is so hard coping with someone like this, because they do not know (luckily) what they are putting you through. That is why it is so degrading. My mother in law suffered from this. She was so tiny when she died, but she should have died peacefully 2 years earlier, than she did, but a nurse resusitated her. It would have been much better to let her go than put the family through another 2 years of misery and suffering. I know it sounds mean, but she did not know anyone and could not do anything for herself, so..... it makes you wonder thats for sure. Great heartfelt article thanks for that.


Marisa Wright profile image

Marisa Wright 6 years ago from Sydney

Habee, I know it's hard to see a silver lining but at least your mother didn't start to experience symptoms until her 80's.

There is such a thing as 'early onset' Alzheimers which runs in families and can strike as early as the 40's. So I guess we can be thankful if we don't have that in our genes!


habee profile image

habee 6 years ago from Georgia Author

Eileen, with Mom, she was pretty healthy, physically speaking. It's tough on everyone, as you know.


habee profile image

habee 6 years ago from Georgia Author

True, Marisa - Mom was lucky in that sense. Early onset Alzheimer's would be even more devastating!


nancy_30 profile image

nancy_30 6 years ago from Georgia

This is a very terrible disease. I don't have anyone in my family that's went through it, but my sister's father-in-law has it. He use to live with one of his sons. I remember one time we were at their house and he had just eaten and then he asked when supper was going to be done because he was hungry. They tried to explain that he had just eaten but he didn't believe them. He almost sold his son's car one day too. He would also take off and hitch hike places. We visited their house many times but each time we visited he would always ask who we were. It was very sad because I remember him before he got the disease.


habee profile image

habee 6 years ago from Georgia Author

It is sooooooo sad, Nancy.


DeBorrah K. Ogans profile image

DeBorrah K. Ogans 6 years ago

Habee, Wonderful informative hub on Alzheimers! I call this "a slow goodbye" it is unfortunate... Concise observations! You have supplied really great insight and helpful coping suggestions.

Thank You for sharing, In His Love, Peace & Blessings!


habee profile image

habee 6 years ago from Georgia Author

"A slow goodbye"...I like that, Deb!


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article_eric 5 years ago from Seattle, WA

Great hub. I had a family member (grandmother) who slowly and steadily fell victim to this horrible disease. And yes, like many, she was too far "gone" by the time a diagnosis was made. The problem was that my grandfather passed away before any of us realized the severity. He had been with her for the several years that the disease progressed and basically said nothing to anyone. So when he died, and the family had to step in and involve ourselves with her more on a daily basis, we realized that she was not in the best shape. From that point, it was a fast, downward spiral. She's in a better place now as far as I'm concerned.


habee profile image

habee 5 years ago from Georgia Author

Sorry about your grandmother. At least she's at peace now.


Sona 4 years ago

I burst in tears as I read your hub. Especially that my Mom now is in her 80's and we love her so much.

You are a genuine woman who took care of her Mom. In my culture taking care of parents is a ticket to heaven. If you have children they will then treat you the same way.

Gog bless your heart.


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tsmog 4 years ago from Escondido, CA

Thank you habee , , ,this article is very helpful to me, now off I go to the link to learn more , , ,


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alzheimersfacts 4 years ago from Santa Fe, NM

Great article. Loved the information on Alzheimer's!


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Robie Benve 4 years ago from Ohio

Oh Habee, such a deep, informative, well written and so personal hub.

Thank you so much for sharing it. It can really help a lot of people identifying the first symptoms of Alzheimers.


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dementiacaregiver 3 years ago

Lots of great information here. I cared for two family members with alzheimer's, so I relate to all the info given.


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Elsie Hagley 20 months ago from New Zealand

Great article. I have been concerned about my husband, after reading this I feel worst about alzheimers.

I think my husband who is 78 is about the halfway mark of alzheimers it's scary, but I'm coping with it at the moment.

Happy days loving my husband of fifty five years.

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