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Bad Signs...


Registered User
Oct 1, 2014
My partner and I feel that his father is continuing to deteriorate.

He seems increasingly confused about money - asking for large amounts of cash, saying he needs £400 to pay his rent. (His rent is a larger sum than this but is paid via direct debit.) Also he recently managed to order some DVDs - despite attempts to intercept the catalogues. The titles seem a bit random - one is an arthouse film in French about sadomasochism! - and the great majority have been passed to us unopened.

We're going to go to the bank and get a stop out on his cheques.

He does not seem to be making any snacks for himself in the evening, and - as far as we know - is refusing his carer's offer to make him breakfast. (He gets lunch cooked for him each day.)

But he got a fellow-resident to go out and buy ham and prawns for him. We found half the prawns going off in a pan on top of the oven, and the rest defrosted in the fridge. (He'd defrosted the entire 1lb bag.)

Very disorientated re time and place. We had a recent week's holiday in Spain, and he said that he knew we'd been away somewhere, because it had been a very very long time since he'd last heard from us. Where had we gone. (Was it Leamington?)

Normally when my partner goes to see him he's watching a DVD - usually one out of 2 films. Today he was just staring into space.

This is not good - is it?


Registered User
Mar 24, 2014
I have a horrible memory after reading this, about something my husband did the year before dementia came and hit us at break neck speed: It was summertime. Every year, a friend we knew who lives near London used to come and stay two or three weeks with us, just to have a break and a different set of four walls to look at!

It was coming on time to cook dinner on this particular day. My husband always insisted on doing the cooking. There was a pre-packaged set of meals that he kept getting out of the freezer and putting in the fridge, only for them to then thaw out and he'd put them back in the freezer again. I started keeping watch on which packages he was doing this with so I could squirrel them out and bin them. :(

Since I was always wrong, and hubby was always right; I thank God to this day that our pal dared to tell hubs that the boxes of food were no longer edible, and he lovingly explained why. Little did either of us (our friend, and I) know it was the beginning of dementia striking.

The following year; all of a sudden, and I forget how, now, but I just knew I couldn't stick my head in the sand any more. I just knew things had changed for the worse. I then took over the cooking; shopping and slowly, everything else to do with running the household. It became obvious hubby just wasn't capable any more.

MrsMoose: you talk about a fellow resident? Is this some sort of sheltered housing your FIL is living in? You might want to up the ante somewhat, and see if the warden, if there is such a person, could keep an eye on the gentleman. I just hope I haven't read you wrong. The last thing the gentleman needs is food poisoning, or any other nasty happening, for that matter :(

I do so feel for you.


Registered User
Oct 1, 2014
Sorry about the horrible memory. I think it does often need people outside the situation/family to come in and see that what's happening is not right.

I think the next stage with my father would involve nursing home care - but he'd become increasingly disorientated and stressed if he had to move. So the focus is on trying to keep him on the rails where he is.


Registered User
Feb 25, 2014
South coast
I think the next stage with my father would involve nursing home care - but he'd become increasingly disorientated and stressed if he had to move. So the focus is on trying to keep him on the rails where he is.
Yes, he is bound to be stressed during a move, but it rather sounds to me like he may have to move eventually as his condition progresses and the longer its left the worse it will be....

Trying to find the balance is not always easy.


Registered User
Oct 1, 2014
My husband and I are trying to work out what the right thing is.

I think my father-in-law his trying his hardest to convince the warden of the sheltered accommodation that he's fine. So he'll put his energy into appearing for the communal lunch and seeming like his usual self.

But it appears that the rest of the time - for the last couple of weeks - he's barely eaten anything.

Other small inexplicable things are happening. When my husband last visited he was watching a DVD with the sound off. This could be, for example, that he'd accidentally pressed on the mute button or the one for lowering the volume - but couldn't work out what he'd done and how to get the sound back.

The situation is one that's evolving...


Registered User
Jul 20, 2011
Mrs Moose I think you have a real understanding of what is going on and that your instincts are right. Perhaps he needs some extra company and some more reminders about things that are going on. We kept a book in the beginning with really simple daily notes by a calendar and a big clock so that mum could keep track. As she deteriorated we relied heavily on post it notes for reminders strategically placed!
Is he getting Attendance Allowance? This helps pay for extra bits like a visitor or carer coming in once a day to spend some time with him.
just a few suggestions that might help. Please keep posting x


Registered User
Oct 1, 2014
He has Attendance Allowance and a morning visit by a carer. But it seems that usually rejects the carer's offer to make him toast for breakfast.

We've recently visited when the carer was there, because he'd got hold of ham and prawns which had been left to go off. So now the carer is checking his fridge as well as making sure he has taken his morning tablets.

We are planning to visit again when the carer is there, to try and set up a system where she leaves out a snack on the small table by the chair where he sits - just in case he fancies something later.

My father in law doesn't socialise with other residents, and has discouraged an old friend from visiting. He is rather suspicious of other people, mistaking friendly interest for nosiness. I suspect that he also doesn't want to 'give himself away' by being repetitive or displaying forgetfulness.

Yesterday my partner visited to try and persuade him to hand over his cheque book, so that they could make mail order purchases together. But at the last minute my father in law refused getting angry and saying,'You can have all my money when I'm gone. Not before.'

Amy in the US

Registered User
Feb 28, 2015
Mrs Moose, I think I remember some of your previous threads about difficulties with finances and so forth. While I'm glad to hear an update from you, I'm sorry to hear about your concerns and the current situation with your partner's father. This must be so very difficult. Please know that many of us have been in a situation similar to yours and while we may not have answers, we do have empathy for you.

I am not sure what sort of relationship your partner has going with his father's GP or other physicians, but I wonder if reaching out to the doctor is in order? While it doesn't sound quite like the sudden personality change you often get with infections, I suppose it could not hurt to ask. This way the GP would be on board with your concerns.

You might arrange that the carer make him breakfast whether he agrees or not. I know my mother, in earlier stages of her dementia, often had no appetite and would loudly and vehemently refuse all offers of food, right up to and until it was placed in front of her, and then she would eat. Sometimes she would only eat if someone across the table from her was eating as well. As she lost a lot of weight and became malnourished, this was a real concern. Others here have shared similar stories. So if you are concerned he's not eating, other than communal lunch, trust your instincts.

As I'm in the States, I don't have a clear understanding of the UK system, but perhaps a review of his care package/attendance allowance/whatever the term is, is in order, to see if you can get another daily carer coming in to check or something of that nature.

Please don't discount a care home/residential care; yes, he would likely object and the move would be upsetting, but it could be better than him living at home alone. It was for my mother and others here have shared similar stories; I'll spare you the details for now. But if someone had said to me early on: a care home could be good for your mother, it would have been helpful. Therefore, I am saying it to you: a care home could work out.

I'm not in any way suggesting what you should do, or being critical. It is so difficult to know what the right thing to do is, when to do it, and how to do it. I am so sorry. I hope you will keep us updated, when you are able.


Registered User
Dec 11, 2013
MrsMoose, I agree with other posters - trust your instincts on this.

Reading your posts is like reading about my own mum about two years ago, when we had no idea what was developing. Mum basically lost her ability to initiate things, hence she stopped watching TV, stopped eating except when under my nose, did exactly what you and chuggalug describe re defrosting then refreezing food, or letting it go off altogether. She also tried to preserve her dignity by avoiding people so that they wouldn't see her problems. She had no idea what day / month / year we were in. Sometimes she would take two days pills, sometimes none. And so it went on.....

We increased the care package to three / four visits a day, but it was never remotely enough to keep her safe between those visits.

I had always promised myself I would look after mum at home, and I did, for as long as was possible. But like Amy in the US, I'd like to say to you that residential care was eventually necessary. I still Regret that we had to do it, but mum is now both safer and as content ( or otherwise) in her excellent care home.

So, no, your FIL doesn't sound too good. Like so many others on here, I'll be with you all the way while you make impossibly difficult decisions. No-one can say what exactly you should do and when. You and your partner are the experts here, and we are your supporters.

Lindy xx
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