Can You Shed some Light on This, Plesae?

Discussion in 'I care for a person with dementia' started by Martin Horne, May 26, 2015.

  1. Martin Horne

    Martin Horne Registered User

    May 26, 2015
    4
    Hi
    I'm totally new on here. Hello everybody! Well, my dad, who is 81, has been getting subtely and gradually more forgetful and confused for a few years now. My parents lived in the Midlands, but moved around the corner from us in Sheffield about a year ago (so that we could be close if need be). A couple of weeks ago, things changed dramatically. All of a sudden, he went from being this forgetful and confused amiable man to somebody who is basically totally psychotic - he thinks bandits are going to kidnap my mum etc - he comes out with all manner of strange things that would make my schizophrenic brother embarrassed. When he is in this state he is almost catatonic - he will stand for hours without sitting down, and will barely communicate at all.

    The stange thing is - and this is where I am hoping that you good people can advise us - is that one day he is totally psychotic and just basically completely out of it - totally disengaged from the world around him and trying to 'escape' etc and the next, he is almost back to 'normal' - able to joke with the grandkids etc and able to help my mum in the garden and interact wth the family etc. The strange thing is that this seems to happen on alternate days: good day/bad day; good day/bad day.

    We suspect that he may have had a small stroke and my wife has read about a form of dementia that comes on 'hard' out of the blue after such an episode. I'm positive that this good day/bad day thing 'out of the blue' must say a lot about his condition and that
    some of you will be familiar with the implications of this pattern. He is booked in for a brain scan etc. but things don't move quickly, do they?

    Any advice, accounts of similar experiences would be very much appreciated.


    Martin : )
     
  2. Amy in the US

    Amy in the US Registered User

    Feb 28, 2015
    4,624
    USA
    Welcome!

    Greetings, and welcome to Talking Point, Martin. I am glad you found your way here, but quite sorry that you needed to do so, if you know what I mean. I am a new member here myself but have found a wealth of information, support, and advice here. In addition to asking questions I also find a lot of helpful information from reading older posts; there is also a search feature if you want to read up on a specific topic.

    I am in the States and our system works differently from yours, but a truism is that you can never get a doctor's appointment, a test, or a diagnosis, quite as quickly as you would like. I hope your dad gets a thorough workup and referrals for whatever tests and care he needs.

    While I'm not a medical professional, I agree that a sudden change in behaviour and/or personality can definitely point to a medical problem, and of course dementia (in its various forms, which are many and complicated) can be one of those things. However, there can also be many other causes, ranging from a urinary tract infection, to stroke, to thyroid problems, to vitamin deficiencies, to medication issues, and so on and so forth.

    Do know you're not alone; there is a warm community of people here who have seen and heard and experienced just about everything possible. I hope you'll have a look around and please do come back with updates to let us know how you, your dad, and your family are getting on.
     
  3. LYN T

    LYN T Registered User

    Aug 30, 2012
    6,967
    Brixham Devon
    Well my Husband had episodes of psychosis but they didn't come and go-they stayed until he was treated with meds. I've never experienced psychosis coming and going-so I hope others will be along soon to help.

    People do have good days/bad days with Dementia-actually they can often change from minute to minute, hour to hour. Some people can also suffer from hallucinations-has he mentioned seeing things that aren't there?

    I take it your Dad has seen his GP to rule out any physical problems -vitamin deficiency etc? Or UTI?

    Sorry I'm not much help but you have my sympathy-so difficult to know what is happening at times.

    Take care

    Lyn T XX
     
  4. Chemmy

    Chemmy Registered User

    Nov 7, 2011
    7,593
    Yorkshire
    We pretty sure my MIL has signs of VaD (suggested by the hospital registrar) but she has only been officially diagnosed with Small Vessel Disease, brought on by a small stroke which caused her to fall. She was saying some very strange things when in hospital recovering, such as (whisper) that person in the opposite bed is really a ....pigeon. :confused::confused: The hospital staff were apparently running a betting shop behind the wall and the TV cameras were in the ward filming the races through the window. Totally different to the way my mum's Alzheimer's presented, just this apparent psychosis, which seemed to come and go.

    Things then seemed to improve and she became quite rational again most of the time. However, one year on, she is making up unpleasant stories about members of the family that we know are untrue, but which she seems to truly believe, as well as a fantasy world about her own younger self. I suspect she is continuing to deteriorate with tiny strokes that manifest itself in this way. However, she isn't very mobile and safely ensconced in a CH so these episodes don't really matter. But they do come and go and you can convince yourself she is quite normal in between.
     
  5. Martin Horne

    Martin Horne Registered User

    May 26, 2015
    4
    Hi Amy - sorry for the delay - I've been experiencing IT problems. What you say gives me a lot of food for thought. My dad is being treated for thyroid problems, so perhaps that's in the mix. He also eats very little indeed and has been diagnosed with iron deficiency. The trouble is that he won't take tablets for this as they make him constipated, yet he doesn't eat enough red meat etc to provide him with enough iron without the tablets. Thanks so much for your support.
     
  6. Martin Horne

    Martin Horne Registered User

    May 26, 2015
    4
    Hi Lyn and thank you for your message. My dad is due to see His GP again - the investigation is still in its infancy and these things don't move quickly, as I'm sure you're aware. See reply to Amy re. poor diet etc.

    The pattern continues - alternative good and bad days. On the good days he always slips into bad day mode about 9.00 pm. He has experienced hallucinations and paranoid delusions. On the positive front, today was a bad day, yet he did say a couple of sentences,din't appear really anxious and didn't spend the day standing in the hall with his coat on. Thanks, once again.
     
  7. Martin Horne

    Martin Horne Registered User

    May 26, 2015
    4
    Hi Chemmy - thanks for the post. He's having a brain scan in a week's time and I'd be very surprised if nothing showed up. Please also see my replies to Amy and Lyn.

    When he's on a good day, he seems to remember the previous day and its paranoid delusions etc as a dream that he has had. It'll be good to get the scan done and get the ball rolling.

    Thanks
    Martin
     

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