Alzheimer`s Disease/Lewy Body Behavior


My husband was diagnosed with Alzheimer's in 2002 & Lewy Body Dementia in 2006.  He lost speech in 2007.  He has had to be hand fed,& diapered since 2007.  He has lost vision. My question is about the newest behavior of sucking on his fingers,bedding, his clothing. Is this normal? He is in a nursing home and spends many of his waking hours crawling around on the floor. He is 100% healthy from the neck high blood pressure, diabetes.  He has maintained a constant weight for the past 2 years.  What can I expect in the next several months?  years?

Hello Patricia:  I'm very sorry to hear about your husband's very slow decline and how that is affecting you.  I know it's very difficult to watch that decline.  
If he has both types of dementia, then he has additional strikes against him and it will likely shorten his life.  Since he's so healthy, the most likely things that could end his life will be either aspiration (of food or fluids) and pneumonia, a fracture of some type, or the dementia itself. Since he's had dementia for so many years already, and he's regressed back to the infancy stage, that probably why he's exhibiting the sucking on everything--it's a regression back to infancy and it's a normal part of the decline.  It's unusual that he's maintaining his weight because the norm is to lose weight.  The best person to ask about his prognosis would be his primary care doctor.  If he's nearing the end, you should consider hospice since that would help him and you through the last months.  I'm sorry I cannot be more specific about this, but it's always a guessing game with dementia.  Once he stops crawling, I would say the progression would likely increase, but there is no good way to tell when that might be.  I wish you much luck as you move forward through this journey through dementia with your husband.  Cindy  

Alzheimer`s Disease

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Cindy Keith, RN, BS, Certified Dementia Practitioner


As a nurse and dementia consultant, I can answer most questions on all types of dementia. If I cannot answer your question, I will attempt to find someone who can. My passion is to help caregivers of people with dementia, which in turn helps all those wonderful elders with dementia live better lives. When caregivers are better educated, they are able to better care for themselves and their loved ones, so education is key to decreased stress levels and healthier, happier families.


I have worked as a nurse in various disciplines of nursing for over 20 years, most of which was with the elderly. I was a health care coordinator in a dementia dedicated assisted living facility for 4 years before I started my own business (M.I.N.D. in Memory Care) as a dementia consultant six years ago. As a dementia consultant, I help families nationwide through phone conference calls as they struggle to care for their loved ones with dementia.

Alzheimer's Foundation of America Geriatric Interest Network Sigma Theta Tau International

Published "Love, Laughter, & Mayhem - Caregiver Survival Manual For Living With A Person With Dementia" which is a collection of stories about people with dementia I have known, loved and worked with. Every story has a lesson to teach and this book gently teaches family caregivers lessons about how to better care for their loved one, as well as themselves during their caregiving journey. Published "Love, Laughter, & Mayhem In Eldercare Facilities: The Master Key For Dementia Training" Created "Bringing Nurturing To Memory Care" staff dementia training video Created Ebook: "Hair Stylist's Helpful Tips For Working With People With Alzheimer's & Other Dementias"

Registered Nurse with Bachelor's degree in Nursing; Certified Dementia Practitioner; Author of 2 books and an ebook

Awards and Honors
Sigma Theta Tau National Honor Society of Nursing

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