I can't emphasize enough the importance of medication for Alzheimer's patients.
I've written about Aricept at http://www.wearejustfine.blogspot.com today. The combination of Aricept, Namenda, and an antidepressant (Prozac) worked a near miracle for my mother, and I always want to spread that news. When she came to live with us I also gave attention to her diet and to daily exercise--but neither of these are perfect in consistency or in quality! I have to think that those Alzheimer's drugs (brought to us by God's grace and through His provision for us) are largely responsible for the fact that, against all predictions, Mom has actually shown improvement in her level of processing over the past four years.
Our wonderful nurse practitioner, Diane, has told us that medication is often stopped when Alzheimer's patients are placed in nursing homes. This doesn't make sense to me since studies have proven that people who receive medication are so much easier to care for and enjoy a higher quality of life. Diane said, "If your mom goes to a nursing home be sure that she continues to receive her Alzheimer's medications."
I plan to do that if and when the time comes, but for now Mom's level of functioning continues to allow us to care for her at home.