Worried about elderly parent

RJtheAgoraphobe

New member
Jun 14, 2024
2
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Hi everyone first time poster here. I really need some advice on my dad who is 82. To give a limited background my mum who is in her 70s and has physical issues, I'm mid 40s and live with them due to being classed as partially disabled myself. Also 2 siblings who live various distances away and are not able to often help or visit.

Ok 5 years roughly ago my dad had started to have some memory issues the kind of things that you would expect from age related issues. The last couple of years however it's become worrying that the issues appear more complex and and are getting more alarming. To put it briefly his memory has got to the point where he often cannot remember things you say to him from several moments ago. He frequently leaves doors open we have cats and he forbids them from the kitchen etc. He is getting more and more irrational like for example forbidding the bathroom door to be open and gets incredibly angry when people forget things or try and explain things about it calmly or logically. He cannot see anyone's other than his own point of view when asked about his decisions or his reasoning for them. Often the make no logical sense at all, even when you gently ask or try to reason with him he will stomp off in a rage and then start saying things that if anything happens i'll never forgive you etc. You can see the anger in him uncontrolled at times. He will often not speak to people or blank them. Even over the smallest of things he will loose his temper often at me or my mum. Yesterday it got to the point where he was even threating to walk out even though he has nowhere to go and has limited mobility with his balance. He has got to the point of treating my mum like one of me and my siblings. To say this is upsetting is an understatement. He also refuses any help and gets very upset or angry about people as he says pushing him into anything like getting help for his other physical issues. Kind of like Jekyll and Hyde it's like a switch inside him. I really feel like we are loosing the person that he was, it's really hard dealing with this and the emotional effects its having on both him and my mum who loves him deeply.

I came on here as things have got to the point where as a family we don't know what to do or think about this situation anymore. From what I have put would people say he has possible dementia or something else. Also what can we do possibly about him refusing any help.
 

Grannie G

Volunteer Moderator
Apr 3, 2006
82,735
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Kent
Welcome to the forum @RJtheAgoraphobe

There is something amiss with your dad but he will need a proper diagnosis. This may be difficult to get, given his attitude. All I can suggest is you keep a diary of the changes in his behaviour and present it to his GP who will know how to proceed.

Don`t discuss anything with your dad. It will only make him more angry.
 

Chizz

Registered User
Jan 10, 2023
4,357
0
Kent
Hi everyone first time poster here. I really need some advice on my dad who is 82. To give a limited background my mum who is in her 70s and has physical issues, I'm mid 40s and live with them due to being classed as partially disabled myself. Also 2 siblings who live various distances away and are not able to often help or visit.

Ok 5 years roughly ago my dad had started to have some memory issues the kind of things that you would expect from age related issues. The last couple of years however it's become worrying that the issues appear more complex and and are getting more alarming. To put it briefly his memory has got to the point where he often cannot remember things you say to him from several moments ago. He frequently leaves doors open we have cats and he forbids them from the kitchen etc. He is getting more and more irrational like for example forbidding the bathroom door to be open and gets incredibly angry when people forget things or try and explain things about it calmly or logically. He cannot see anyone's other than his own point of view when asked about his decisions or his reasoning for them. Often the make no logical sense at all, even when you gently ask or try to reason with him he will stomp off in a rage and then start saying things that if anything happens i'll never forgive you etc. You can see the anger in him uncontrolled at times. He will often not speak to people or blank them. Even over the smallest of things he will loose his temper often at me or my mum. Yesterday it got to the point where he was even threating to walk out even though he has nowhere to go and has limited mobility with his balance. He has got to the point of treating my mum like one of me and my siblings. To say this is upsetting is an understatement. He also refuses any help and gets very upset or angry about people as he says pushing him into anything like getting help for his other physical issues. Kind of like Jekyll and Hyde it's like a switch inside him. I really feel like we are loosing the person that he was, it's really hard dealing with this and the emotional effects its having on both him and my mum who loves him deeply.

I came on here as things have got to the point where as a family we don't know what to do or think about this situation anymore. From what I have put would people say he has possible dementia or something else. Also what can we do possibly about him refusing any help.
Hi @RJtheAgoraphobe
Welcome to this forum. Lots of carers here who have had a wide variety of experiences with a wide variety of dementias.
There is also a wealth of info on the Alz Soc website, and they have a tele help line if you feel you need to talk.

As @Grannie G has already said you need to get a diagnosis of your dad's condition, as (i) it sounds as if it is more than just age related memory issues and (ii) such help as is available is usually once a diagnosis has been pronounced. There is often a waiting list to get a referral to the Memory Clinic - referral can be by the GP, or the Local Authority Adult Social Services.

I would suggest you write down all the things about which you are worried with your dad and his behaviours with examples, times, etc plus how this is affecting your mum and you. Then you need to speak with or write to your dad's GP and ask them to make an appointment for your dad for say a "well man's" clinic. Then you have to get your dad there, plus with mum present (to understand and remember what's said) (as your dad won't remember afterwards what was said). Mum can also verify or otherwise what dad answers to the GP. GP has a chance to make some assessment of your dad's condition, bearing in my a person with early stages dementia is often able, with strangers, to put on a front and act fairly normally, and sometimes some people can be fooled by this act.
A person in early stages dementia
(i) often and usually claims nothing is wrong or
(ii) if there is it is everybody else that has a problem
(iii) loses the ability to reason logically. Thus, it's no good trying to argue reasonably or logically with a PWD (person with dementia)
(iv) may still have mental capacity to do some things but
(v) they lose interest in doing things they used to do or
(vi) they lose skills or some of the skills they had - like concentration (for example in following a tv programme), or memory (like in reading a book and remembering from yesterday where you are up to in the story)
(vii) they lose alertness or speed of reaction - things take longer to process, or they mis-process information -at which stage it becomes dangerous for them to drive a car, and their lack of skill in this case, may invalidate insurance cover - the GP should advise and if GP thinks your dad shouldn'tdrive then GP should notify the DVLA to cancel licence.

I hope that helps a little.

Best wishes
 

RJtheAgoraphobe

New member
Jun 14, 2024
2
0
Thank you for your replies and the welcome. From the points made by Chizz you have hit the nail very much on the head perfectly with describing how he is. I think its now clear that its looking likely about him having dementia. I'll chat with my family about the next stage and hope the GP can arrange a visit for him to get some sort of help or discuss what happens from here. Thanks and all the best to everyone here.