should the doctor be testing for dementia


Registered User
Oct 31, 2007
In January my Mother in Law Died and this left my husband's father to look after. We new he would not buy nutrional food as they had eaten poorly when she was alive and he would not change so we took to making up meals that he could re heat. He also need assistance putting on shoes and socks as he has false hips and steel pins in his legs to his knees. We noticed he used to forget things and obsess about other things, had the odd occasion of hallucinations and would not sleep. over the last 5 months things have got steadily worse not going out when he does takes ages to do things, like make a cup of tea, burnt his food, stopped eating the food we have taken or does so after wks in the fridge. We can not get him to wash or change his clothes and will not let you wash any bedding. things went missing and it is always someone else that has taken it. The last 6 weeks have felt like living in hell as we spend ages trying to get him to go to bed and eat. Will not leave the house has become incontinent and will not put the heating on. Sounds chirrpy if you get him on a happy mood other times he blanks you or starts to be abusive with his language. has no idea what room is which now and the care workers have noticed the doctors have been out and sent him for mobility tests but nothing has been said to us his family.His eldest son wants him to live with him and his wife and says that he is only tired. but after reading the website and speaking to a friend who works in mental health says it could be dementia he wil no accept that we have an health issue. any advice or help is really appreciated from a very tired and cold helper

Grannie G

Volunteer Moderator
Apr 3, 2006
He certainly needs to be examined for something.

Whether it`s deep depression, following the death of his wife, and he`s given up, or whether he had all these behaviours even before she died, but his wife covered up for him, he does sound in a sorry state.

You would be justified in asking for a home visit, so the GP can see how he lives and hopefully find a way to help him.

Welcome to Talking Point. Please post an update after you`ve had some advice.


Registered User
Jul 2, 2006
Newport, Gwent
Hi tsp

Welcome to talking point.

I agree with Sylvia, it could well be a lot to do with grief, and sometimes the chaps dont cope as well on the domestic front as the ladies, and before I get a telling off from the chaps on TP, it doesnt apply to all.:rolleyes:

I would certainly contact the GP for a bit of an MOT.

Best wishes, please keep in touch.



Registered User
Nov 7, 2004

My mum behaved strangely like your father-in-law for a couple of years before I managed to get her diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. I found it impossible to get a home visit by anyone but a locum, and they just wanted to get out of the house and on to their next patient.
The first port of call had to be her own GP and I had to take her. The only way I could get her there was to say that the Government said all old people over the age of 70 had to go for regular check ups! (I also printed out false appointment cards on my computer as a visual aid to convince her!)
We still had to go three times before I was taken seriously by the doctor as mum would always say there was nothing wrong with her and the doctor believed her. If I was doing it again I would have put all my concerns down in writing and made sure the doctor got my letter before the appointment. (The doctor eventually made a home visit and sent mum to see a specialist).
I also found it helpful to read the Alzheimer Societies’ fact sheets about how Alzheimer’s affects people. I wrote down all the things that mum would be likely to do in the future like forget the sink taps were running, and be incontinent without knowing etc.. Then when things happened I just said to myself that it was mum’s illness that was causing the problems, (and not that she had become a “silly old woman who should know better"). I found it helped me to treat mum as a sick person. I didn’t get as wound up.

Best of luck


PS. Have you got a Power of Attorney set up so you can deal with father-in-laws financial concerns ?


Registered User
Oct 31, 2007
we have had doctors round an eldest lad has been there or social worker, but we have power of attourney and own half the house in trust.but i dont think the eldest is taking this seriously as he did not see him much before Vi died and we did every week and she has covered it up. She had a massive heart attack and i think it was stress that did it as it is not easy to cope with and certainly when they have no support or are not allowed to talk to people about it. i am trying to get hold of the GP to see what is going on as i need to know, plus i have health concern of my own and if he gets flu or pnemonia with my type 1 diabetes and asthma could be bad so i need the gp to be at the top of his game. worst thing is you feel frustrated as they wont let you make life better for them. the goverment wonders why people eat red meat and drink too much !!!!!!!!!!!! maybe due to not enough help where elderly are concerned plenty for young single mums


Registered User
Apr 15, 2007
Hello and welcome to Talking Point.

I also think the best thing is to speak with the GP who can hopefully help your FIL.

tsp said:
worst thing is you feel frustrated as they wont let you make life better for them.
This is very frustrating but the thing is they don't usually see anything wrong with the way they live and certainly usually resent people wanting to make changes. I understand that you only want to help him.

Hopefully, the GP will be able to make a diagnosis of his condition, then you can all move in the right direction. My dad displays dementia symptoms and his CAT scan and assessments came back clear. The specialist said depression plus other serious health problems can mimic dementia symptoms. Good Luck Taffy.


Registered User
Jul 6, 2007
leigh lancashire
Hi tsp,you are quite right to have concerns about your FIL.I had the same concerns about my dad and posted them on TP.I was given loads of support and a member suggested i wrote to dads G.P to express mine and my familys plight,as dads G.P would not speak to me due to patient confidentiality.I wrote the letter and it worked.Dad was called in for a blood test and the G.P spoke to him and mum.The upshot being that a very nice memory clinic consultant paid a home visit and did the MMSE.He diagnosed mild/moderate A/Z and dad was eligible for treatment.It took a while to get there!and the support from TP keeps me wishes elainex