I suspect my father may be struggling with dementia...

Discussion in 'Memory concerns and seeking a diagnosis' started by AztecCamera87, Mar 12, 2019.

  1. AztecCamera87

    AztecCamera87 Registered User

    Mar 12, 2019
    94
    Feeling so sad tonight, carer called me at work to say dad had poo everywhere, cereal bowl, coffee cup etc. She threw it all out and said she contacted her agency and was very worried as he couldn't give a coherent answer. Felt so guilty (for no reason). But I always feel guilty.
     
  2. DesperateofDevon

    DesperateofDevon Registered User

    Jul 7, 2019
    1,667
    Stop feeling guilty, you didn’t cause your Dad to have dementia, neither did you poop in the cereal bowl etc.

    Your Dad needs more help than you can give, without you becoming a carer 24/7
    that’s just a sad fact of dementias journey.

    If you feel guilty then I must be a horrid person, I’m not able to care for either parents. You know that I’m not horrible don’t you???? I do my best & sometimes your best just isn’t enough in some situations.
    Don’t beat yourself up to much.

    Time for extra help, whatever that may be!
    (((((((((((((((Hugs)))))))))))))))))
     
  3. CraigyBB

    CraigyBB New member

    Jul 9, 2019
    1
    this is a challenging time for you and one I have experience of.
    I would recommend talking to Dad with a view to getting LPA for Health, (financial also would be beneficial) then you can help him with his medical records and attend the Docs with him.

    In the mean time see if you can go to the Docs with him, they should have done a cognitive function test on him, ask them about his scoring and mention your concerns. If the scores are low see if they will do some work pursuing a diagnosis. I had to go private to achieve this - but once a diagnosis is in place then NHS were helpful. He will probs need a few tests and an MRI scan but once you are over that hurdle then you can move forward.
    If it is Alzheimers then there are some drugs available to help manage symptoms so it is worthwhile going through the process.
    Unfortunately whilst ever my Dad was without my assistance he didn’t get diagnosed by the GP despite having very low cog function test scores, so I wouldn’t assume that they will pick this up as quickly as you would reasonably expect them to do so.
     
  4. Rosettastone57

    Rosettastone57 Registered User

    Oct 27, 2016
    1,047
    I agree. Your father needs a whole team to look after him. It's not when the carers are there, it's when they are not there that problems arise. You can only do so much.
     
  5. AztecCamera87

    AztecCamera87 Registered User

    Mar 12, 2019
    94
    It's so stupid. I appreciate the advice though, I would be giving the same advice to anyone else. Perhaps it's just desire to see my dad stay at his house.

    My mum died after a long cancer battle last year. Her desire was to be at home and not anywhere else. She said to me towards the end "thank you", I was at the hospital with her, she was on deaths door, I stroked her hair and told her I love her and various other things. We literally thought she had days left. And somehow, the next day she was back in the room, seemingly like nothing had happened. She got her wish to die at home.

    Alzheimers is obviously a different beast, naively, or stupidly, I believe dad will stay where he is, but eventually this sadly will probably not be the case. Dad looks scared a lot of the time, just this stare.... I ask him if he's okay, the only answer I get is, I'm fine.
     
  6. DesperateofDevon

    DesperateofDevon Registered User

    Jul 7, 2019
    1,667
    I asked my Dad once if he knew where he was. No. I said that must be really frightening for you. Yes it is.
    That little glimpse into his world stuck with me throughout this journey.
     
  7. AztecCamera87

    AztecCamera87 Registered User

    Mar 12, 2019
    94
    I contacted Social Services over a week ago, using some annoying form on the council website. I'm unable to find a phone number to chase it. How long does you council take to get back?
     
  8. AztecCamera87

    AztecCamera87 Registered User

    Mar 12, 2019
    94
    My dad doesn't really acknowledge the issue... or rather he doesn't have the ability to remember. In an odd moment, yesterday, my dad said to me "I don't understand why I feel so confused, why my brain is foggy, everything is just not right but I don't understand"... I just held his hand and told him it's all going to be okay. He seemed slightly reassured.
     
  9. DesperateofDevon

    DesperateofDevon Registered User

    Jul 7, 2019
    1,667
    I don’t know but it feels forever ...
     
  10. Sirena

    Sirena Registered User

    Feb 27, 2018
    1,769
    Female
    I rang SS and left a message on the answerphone. I think it took three weeks for them to reply - by the time I heard from them I'd already arranged care as my mother was self funding.

    My mother said she wanted to stay at home, and that was fine for a while, but there came a point when even having carers there for 6 hours a day was not enough - when she was alone, which was most of the time, she was anxious and lonely, and didn't even recognise 'home' any more. I moved her to a care home and she is much more content there (she's been there 18 months now) because there are carers there 24/7 to reassure and help her. A care home sounds like a terrible fate but it can be a very good option.
     
  11. One Moment At A Time

    One Moment At A Time Registered User

    Jan 4, 2019
    28
    Male
    Puerto Rico
    Hi! I'm ... Since 11/2008 being Dx with early stages of AD, medicated, attand AD, AA (I can't consume alcohol, I'm a problem drinker) support groups, I'm a cancer survivor, what relief my situation is staying active, socializing with family, friends & acquaintances & regularly having consultation with my health professionals.

    My dear wife (she's an angel) & I live with our daughter & 9 ages old grandson (she's a single parent, I'm in the process of having constructed "a Handicap 1 bed room / 1 bath apartment" / pararall to our daughter's home.

    I can't complain there're folks all over the world in worse situation than I, I still could reason, believe whole heartedly on a loving, compatunated Higher Power of my understanding that's is near with my family & I 24/7, thank Him I'm proactive & I'm planning for the near or distant future.

    Thanks to my Higher Power & the Serenity prayer my dear wife (among other close family members) have a "Plan B" ---> (since I'm a disabled US Army veteran) the US Veterans Affsirs hospital.

    Yesterday I was blessed I had fellowship with my dear wife & our two adorable grandsons 9 & 11 ---> together with "chispi" our chihuahua.

    I have found that having a good sense of humor is indeed therapedic, I can't take myself too serious, HE has everything under HIS control, "baby steps / easy does it / one moment at a time", be safe, take care & have a blessed day, Happy 24 hrs.,
     
  12. AztecCamera87

    AztecCamera87 Registered User

    Mar 12, 2019
    94
    Around 4am I was woken up to shouting. Dad was calling out for his wife, loudly! First thought was dad was having a hypo, got downstairs, dad was sleeping, are you okay? Dad wakes up, "think I was having a bad dream", I check his bloods, they're fine. He falls back to sleep for another 3 and a half hours.... I'm wide awake, and need to go to work in 4 hours.
    I think it may be the Donepezil. I had a call the day before from the care agency, dad had been aggressive towards the carer (verbally). Has anyone else had similar problems?
     
  13. One Moment At A Time

    One Moment At A Time Registered User

    Jan 4, 2019
    28
    Male
    Puerto Rico
    Good evening. Yes I understand your language, often times I have had 'mood swings', at times I find it so frastrating, depress, for not remembering basic things, I'm been Dx with the early stages of AD & I'm medicated with Namenda XR 28 & Aricept 5 MG, thanks to my Higher Power, my dear wife, children & two adorable grandsons, professional help, AD & other support groups, I'm blessed, my situation could be worse, my loved ones & I are doing fine, I'm thankful to the Higher Power of my understanding 24/7 because today & now I could still reason, drive & do some errands, staying active & trying to have a sence of humor every day helps, I already made arrangements to "pass over all my finances issues" to my wife, I told her this morning from know you & I will drive our car in a rotation basis, ** for me taking deep breaths & exhauling very slowly helps & handing over to my Higher Power all my fears, be safe, best wishes & take care, One moment at a time & happy 24 hrs.,
     
  14. Bunpoots

    Bunpoots Registered User

    Apr 1, 2016
    3,176
    Nottinghamshire
    Hi @AztecCamera87

    My dad had problems with Donepezil when his dose was increased to 10mg it made him more aggressive. He was ok on the 5mg dose so that’s what he stayed on.
     
  15. silkiest

    silkiest Registered User

    Feb 9, 2017
    73
    My MIL's dementia symptoms deteriorated rapidly this time last year to the extent that my husband and I were looking for a permanent care home. She was then diagnosed with leukaemia and had severe anaemia. As the leukaemia has been brought under control her dementia symptoms have improved, and she is still living at home with support 2-3 times daily. The memory clinic nurses stressed to us how other health conditions can cause fluctuation/ deterioration in dementia symptoms.
    I would ask to see a specialist re your dads diabetes if the surgery will not attempt to control it. I used to be a Diabetes Specialist Nurse many years ago and my patients with high blood sugars often said they felt sluggish in their thoughts and less able to concentrate. The symptoms of poor diabetes control and anaemia are very similar with tiredness, poor concentration etc. Poor diabetes control on top of any form of dementia sounds stressful. Not only that, but if there could possibly be mixed dementia then good diabetes control is vital to help slow down any vascular damage.
     
  16. AztecCamera87

    AztecCamera87 Registered User

    Mar 12, 2019
    94
    I have been thinking about this before : poor diabetes control. But I'm not really sure what to do about it. My dads eating habits are pretty good, granted he gets upset about not eating when he has done. But he doesn't eat really sugary foods, and we do try and keep things very regimented with food to the best we can. But his blood sugars are just so all over the place with no real rhyme or reason. He has no issues with other things, blood tests come back all looking pretty good for Iron, b12 etc etc. Some days his blood sugars are stable, other days they're all across the shop. I recall one visit in hospital. The chap on the bed next to him would eat all sorts of snacks, he was also diabetic... His blood sugars would be okay... Dad ate just what he was given.... His blood sugars would remain all over the place.
     
  17. silkiest

    silkiest Registered User

    Feb 9, 2017
    73
    Hi by all over the place do you mean fluctuating between high and very high or from too low to too high. If its the first it is likely that the medication needs adjusting. Its best to write the results down with the results for each different time of day in a separate column - the daily fluctuations may then form a different pattern that shows highs at certain times of the day and lows at another - again that's fairly simple to adjust the timing or dose of medication to even things out.
    If there is no pattern at all it may be due to yours dads other health issues with a vicious circle of poor health causing high sugars causing poor health.
    My MIL had unexplained intermittent diarrhoea, she buys her own sweets and sometimes gets sugar free ones - one of the sweeteners in food products (especially in those supposedly for diabetics) contains SORBITOL which can cause diarrhoea - I removed all the sorbitol containing products and she improved considerably.
    The carbohydrate and fibre content of the meals could possibly be evened out and a specialist dietician may be able to help you. All carbohydrates ( whether its from fruit, bread, potatoes etc) are eventually broken down by the body into glucose at different speeds depending on a variety of factors.
     
  18. AztecCamera87

    AztecCamera87 Registered User

    Mar 12, 2019
    94
    My dads blood sugars fluctuate between high and low. The normal jist is high first thing in the morning, slowly dropping during the day and the rising after dinner time, dropping before bed and then shooting up during the night. The diabetes team don't really seem to understand why exactly. I give novorapid right before bedtime (as long as they're not too low, but this doesn't seem to make too much difference). Something happens during the night, maybe dad gets stressed out at night? But they always just shoot up by the morning into the 20s. So there is a pattern, he's not going off to the shop during the day as his walking is so bad now he struggles to get to the toilet. And we have practically got ride of all sugar in the house, except for emergency items kept in the medication safe. But the general Patten indicates something is wrong. But we have failed to get to the bottom of it all.
     
  19. AztecCamera87

    AztecCamera87 Registered User

    Mar 12, 2019
    94
    How do we go about arranging respite care? How do we pay for it? I just wish to have a weekend to organise and tidy the house. I've not got any clear answers from the council. I feel totally lost and really struggling with burnout. I can't cope with all the admin.
     
  20. AztecCamera87

    AztecCamera87 Registered User

    Mar 12, 2019
    94
    An odd one. My dad went to the falls clinic the other day, it was slightly more helpful than I first expected. He seems to be having more problems with the left side of his body, they went through a cognitive few tests, he would struggle with lifting his left leg, raising his left hand to his nose... things like that, but would be far more able with his right side of his body. He hasn't had a stroke. They have also suggested that the physio home visits may not really be helpful for him, as dad struggles with following the directions for the exercises. They seemed to think that physicaly dads body was fine and that his issues stem more from his rapidly falling cognitive function (this is what I had suggested to the GP, who dismissed my suggestion at the time - the same one who didn't rally want to see my dad walking....).

    They also said that from looking at his CT scans that his brain looked like what they would have expected from someone 20-25 years his senior. The memory clinic had told us that his brain looked fine though... maybe they were just looking for different things? The falls clinic also said there wasn't really anything they could do.

    The physio team called to say they would be taking away his new 3 wheel mobility aid, as they felt it wasn't safe for him, so that sucks. But yeah, the physios also confirmed that they wont be coming back after next week.

    So feel a little lost now, as I'm unsure what happens now....
     

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