Need input from real live caregivers

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Big Question
New Member

Date Joined Nov 2012
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 11/14/2012 8:59 AM (GMT -6)   

My grandmother passed away from Alzheimer's in the 1990s. Although I was not her direct caregiver, I saw how devastating the disease was from visiting her and the effects it had on other family members. I am now a writer researching Alzheimer's for a book project. I have hit the library, consulted the internet, talked with several doctors, and still cannot come up with a definitive answer so I am asking for your help. Here are my questions:

1. The opening of the book is a situation where the character is living alone and undiagnosed, and wanders away from home. Later chapters have this character, for a few hours or days at a time, functioning somewhat normally. Her speech is mostly coherent and she is capable of routine tasks under the care and supervision of others. Is this realistic, or based on the late-stage wandering, would she be less cognitively aware and suffering more physical symptoms?

2.  The character lives rurally on her farm. In attempt to help her feel normal, her niece (the primary caregiver) will allow her to drive short distances on the farm under supervision. Is this realistic?

It is my sincere hope that my book, although fiction, will draw attention to the plight of Alzheimer's patients and their loved ones. I appreciate any input you can share.

Elite Member

Date Joined Apr 2004
Total Posts : 23551
   Posted 11/14/2012 10:35 AM (GMT -6)   
1. Yes a person with AD can still be a wanderer with occasional moments of lucidity. The extreme late stages of AD is where the person dies due to lack of proper nutritional care and/or lung aspiration because they forget to eat or swallow. Wandering is more or less considered to be in the end mild/ to late moderate stages.

2. No, this is not realistic because AD patients tend to forget what a key is and where to put it, let alone where the gas or brake pedal are. Early stages perhaps it would be realistic but it sounds like you are basing your character off someone who has moderate AD.
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