Alzheimer's/Dementia in the DR

sangria

Bronze
May 16, 2006
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Can anyone tell me how common Alzheimer's Disease and/or Dementia are among the elderly in the DR?

Are there any resources, clinics etc that specialize in this area on the North Coast?

Thanks!
Sangria
 

belgiank

Silver
Jun 13, 2009
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from what I experienced you have to have one or both of them to either work for claro or edenorte...

sorry for the pun, no disrespect intended...

to be honest my experience on the north coast on medical issues is far below par... go to Santiago to Hom's or ask HB
 

keepcoming

Moderator - Living & General Stuff
May 25, 2011
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From what I have experienced (extended family) most are not educated on this process. Sad but so true. Most do not pay attention to the warning signs such was wandering, loss of memory, anxiety etc..I am not sure here in the Dominican Republic they have the ability to cope with or provide for such persons suffering from this. Keep in mind there is a difference between Alzheimer's and Dementia. They are 2 different diagnosis.
 

sangria

Bronze
May 16, 2006
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Thanks Keepcoming.

We are pretty sure my husband's father has Alzheimer's although there has not been any official diagnosis.

He has been getting confused at night time, confused with where he lives, who his family is, thinks it is 60 years ago and talks about needing to get back to work with his dad, doesn't want to sleep in the house at night because he says its not his house etc. He has been angry at times because of his confusion and it is taking its toll on my mother in law.

They have been to see 3 different doctors, all of which prescribed sleeping pills to help calm him at night. My mother in law thinks he won't wake up from them because they are so strong. She doesn't understand he needs to rest his brain and get a good sleep to minimize the outbursts. The more he misses his sleep the more confused he gets. Daytime is fine, evenings and nights are hell.

I guess we are hoping to find someone who can make a proper diagnosis, prescribe the right medication and give their caregiver some information on how to help them. At his age, I am sure there isn't much that can be done but again hoping to help the remainder of his life be peaceful for the both of them.

Any leads would be appreciated.
 

SKY

Gold
Apr 11, 2004
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Actually Alzheimer’s is quite prevalent in the DR. The first symptoms generally occur when a Dominican borrows money from a foreigner
 

La Profe_1

Moderator: Daily Headline News, Travel & Tourism
Oct 15, 2003
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There is a home for elderly poor on the main road toward Santiago through Navarette. It is called Hogar de los Ancianos and the director is Sr. Josefina. Perhaps she might be able to make some suggestions about doctors and care for your husband's father.

By the way, the getting worse at night is typical Alzheimer's. It is called "sundowning." That is a nasty disease. My younger sister died of it back in 2006.
 

sangria

Bronze
May 16, 2006
939
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There is a home for elderly poor on the main road toward Santiago through Navarette. It is called Hogar de los Ancianos and the director is Sr. Josefina. Perhaps she might be able to make some suggestions about doctors and care for your husband's father.

By the way, the getting worse at night is typical Alzheimer's. It is called "sundowning." That is a nasty disease. My younger sister died of it back in 2006.

Thank you very much La Profe_1.

Hopefully they can help. It really is a very sad disease. Watching the people you love slowly disappear is really difficult to do.
 

keepcoming

Moderator - Living & General Stuff
May 25, 2011
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I recently read a book by Barry Petersen, Jan's story. He works for a news network (CBS?) and his wife has Alzheimers. He talks in the book about "sundowners". It is very difficult to watch someone go through this. My mother in-laws father went through this. They would have family members take turns sitting with him at night. I know that he was also taking a medication that would calm him somewhat during the day. Still very difficult.
 

La Profe_1

Moderator: Daily Headline News, Travel & Tourism
Oct 15, 2003
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Thank you very much La Profe_1.

Hopefully they can help. It really is a very sad disease. Watching the people you love slowly disappear is really difficult to do.

When my sister was dying, my other sister described it this way; "You forget more and more things and finally you forget how to eat and then you die."
 

sangria

Bronze
May 16, 2006
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Yes that about sums it up I think. My stepmom's father is only on liquids now. He has forgotten how to chew and sometimes swallowing is hard. It is only a matter of time but that could be tomorrow or 5 more years....this is the hard part.

Ringo also gave me the name of Dr. Spitale at the CMC in Sosua.

Will look into both options and see what we can do to help.

Thanks everyone!
 

windeguy

Platinum
Jul 10, 2004
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My brother, my only sibling, died a couple of years ago from early onset Alzheimer's. He started to come down with symptoms in his mid 50's. They put him on every mood elevator known to man until they realized what it was. He lasted about 10 years and his wife was a saint. She eventually had to put him into a hospital for people with related ailments.

Reports at the time were saying that a lot of progress had been made on the disease, but I have not heard of anything that helps. Best wishes with your situation. It is very painful for the relatives.
 

keepcoming

Moderator - Living & General Stuff
May 25, 2011
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I do not believe the studies have come that far. It is soooo hard to watch someone go through that. When we were going through a very rough time I remember calling everyone of my medical contacts and they all had the same answer, just know that this is the disease talking. My heart goes out to anyone that goes through this. It is so heartbreaking to have a loved one not remember who you are. Or in my case to think I am your deceased spouse. We need more places here in the Dominican Republic that specialize in this. I believe so many more are suffering from this but without means to handle it. In the US it is much more common. More solutions. There skilled nursing facilites (locked units) etc..to help with this. There is day care for families that need a break. You can drop a loved one off for a few hours in order to give the caregiver a break. Sometimes the caregiver suffers even more than we can imagine. This what we need here. As the baby boomers age up goes the % of those with Alzheimer's/Dementia.