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thezooloft's avatar

If you were destined to get Alzheimer’s or Dementia what would you do now?

Asked by thezooloft (127points) April 13th, 2010

If you suspected or were reasonably certain that you would someday suffer from Alzheimer’s or Dementia what would you do now? Would you continue living your life as you already do or would you make a dramatic change? If you made a dramatic change in how you live now, what would it be?

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31 Answers

DarkScribe's avatar

Live it up – knowing that anything really bad that I did couldn’t haunt me in my old age.

(Alzheimer’s is close to being fully treatable – it already is in some circumstances. Google Type3 diabetes.)

Sophief's avatar

Interesting question. I think i would carry on how I am doing, but I would take more pictures than I do, so when my mind does fail on me, I can still look back, and my partner can look back and remember the real me.

Seek's avatar

What’s there to change?

Dementia isn’t something that’s going to kill me young, and by the time it happens, I won’t know what’s going on. And there’s nothing I can currently do to prevent it. I live my life as normal.

My husband had a good friend that was diagnosed with liver cancer at a young age (28 I think). He rejected treatment, and instead “went out with a bang” – partied until he eventually died less than a year later. Treatment wouldn’t have given him much more time, and all of that time would have been painful and most of it would be hospital-bound. I can definitely respect that.

janbb's avatar

I would be very nice to my kids since they are the ones who will be controlling what happens to me when my mind goes. I would also make sure I had good insurance and as much money as I could save – without destroying the quality of life I have now. It makes a hell of a lot of difference how you are cared for, even with dementia.

JeffVader's avatar

I’d start saving for that Dignitas clinic in Switzerland…. old age looks depresssing enough in this country without losing the only important bit of me.

stranger_in_a_strange_land's avatar

There is a history of this in my family. I set certain standards of mental function. When I am no longer able to function at this minimal level, I will remove myself from the world while I still have the ability to squeeze a trigger. I have no wish to become some pitiful vegetable, a burden to others. Better to do it cleanly, while still in possession of my faculties. Same plan with any other debilitating condition.

ucme's avatar

I’d carry on regardless,whatever will be will be.Alzheimer’s can strike at a relatively young age. Where I worked there were two guys barely into their forties,just for the record.

wundayatta's avatar

I’d start working my mind as much as I possibly could. They say that keeping your mind exercised can really help avoid dementia even when your brain is deteriorating physically. Crossword puzzles are often the weapon of choice here.

Sophief's avatar

@JeffVader Very good idea, I would of said that if I thought of it.

JeffVader's avatar

@Dibley Hah, yeh, that sort of thing was already on my mind before I saw the question.

Sophief's avatar

@JeffVader I think they should legalise that place for the severally depressed.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

I’d figure out if there is anything to be done and learn how to do Sudoku.

JeffVader's avatar

@Dibley That certainly would give relief to many of us thats for sure!

Sophief's avatar

@Simone_De_Beauvoir Sudoko does my head in as it is!. But maybe by the time any of us reach it, there could possibly be a cure.

@JeffVader Sure would.

phillis's avatar

It wasn’t until I saw this Q that it occured to me that what I’ve done in the event of my early or unexpected demise is still a really cool thing. I’ve written TONS of stuff to my children that go into great detail on the things I love about them, the good parts I admire in them, mistakes I have made (and the consequences I suffered as a result of my actions and perspectives), that indeed, parents and adults DO make mistakes, how to work on forgiving people and why that is so important, why it is important to understand that your misery is your own fault – not the fault of others, and the mechanics of how that misery comes to pass. Then I collected a lot of songs for each of them so that they could remember how much they are loved, that they are important whether I am here or not, and the attitudes about life that will best serve them.

Trillian's avatar

@phillis Great idea. I’m really going to get on that. I don’t know that I’ll get Alzheimers, but you never know when you’re going to leave this world.

wonderingwhy's avatar

I might pick up the pace in terms of doing things I want to do, re-prioritize a little, after all if I won’t be able to make use of what I’ve saved, what’s the point? But really, besides that, I can’t see making any significant changes unless I thought it would alter my fate.

phillis's avatar

@Trillian Thank you! It worked beautifully! I approached it in a way that they can still have thier mama for advice and love whether I am here or not :)

thriftymaid's avatar

Take lots of videos

tedibear's avatar

If it was completely inevitable, I would be sure that all of my wishes regarding care and my eventual demise were documented and discussed with the appropriate people. Of course, I should do that anyway.

iphigeneia's avatar

If you live long enough, you’re almost guaranteed some form of brain degeneration, or at least the odds are against you. I wouldn’t make a change now, because unless I’m unlucky, I have decades of healthy brain tissue ahead of me. At my age I’m more concerned with air bags and alcohol, when I’m older I’ll worry about doing crosswords and sudoku.

partyparty's avatar

@Simone_De_Beauvoir Ah Sudoku… I really don’t understand it AT ALL. My SO does the puzzles in minutes. He has tried to show me the logic but still don’t understand it. Nor do I want to understand it.

partyparty's avatar

I would want to research the Alzheimer’s as much as possible. Then spend as much time with my family, going places and doing things together.
Perhaps help them out with money so I can remember the pleasure it gave them, while still able to remember.

ItalianPrincess1217's avatar

I’d probably continue on with my life just the same. Maybe I’d starr taking more videos and pictures. I’d probably start doing more scrapbooking and writing in my journal.

nebule's avatar

eat more bananas?

gemiwing's avatar

Push for stem cell therapy research. Saving that, black market brain.

DominicX's avatar

Don’t know. It would be pretty awful.

My boyfriend’s grandfather began to show signs of Alzheimer’s and it was clear that he was going to get it more severely. His reaction was a gunshot to the head.

Knowing just how horrible Alzheimer’s can be for the affected individual and for the family (my grandmother had it and died from it in January 2009), the idea that I would definitely get it would terrify me and I doubt it would have a very positive effect on my life. I would try to live my life the same, but I doubt it would ever be the same.

YARNLADY's avatar

I would make sure I have a full service insurance package that includes nursing home care. I’m already 67 years old, so if it was going to happen, I would need full time care.

Blondesjon's avatar

Start donating heavily to stem cell research. Studying stem cell research. Convince my children that stem cell research is something they should really become interested in.

talljasperman's avatar

I would write a living will and I would let my wishes be known…. I told my family that I would like not to be put in a home, Access to cola and other fattening foods, and a permission to have a girlfriend as long as she is not mean to me

Dr_Dredd's avatar

@Blondesjon And start convincing politicians to drop their objections to stem cell research…

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