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Memory lapses - how best to deal with them?

(6 Posts)
Noitsnotteatimeyet Wed 16-Sep-15 21:51:36

My dad is 90 and apart from having very restricted mobility due to a form of osteoporosis is otherwise in remarkably good health for a man of his age

He's always been a bit 'absent -minded professor ' but over the last few months his memory is definitely going

You can have a conversation with him in the morning and he will have forgotten about it by the afternoon which is leading to a lot of crossed wires and muddled arrangements

He's deaf as well which doesn't help and has been living on his own since my mum died 18 months ago. He refuses any form of care but has a cleaner for a couple of hours a week and gets his laundry sent out. His neighbours keep an eye on him and we (2 siblings and I) try to get round as often as we can

We mentioned our concerns to the district nurse who gave him a 'memory test' which amazingly he passed

What's the best way to deal with his memory lapses - do we remind him we've already spoken about something or do we treat each conversation as a fresh start?

pinkfrocks Thu 17-Sep-15 20:06:41

I'd say your dad is behaving pretty much as 'normal' for someone his age.
Has he had his hearing assessed and would he have/ has a hearing aid?
If not then some of this forgetfulness could be more to do with not hearing things- but you know best.

I don't think there is an easy or absolute answer to your question. Personally, I'd gently remind him that you did have the conversation earlier, but if he really has forgotten there is no point and you may be better just starting again.

CMOTDibbler Thu 17-Sep-15 20:33:08

Reminding him that you've already talked about something is pretty pointless tbh - either he's not hearing properly, his brain isn't processing the information correctly, or he's forgetting. And reminding him will just be a source of conflict.

Have a look at implementing a big diary that everyone can use, a white board in a prominent place to leave messages/reminders, and other ways of prompting him

Aquarius320 Wed 23-Sep-15 21:48:11

My mother in law does this and she's 60 odd but an alcoholic.
Your dad is 90! Totally normal, I'd say.

BarbarianMum Thu 05-Nov-15 15:21:26

<<We mentioned our concerns to the district nurse who gave him a 'memory test' which amazingly he passed>>

I'd treat this with an element of caution. There are memory tests and memory tests. We had concerns about my dad 9 months ago, he passed the memory test. Had him retested a couple of months ago - failed - now referred onward for future assessment.

Certainly, if you think the lapses are becoming more frequent, or other confusion is arising, then a retest won't hurt.

BoboChic Thu 05-Nov-15 15:23:43

Does your father use email? My father is also on his own, though not yet showing any signs of dementia, but when my mother was still alive I would give her any important information by email, with a relevant heading, so that she could refer back to it.

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