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Alzheimers

(5 Posts)
hazlinh Thu 29-Sep-11 06:22:52

Ok I thought I posted this earlier but couldn't find it so apols if there's two threads. My dad, 78, has suspected Alzheimers, and has been taking Ebixa since Dec. I don't know why the psychiatrist didn't order an MRI but I'm taking him for one next week along with a second opinion because he has really deteriorated off late. I know there is no cure, and I roughly know what to expect but has anyone found anything that can help to really delay the progress. It's very upsetting for everyone in the family, my mother is not handling it very well, and I am desperate. Experiences and any tips would be great. TIA.

hazlinh Thu 29-Sep-11 11:19:23

anyone?

Catsdontcare Thu 29-Sep-11 11:36:09

Sorry to hear about you dad it's a terrible disease.

Firstly you need a confirmed diagnosis which hopefully you will get soon. Not sure what Ebixa is but generally Aricept (sp?) is generally regarded as the most effective drug at slowing down the disease. However whether or not it will be prescribed can depend on lots of factors, also some patients can't tolerate the side effects.

I would recomend contacting the alzheimer's society they will visit you and be able to help you with your questions

KurriKurri Thu 29-Sep-11 13:38:59

hazlinh - I'm really sorry to hear your family is going through this, - its a difficult thing to cope with. My Dad has had alzheimers for about 8 years now, - it's now fairly advanced. He is on aricept, and early on it did seem to delay the progress of the disease, although of course it can't stop it.

Once your dad has a confirmed diagnosis, he will be eligible for help from social services etc. and your mum should be able to get some help (my dad has people in to wash and dress him every day)

Initially he went to a memory clinic - where keyworkers did activities with a small group of people with dementia, memory quizzes, craft stuff linked to helping memory, generally helping them to try to use their memories.

Once he'd been there a while, he was assessed as being able to benefit from going to a day centre, where he now goes 3 times a week. Again they do loads of different activities , some physical - (mini golf, quoits, throwing balloons around) some mental (quizzes, games , bingo etc.), they also give him a shower at the day centre. Despite a lots of initial protest, he quite enjoys it now.

My mum goes to a support group for carers of people with alzheimers, - they all meet up for coffee they have speakers visit, they get help with applying for benefits, and they occasionally go on outings to get a bit of a break.

I think what I'm trying to say is that you will probably find there is quite a lot out there in the way of activities that may help your dad, but in our experience you have to be fairly pro active and ask what there is, - they don't exactly advertise the help.

If you have any questions I might be able to help with, - just ask smile

hazlinh Thu 06-Oct-11 07:28:14

hi, sorry for the delay. been busy sorting out dad and his various appointments (in addition to work!!). Took him to see a geriatrician on Tuesday, she was amazing. she sat with us for an hour and a half and did tests on him to rule out him having lots of little mini-strokes which could be causing changes in the brain, and also memory, drawing and writing tests, and she says he does have a form of dementia but tests will tell us which one and what is causing it. he did an ECG and she said his electrolytes didn't seem normal. he did blood tests and an mri on Wed and today. The doctor will tell us the diagnosis tomorrow hopefully.

catsdontcare, ebixa is used to treat alzheimers, but it works in a different way from aricept. it is also called memantine. not sure which one is better?

kurrikurri, we're not in the uk, but the geriatrician does run a memory clinic so if we need to, we will see her there. 8 years sounds an awfully long time! sad So sorry to hear it. How is your dad now? The doc did say that dad probably has been having dementia for a few years now but we didn't realise. we were in denial plus we thought it was normal memory lapses and/or normal signs of ageing. sad the doc said she can arrange for counselling for my mum, we've also signed up for a talk for caregivers next week. the doc seemed rather optimistic. i must've given off worrywart vibes because she kept telling us not to be alarmed. i said i'd read it was a fatal disease but she seemed to indicate it was not!! hmmmmm

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