1. ladyk

    ladyk Registered User

    Apr 5, 2005
    6
    Leeds, West Yorkshire
    Hi

    I'm new to this site and new to the illness - Alzheimers. My father-in-law had been having some memory problems and I pushed for him to get it diagnosed as soon as possible as I was aware that the sooner these things were caught the better chance of treatment.

    Unfortunately he has been diagnosed with the early stages of Alzheimers.

    My father-in-law is 80 years old but my husband and I are only in our early 30's. We are expecting our first baby on 8th May and it just feels like everything is happening at once!!

    My husband is convinced that his father is 'putting it on' to an extent. I have to admit that my father-in-law has always been an attention seeker but would hate to think that he is playing this up. Does anyone else feel like this? Is it normal to feel this way?

    Although my father-in-law is 80, he's always been very fit and active. He lives in his own house with his dog, loves fishing, gardening, going into Leeds market for his shopping, visiting friends and driving. The specialist who diagnosed him has written to DVLA recommending that he keep his driving licence, which was a big thing for him. But he seems to have just given up. He won't get out of his chair, seems very depressed. I have tried all sorts of tactics to get him going - telling him he needs to keep active so that he can keep his car, home ad independence. Nothing seems to snap him out of it. He just can't be bothered.

    My husband's sister has offered no support. Whilst she lives in the South of England and it's obviously a long way for her to travel, I did think that she may come up and spend a few days with him. She's 20 years older than my husband so her family have all grown up and left home and she's a millionaire so money isn't the problem. But the only comment she made was about my father-in-law's will, which obviously really upset my husband!!

    We don't live close enough to my father-in-law to call in and check on him daily, although we do call and visit once or twice a week. We have also asked a neighbour just to keep an eye on him. We thought this would be enough for the early stages but it would seem he's incapable of managing to take his tablets (even though the chemist delivers them weekly in a packet marked with the days) and we've set him an alarm clock up to go off at the same time every evening and have stuck a sticker on saying 'take tablet now'. The clock even has the day and date on it! But the first week he had his tablets he took 3 in one day and then this week he's taken 2 in one day. I just don't know what else to do to help him. I even wrote on the front of the box of tablets to check date on his clock before taking!! Nothing seems to work as he just can't be bothered to help himself.

    Any ideas?

    Sorry this is such a long message. Just needed to let off steam and ask for help!

    Thanks for listening!

    K
     
  2. Brucie

    Brucie Registered User

    Jan 31, 2004
    12,413
    near London
    Hello K, and welcome to TP!

    If dementia has been diagnosed, I'd reckon he probably isn't putting anything on; much more likely he'd be trying to hide any symptoms he was spotting. I may be way off here, but believing that someone isn't as bad as they may in fact be could be your husband's initial shock and denial at the diagnosis.

    Regarding driving, it is good news that he can continue, but I'd check with his insurance company to ensure they will cover him. The consultant's view may not be theirs, and if it is not, he could be driving uninsured, therefore illegally. I haven't experienced this partricular issue, but am only suggesting you check - or call the Alzheimer's Society hot line and ask them.

    Getting depressed and not bothering has been normal in my experience, and there wasn't anything I could do about it for my wife. It was just part of the process of decline.

    Family not supporting is all too frequent, and if there is someone else who might take the load, thye will often think "that's that, then" and get on with their lives. Of course, she WILL have an interest in his will. :mad:

    Clearly by his problems in taking his medication appropriately, he's not going to manage unaided.

    I'd suggest you check previous postings here about setting up basic initial help for him; I never had any, but then I was living with my wife and handled all that.

    I'm sure others will be able to offer more useful advice!

    Best wishes
     
  3. Norman

    Norman Registered User

    Oct 9, 2003
    4,348
    Birmingham Hades
    Hi K
    welcome to TP.
    When you have read some of the Factsheets and maybe spoken to the Alzheimer's helpline you will have some idea how to handle the tablet problem.The other points depression is not uncommon and relatives and friends vanishing like magic are not uncommon.
    Weare down to 6 good friends now from what was dozens,sad isn't it ?
    I think there are two reasons,they don't want to help in any way and /or they feel uncomfortable and can't handle the situation
    Hope this helps
    best wishes
    Norman :confused:
     
  4. ladyk

    ladyk Registered User

    Apr 5, 2005
    6
    Leeds, West Yorkshire
    Thank you!

    Thank you all so much for your support and advice. And thank you so much Brucie for mentioning to contact the insurance company, hadn't even given that one a thought!!

    My husband has called the Alzheimers Association and we are just awaiting a call back from someone who covers our area. We're told that we should hear something before the end of the week. We know that he is going to need someone to pop in to check on him daily and so will find out if that can be done when we speak to them. If we have to pay for a private carer then so be it.

    I called my father-in-law last night and was thrilled to hear that he'd been to the garden centre and bought some seeds and grow bags to grow his tomatoes etc. He sounded really chirpy. He also sounded really proud of himself for doing it. We had a good chat and a laugh.

    I'm also pleased to say that his daughter called him last night which I think really gave him a boost.

    Thanks again for all your advice!

    K x
     
  5. Norman

    Norman Registered User

    Oct 9, 2003
    4,348
    Birmingham Hades
    #5 Norman, Apr 6, 2005
    Last edited: Apr 6, 2005
    Dear Lady k
    I note that you mentioned the Alzheimer's Association?
    I trust that you mean the Alzheimer's Society, 0845 300 0336
    Bestwishes
    Norman
     
  6. ladyk

    ladyk Registered User

    Apr 5, 2005
    6
    Leeds, West Yorkshire
    Oh, I better check when I get home. It was a number that the specialist gave to my husband. Thanks so much for the number.

    K :confused:
     
  7. ladyk

    ladyk Registered User

    Apr 5, 2005
    6
    Leeds, West Yorkshire
    It was the Alzheimers Society! A lady called my husband back yesterday but just said she'd post out some information and told my husband to get in touch with Social Services re: care.

    The good news is that we spoke to my father-in-law again last night and he was still chirpy. He's also excited about the new baby.

    Thanks again for all your help!

    K x
     
  8. MandyC

    MandyC Registered User

    Apr 15, 2005
    1
    Dear LadyK

    Hi, this will be a vast learning curve for all the family. I would be surprised if your father in law was putting it on, I believe this would be extremely difficult to do, that will just be your husband's way of adjusting and it will take time to accept.
    With regards his medication have you considered setting up a system whereby one of you phones him at a set time (or there abouts) and remind him to take it, hopefully it would then become part of his routine, although it puts a burden on you. I have known this work for other people, just an idea.
    Glad to hear your father-in-law has started showing an interest in things again-gardening, the diagnosis will have knocked him as well.

    Take Care and good luck with the baby

    Mandy
     
  9. Lulu

    Lulu Registered User

    Nov 28, 2004
    391
    Hello. I am also fairly new to this site and though I'm far from experienced in any way, I felt as though I could contribute when you asked if it was normal to feel as though a person could 'put it on'. I can relate to that. My Mum was diagnosed with early stage alzheimer's about a year ago and takes Aricept. This has really helped her, and she has such good moments, good days, that I felt the Drs had got it all wrong. But then there are the other times when you just know for sure that, unfortunately, she struggles so much. I hope this helps you.
     
  10. ladyk

    ladyk Registered User

    Apr 5, 2005
    6
    Leeds, West Yorkshire
    Hi Mandy

    Thank you so much for your message.

    Yes, we have tried calling him every night but he's either already taken too many when we call or he says he's taken it but when we next see him it's still in the box!!

    His diagnosis doesn't seem to have phased him at all, in fact most days he can't even remember seeing the doctor. He usually says there's nothing wrong with him.

    K x
     
  11. ladyk

    ladyk Registered User

    Apr 5, 2005
    6
    Leeds, West Yorkshire
    Car Insurance

    Hi Brucie

    My husband called my father-in-law's car insurance to notify them of his diagnosis and they are fine so long as his doctor is happy with him being able to drive. So thankfully that's something we no longer have to worry about for now.

    We are also going to contact Social Services to see if it's at all possible for someone to come and give him his tablets daily.

    Thanks again for all your help!

    K x
     
  12. Brucie

    Brucie Registered User

    Jan 31, 2004
    12,413
    near London
    "they are fine so long as his doctor is happy with him being able to drive"

    That's really good news. Thanks for telling us; perhaps sometimes the insurance companies are not as bad as we often think! Worth reviewing with the GP every six months or so, I would have thought.

    I do think it worth everyone in the same situation checking this to make absolutely sure each individual and their insurance company is of the same view.
     

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