How long?

My mum has just been diagnosed with Alzheimer's but we've known there was something wrong for a while (over 12 months), it just didn't have a name it does now. She is 66 years young. She's given up driving because she things it's the right thing to do but can't be sure!! We know as we look after the keys now. No stage given or time limit just a slow slide we were told. But it doesn't actually give us many answers. I want to know should I get tested to see if I have gene that may make my chances of getting it higher, should my mum? My memory is appalling and I won't be working for much longer. I'm intending to retire as soon as possible especially if my life is going to be cut short by a disease I could have before I'm actually due to retire. My mum is at the stage where she can still look after her self but won't cook or clean. The telephone is a challenge...she still remembers to feed the dog but is never sure if she has had breakfast or not. She tires easily and can nod off at the table, just want to know how long it will be when she'll forget who I am and who the man who loves her my dad may not be able to cope any longer. Are there any good support mechanisms out there to help her enjoy life to the full?? Happiness I think is the key to her future.

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4 Replies

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  • Hi sorry to hear about your mum. What I can gather the decline is different for each person, I know that doesn't answer your question. Enjoy her while she is still here. Don't worry about your own chances of getting it. Live life for today, and enjoy every precious moment. ☺️ Rienij

  • Scary huh? As they don't know what specifically leads to any dementia they certainly won't be able to say that it is, or that it isn't genetic. You propably have hundreds of questions that won't have answers until the time comes, we all do. If your memory has always been appalling, as mine has, then this is no indicator of dementia. Dementia is so much more than forgetfulness. It's a dreadful disease with no cure, and very little support for the carers. Nonetheless, there is support for the individual, but you need to chase it, it won't come to you! Benefits, care services, social groups, exercise classes, befirending groups. It will depend on where you live (which always stirs my emotions!!). If you start to think in the ways that you are thinking about your own mortality, it will crush you. Supporting your dad to support your mum is all you can do, and it won't always be straightforward but you can be involved. Get your mum to make her wishes for care and beyond known asap as there may come atime when she will be unable to make these decisions. If you've ever read harry Potter, dementia is the equivalent to those darn dementors!

  • It may not be a great way to start my reply to you, but my father Ron just died from Alzheimer's Disease at the age of 94. We are now certain that he had symptoms for over eight years (this is around 86 years old) which our late mother covered-up for. He was diagnosed six years ago and lived on his own with support for three and a half years until it was evidently unsafe to do so.

    The Alzheimer's Society locally (East Surrey) has excellent support services including day centres and befriending and very importantly advice and support for carers.

    Ron never accepted that he had dementia which was a significant difficulty for the family. He never forgave us for selling his car to prevent him driving for example. We rented a monitoring system for his flat which helped us know where he was. It also made it obvious that he was up and about regularly throughout the night, just wandering from room to room, which would explain his extreme tiredness and was the main reason for deciding that he needed to go into care.

    This is a difficult illness and I am sorry for you and your family. Early diagnosis and treatment (such as there is) is hugely important.

    Good luck!

  • Is it hereditary ? Thanks for the message

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