Hello, not sure if I'm in the right place?

Discussion in 'ARCHIVE FORUM: Support discussions' started by Dexter, Feb 26, 2008.

  1. Dexter

    Dexter Registered User

    Feb 25, 2008
    1
    A couple of days ago my dad came over to see me, he's been getting a bit forgetfull and sometimes missplaces things, or forgets selling something and thinks it's been stolen. And increasingly can't remember names of people or places. He also seems to have difficulty concentrating or explaining things to people in detail.

    Some of the time he's fine, just like me same old dad, other times he struggles to do simple sums, or starts a sentence and forgets what he was talking about, or uses the wrong words for things.

    This probably makes it sound worse than it is as he's still able to take care of himself, and can still manage to drive over here to see me (even though I tell him I'll visit him instead)

    Worse still he lives nearly 60 miles away on his own and I am his only family.

    I just don't know what to do or who to turn to.
     
  2. Mameeskye

    Mameeskye Registered User

    Aug 9, 2007
    1,669
    NZ
    Hi Dexter

    It can be horrid watching a parent become forgetful can't it?

    There is a certain amount of forgetfulness that appears with old age. Illness can also cause it.

    I think that firstly your best port of call would be your Dad's GP to tell him/her of your concerns. It may be better to write them down and send a letter or many surgeries these days have telephone consultations. The GP may not be able to release details of any conditions that your Dad has to you but should be able to take note of your concerns. A good GP will then try to arrange an appointment for a check up etc. and may even come back to you with concerns. Depending upon your relationship with you Dad he may let you make an appointment and go with him to the doc.

    This may help you to get a correct diagnosis which may or may not be one of the dementias.

    Others will probably be able to give you more help. I know that when it happened to us we just did not know where to start.

    Mameeskye
     
  3. Clive

    Clive Registered User

    Nov 7, 2004
    716
    Hi Dexter

    I agree with Mameeskye, writing to the GP is a good place to start. With mum it was a couple of years before the GP decided it was time to refer mum to a specialist so don’t blame yourself if you find everything takes far longer than you expect. Do keep posting because it does help to discuss your ongoing concerns with others who have seen something similar.

    In the mean time I always think it is wise to check that the parent has an Enduring / Lasting Power of Attorney as this will make life much simpler later on.

    Best Wishes

    Clive.
     
  4. BeverleyY

    BeverleyY Registered User

    Jan 29, 2008
    716
    Ashford, Kent
    Hi Dexter

    Is your Dad conscious that he gets confused??

    Also, before talking to the GP, have you actually spoken to your Dad about it?

    Perhaps gently tell him that you have noticed a few changes, and you would really like him to see his GP just to check that everything is ok (parents are much more likely to do things if they think it is for the sake of their children than for themselves).

    The GP will probably do a quick MMSE test - which you can google and download yourself so that you know the questions your Dad will be asked.

    My Dad doesn't think there is anything wrong with him, but he does happily come to the doctors with me when I tell him he needs to see them.

    Best of luck.

    Beverley
     
  5. burfordthecat

    burfordthecat Registered User

    Jan 9, 2008
    1,707
    Female
    Leicestershire
    Hi Dexter

    Welcome to TP. I am sure that you will find a lot of support and advice from the people here. Real people in real situations with "hands on" advice.

    My own situation is very simular to yours. My dad is in his 80's living on his own an hours drive from myself with me as his only carer. He is in complete denial that there is anything the matter withn him.:(

    I would really agree that your dad's GP is a good starting point. Once I realised that "something" was happening to my dad I made an appointment for myself to see his GP. It was really helpful to actually speak openly about my concerns on dad's memory and unusual behaviour. This happened autumn 2006 and I have been in contact by phone since then giving regular updates. My present situation is that dad's GP has referred him to the memory clinic to be assessed. Dad is currently refusing point blank to attend the appointment because "there is nothing wrong with him":eek:

    Whilst I agree with Beverley's comments I would also recommend that you think carefully before mentioning to your dad that he "might" have memory problems. My dad became very upset and almost aggresive when I tried the same route with him and said "So you think I'm going senile. Well if that is the case then I will manage fine on my own, without your help!" Obviously from my position it was being counter-productive, as I was his only career and I did not want to lose his trust in me. I have not mentioned the subject since.

    Yes, I really recommend that you get an Eduring Power of Attorney drawn up. Following my first discussion with my dad's GP in 2006, and following her recommendations, my next job was to do POA. For me, it was quite easy. I had already been taking care of all dad's household paperwork and financial matters for a while so when I suggested to him "it would make my life easier to have the POA drawn up, he agreed without too much hassle"

    My dad also still drives, Albeit now he does not go far, or drives on any busy roads. However, where he currently lives there is no public transport so for him to be without his driving licence would be unbearable! Just to mention, that if an official diagnosis of dementia is made then you are obliged to tell the DVLA. Apparently it does not mean that they will lose their licence straight the way but may need to be checked/tested more often. In my situation, I have spoken with dad's GP who has said that she is currently happy for him still to be driving.

    Please keep posting and let us know how things are going.

    Burfordthecat
     

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