Concerned about a companion

Discussion in 'Memory concerns and seeking a diagnosis' started by Tily, Jan 30, 2015.

  1. Tily

    Tily Registered User

    Jan 30, 2015
    Hi everybody, I am new to the forum, which I am so pleased I have found and would be grateful for any advice.

    I share my house with a companion, who is 77.

    I have concerns over a few things,

    he frequently leaves the gas hob burning after using it, I have come home many times to this.

    We have discussed and tried to arrange a routine of switching it off before removing pan etc. but it doesn't seem to have helped.

    He was recently very embarrassed to have forgotten his PIN numbers when at checkout in supermarket and he had to return home for me to then go and pay for his items.

    He seems to have difficulty grasping anything you tell him in conversation, which sadly has turned to having very little conversation at home, as I get so frustrated, which I feel guilty about.

    It appears he only grasps instructions if you give minute details, an example being, I had some joggers in the bathroom and said to him, don't put these in the wash as I will use them tonight, so he replies, ok I will wash them with mine, so I repeated what I said he then said the same again, I then repeated and added that I will use them for' training' tonight, which he then seem to grasp, stating why didn't you say you wanted them for training in the first place then I would have known. So we got there in the end. This sort of conversation occurs frequently.

    Many things seem to go 'missing' in the house, some reappear in odd places or not at all. One example, I couldn't find my kitchen scales, I eventually found them in the oven, he apparently had been tidying up, although still denies he put them there.

    He puts dirty plates, dishes etc, back In the cupboards.

    Recently showing some family photos to a friend he 3 times said his grandson was his stepson.

    The tv remote is a no go, it has been explained so many times, that I have given up.

    He has also recently paid somebody twice for the same thing, no recollection of paying the first time.

    He does at times get frustrated with his poor memory and at these times I do try to kindly suggest that he visits the GP, but he never will.

    It seems very petty now, writing these things, but I'm wondering if this is normal for old age, or if there could be a risk of being dementia. Also whether I should share these concerns with his family.

    Please don't think of me as a bad person for having these concerns and I am not being picky, but am generally concerned with his wellbeing. And general safety in the house, ie, leaving gas burning

    Thank you for reading/listening ::)

  2. #2 DazeInOurLives, Jan 30, 2015
    Last edited: Jan 30, 2015
    Hi Tily,

    you have good reason to be concerned. It sounds as though you may be in the right place, although there are other conditions that can look like this. Your companion does need to see his GP to determine what is behind it and offer appropriate treatment. Alzheimer's medication can significantly slow down the progress for many years (with luck).

    Unclear about the nature of your friendship or what he might consider there a family member who you could have a word with about your concerns?

    Failing that I would try very hard again to persuade him to have a routine health check up and consider having a word with the GP in advance to put them in the picture (they are allowed to be told information.)

    With warmest wishes and good luck.

  3. Tily

    Tily Registered User

    Jan 30, 2015

    Thankyou so much for your reply,

    It feels a relief to have shared my concerns, I have not really felt able to discuss with any friends etc.

    I will try my very best to guide him to a Dr appointment.

    Once again a big thankyou


  4. canary

    canary Registered User

    Feb 25, 2014
    South coast
    I too think these things sound suspicious, but even if it doesnt turn out to be dementia it still needs investigating.
    I agree - his GP is the first port of call. You can go and see his GP, although his GP would not be able to discuss anything with you. Alternatively, you could write a letter to the GP or even print out this thread to explain your concerns.
  5. Owly

    Owly Registered User

    Jun 6, 2011
    ...........and after you have written to the GP, your GP could invite him into the surgery for a "Well Man" check or whatever they might call it so all the focus isn't on his memory, but a memory test will be included.

    It does sound worrying to me and definitely needs checking out and I would also be telling his family as they need to know what is happening.

    Do any of them (or you?) have financial Power of Attorney, for example? If he is heading down a dementia road, then it would be advisable to set up a POA as quick as possible, before he is deemed to have lost mental capacity to do so.
  6. ChocolateButton

    ChocolateButton Registered User

    Feb 27, 2015
    Hi Tily,

    I am new here too, and I also look after my companion (79), who sounds very much like yours. The conversation you describe sounds like many that we have, but my companion is very deaf, and has started using that as an excuse for not "getting it".

    He is unable to keep his focus on one thing - like tying his shoelaces. He will do one, then just not bother to do the other one. He'll start to make a cup of tea, then after staring in the fridge for a while, will wander into another room and turn the tv on. Tea forgotten.

    I have, however, managed to get him to go for a "well man" check up (heart disease and diabetes as an excuse), and managed to voice my concerns quickly to the doc, while my friend had temporarily removed his hearing aid! Brain scan done - showing only usual age-related shrinkage. A quick test of memory - passed with flying colours. Doc's conclusion - no memory problems, and no dementia. Memory isn't the main problem though - it is a general lack of awareness of what is going on around him, or what he is doing.

    It seems that getting to the doc is one thing, but getting him to take you seriously when you say that there is a real problem is another!

    I sincerely wish you well with finding help for your companion. I intend to write a letter to the doc that I have seen, explaining fully what I don't feel able to say in front of my friend. Perhaps it might be possible for you to see if you could get the doc to invite him to a health check? That way, it isn't seen to be you who is "getting him to the doc".

    Best Wishes.

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