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Does anyone know about early dementia?

(5 Posts)
dingit Mon 14-Oct-13 16:46:18

I think my Dad is showing signs. He's 75. I'm not sure what to do. Do I just leave it, or try and get him to see the doctor. He is a very clever and sensitive man, and I don't want to cause an upset that I cannot undo iyswim. Any help would be appreciated.

LimitedEditionLady Tue 15-Oct-13 10:43:33

Get him to see the dr,my aunt has been put on treatment to help control it and the drs give loads of helpful advice about how the sufferer can help themselves abd prepare them for the future,its better to deal with this now together before it goes too far x

Bonsoir Tue 15-Oct-13 10:46:33

Yes, try to persuade him to ask his GP for a referral to a Gerontologist. My mother had similar worries about her sister (who was also worried) and the referral to the Gerontologist was done quickly and easily on the NHS and provided huge amounts of reassurance. You will be involved, by the way (or another very close family member) as the Gerontologist will need to interview someone close to your father to double check information he gives.

PenguinsDontEatPancakes Tue 15-Oct-13 10:47:25

Please try and get him to see a doctor.

Even leaving aside treatment options (which I don't know that much about), if he has dementia there is a window of opportunity where he still has mental capacity where masses can be done to make his life and yours more comfortable and straightforward later. For example, what he wants in terms of care, who he wants to be able to deal with his affairs (plus giving them proper legal authority to do so), etc.

I have an elderly relative where this wasn't done. He is now in the advanced stages and the red tape and difficulties make a hard time even harder.

ClockWatchingLady Tue 15-Oct-13 14:27:28

I think this is a very personal decision. On the whole, I agree with what others have said about benefits of early diagnosis. On the one hand, in my experience some people genuinely don't/wouldn't want to know (if indeed it is dementia) at a stage when the signs are slight (obviously don't know how slight the signs are in your dad's case). However, access to treatment can help a lot for some types of dementia (for others, the options are more limited) and for some things which present like dementia but aren't classified as such.

Is he worried? Does he ever bring it up himself? Does he live alone? It might be worth keeping in mind that it's partly the time course of problems which leads to a diagnosis - a reasonable proportion of people with a "mild cognitive impairment" do not progress to dementia. Also, people can live well with some types of dementia for many years, so it's not all doom and gloom.

As an aside, depending on the circumstances, you might want to google high strength B vitamins and prevention of transition from MCI to dementia. I'm not a doctor, but I do know there have been some (surprisingly?) promising studies of this.

I'm sorry you and he are having to consider with this. Best of luck.

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