Is This AD??????

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New Member

Date Joined Sep 2006
Total Posts : 19
   Posted 6/21/2012 11:30 PM (GMT -6)   
   I haven't posted in over 6 years, but I read this board often.  My father is 90 and was diagnosed about 10 years ago with AD.  He is on Namenda and Galantamine.  But here is the thing...he is basically the same as he was 10 years ago. Even his doctor said he is holding steady and has lost no ground.  He still lives alone (refuses to have any one live with him), he bathes, dresses, and feeds himself.  He watches TV, reads, knows who his children are, etc.  Yes, his short term memory is very impaired, but other than that, he is a typical 90 year old and can take care of himself.  He does not drive and I go over to give him his meds twice a day, clean house, look after his animals, etc. Everyone who meets him cannot believe he has AD.  When I asked the doctor how can it be that he has not lost any ground in 10 years, his response is "Everyone is different."  I agree, but I have many friends who have family members with AD and within 3 to 5 years, they have passed away or are in a nursing home and can't recognize their own children, or feed themselves, etc.  So I have 2 questions.  Can this be AD but in my dad's case it is progressing very, very slowly?   Is it normal for a 10 year AD patient to say things like, "I feel great, I just can't remember anything."  He knows his memory is impaired.  Usually after a few years most AD patients I have known, no longer realize they have a memory problem.  Any feedback on this would be much appreciated. Thanks.

Elite Member

Date Joined Apr 2004
Total Posts : 23551
   Posted 6/22/2012 8:56 AM (GMT -6)   
AD is a mystery. No one can tell why one person rapidly declines while another doesn't. I've heard of many stories where one person has mild AD for the remainder of their lives and others where they decline from stage 1 to the last stages in a matter of months.

I would tend to think that his medication might be stalling his decline. Which is a good thing! But I can't say for sure if it is or not.

I think it's awesome that he can still care for himself and that he is still in his own home. And that you also take care of him :)
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New Member

Date Joined Sep 2006
Total Posts : 19
   Posted 6/23/2012 2:31 PM (GMT -6)   
Sherry and Kate,
Thank you for your advice. It gives me hope that my dad may be one of the lucky ones that lives the rest of his life with mild AD. I feel very blessed and thankful that Dad can still live alone and is so happy. I have been taking care of him for 10 years and spent a lot of that time being angry and depressed about his situation. I found myself negative and irritable and I know now that my attitude greatly affected his quality of life. There were many days I actually dreaded going to his house because I knew things would not go well. He took his cue from me and I am ashamed to say, he picked up on my negative emotions and attitude and mimicked them. But in the past few years, my attitude has changed. I noticed if I was having a good day, he had a good day. So it finally dawned on me (after about 8 years!) that my actions, reactions and attitude determined what kind of a day he would have...good or bad. At first I had to "force" myself to be positive, patient, and calm, even though I felt overwhelmed and angry. But after many months of "faking" it, I realized that I was really enjoying my dad again! I no longer dread having to take care of him. I realized that he really still enjoys his life and that has been a very liberating for me. I now enjoy watching him read, or watching tv, or playing with his animals. He still lights up when my brother calls from out of state and they talk for a long time. I marvel that he still has such a sense of humor and is always joking around. His attitude has improved because I started being more positive, pleasant, and relaxed. Kate is right, environment can make a difference and so can the caregiver's attitude. I am so grateful that the good Lord helped me learn this lesson before it was too late. I know things may change at any time and that there may be difficult times ahead. But for right now, I am really enjoying my realtionship with my dad again and I am so thankful for that.
Thanks for listening.
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