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Staging Questions
NoSiblings
Posted: Wednesday, May 15, 2019 12:48 PM
Joined: 9/3/2016
Posts: 75


I'm trying to determine if my mom has slipped into Stage 7 or if she is still a Stage 6. She can still talk. Of course, she could not possibly initiate or carry on a conversation, but she can still answer simple questions although she may say yes or no without really comprehending whether that's what she really wants or not. She can still put a few words together. Some sites I read say that in Stage 7 they will have lost the ability to communicate. Another site I read today said that in Stage 7 they may still be able to put together six or seven words at a time. My mom can not walk, she now has to use a Broda chair to sit up, she can not feed herself but she can still swallow, she is doubly incontinent and must have assistance with all aspects of daily life. I know stages don't really mean a lot, but still I want to know. I've had to put her into a nursing home because she needs 100% assistance 24/7, and I can no longer care for her at home. So I'm trying to plan the best way and how long I will likely need to try and stretch her limited finances.
Rescue mom
Posted: Wednesday, May 15, 2019 1:02 PM
Joined: 10/12/2018
Posts: 460


Does anybody with dementia ever fit perfectly in those stages? You sound like you’ve done great to get her in a place where her needs are met. Even if you said she is definitely stage 7, there’s no telling how long she could last. Some here have been that stage for several years.
Mike&BrendaTX
Posted: Wednesday, May 15, 2019 1:07 PM
Joined: 7/10/2017
Posts: 481


NoSiblings,

Sorry you had to ask those questions.

Folks in early stage 7 can often still talk and walk.  From the symptoms you describe, she sounds like she's in stage 7.  At this point, I would also contact a hospice near you, as they can be a help if she is accepted (even if she's in a facility), and the cost is covered by Medicare.  Hospice, with their experience, can also help with planning.

That said, "planning" in stage seven is often futile, since it can be very quick or last many many years.  My wife has been in stage 7 (and in hospice at home) for about a month shy of three years now (currently stage 7d).  She can no longer stand or walk, talk, feed herself, or sit up straight.  I am lucky that I'm big enought to pick her up, so I don't need to place her at this point.  Dr. Barry Reisberg of NYU, who originally developed the 7-stage model of Alzheimer's, noted that stage 7f, the final stage, can last "indefinitely."

Mike


NoSiblings
Posted: Wednesday, May 15, 2019 3:29 PM
Joined: 9/3/2016
Posts: 75


Thank you both for your input. I guess I just want something that doesn't exist, something definitive. With cancer patients even though not 100% accurate the oncologist can usually give you a pretty good idea of time frame and what to expect. It seems with Alzheimer's there simply are no definites, no this is what happens, thus no way to really plan. I think Mother's Day was especially hard this year for me. My mom's body is still present, but my mom has been gone now for a long time. She's never coming back, and I've accepted that. It just hurts so much to see her with no quality of life, and no idea of how long this could go on or how much worse it could get. Checking with hospice is probably a good idea. I will start checking into that.
yarnball
Posted: Wednesday, May 15, 2019 8:57 PM
Joined: 7/9/2017
Posts: 21


I have finally resolved myself to knowing that I will grieve for awhile each time I see my mom.  Such an inteligient, successful, vibrant woman and now nothing.  Sad.  Great loss.
SunnyBeBe
Posted: Thursday, May 16, 2019 2:11 PM
Joined: 10/9/2014
Posts: 558


NoSiblings wrote:
I'm trying to determine if my mom has slipped into Stage 7 or if she is still a Stage 6. She can still talk. Of course, she could not possibly initiate or carry on a conversation, but she can still answer simple questions although she may say yes or no without really comprehending whether that's what she really wants or not. She can still put a few words together. Some sites I read say that in Stage 7 they will have lost the ability to communicate. Another site I read today said that in Stage 7 they may still be able to put together six or seven words at a time. My mom can not walk, she now has to use a Broda chair to sit up, she can not feed herself but she can still swallow, she is doubly incontinent and must have assistance with all aspects of daily life. I know stages don't really mean a lot, but still I want to know. I've had to put her into a nursing home because she needs 100% assistance 24/7, and I can no longer care for her at home. So I'm trying to plan the best way and how long I will likely need to try and stretch her limited finances.
 

I understand what you are trying to figure out. It's so scary not knowing what to expect, how long things will go on, etc.  I've done a lot of reading about it over the last 5 years. I'll just share what I have come across. (Was your mother diagnosed with AD or some other condition?)

There are good points on this thread about how uncertain things are. It really does depend on the person and their health and age.   There seems to be no real formula, even though we do have the guidelines called Stages.  I have known that because my LO has VD and not AD, the stages weren't designed for her, but, I will say that once she got very severe, she does now fit with Stage 7 (D). She occasionally has a quick smile, but, I'm not really sure that it's voluntary.  If not, she's 7(E) she can hold her head up, but, that's all she can do now, except occasional one word, yes. She has been on Hospice for about 6 months and is 67 years old. 

I have been told that the next thing will be if she losing the ability to swallow. That will be a big warning of the end.  Also, if she gets sick with pneumonia. That may not be something she survives.  But, short of those things, I don't see her passing away.  I have read multiple places that the expected survival for VD is 5 years.  I have known multiple PWD who were diagnosed AFTER my LO and they have declined, gone into long term care and died! Plus, my LO has hypertension and Type II diabetes!    It's all so unpredictable.  


 
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