It has been 25 years since my beloved grandma died at the age of 80. For as long as I can remember, and I grew up with her, she suffered from dementia. At the time (late 80's) nobody mentioned Alzheimer. But I've been thinking about the possibility that she may have had it.
She could only recognize people she lived with (my aunt, mom and me). At some point she stopped recognizing her own son, because he didn't visit often. She wouldn't talk about her past like most senile people do, and not remember what happened the day before. She would only repeat several questions and had several types of behavior. She would ask me not to run (as if I had been a baby) and she would repeat one word endlessly like a broken record. I'm afraid that left to her own devices she would not have eaten or drunk.
She used to walk with a cane, but slowly lost the ability to walk all together and we had to put her in a wheelchair. She was unable to attend to her own basic needs. We helped her out with everything.
Doctors kept talking about dementia and giving her Codergocrine mesilate. She used to take bunch of medication each morning. We gave it to her, that is.
She was not depressed. She used to smile all the time when we spoke. She would never get angry or feel disoriented or embarrassed. Sometimes at night she would call out, for my aunt mostly. Maybe then she would need some reassurance, but not during the day. She was never alone, not for a second.
We suffer from cardiovascular diseases in the family and somehow I took it fro granted that she was just senile. But, as I said, I started having doubts...
It would really help me immensely to hear your opinions and experiences.