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Stages of Alzheimers...set up by

Posted by katclaws_MO (My Page) on
Thu, Apr 7, 05 at 3:09

Hello everyone,

I noticed that some posters were talking abou different stages of Alzheimers. I would guess that everyone has a different opinion, but according to the Alzheimer's Association they have it broken down into 7 stages.

At some points in time our loved ones cross back over or are sort of in between two stages. The one thing I've learned about AD is that there is no consistancy. It doesn't follow neat and easy patterns.

Two more things I would like to mention as I wonder if there are those new caregivers who are not aware of Namenda (mematine) This is used in conjunction with another AD drug such as Aricept, Reminyl or Exelon.

We got my mother on this drug last January '04 when it was first approved and it made significant changes by slowing her AD progression. I know it won't last forever, but has been over a year now and she is still doing well with it. It is fairly expensive....about $150.00/ month, but I figure that if it helps her keep as much of her indedpendence and keep her "personality" with us longer it is well worth it. There are still so many things she can do for herself, with minor supervision.

The third point I'd like to make is that I have gotten tremendose help from the Alzheimer's Association. (Most cities have local chapters that meet at differnt days & times to try to accomodate those who have so little time because of their caregiving. The support group really does help. The information & resources they have mailed us and the info on the website has been very helpful.

Yesterday I got a call from a volunteer just to see how things were going. I know that I can call them just about 24/7 (and have) and they will call back and even make random calls about once a month sometimes just to see how I AM DOING. It is well worth it to contact them, even if you don't join a support group.

Special Thought & prayers to those who are walking this difficult path.

Blessings, katclaws

Here is a link that might be useful: 7 Stages of Alzheimers

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Stages of Alzheimers...set up by

Even though I am a relatively new caregiver, I am aware of the memory drugs. My mom has been on Namenda and Aricept for almost two years -- when she was initially diagnosed. I've read that they are only effective for 6 - 18 months, yet when I took my mom for her last check up (her doc is a Geriatrician who specializes in AD and memory loss) he encouraged me to keep her on the meds and said they do continue to help her. I just wonder how do you know that? I've watched her decline over the past two years...I suppose the decline would be more rapid if she wasn't on the medications.
And yes, they are expensive, but so are the rest of her meds. I thought I'd mention, there is a program called "Circuit Breaker" and I'm not sure if it is state regulated or federally can download an app and if your parent's income is below a certain dollar amount, they may be eligible for a senior drug card which covers many drugs (Aricept, Namenda, cholesterol lowering, and some others)...I was able to get my mom in this program and she pays $4 for her Namenda and Aricept. There is am $1,800 a year ceiling...once she hits that number, then she has to pay 20% of the cost of the drug...definitely worth looking into.
Another option is checking with their doctor about a Patient Assistance Program from the pharmaceutical company -- Namenda is part of this program (they also make Lexapro)...again, if your parent's income is below a certain amount, the drug company will give the meds just has to fill out a form for you every 90 days. I switched my mom from her internist to this doctor who specializes in memory loss and AD and that's when I learned of these programs - he has a social worker working with him and she was the one who made me aware of them. It is saving us hundreds of dollars a month on medications.

RE: Stages of Alzheimers...set up by

Alz Assoc folks are great, as is this and similar sites for info and sharing

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