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Is this sign of dementia?

JanBWiltshire

Registered User
Jun 23, 2020
32
My mother has vascular and mixed dementia, so I’m familiar with the various signs which began that journey. However, I have noticed a few strange things with my father who is 93 and wonder whether he has it, too, or just simply senility.

He seems quite vague at times and yesterday, he emailed me and signed off “Grandad”. A slight mistake but he has never been known as that by the grandchildren, always “Grandpa” and, in any case, he always would sign off to me as Daddy.

He also got muddled the other day and thought my great aunt was his mother’s sister - his mother was an only child, so never had a sister. Other small things are ringing alarm bells. His speech is also sometimes slurred and he can’t get his words out.

Is any of this resonating with anyone? He did have a memory test recently with the health visitor and passed that with no trouble.

My mother puts enormous strain on him, so it could be the effects of her but I worry he is also suffering from dementia.
 

Louise7

Registered User
Mar 25, 2016
2,371
@JanBWiltshire Your dad is 93 and under a lot of strain so it's understandable that he will get muddled about things at times. The fact that he recently passed a memory test suggests that it may not be dementia but if you feel that it is something more than that maybe keep a note of the things that are happening which worry you and speak to his GP if you are still concerned. This factsheet which compares normal signs of ageing against dementia symptoms may be helpful for you: https://www.alzheimers.org.uk/about...dementia-progresses/normal-ageing-vs-dementia
 

Grannie G

Volunteer Moderator
Apr 3, 2006
71,764
Kent
In the old days, the elderly were considered to have senile dementia and at 93 it is probably what your father is developing.

I don`t know enough about such elderly people to know if it would help to have a formal diagnosis. I cared for a 90+ year old neighbour who did exhibit certain levels of confusion but in all other respects managed quite well. This may be the same for your father.

It wouldn`t do any harm for you to have a consultation with your father`s GP , in confidence of course.

The GP may refuse to discuss your father with you but they will listen and either advise you or take steps to make an appointment for your father.
 

lemonbalm

Registered User
May 21, 2018
563
Hello @JanBWiltshire . I agree that your Dad is probably just stressed and he may be also a bit dehydrated in the hot weather, which can cause confusion. No harm in checking with the GP but I wouldn't worry too much about it.
 

Jaded'n'faded

Registered User
Jan 23, 2019
885
High Peak
Wouldn't do any harm either to jot down these occasional lapses in a diary. If it's increasing it will become apparent.

But sometimes the very old become what I would simply call 'a bit elderly' and in most ways they're absolutely fine.
 

JanBWiltshire

Registered User
Jun 23, 2020
32
Thank you for all the replies and helpful suggestions. Keeping a note will be useful as I tend to forget how often these lapses occur and, of course, it is wise to be able to pass accurate information should it be necessary to speak to the GP. Much appreciated!