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 rapid decline in my father 
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Joined: Sat Nov 02, 2013 8:44 pm
Posts: 6
Post rapid decline in my father
We have seen a very rapid decline in my father over the past couple of months. He has had frequent passing out and falling episodes, his aggression level has increased, his appetite is finicky at best, he sleeps (or catnaps) quite a bit and I am not sure if that is due to medicine increase or not, and now he is unable to walk. My mother and I have tried to prepare ourselves since he was first diagnosed and placed in a nursing home early last year that these days would come but it still seems to be so hard. It would help so much if it were not such a roller-coaster disease. Has anyone seen there loved ones bounce back from these periods? We are thinking the disease may just be progressing without any bounce backs.


Tue Nov 05, 2013 6:51 pm
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Joined: Fri Jan 15, 2010 9:33 pm
Posts: 3437
Location: Vermont
Post Re: rapid decline in my father
Sometimes people with this disease will bounce back "somewhat". They can regain a bit of what they used to have or be able to do, but usually once they lose some ability it doesn't go back to their old level of functioning. There tend to be precipitous declines, a bit of regaining functions, then maybe steady decline or a bit of plateau till the next precipitous decline. All the best, Lynn

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Lynn, daughter of 89 year old dad dx with possiblity of LBD, CBD, PSP, FTD, ALS, Vascular Dementia, AD, etc., died Nov. 30, 2010 after living in ALF for 18 months.


Tue Nov 05, 2013 9:56 pm
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Joined: Sun Aug 25, 2013 9:15 pm
Posts: 8
Post Re: rapid decline in my father
My Mom has also just experienced another rapid and dramatic decline. In the past we thought she had another small stoke, but after reading wonderfully helpful posts, we are realizing that it must be the LBD roller-coaster. This last one occurred very suddenly and dramatically 4 weeks ago. We took her to the dentist and on previous visits she could understand my husband's requests to hold onto his elbows and push with her feet while the two of us lifted her out of her wheelchair to the dentist chair. (She has had many MRI documented TIAs and 2 MRI documented major strokes and hasn't been able to walk or stand for 2 years now). But at the dentist's Mom couldn't even grab onto my husband nor use her feet in any meaningful manner...she was just a limp rag. She didn't even remember the visit to the dentist by the next day and heretofore she always did. Even prompting didn't help her memory this time. Within 3 days she stopped eating entirely. She stopped using her hands, too. She hasn't eaten more than 300 kcal a day for 4 weeks now and that only with much encouragement from the nursing home staff or us. She is rapidly losing weight.
The first week of this siege she talked fairly meaningfully saying that she was dying and asked for a priest. Last week she still told me that she was dying. But her "rebound" this week is to be able to hold a plastic coffee cup for a little bit (Before this episode she was feeding herself and holding cups, etc. on her own). She can't quite find her mouth and after holding the cup for about 2 minutes she just drops the cup and doesn't even seem aware that she did! We clean up her clothes and the floor and she seems oblivious. Her conversation has now declined to her usual conversation starters such as "hi, how are you," "have you heard from the old gang" (altho she doesn't know who that is but is just trying to use it as a reflexive conversation starter to get us to talk to her). Yesterday she asked if I had seen Dad (he died 30 years ago) and stated she would see him today. She also told us last night that she had to go to work today (she has been retired for over 30 years). Her speech is so clear with these delusions but almost meaningless like answering "no, no, no" or "ok, ok, ok" if you ask her a yes or no question and her little conversation starter questions are spoken slowly and with difficulty. She has stopped saying that she is dying and tells us that she walks just fine and walked downtown and gone shopping. Thankfully in some ways her delusions are of pleasant things this week! But in this last 4 weeks she has become much, much less cooperative and agreeable..."no, no, NO" is what we often hear.
I guess from what you kind folks have written, this might be close to the time God will take her to heaven. I thank you all so much for sharing your sad experiences as it helps us not feel alone.
Judy in Forks


Thu Nov 07, 2013 5:47 pm
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Joined: Sat Nov 02, 2013 8:44 pm
Posts: 6
Post Re: rapid decline in my father
It has been so helpful to me these last few days to be able to talk to people who are experiencing the same types of things we are. Daddy did see a little rebound earlier in the week but dropped right back down again. He is now sleeping pretty much all the time and we have to use a wheelchair to get him around. He talked yesterday of his sister who has been dead for 17 years. He thought she was there with him. His speech is mostly garbled although at times he does say clear words although he can't put sentences together to well. He used to clean his plate at every meal and now we are having to coax him into eating. Sometimes he will try to feed himself but mostly we have to help him. I have had this feeling for sometime that he will not be here by Christmas but then who knows? He may live this way for a long time. It just breaks my heart to see my father who has always been there for me to have to spend his life like this. Sometimes he will just stare at me like he is trying to figure out who I am and I stare at him a lot like I am trying to memorize every detail of his face. I never knew how cruel something could be until this disease took hold of our lives. Those of you on this forum are truly a blessing to me for I can talk of things and you all understand completely.

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Athalia. Father diagnosed with dementia with probable Lewy-Body in Feb. 2012.


Thu Nov 07, 2013 6:48 pm
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Joined: Fri Jan 15, 2010 9:33 pm
Posts: 3437
Location: Vermont
Post Re: rapid decline in my father
Althea & Judy - I know how hard it is to not try to force food and drink on your LO when they don't want to eat or drink and they are losing a lot of weight. Towards the end people cut down and then stop taking in nourishment. It is easier on their bodies to not take in the calories or meds even. I know we CGs feel like about the only thing we can do to help our LO is to offer them food, help them drink, etc. If your LO is on hospice or if you have a hospice person you can talk with, they can give you the guidelines about what to expect in your LOs last months, weeks, days. You may find it helpful to read about final stages and what happens.
It is certainly not easy to see our LOs wasting away, or going through any of the other things like delusions, hallucinations, etc. that they are experiencing. Sending you lots of positive thoughts and energy as you navigate this tough disease. Lynn

_________________
Lynn, daughter of 89 year old dad dx with possiblity of LBD, CBD, PSP, FTD, ALS, Vascular Dementia, AD, etc., died Nov. 30, 2010 after living in ALF for 18 months.


Thu Nov 07, 2013 7:36 pm
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