1. lou_s

    lou_s Registered User

    Jun 15, 2006
    3
    Shropshire
    Hi everyone, my dad has just recently been diagnosed with Alzheimers.
    I guess like everyone else I'm trawling the internet for that miraculous cure!
    My dad is 61 and was diagnosed at 59.
    He seems so young and is so intelligent that it is a bit of a shock.
    As it seems so early, I wonder if anyone has any tips on what we can do for him while he is still relatively well?
     
  2. Amy

    Amy Registered User

    Jan 4, 2006
    3,453
    Hiya Lou s, and welcome to TP. My mum first showed sign at 58, so I have some idea how you might be feeling. We just tried to kep life as normal as possible, let mum do as much as she was able for as long as she was able. Make the most of the time you have, and take pictures to help you remember them in the future.
    Love Helen
     
  3. HLon

    HLon Registered User

    May 30, 2006
    17
    London
    hi Lou,

    My mum was diagnosed when she was 54 - about 4 years ago - and we pretty much continued life as normal. I think a good thing to remember is that often they will be the ones to recognise their own limits, which is much better than them being imposed on them eg we'd been starting to worry about her driving capabilities roughly at the same time that she herself said that she didn't feel comfortable driving.

    In terms of what you can do for your dad, I don't know how open he is about his diagnosis, to what degree you can talk to him about it. Certainly I think there's great merit in encouraging him to remain active and finding ways in which that can happen - my mum still sings with her choral society for example, tho' she doesn't do concerts and I'm really not sure how much she follows what's happening musically, however she loves it and it's important to her. This is only possible because my dad's talked to the conductor (she doesn't know this) and her friends are very supportive. Also, in terms of everyday routines, the more these are habitual for him, the longer he'll be able to manage them.

    If you wanted you could work out what he'd like to do now that he won't be able to in the future, but I think that's a hard one. For us it's felt easier to take life as it comes, tho' there are times when we sense it's the 'last' one of something eg a visit somewhere.

    I hope this is helpful - do share more about what your thoughts are and what you're experiencing so far. In thinking about these things you show wonderful care and foresight, but I'm sure it's hard too.

    Til soon,

    Helen
     
  4. ang

    ang Registered User

    Dec 26, 2004
    5
    RE: My Dad is the same

    Hya Lou,

    My Dad was diagnosed with Alzheimers at 57 and is now 61. My situation is a little different now as my Mum died four weeks ago very suddenly. When Dad was diagnosed, My Mum couldn't accept the diagnosis and blocked out everyone and refused any help offered. She cared for Dad alone with the help of me as often as possible. My Dad was prescribed Reminyl and this has bought us quite a bit of time. Upon hindsight we would have done things differently. I tried to get my mum involved with different groups but she refused all help. I would contact the local branch of the Society, I know our branch have carers information workshops and also lots of activities that your Dad, mum and even you could become involved in. I think that the main way to get through this is to build a network of friends that can answer your questions day or night, and to also live each day for today, thats my new emphasis on life. Get in touch with the society for the Yonger Person with Dementia newsletter - I found this really helpful. I also found the carers groups helpful - by meeting people who has been diagnosed but were still living life to the full. I may not have been very clear but I hope that the info helps.

    Thinking of you all

    ang
     
  5. lou_s

    lou_s Registered User

    Jun 15, 2006
    3
    Shropshire
    Thank you to everyone who has replied and provided very helpful and thoughful advice and comments. I will certainly take them all on board.
    It is comforting to know there are people who understand and I admire everyone's strength. (Thanks Helen!)

    I am sorry to hear your news, Ang. Thank you for suggestions.

    Speak to you all soon,

    Lou xx
     
  6. zed

    zed Registered User

    Jul 25, 2005
    76
    London
    Hi Lou

    My mum was 57 when diagnosed. We knew something was wrong, but we didn't expect dementia so it was a shock. Until then it had never occured to me someone could get it at that age.

    In my opinion what is important is to keep your dad as independent as possible, let him do as much as he can.

    It is also a good idea to get Enduring Power of Attorney, as this has to sorted when he is still well enough to make his own decisions. Then it just sits in a file until you register it when he is further down the line. Maybe look into getting third party access to his bank account or changing it to a joint account if it isn't already.

    Some Alzheimer's Society branches have a group for people with dementia. My mum goes to one especially for younger people and she loves it.
     
  7. bel

    bel Registered User

    Apr 26, 2006
    757
    coventry
    Hi lou
    My hubby is 59 looking back showed signs years ago but only just half diagnoised Probable Frontal lobal Dementia
    He had to stop woking 2 years ago
    since then i have tried to make light of things with him and for as long as i can make him feel normal he always said he would like to retire early to enjoy life and i say its just a little bit earlier comming so what
    only my way of coping at the moment
    Sending Love Bel X
     
  8. jc141265

    jc141265 Registered User

    Sep 16, 2005
    836
    Australia
    Dementia veteran at 31yrs of age

    Hi Lou,

    I'm Nat, Dad is 62 had the diagnosis since he was 54, no good news with our story...Dad is now full time in a home, fully incontinent, not able to eat without someone feeding him, not able to talk, very hard to connect with.

    God I hope one day that one of us finds it!

    Dad still seems young and it still 7 yrs later is a bit of a shock, he was/is a very intelligent man..he just can't show it anymore.

    Don't waste time. The tendency is to think, you will see it coming, but just like someone that you know can get fat or skinny without you noticing, so too dementia, one day u just really look at them and realise its too late, even though they're still there...they can't talk, or can't relate to you anymore. I can't say that with enough emphasis - you won't ever think it will get that bad, until its gotten that bad. Don't let it sneak up on you.

    I don't know about what you can do for your Dad except, try and understand that if he does things you don't understand or think he shouldn't or wouldn't usually do, that its not him, its the disease. Don't let what he says or does hurt you, its not him its the disease. I see my brother and sister and even my mother waste too much time, mulling over past hurts, or what he 'did' to them in the last few years....nothing is going to fix these things anymore, let them go and just enjoy what you have of him while you can.

    Oh and as Zed says, try to let him be independent as much as possible...but also understand that depending on what part of the brain his disease affects, he may now want to be independent he may become massively depressed, he may not want to try to fight the disease...forgive him for this, if this happens.

    While he's still well, make sure you talk to him, tell him what you want to tell him, encourage him to talk to you about things you want him to talk to you about. The greatest regret I have is feeling like I never had a 'real adult to adult' conversation with my father. The other thing that haunts me, is feeling like I don't really know who he was/is...I only have my perception of him as a daughter sees her father, memories that are getting dimmer and dimmer as the years pass....I never talked to him like he was just a person.

    Take lots of video, take lots of photos, don't ever feel like you wouldn't want to see him like this so you hestitate with the camera....I cry with delight now to see a short 2minute clip of Dad back when he was still able to shave himself but he had gotten it a bit wrong and shaved his sideburn right up higher than his ear (!)...in it, he is standing near my nephew a baby at the time in my mum's arms and you see him, try and reach to touch the baby but miss, he falters, and then you see him catch the baby's eyes and the look of love, pride and delight he has in his eyes while he exchanges a look with him...well its got me crying just thinking about it....I treasure that video now...even though he seemed really bad at the time....he looks wonderful to me now.

    And Lou, find that cure!

    Medicine today is a hell of a lot better than when Dad got diagnosed...there are various types that can help hold off the dementia...find out about those. Looking for a cure, looking for answers can be a very good therapy for people like us...it keeps us busy, keeps us hopeful, keeps us sane...just don't let it prevent you from getting the most from your time with your Dad now. I don't ever want to steal anyone's hope...I still hope today, though most would say that was ridiculous...just make sure you do allow yourself to imagine what it will mean if you can't find something to save him and then do all the things you would want to do, if that turned out to be the case.

    All the best
     
  9. Nutty Nan

    Nutty Nan Registered User

    Nov 2, 2003
    787
    Buckinghamshire
    Good advice

    Good advice from Nat, not just for Lou!

    And how I wish the bright sparks at NICE could read Nat's last paragraph!!! (Not that they take any notice of comments like that). :mad:
     

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