Joined: 25 Jun 2010
|Posted: Mon Nov 01, 2010 9:08 am Post subject: Introduction
| Hello All !! I care for my 86 year old dad, diagnosed with Alzheimer's Disease in May 2007. This has been an interesting journey, to say the least. Alzheimer's is a devastating disease affecting millions of individuals. As the primary caregiver and advocate for dad's healthcare, I continue to be amazed during every step of this journey.
Unfortunately, this is not my first experience with Alzheimer's. My mom passed from pneumonia in May 1996, the angels way of taking her gently from her experience with Alzheimer's Disease. Given the timeframe, there wasn't much research or definitive diagnosis at that time. Personally, I ran out and purchased The 36 Hour Day, which proved to be a wealth of information to assist during mom's experience with this horrific disease.
Dad was on Aricept until June 2010. After a horrific bout of GI distress, his physician and I decided to remove Aricept. Personally, I never realized one could develop an adverse reaction to a drug after having been on it for over three years. Wow, very enlightening.
The GI distress, coupled with the fact the drug was no longer effective to combat cognitive decline, were the driving forces for deciding to remove Aricept from the boatload of pills dad takes daily.
So, after 30+ days off the Aricept, severe cognitive decline was evident. Dad was placed in Hospice care this past August. Hospice has been a Godsend. The Team has been responsive to every request, and genuinely cares about dad's comfort level. Dad continues to be mobile; however, the decline is evident with changes occurring every day. This disease definitely has its own course.
Personally, I was living out of town, relocated, took a career demotion, and eventually took early retirement to care for dad. I have three other siblings, only one of which has been supportive during this caregiving journey. They all live within 15-20 minutes of dad.
After spending the past three years as a caregiver, I am more than willing to share any knowledge, tips, and/or suggestions deemed appropriate to individuals who are entering this new world known as caregiver.
Thanks for providing this Forum !!