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Dad diagnosed with Dementia...

(12 Posts)
Idlegirl83 Sat 17-Nov-12 10:08:28

... He was officially diagnosed yesterday. He does not believe the diagnosis and feels there is nothing wrong sad I feel a bit helpless. Me and my sister are worried for our mum and their future together.
Does anyone have any advice? I've read about coconut oil helping to slow the progress - does anyone have any experience of this?
Thank you.

NotQuintAtAllOhNo Sat 17-Nov-12 10:14:11

No experience with coconut oil. But can you ask for him to get quarterly Vitamin B injections? Is he on any other medication? My mum got Aricept, I think.

Also, what is his diet like? A diet rich in natural omega3, low in starch and sugar, moderate coffee intake, and some exercise might be beneficial. But nothing is really proven to stop it much.

Sorry, my sympathies.

Mum got the diagnosis a few years ago, it is a tough process, as you start mourning the loss of the person he was, while he is actually still with you.

FundusCrispyPancake Sat 17-Nov-12 10:19:50

So sorry about your dad. It is very hard to deal with, I hope you have support.

My dad seemed to think his dementia was something that he would get better from. It was very upsetting to hear him talking about the future when he would be back to normal. He is no longer capable of speech :-(

Cantbelieveitsnotbutter Sat 17-Nov-12 10:22:24

Oh gosh, I feel for you a really do. My grandmother suffered with it 3 years ago. It will be a hard hard road, I found it easier to go along with the forgetfulness, my mum would argue the point getting them both more upset them both more.
Remember to never be afraid to ask for help, You might have to fight for the help but its worth it so you can still maintain a slight child/ dad, wife/ hubby relationship.
It's only now I appreciate how bloody scared she must have been, treasure the lucid moments and make the most of the early days.

That's all I can add xxxx

Idlegirl83 Sat 17-Nov-12 10:36:23

Thank you for your replies. Mumsnet is a great place for immediate support.
Fundus - I think he is believing it will all be ok. He had a prescription from the doctor (didn't see what it was) but it broke my heart seeing the hope he had that the tablets will make him better.
We all agree that at least we can now know that the long winded stories from 20 years ago about his first wife (he's my stepdad) which seemed so odd to be telling in front of my mum and his trouble with names, dates etc are not his fault and we can all be more understanding.
Thanks again for replying so quickly, it's good to know there's people out there who understand thanks

CMOTDibbler Sat 17-Nov-12 10:47:52

My sympathy. First thing I'd say is to remember that he's the same person that he was before the diagnosis, so don't let the label panic you into changing things or the way you treat him.

Theres nothing proven to make any difference in the rate of progression of people with dementia - apart from a couple of drugs in Alzheimers - so I'd advise against wasting emotional energy on looking for diet/drug changes.

What does make a difference is the way you manage your interactions - my dad can't help himself in questioning my mum, or arguing with her when she is wrong, and its a really negative spiral which makes both of them distressed. I go for the never questioning approach, and going along with her view of the world, and it is much smoother.

I found 'Contented Dementia' very useful in understanding the emotional side of things

Idlegirl83 Sat 17-Nov-12 14:37:41

Thank you CMOT, I admit it was my first reaction to want to google and find something to make it better. I will definitely have a look for that book smile

debka Sat 17-Nov-12 14:41:38

Second the recommendation for Contended Dementia. I work with people with dementia and it is so helpful. Remember he is still your dad, you just have to let him teach you the best way to relate to him now.

Beamur Sat 17-Nov-12 14:44:13

Hello. My Mum has recently had a diagnosis of vascular dementia. She's very well generally and still working, although quite forgetful, but neither of us want to think too hard about the future TBH.
If your Dad is happier thinking he'll get better, I'm not sure I'd argue with him. It's a horrible prospect, denial might well be a better place.

CabbageLeaves Sat 17-Nov-12 14:49:39

I don't wish to hijack but... can I ask how you got a diagnosis. My mum is forgetful, confused and befuddled a lot. Not sure what is normal at 76yrs but the contrast between her and my dad (same age) is vast.

I have broached it with Dad and he agrees. He broached it with the GP who did a simple test of questions in which she managed to get some right. He suggested she went to a Memory cafe. Dad took her but (this is unbelievable...) the organisers had not updated the posters and the location had been changed so they strugggled to find it. When they got there they were so unimpressed he wouldn't go back

I know he's worried though. He is effectively her carer. She cannot manage money, shopping etc. She does cook but often has disasters because she's forgotten a vital ingredient and I'm very much waffling and hijacking. Apologies.

Beamur Sat 17-Nov-12 14:54:00

Go back to the GP and ask for a referral to a specialist memory clinic (if they have one near your parents).
My Mum has actually had her memory monitored (on and off) for more than 15 years as her memory was affected by chemo.
I think Vascular dementia and Alzheimers can affect in different ways, my Mum is very lucid and can converse well, but if you tell her something new - she will really struggle to remember it, her recall is terrible.

AttilaTheMeerkat Sat 17-Nov-12 16:43:52

Would suggest you look at the website of the Alzheimers Society which is:-

They call Alzheimers the long goodbye.

The more information you all access now the better off you will be. You need to be properly informed and after all knowledge is power.

Your mum and sister will also need a lot of support; there is a good section on there about caring for a person with dementia.

Coconut oil won't help, will he be given Aricept?.

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