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What is the type of dementia with personality changes/agression?

(11 Posts)
TheFurryMenace Thu 02-Mar-17 20:39:13

My DF 75 has had some memory loss for several years, we've never done anything about it as its quite mild and he is functioning well - able to cook, shop etc. However, he has become very short tempered over the slightest thing. Last night he became very agressive and threatening to my DN who lives with him over a small misdemeanor, threatening her with a (fake) weapon, to the point that she left at 3am this morning and will not return as is scared. He had not been drinking as far as we know.

He has been drinking and getting drunk in public recently to the point that he falls over and is agressive. I dont think he is drinking heavily at home though. He plays down all these scenarios and tries to rationalise them or blame the other person involved.

He does not seem to realise the severity of what he has done and the upset he has caused, and tried to casually brush it off today.

I seem to remember from my days working in elderly care that there is a type of dementia where personality changes and agression feature heavily. Is it vascular? is it Lewy body?

I am going to see him tomorrow to talk things through and to see if he will agree to come with me to the GP to talk about having an assessment at a memory clinic or something. The only other thing I can think of, is that he does have some mild-ish memory loss, but that he is depressed. He seems to be angry and snappy a lot, which is an exaggeration of the not so nice part of his personality, but it seems to be taking over increasingly. Other times, he is as right as rain. Im very worried about him and feel that he is going to harm himself or someone else before long.

Any advice please?

Pitchforktotheface Thu 02-Mar-17 20:42:05

Behavioral issues can be caused by all types of dementia. I'm a social worker with older people and I've seen behavioral changes in all types of dementia, obviously not in all cases.

Does sound like dementia to me. Sorry you are going through this. You are doing the right thing taking him to the DP.

TheFurryMenace Thu 02-Mar-17 21:30:01

Thanks for your kind words Pitchfork.

annandale Thu 02-Mar-17 21:37:14

It might be that the one you are thinking of is frontotemporal dementia. It's true though that behavioural changes can happen in any type of dementia.

I really hope that you can get him to his GP. If not, it might be worth writing to the GP to express your concerns? Or maybe talk to the Alzheimer's society helpline?

SukeyTakeItOffAgain Thu 02-Mar-17 22:12:57

It can happen with lots of types of dementia and to someone who has never in their life displayed any kind of aggression or ill temper. My dad was the kindest gentlest man you can imagine - to a fault actually - but now we are having to find him a new care home because he is getting so aggressive and sometimes violent with the carers and other residents.

TheFurryMenace Thu 02-Mar-17 22:15:32

Thanks All, I really appreciate your advice, you've given me confidence to talk to him about it tomorrow.

EATmum Thu 02-Mar-17 22:19:10

I think it's the Alzheimer's Society that has a great chat/community called Talking Point IIRC. Might be a good place to get support.

TheFurryMenace Fri 03-Mar-17 08:33:31

Thanks EAT, I'll have a look.

tinkerella1 Fri 03-Mar-17 14:38:30

It can be really difficult to diagnose dementia when they don't have the 'classic' symptoms. People only ever think of dementia as being those who don't know what day of the week it is, forget names, and other short term memory problems. My FIL has a form of Frontotemporal dementia and he knows what day it is and usually scores well on the Memory assessment. But there's nothing in that initial memory test that would diagnose his condition. Frontotemporal is much more reliant on relatives noticing changes in behaviour - and also a more extreme version of what they were before. Do have a look at all the online info on the Alzheimer's website (Talking Point is a great support both pre and post diagnosis) Make sure you log any behaviour that you think is significant and could help in diagnosis. You'll need to get the diagnosis right to get the help you'll need early if it is Frontotemporal. On dementia forums you quite often see the phrase "If you've seen one case of Frontotemporal Dementia, you've seen one case" Every case is so utterly unique in its own problems. All the very best in chasing a diagnosis - it did feel like that for us.... don't be afraid to pester the GP and Memory Clinic with concerns.

TheFurryMenace Fri 03-Mar-17 16:21:26

Thank you Tinkerella, that is useful information.

Sadly, my DF was very defensive when I talked to him today, and I didnt get very far. I did read on the Alzheimer's website that I could write or email his GP with my concerns and this would not be breaking their confidentiality as they would not be giving me information. So, that's my next step.

My sister mentioned today that a few weeks ago, he wore a diamond jumper back to front and when she pointed it out, he got defensive and said he wanted to wear it that way. Then my neice told me that a few weeks before that he left the house wearing one brown and one black shoe. But, apart from this, on a day to day level, he is seemingly able to function. Does this sound like the frontaltemporal type?

tinkerella1 Fri 03-Mar-17 16:51:21

Well it certainly sounds like a type of dementia - of what kind I really wouldn't like to say.
You can definitely book a telephone appointment with the GP to discuss your concerns - the GP won't be giving away information so you can do this. What we did was talk to several members of the family and pulled together all the worrying behaviour rather like the things you mentioned. I faxed all of them over to the GP in time for the phone discussion. The GP can then decide on how to encourage him to come in for a check up. Its not unusual for them not to want to go in... My FIL was surprisingly ok about going through all the tests and going to the appointments - some are not so compliant. Either way get the ball rolling with Power of Attorney for both Health and Welfare and Financial - it will be useful for future planning.

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