What is a normal drop with dementia

The person I care for has had vascular dementia for 4 years now…during this time of course her condition has progressed and nothing is the same anymore. In the last fortnight she took a chest infection…was really tired and had no appetite. We had an emergency doctor out and an ambulance out in the same week…they done all the normal tests and said everything is normal…she isn’t finishing words or sentences now I thought it was because she was weak from being unwell but I’m now wondering if this is an effect of dementia? Up until last week she could chat away now she is jibbering nonsense constantly …even when she’s asleep…is this the next stage? It’s heartbreaking

Hi Frank

What a horrible and distressing time you are having. I don’t have direct first hand experience but have sent some links…

Hi Frank nothing is normal with dementia my wife was diagnosed with vascular dementia almost 10 years ago, it’s heartbreaking to watch them disappear and lose the ability to do everyday tasks. The first 5 years weren’t to bad but then she just seemed to lose the ability to do anything overnight and now needs 24/7 care but I’ve seen others with the same condition for the same amount of time doing ok and just struggling with memory. So nothing is normal everyone seems to be unique. I feel for you Frank I won’t lie it’s very difficult and only gets worse. stay strong.

Thank you both for replying!
It seems that the person I live with and care for goes for a good while in the same way then almost overnight takes a major dip.
I wasn’t sure if the most recent change was due to the chest infection, I hoped it was.
Sadly it’s apparent that her being unable to talk properly now and being less able to move around etc is the next stage of this horrible disease she has to go through…
So sorry you and your wife are facing this too nigs…thank you for your kind words of encouragement.

For the speach issues if she is the same as my wife I had to work out a way to understand what she was trying to say. It’s not always possible but luckily I know well enough to work most things out.

Hello … this is my very first time on any site … I felt I needed to express my thoughts with others who would understand . My dad was diagnosed with vascular dementia just last year since then he has gone Down hill very quickly in my eyes , and with each thing it was an over night drop . He can no longer dress himself , he doesn’t recognise his home where he has lived for 40 years, he gets puzzled sometimes by who his wife is . He forgets my name and who I am sometimes. He sees people that are not there. I live 5 mins drive away and want to look after mom and dad as long as I can but it is heartbreaking when he gets his coat to come with me when I have to leave to get back to my family . My poor mom is nearly ninety and very frail . I worry about her .

Hi Michelle
Welcome to the forum.
Although what you are saying about your Dad is so common with dementia, each person is individual. Some have much quicker decline than others. Vascular dementia goes in steps, some small then large leaps.
My lovely husband had vascular dementia and suffered strokes. Sometimes for ages he would remain the same, then a rapid decline. Some days more lucid than others. He suffered with UTIs and they always caused a decline. Has your dad been tested for this.
I feel it’s time for help for your Mother and yourself. Needs take over wants I’m afraid. A needs assessment for both parents would be advisable.
Have they a reduction in council tax people with dementia are entitled?
My husband used to see people that weren’t there. They were in his mind, like his Grandad who he never knew was sleeping on the bed in the nursing home, so he asked me to talk quietly. I went along with it, and most of his confabulations.
I feel for you in this situation. You must consider your own needs and health.

Thank you pet66 that was a huge help to me … I will look into all those things . Thank you

Thanks for replying Michelle …I hope you are doing ok with everything. I feel like my experience with dementia sounds very similar to what u described. It helps to know someone else can relate because quite often I feel very much alone and would feel bad for offloading to people who don’t really understand. We haven’t seeked outside help yet…but I know it’s coming soon for everyone’s sanity…have u gotten any help yet? If so how has it been for you’s ?
Thanks x

Hello Frank

My mum seems to be deteriorating quickly just this past fortnight or so. She suffers from Alzheimer’s disease and her decline has been very slow I think - 12 years (11 since diagnosis). She has great difficulty in understanding me or paying attention to what I’m saying and this can be both very frustrating and very upsetting. As Nigs said “nothing is normal with dementia” and “it’s heartbreaking to watch them disappear and lose the ability to lose everyday tasks.”

What a strong and capable woman my mother was. At 5am this morning she was shouting out in her sleep and I had to wake her as the blanket was over her face. She was dreaming that she was being attacked by a ‘horrible man’. It’s her crying out at night that disturbs me very much. You have my sympathy regarding your caree’s night problems.

You mentioned you haven’t had any outside help. We’ve been involved with social services pretty much since the beginning. Palmed off to them by the doctor and they’ve been pretty useless overall. However, just this morning, I received a phone call from someone asking to call me next week for a carer’s assessment. I doubt it’ll be any use but I think you should contact social services and explain your situation, if you have no outside help at all. You just never know what effect some extra input might have.

Best wishes with everything, David

The more help you have, the longer the loved one can stay at home.
If someone doesn’t have over £23,000 in savings, then SSD will pay some or all of the costs of caring. £400 a week might sound a lot, but residential in my area costs £1,000 - £1,500 per week.
So make it clear that you want to continue caring as long as possible, to avoid residential care, but you MUST have some help to continue.

Thanks BB,
At the moment we are good with any physical demands…my person is still able to get washed dressed go to the toilet on her own…we deal with the rest. We don’t have any plans to move her into residential care ever…is this unrealistic thinking? I realise we will need help at some point…can this be arranged at home though?

Yes, absolutely! This was the subject of a Panorama programme a very long time ago. I can’t be sure of the spelling though. Search Continuing Healthcare Point on or Poynton. Also Grogan case. Look at the H "Framework " too.