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Dad just diagnosed, rapid decline?

LisaV

New member
Feb 22, 2020
2
My Dad has just been diagnosed with Alzheimer's. He seems to have got rapidly worse over the last two or three months, with anxiety as well as forgetfulness and repeating himself. We have had to break the news to him over and over again as he keeps forgetting that he ever went to the doctor. It is heartbreaking.

The doctor has put him on anti-Alzheimers and anti-anxiety drugs and we have asked the local authority for a care assessment, although this could take 4 - 6 weeks.

Dad's symptoms suddenly seem to have got much worse. Is this anxiety and stress, or is it possible that Alzheimer's can progress very rapidly? It's all rather scary. Any advice welcomed. Thanks.
 

canary

Registered User
Feb 25, 2014
11,623
South coast
Hello @LisaV and welcome to DTP.

When I suddenly realised that mum had dementia she too seemed to suddenly decline very quickly. There were however, indication before then that she had dementia, but it had not registered because mum had seemed perfectly OK when I spoke to her. In retrospect (and with the advantage of more understanding) I think that mum had had Alzheimers for a long time and and had successfully hidden it until, suddenly, she couldnt any more and the true extent of her problems all spilled out.

I wouldnt keep telling your dad that he has Alzheimers. He will not be able to remember and every time that you tell him he will be devastated all over again. I didnt tell mum that she had Alzheimers after the doctor in the memory clinic told her. I tried a few times, but she just got angry, so I stopped. I just used to refer to her "memory problems" after that.
Here is a thread that you might find helpful
 

LisaV

New member
Feb 22, 2020
2
Thanks Canary, that's really useful. We certainly haven't set out to keep reminding Dad of his diagnosis, just to clarify - he keeps asking what's happened....
 

karaokePete

Registered User
Jul 23, 2017
5,263
N Ireland
Hello @LisaV and welcome from me too. I hope you find the forum to be a friendly and supportive place.

I hope you have time to take a good look around the site as it is a goldmine for information. When I first joined I read old threads for information but then found the AS Publications list and the page where a post code search can be done to check for support services in ones own area. If you are interested in these, clicking the following links will take you there

https://www.alzheimers.org.uk/get-support/publications-factsheets-full-list

https://www.alzheimers.org.uk/find-support-near-you

You will see that there are Factsheets that will help with things like getting care needs assessments, deciding the level of care required and sorting out useful things like Wills, Power of Attorney etc., if any of that hasn't already been done, although I see you are already involved in some of this. There is also a Dementia Guide in the list.


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

canary

Registered User
Feb 25, 2014
11,623
South coast
just to clarify - he keeps asking what's happened....
Yes, mum used to do the same, but when an honest answer distresses them you have to be "economical with the truth" I just used to say that she was having some problems with her memory. Im guessing that your dad sort of remembers that there is something wrong with him that is important, but he cant remember what - so he keeps on asking and getting upset all over again. If you just say that hes got some memory problems and then change the subject he will eventually stop asking.

This idea of being economical with the truth (aka "love lies" or "therapeutic untruths") is difficult to get your head round when you have been brought up to be truthful (specially to your parents), but when you are dealing with dementia the rules change. If the truth will distress them, or they cannot understand it then you have to provide an answer that they can understand and wont distress them. If that answer is not strictly true, then no matter.
 

worriedson77

Registered User
Jan 29, 2020
44
Hi @LisaV would just agree with what @canary and @karaokePete have said, you seem to have a similar situation with my own so I really do sympathize as it's a lot to try and take in at once (Like drinking from a fire hose!) and have found that the info and help from on here have really been of benefit to helping me help mum stay calm because it's really noticeable that when she is stressed or anxious her symptoms definitely worsen so in my case not mentioning it and allowing her to control conversations keeps her in a peaceful place. I would encourage you to keep posting, there is no judgement here and lots of experience from various stages of the condition that have helped me no end in the few weeks I've been on here.