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Does this sound like Dementia?


Registered User
May 18, 2015
New York, NY
Hello and my apologies as I am sure this question has been answered prior to me asking.

The situation we have is one of my close relatives, male, retired 84 year old businessman, has had a drastic change in the last 3 months. Other family members have spoken to me about it in the last three weeks and I would suggest he see a Doctor but I would not know how to get someone who has been in charge and completely coherent and healthy his entire life to all of a sudden see a Doctor for something he possibly has but probably does not know or want to know. Unfortunately I cannot even address the situation since I am not supposed to know about it, but everyone seems to know about it and see it.

The individual in question has begun drinking, he was a glass or two of wine a week guy but is now having episodes. After 84 years this is something that has started in only the last three months.

He has gotten somewhat aggressive. Accused his 84 year old wife of having boyfriends. The woman never leaves the House, does not own a Computer or Smart phone and has no interest in it. She rarely ever even calls anyone other than family members. And she is ill.

Out of the blue he packed his bags, because of his wife's imaginary boyfriends, and left. They have been married over 60 years with not a single marital problem. Now, at 84 he believes she has boyfriends.

He saw the Police in his yard. There were no police in his yard.

Out of character he no longer speaks with his wife. When he packed his bags, he went out of town and did not contact anyone for three weeks. Again, completely out of character for a man who talked to family, visited with family, attended every dinner and everything else for 84 years.

So my question really is this. Is it possible for these apparent symptoms of dementia, which I have read that these are some symptoms, to manifest that rapidly? To go from what appeared to be perfectly normal to what you read above in less than three months?

At the beginning about three months ago he also began stumbling and bumping into things like he forgot they were there. I did not read anything about this being a symptom. But it was also strange as this individual was still jogging and in apparent perfect health only three months ago.

How exactly do you get someone who has been in charge all his life to see a Doctor suggesting he might have this terrible disease? He may not want to know, but that is not going to stop it from progressing.

His entire family is shook up by what is going on.


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Registered User
Aug 24, 2013
Hi Richard, welcome to TP
It's entirely possible that it is Dementia or Alzheimer's and it's entirely possible it's not.
There could be any number of reasons and only a full set of medical tests could tell you, it is consistent with possible dementia but also any number of other things; thyroid, infection, tumour and you need to get him to see a doctor.
The drinking won't help and I take it he has no history of substance abuse.
I can only suggest you sit him down, explain how the person he was in the past meant so much to you and explain to him the person he has now become isn't good.
It won't be easy but if you can hold up a mirror of the person he was in the face of the person he now is maybe you could make him realise what's happened to him and get him get help.


Registered User
May 18, 2014
Don't suggest he has this terrible illness, It could be anything. I agree with previous post, if you are a trusted friend, sit down with him and try to convince him he needs to make an appointment with his gp. Have to say though, if he is not aware of his strange/out of character behaviour then he probably won't discuss it with his gp. Can you get his wife to go see her gp and discuss these problems, at the very least there will be a record at the surgery.


Registered User
Nov 28, 2012
Moved to Leicester
Major culprits can be B12 deficiency, mini strokes in the brain cortex (TIA's), brain tumour, even prostate cancer and these are all just as likely as dementia but can present the same symptoms. They need to be tested for and ruled out by blood tests, scans, s-rays etc. Please urge this chap to see his doctor as you might save his life.

Good luck

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