My mother lives with me and was recently diagnosed with Dementia. I know that Alzheimers can kill you but what about Dementia? She's good with long term memory but day to day or even within the space of hours, she forgets and insists that she didn't do or say what it was. She also keeps falling; could it be that she is forgetting to use her legs correctly? I know that sounds stupid but I'm just trying to figure out what else is going on. She does some strange things, yells at herself, and can't understand certain things she's told. Any help would be so appreciated.
Please feel free to ask questions. It's all an education process and you are in the beginning. We all started on square one.
Alzheimer's is one form of dementia, but there are many others. Alzheimer's is now considered the most common, but vascular (usually from strokes or mini-strokes) is also quite common. There are others, but some are never diagnosed beyone "organic brain disease." Has your mother been checked for mini-strokes?
You mother should likely have more general health testing to see if something can help her falls. She may need more vitamin B12 (shots tend to work for elders), or she may have an inner ear infection, or even a symptom-free bladder infection. My mother-in-law's dementia took a bad turn from a hard-to-find bladder infection.
If an elder is frail, it doesn't take much to, literally, throw them off balance.
Meanwhile, even if your mother doesn't have Alzheimer's disease, you can benefit from learning about different forms of dementia, and Alzheimer's resources like this can help you.
Getting support for yourself is vital. I hope we can help.
Each dementia has its own seriousness. I am not sure why your Mom's doctor could not find out what kind of dementia it is. My mom has minor stroke and so we worry about vascular dementia for her. I found out that vascular dementia is more dangerous as it has to do with the stroke and blood vessel. Vascular dementia is more prevetable than Alzheimer's because it was caused by hypertension. Sounds serious if no one pays attention to it. All dementia has no cure once the disease kicks in. Alzheimer's for regular elderly is longer and slower while early onset Alzheimer's is shorter and younger... As you can see, it depends on what nature of the dementia and what stage she is in. Please discuss more with her doctor so you can learn more about her dementia. It is important to learn about the type of dementia she has. If you don't know, you still need to make sure she is not alone. she will depend on you more later on. Dementia can kill the patient too. It depends on the survival rate of the type of the dementia.
Maybe she is in early stage.
I don't think one can compare the types of dementia.
Thanks for your question Colleen. Here a few links fro our site that have information on dementia. One if an blog of our expert patient Leah.
All the best, sue (moderator)
A Day in the Life of A Dementia Sufferer
Health Encyclopedia - Dementia