1. Expert Q&A: Dementia Research, Tuesday 26th March, 3-4pm

    At Alzheimer's Society our research program focuses on improving care for people with dementia today and finding a cure for tomorrow.

    Hannah from our Research Team will be answering your questions on all our research efforts on Tuesday 26 March between 3-4pm.

    You can either post questions >here< or email them to us at talkingpoint@alzheimers.org.uk and we'll answer as many as we can on the day.

  1. MLD2019

    MLD2019 New member

    Mar 14, 2019
    2
    Hi all,

    I have become worried about my dad recently as there have been a few incidents that were rather strange. The first one he came and said the same thing to me twice within about twenty minutes, about how he was concerned about the water pressure in my new home. The second was that he asked me to pick up cat food, but really meant to say dog food. We had a cat that passed away about a year ago so it isn't as if we have never owned a cat, but still odd as we only have a dog right now. These are really the only two incidents and happened within a few weeks of each other. He is 65, and still very active. I am not sure if I am being overly critical or there is actual reason for concern. He still is fairly active and has not really had any true memory lapses, like forgetting certain dates or issues driving. My grandfather passed away from Alz so its hard to not worry every time my dad does something off. Thanks in advance.
     
  2. margherita

    margherita Registered User

    May 30, 2017
    2,334
    Female
    Italy, Milan and Acqui Terme
    Hi @MLD2019 ,
    it is difficult to say whether what you have noticed is worrying or not.
    Re his repeating he was concerned about the water pressure in your new house, do you think he was not aware it was the second time he had told you?
    Re his asking you to buy food for a cat that passed away a year ago, do you think he didn' t remember the cat died?
    As far as I know, people with dementia do not realize when they say something wrong.
     
  3. karaokePete

    karaokePete Volunteer Host

    Jul 23, 2017
    4,336
    Male
    #3 karaokePete, Mar 15, 2019
    Last edited: Mar 15, 2019
    Hello @MLD2019 and welcome to the forum. You have come to the right place for information and support.

    The best thing to do in this situation is have a chat with your GP. Many treatable conditions, such as depression, stress, thyroid problems, vitamin deficiencies etc., can cause dementia like symptoms so it's important to have a check-up. Please don't feel that you are overreacting as it's good of you to be concerned, even though it may not be dementia. On the other hand, if it is dementia then a diagnosis may open up support for you both.

    Here is a link to a Society Fact sheet about the diagnosis issue. Just click the second line to read or print the document

    Assessment and diagnosis (426)
    PDF printable version


    Now that you have found us I hope you will keep posting as the membership has vast collective knowledge and experience.
     
  4. Fullticket

    Fullticket Registered User

    Apr 19, 2016
    442
    Chard, Somerset
    In my mum's case it was more than memory lapses so maybe look at other things he may/may not be doing:
    Personal hygiene. Is he washing/showering as often as normal and changing his clothes regularly?
    Eating. Have a look in the fridge, are there things in there that should not be there - obvious things like his keys but also check on sell by dates. In my mum's case there was a potato (uncooked) sitting on a bit of kitchen paper in the vegetable drawer. It was there for 8 weeks before I moved it (that's not me being lazy, I was seeing if it was there for a reason!).
    Hobbies: Has he abandoned any hobbies or missed appointments, like not going to a club every Tuesday or booking a dentist appointment and then not turning up?
    It can be a wait and watch time.
     
  5. MLD2019

    MLD2019 New member

    Mar 14, 2019
    2
    Hi there. Thanks for all the responses. The thing is no one else has noticed anything, my mom insists that he’s fine. He hasn’t had any personality changes, grooming, eating etc. He definitely knows we don’t have a cat, like if I asked him he would know that. He still put all the plumbing in my house and installed the flooring. Still goes hunting, fishing which he always has. He has been working at my house a ton, like at least 5-6 hours every day, so he could be tired and stressed. I just am really worried because I honestly don’t know what I would do.
     
  6. canary

    canary Registered User

    Feb 25, 2014
    8,653
    Female
    South coast
    If he can do all of that lot @MLD2019 it doesnt honestly sound like dementia.
    Im forever forgetting whether Ive already said something, forgetting where Ive put stuff and using wrong words, but Im pretty sure its just stress and tiredness.

    Try to put it out of your mind and only start worrying if it gets a whole lot worse
    xx
     
  7. Duggies-girl

    Duggies-girl Registered User

    Sep 6, 2017
    1,319
    Yes I agree with @canary it took me ages to finally decide that dad had dementia. I finally diagnosed him myself after a period of around 3 years. It took another 3 years for a proper diagnosis and I was correct he had alzheimers.

    What you are describing is not really enough to indicate dementia at the moment. Your dad seems to be very capable and sounds like he would probably sail through any memory test.

    I think you will just have to wait and see if there is any progression.

    I hope there isn't.
     
  8. Sirena

    Sirena Registered User

    Feb 27, 2018
    866
    Female
    Just based on those two incidents I wouldn't be worried, it could just be tiredness. I'm the same as Canary, I can well imagine saying both those things when I'm tired or stressed. I think when we have had a relative with dementia we can be hypervigilant and start to over-interpret events. Try not to worry.
     
  9. marionq

    marionq Registered User

    Apr 24, 2013
    5,328
    Female
    Scotland
    It is acknowledged that Alzheimers begins many years before it is likely to be diagnosed but that does not prevent people functioning well for a very long time. A couple of memory slips in someone who is otherwise going about their life is not yet a problem. I often find that a word or fact I know well is just out of reach momentarily but I put that down to underuse and certainly not dementia.

    Let your Dad continue to be as he is until any memory problem he might have becomes more evident or causes him to be anxious.
     
  10. Jaded'n'faded

    Jaded'n'faded Registered User

    Jan 23, 2019
    31
    Female
    High Peak
    Although I would echo what others have said (that it could be something else) your post reminded me of my mum. I noticed occasional 'odd' things going back maybe 10 years before things got bad. At first it was 'family stories' that had changed in some way. But I could never really verify this. Then she would completely forget something I'd told her the week before - again, easily dismissed as 'normal old age' or make some rather bizarre comment. One time when we were meeting in Manchester at our usual place, she managed to end up at the wrong station and was terribly confused. Or she would get overly concerned about a comment a friend had made and would fixate on it for days.
    My sibling was in complete denial but he saw less of her than I did. My psychologist BF dismissed my concerns or explained them away. But I wasn't convinced. As time went on, I saw more and more things that just weren't right but often they were small or unimportant things and easy to write off as nothing. No one was listening to me and because I didn't see mum often, she was able to conceal all the worst things and her 'hostess mode' was so good it seemed to be 'proof' to my family that I was overreacting. My BF even said I was looking for things to support my theory because I wanted to be 'right' about her having dementia. And we didn't pick up on a lot of things like the 'broken' washer that turned out to have been turned off at the plug, the 'useless' phone that had to be replaced because it wouldn't work anymore (swittched off), the Sky boxes that had to be replaced - we found out later it was 3 in 2 months and it was just that she couldn't work the remotes. Family explained everything away :(

    Actually it was a terrible time for me, though generally mum was managing reasonably ok. The thing is, looking back, those odd things I remembered from years ago were definitely signs of what was to come, but often there were months of 'fairly normal' in between. What kept me going - then and now - was Talking Point. I have learned more about dementia from reading the experiences of people on this board than from anywhere else and I do an awful lot of research! I knew mum had dementia.

    Mum's decline was a rapid one. She went from early stages but managing well and living independently, to hospital after a fall getting off a bus and was never the same again. At the hospital we were greeted with 'Did my mother tell you I was here?' and she had completely forgotten my kids (early 20s) claiming she'd never met them, no idea where she lived, etc. But she still convinced a consultant there was nothing wrong with her. It was only when I spoke to him afterwards and pointed out mum was not a former GP and my brother and I were not doctors and didn't work in this hospital (plus a lot more invented stuff!) that he realised he'd been duped. :rolleyes:

    I suppose what I am trying to say here is that your concerns may well be justified but there's probably very little you can do right now other than watch and wait. And be prepared for others like your mum to continue denying anything is wrong. I'd also suggest you keep a record of these odd events for future reference.
    My best wishes to you - it can be a worrying and frustrating time.
     

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