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"Sundowners" disease?

Discussion in 'The Lounge' started by mountainexplorer, Oct 19, 2005.

  1. mountainexplorer

    mountainexplorer 1/2 ton status

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    I got an e-mail from my cousin in Oregon updating me on my aunt (her mom). She said that she was diagnosed with "sundowners" which is a form of dementia.

    Last I talked with her in July, she was slipping in and out of memories... sometimes coherent of the present, and at other times going back to past memories, even asking me how my dad (her brother) was doing, even though he died in 1997. Short term memory was bad, and she would ask me the same questions alot.

    She's 90 years old, and her memory of things from her childhood is perfect as if she was still living back at the family place in Ione in the '20s and '30s. I guess she's slipping further and further away from the present, and is often confused now and asking to talk with people who are no longer around including her mom. I guess that evenings and nights are worst as far as drifting away from present reality.

    Has anyone else dealt with this form of disease before with someone you know? I wonder what it is about evenings and nights that makes it worse. I guess I should research that.

    What's weirdest is I got the e-mail telling me this morning, and last night I had a strange and very emotional dream last night where it seemed like I was up at the family place (which I am every weekend), only the dream was in the past when all the family members lived there and it seemed so realistic; and I seemed to "know" my grandma on my dad's side who was in the dream as well, even though she died way before I was born.

    When I got the e-mail telling me what my aunt is always currently asking about, it was an instant connection to what was in my dream. It was a weird feeling when I read that.
     
  2. justhorsinaround

    justhorsinaround 3/4 ton status

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    I don't know if that was what was affecting my Grandmom but she had much the same results. She could remember things from her youth like they were yesterday but she couldn't find her way home. At least till my uncle took away her keys. Not an easy feat as she had like six sets squirrelled away in different hiding places.

    Don't know about her talkin to imagined people but my Grandpa, from what my Dad has said, was havin an absolutely wonderful time talkin to people that had been dead for decades.

    The hard part for Dad was he was supposed to keep up with the discussion when all he could hear was half the conversation.
     
  3. monster man

    monster man 1/2 ton status

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    when I was a social work student, I found this fascinating. There's really not a lot of information on the cause of it, though it is common to many elderly people, not just those with alzheimer's. It's thought that as the sun goes down, their surroundings become less familiar, and it is disorienting. Also- the fact that many elderly people get up so early in the morning does not help their sleep patterns. My grandma, though mostly coherent until her last days, would get up at 2 or 3 in the morning, then nap all afternoon and stay awake all night. Experts suggest turning on lights during the day and not startling patients, just keeping them calm. SOrry to hear that, it's very hard watching somebody go through this when you know there is nothing you can do :(
     
  4. ak bandit

    ak bandit 1/2 ton status

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    My wife's grandmother was the same way. Only she spoke to people in German :crazy: ...Her family moved to the US from Germany when she was about 10 years old. So she lived here in the US for 70 years. But one day in her later years she just started speaking German....and only German. Her sister had to move here (Alaska) from Seattle, because she was the only person that could understand what she was saying. It was pretty rough on my wife's mom since she couldnt really talk to her mother before she died.
     

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