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I think my dad has senile dementia?

(21 Posts)
deegward Mon 27-Jun-05 13:18:29

My dad when he was down with us in March had an "episode" where he really lost his temper, ranted etc, then the following morning remembered nothing at all about it, my Mum had to tell him about it. Anyway we all put it down to booze.

Well on Saturday night my mum went to bed and woke to hear my dad trying to shut their bathroom door (and not succeeding) she then heard him go down stairs and the front door open. (this was at 1am) she fled down stairs to see my dad starkers walking up the drive with his camera, she called on him and he eventually came back looking at her as if he didn't know her, did a little wiggle, and then came into the house. She got him upstairs and tried to get him to put his pjs on. He was slapping his head at this point. She got him into bed and he asked how did he get there?

he doesn't remembe anything about it. His short term memory is going, and he frequently tells you the same thing again and again.

Do you think it could be dementia? my mum is going to their doc to talk it over, i feel so helpless as they are in Edinburgh and I'm in Watford.

Thanks for reading this far

deegward Mon 27-Jun-05 18:16:10


starlover Mon 27-Jun-05 18:19:12

hmm, it does sound as though it could be a form of dementia
it's very good that your mum is going to doc though, because although most dementias are progressive and cannot be cured, there are certainly things you can do to help.

just one thing though... my best friend works on a geriatric ward and was saying the other day that the main cause of dementia-like symptoms is a urinary tract infection... apparently it can cause all kinds of weird things¬!

mears Mon 27-Jun-05 18:23:11

Deegward - best to see doctor for a referral to memory clinic. My Dad has Alzheimers and had more and more memory lapses. At the memory clinic he was assessed and prescribed medication that would slow down the memory loss. He needs to be generally examined though to rule out any other causes of changing behaviour.

deegward Mon 27-Jun-05 18:55:04

thanks, I think you are just reaffirming what we have been thinking, good to know there are drugs that can slow it down

tamum Mon 27-Jun-05 18:59:42

deegward, I have just been through a similar situation and am also in Edinburgh. The memory clinic people are very nice by all accounts, but as mears says it should be the GP first to rule out other things. Does he have high blood pressure, do you know? Feel free to CAT me if I can help at all.

happymerryberries Mon 27-Jun-05 19:02:34

Infections can have this sort of effect. It could also be alzheimers or he could have had a mini stroke, as they cause this sort of thing as well. Does he have high blood pressure? All this sort of thing needs to be checked out and he needs to see his GP in the first instance who can refer him on if need be.

Sorry this is happening to you, it can be tough, my mum has vascular dementia

happymerryberries Mon 27-Jun-05 19:03:21

Tamum, sorry that you have also been going through this.

tamum Mon 27-Jun-05 19:03:37

Great minds, hmb

PrincessPeaHead Mon 27-Jun-05 19:05:05

immediate short term memory going (repetition etc) is completely classic of dementia I'm afraid, but I agree, the quicker yuo get him seen the quicker he can be put on medication to arrest the deterioration. best of luck. I watched my grandmother go through this (many years ago when the same drugs weren't available) and it wasn't nice.

tamum Mon 27-Jun-05 19:05:29

Oops, cross-posted. Thanks hmb- it's actually not looking as bad as we thought as it seems specific rather than global (at the moment, at least). I feel obscurely bad about going into details for some reason....

happymerryberries Mon 27-Jun-05 19:21:53

CAT me if you like tamum, we have been going though this for 4 years now

ruty Thu 30-Jun-05 12:32:15

happymerryberries my mum also has vascular dementia. We've been going through it for 11 years and she went into care last year because we couldn't life her anymore. Her condition progressed slowly. Deegward, don't expect miracles from the drugs, but definitely better to start as early as possible.

ruty Thu 30-Jun-05 12:32:36

i mean we couldn't lift her anymore!

yoyo Thu 30-Jun-05 12:46:03

My FIL has dementia and also has brain atrophy following removal of a tumour. He is deteriorating quickly despite the medication (he refuses to attend the memory clinic). I just wondered whether anyone had any experience of associated paranoia? It is driving MIL mad - will it pass and move to something else (this happened with his aggressive behaviour)?

ruty Thu 30-Jun-05 13:11:31

mu mum did not have angry outbursts but she did have paranoia, she became convinced my dad was having an affair. It did pass, but lasted for a couple of years, when she was still relatively high functioning.

yoyo Thu 30-Jun-05 14:25:37

Ruty - am I right in thinking that the paranoia lasted until her functioning declined? Don't know if that makes sense or not. FIL is convinced that they are broke (they are not) and goes around switching everything off. He also thinks family are after his money (not true). It is relentless.

happymerryberries Thu 30-Jun-05 16:40:19

Yoyo, mu mother also had paranoia, thought I was my fathers love child and threw me out of the house, thought that people we steeling from her etc etc. All of this happened when she was fairly high functioning. The staff in the hospital told me that as she got worse it would stop, and it has. She can't realy 'be' upset any more IYSWIM

ruty Thu 30-Jun-05 17:02:13

yes, with my mum when she stopped being high functioning, the paranoia stopped. Thankfully she was never angry, she was always calm, but inwardly troubled. And now she is calm and seemingly content, just needs a hell of a lot of care.

ruty Thu 30-Jun-05 17:03:10

i just wish they would do more about stem cell research so this kind of suffering can be stopped.

serah Thu 30-Jun-05 22:38:19

Can't add much more... my dad has multiple infarct dementia (lots of tiny strokes killing off the brain)

I know how you feel about not being there to help, but in reality you have to ask yourself what could you actually do.

I asked my mum to talk to me about it when we speak on the phone - I can't help my dad, but I can help my mum. I just show my dad my love for him when I have the opportunity.

Hugs x

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