What to do next...


Registered User
Jan 5, 2007
Hi, I am new here and hope to get some advice from people that have been through what I am going through now so as I can help my father get the treatment, if there is any, that he needs. The story so far is this....

...My father is 78 and for two years previously he had been having memory loss..he visited his Doctor with my mum three times before he took it seriously and sent a specialist round to the house with a CPN, to assess my father. He did various tests and confirmed that he had short term memory loss. He arranged for my dad to have a CT scan of his head and various blood tests. My father already suffers from high cholesterol, high blood presure and has type two diabetes which they treat with drugs. Firstly I have to say that my dad hasn't always been careful with his diabetes and thinks he can eat what he likes and get away with it...I don't think he thinks Diabetes is as serious as it is....anyway the CT scan showed that he'd had, what the Doctor describes as a "heart attack of the brain" where, he says, the blood vessels narrow and starve the brain of essential things thus leading to his memory loss...he says it could stay the same or get worse....we asked him to write down what my dad has and he put "Progressive Dementia"..he said it's a bit like Alzheimers. Now my dad is getting worse and has symptoms of Obsessive compulsive disorder showing up...he has started to count spoons and even knows when a cup is missing. The Doctor says that there is no cure and he cannot give him any tablets as it will do no good...he has basically sent him home to get on with it....there was talk of him going to a day centre to do puzzles etc but nothing has been said about this now and it's all gone quiet. He has had to stop driving and his independence is gone now so he is in the house with my mum all day unless they go for a walk which isn't often...his life is ruled by the clocks, as soon as it's 7.30pm he starts getting ready for bed even if he's not tired and he's up at 6 most mornings....everything has to be done in a set routine and he gets annoyed if my mum doesn't do as he does. Any advice would be great as I don't know what to do for the best. Thanks Milly
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Registered User
Jan 4, 2006
Hiya Milly,
Welcome to TP, though I am sorry that you have had to find us. My mum has what was described to us as 'mini strokes' to the brain, so it sounds as though they could be similar. Mum though started with short term memory loss 15 years ago - so we are further down the line. Like your dad, we were told that there was no medication.

Things that may help:
Contact the local Alzheimers Society, see what support, day groups, info. they may be able to offer.
Ask your doctor for a CPN to be involved. Though there may not be a need at the moment, I always felt that the more people who were involved and calling on my parents, the better. The CPN may be able to help you with the day centre.
Do your parents have a social worker - again they would be able to help with day centres.
Click on Factsheets(top left corner of page) - you will find a vast amount of information.

TP is an excellent source of information and support - keep asking questions.
Love Helen


Registered User
Feb 17, 2006
Amy has given you some great advice , I just like to add that my mother also does this

everything has to be done in a set routine and he gets annoyed if my mum doesn't do as he does. Any advice would be great as I don't know what to do for the best

its hard to undertand at the beginning , but its one of many parts of Dementia systems , I only know because my mother is also like that .Angina its really hard( was for me ) stressfull I would say Because trying to let go of the frustration so I join my mother time zone , but still tried to find a balance for myself

Also in my area we do not have a CPN for people with Dementia -Alzheimer's , I surpose I could say that I am lucky that my brother has a
Mental illness so his CPN give me advice, but other wise in Hammersmith / fulham the social worker for the Elderly sort day centre out with our local Alzheimer's Socierty
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Registered User
Mar 23, 2005
Hi MillyP,

Glad to see that you've already got some good advice from Amy and Margarita. From what you've written about your dad's health, it sounds like he may have vascular dementia. You might want to take a look at the section on vascular dementia on the Alzheimer's Society web site:


As far as I understand it, the main medical treatment for this condition is to try and manage the underlying conditions (blood pressure, diabetes, etc.) that contribute to the problems with blood flow. While there aren't any drugs to treat the dementia itself, doctors sometimes prescribe medications to help with related symptoms such as depression and anxiety.

The behaviour that resembles Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) is probably your father's attempt to keep as much control over his environment as possible.

One of the things that you will find (as you probably have already) is that people with dementia need advocates to make sure that all the potential people and services who could be involved in their care are "doing their bit".

Take care,


Grannie G

Volunteer Moderator
Apr 3, 2006
Hi Milly, Sorry to hear about your dad.
So much of your story is comparable with my husband`s.

He is 74, was considered to have Alzheimers 2 years ago, following a CT scan, after a couple of years of failing memory and confusion. The CT scan showed brain shrinkage.

He has Type 2 Diabetes, controlled by drugs. When he was diagnosed with Diabetes, he was very strict with his diet and wouldn`t eat anything that was considered wrong. His blood levels were always constant, between 4-7.

He then became careless about the food he ate.

I don`t know which came first. The GP suggested, at first, that his memory loss could be because of poor circulation , caused by the diabetes, but affecting the brain. He also became careless about his diet and would often forget he`d eaten and eat again, so I put that down to memory loss and confusion.

My husband also takes medication for high blood pressure and high cholesterol. The High Cholesterol was a shock as he eats no red meat, chicken only once weekly, and fish or vegetarian meals at other times.

My husband doesn`t have your father`s obssession with time and order, but he is continually fretting about days and dates, and is forever looking at the calendar, although now he can`t really follow the calendar accurately.

The reason I`ve gone into all this detail is to show you how similar, symptoms are, in different people with different a diagnosis, and how we all really need to play it by ear.

All you can do is get as much help and advice as possible from a] the medics and b] the Alzheimers Society and Talking Point.

Love Sylvia x

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