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Posted: Sunday, April 28, 2019 5:21 AM
Joined: 6/24/2012
Posts: 361

As this disease progresses it seems that mom continues to fall off cliffs.  She reaches a cliff and hangs there for a bit and then suddenly, she is in another situation.  What she could do last month is gone.  And it does not really seem to happen gradually.  It seems quite sudden.   Each time I try to find a contributing factor, but it almost always turns out to be the progression of the disease.  I'm just putting this out there for those that expect this to progress gradually.  Though it takes years for someone to die of brain death... the 'cliffs' appear suddenly and sometimes without warning.  Anyone have similar experiences?  It's just a truly heart wrenching road we are all on.
Posted: Sunday, April 28, 2019 6:40 AM
Joined: 3/6/2017
Posts: 1642

My father, who had mixed dementia (Alzheimer's and Korsakoff's) followed a steady progression model. But my aunt who was initially diagnosed with vascular dementia seemed to deteriorate in very noticeable steps. She'd remain at a stable set-point for a time and then one day would wake up unable to do something she could do the day prior.
Stephanie Z
Posted: Sunday, April 28, 2019 11:27 AM
Joined: 12/15/2011
Posts: 4218

Hi, As an RN with lots of dementia care experience, I can say that I've see the "cliffs" happen in many individuals who have vascular dementia, which often happens along with Alzheimer's or other dementias. Vascular dementia causes small strokes. Almost imperceptible to caregivers, they often cause a sudden loss of cognition or function. 

     I'm sorry your mom has dementia. It's hard being a caregiver and watching the decline. Glad you are on the forum and hope you get at least some of the support you need here.

Stephanie Z

Posted: Monday, April 29, 2019 7:55 PM
Joined: 12/17/2018
Posts: 222

I was just thinking the same thing.  

My mother went into a wheelchair a few months ago at the same time I went on a holiday and her tablemate at her facility died.  So many changes for her to take in.

That became a cliff for her.  She developed incontinence almost overnight and it has progressed significantly over the months.  

I, too, look for reasons but this time there didn't seem to be any other than what I stated.  I still look and wonder when things change, but I'm allowing myself to accept more.  

A music therapist friend told me, as I struggled to choose the perfect MC for Mom, that changes happen drastically and then plateau until the next step down.  He tried to get me to realize that the things that are so important for me to have today won't be an issue in a few months.  And in a year from now, completely different criteria will be foremost in my mind.  

We just can't keep up.

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