Forward thinking?


Registered User
Aug 30, 2004
Hello all,

My father has recently been diagnosed with Alzheimer's at the age of 55. I am finding this very difficult and find that the only way I can cope with his illness is by taking things one day at a time and not dwelling on or thinking about how his condition might deteriorate in the years to come. However, I have often wondered if there is something I should know or do at this early stage which will make things easier in later years. I mean, those of you who have been coping with the disease for a while now, is there anything you wish you had known or done while the disease was still in it's early stages?




Registered User
Jan 31, 2004
near London
Hello Annie

Well done you! To be working positively right from the start.

Firstly, consider creating an Enduring Power of Attorney - but don't register it until the time is right.

Also, keep records of your Dad's condition, as you experience it - the good days, and the less good ones. These will help you to know when things may be cyclical, and to track things. Also it will give you something objective but positive to do about the situation. The doctors may well find the information you record of use to them. If we don't keep records then days quickly merge into days and we lose track of things very quickly.

Make as many good times together as you can, when you can.

Ask Dad to tell you stories of his past, as that will not only exercise his brain, but you will also learn things that will be lost at a later stage.

Just a few first thoughts.

Best wishes,


Registered User
Dec 11, 2003
Tully, Qld, Australia
Dear Annie,

A very warm welcome to the TP Forum. There are tons of things I wish I'd know about ages ago, in terms of getting help and funding; how to apply for this and to whom to speak.

Please use our Resources Thread. There's a lot of valuable information posted there, as well as a few books in the beginnings of our new Library. Also ask as many questions as you want to, as often as you need to do on TP.

Perhaps a good place to start will be with your local Family Doctor, who should be able to direct you to your immediate source of community support and Social Services. The earlier you register with everyone the better.

Please keep in touch regularly and let us know how you are getting on. The Atlzheimers' Society also have a help line available if you need some instant info.

Very best wishes,



Registered User
Oct 23, 2003
West Sussex
Hi Annie and welcome, as Brucie has already said, get an EPA sorted out. As your Dad has already been diagnosed your GP will probably the best to witness it as it has to be done whilst your Dad is still able to understand. My mum's GP was a great help here. Have you been given a social worker? They too can be really helpful and a fountain of local help and knowledge. District nurses are also often good to talk to if you don't want to bother the doctor with all the little things. Does your Dad live with you? What has been suggested as to care, medication etc. so far? Will you be the main carer? The reason I ask is that it will give us a clearer picture of what you may need now and later. All the best, love, She. XX


Registered User
Aug 30, 2004
Thanks to all for your replies. While it is frightening to think about what's ahead I suppose I like to try to be thankful that we will have some time with my dad before his condition deteriorates too much. There are many families who suffer sudden bereavements who don't have a chance to say or do anything for their loved one.

Dad has not worked since Christmas and the Doctor he saw last week started him on Aricept although he did say that it may be too early in the illness for it to make a visible difference. I am married and do not live with my parents so mum is alone at home with dad. However I live quite close by and like to do as much as I can to help since I'm sure my mum could scream with frustration sometimes. I know that a lady from the Alzheimers Society has been in touch and I think she may be able to visit him sometimes which would be good.

We are I suppose still in the early stages although in hindsight symptoms have been there for about 5 years, so we do not have any plans for care or assistance at the minute since we are well able to manage all the day to day things ourselves.

I am definitely going to read up (after all knowledge is power!) and will follow your good advice.

Thanks again,