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Elderly parents

Is this the impact of hearing loss of the start of dementia?

1 reply

mrsmooms · 22/09/2013 22:42

Hoping for some perspective from those who either have DPs with long-term profound hearing loss or who have experienced the first signs of dementia... Briefly, DF is 63. He has been profoundly deaf since teens but has always used hearing aids/lipreading and now has an implant. His DM had Alzheimer's, which I am guessing was diagnosed sometime in her 60s.

Over the past year or so I, along with my DM, have noticed some changes in his behaviour and character from time to time. I could probably attribute these to the long-term impacts of living with profound hearing loss (eg missing out on chunks of conversation, having to make a great effort to engage, not necessarily being aware of social 'norms' of interaction) but it's playing on my mind that he might actually be experiencing some very early signs of dementia. So:

  • often doesn't remember the context between one conversation and the next, eg if asked something related to a discussion we were having 10 mins ago he'll look at me blankly like he has absolutely no idea why I'm asking him that question and get quite irritated
  • his mood seems to take a nosedive in the late afternoon and evening; makes no effort to engage in conversation; is abrupt and sounds irritated if asked a question
  • falls asleep very easily, seems to need a sleep in the afternoon
  • seems to expect completely unrealistic things from my DS aged just 2, eg earlier told him he wasn't holding a pen properly and then wrote a word and expected him to be able to copy it
  • occasionally uses a random word in a sentence but then doesn't repeat it, so I think I've misheard until DM says she thought she heard him say that too
  • the main one that makes me think something isn't right - hard to describe but if I've said something in a kind of vague way (along the lines of 'if you sign up for provider x's phone contract you can get about 25% discount'), then if it comes up in discussion later he will get very defensive about repeating back to me exactly what it was that I said, even if I try to point out it was just a casual remark, he will go on with 'but you said ...' and get quite irritated and insistent - like he's making a point of being able to remember word for word what I had said.

Maybe the above is just a result of tiredness, hearing loss, general grumpiness or whatever - any thoughts appreciated!
OP posts:
whataboutbob · 29/09/2013 21:01

Hi mrsmooms just noticed you had had no replies. IMHO the things you mention could be dementia, but again could easily not be. I m thinking other stuff could cause his slight reduction in sharpness: onset of diabetes and running high blood sugars, depression, maybe even a fear about developing dementia, which is making him hyper aware of how he comes across. As his mother had dementia he may be worried it's happening to him. Sorry off this is all very woolly, but I ink it s not really possible lot say on the strength of this whether he s likely to have dementia.

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