Alzheimer`s Disease/Alzheimer's Disease


I have two family members with Alzheimer's Disease, my uncle and my grandmother.
My uncle can only say a few words and he can't stand up very long
Plus he gets agitated easily. He is only 61, what stage is he in? I want
To figure it out so that I can be there for him, in the right way?

My grandma has been sick for almost 17 years and is now on a feeding
Tube, how much longer can she live like this? I know she isn't there anymore
And I'm trying to get my family to understand that she's ready? How do I
Approach the subject?

Hello Michelle:  You certainly have a lot on your plate with two family members with dementia.  Bless you for seeking answers to make their lives easier.
First of all, it sounds as if your uncle has early onset Alzheimer's and although there are a number of "stages" I don't believe it's very helpful to pin a stage on anyone because they can always flip-flop back and forth between stages.  Instead, just meet him every day where he is mentally and emotionally.  If he's thinking he's 16 years old today, just go with it.  If he's insisting he needs to get ready to go to work now, just stall for time and redirect his thinking until he forgets about work.  Assigning him a "stage" really isn't going to change the way you interact with him.  Some scales have 7 stages but I prefer to just go with "mild, moderate or late" if you  need to use a stage.  It sounds to me as if he's in the later stages.  Usually, people who get AD early tend to not live with it for many, many years, but it's impossible to predict.  His physician would be able to give you a better idea about that.
For your grandmother, having a feeding tube will certainly prolong her life.  Elders with dementia will often pull a feeding tube out because they don't know any better, and if that happens, you and your family must decide whether or not to have it replaced or to just let nature take it's course.  I suggest you have a frank discussion with her doctor about her current condition and whether he/she feels your grandmother should continue in this manner or if it would be kinder to remove the tube.  After you have the facts, then schedule a meeting with the family and present them with the information.  I wish you much luck Michelle as you continue to care for your family members.  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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