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Fitness tips, Relaxation, Mind and Body
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Postby villageboy » October 17th, 2023, 4:45 pm

I'm a longterm Lemon Fool user, but I would prefer to remain anonymous, so I'm posting under a new username.

My partner, who is in their late seventies, is showing signs of dementia:
* they get confused about dates
* they get confused about where things are kept
* they repeat a question which has just been answered
* they get confused about finances: bank accounts, savings accounts, credit card statements
* etc

They won't admit that they have a problem, and they certainly don't want to go and talk to the GP about it.

I'm wondering what, if anything, would be the best thing to do?


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Re: dementia


Postby ReformedCharacter » October 17th, 2023, 4:58 pm

Sorry to hear that. The NHS dementia resource has a number of different links and general advice, if you haven't already seen it: ... r-someone/

POA would be another thought. Dementia runs in my family.


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Re: dementia


Postby AsleepInYorkshire » October 17th, 2023, 5:08 pm

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Re: dementia


Postby kempiejon » October 17th, 2023, 5:48 pm

Not wanting to add more worry but an elderly relative of mine had all the symptoms you mention. She could see that her reasoning was a little wonky and took herself to a medical professional. Unfortunately it was a brain tumour. Obviously like all cancers caught early some brain cancers are treatable as was the case. My old dad was for ever forgetting things, losing things, buying the wrong stuff in the shops. Tested, nothing found but he became clumsy and a bit of liability too but apparently not due to disease that could be detected.

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Re: dementia


Postby 88V8 » October 17th, 2023, 6:23 pm

villageboy wrote:My partner, who is in their late seventies, is showing signs of dementia:
They won't admit that they have a problem, and they certainly don't want to go and talk to the GP about it.

Urrgh, nightmare.
I think fear and denial would be many people's first response.

Are there relatives or friends who could 'notice' that he/she is becoming a bit absent-minded and suggest a visit to the GP?
The sooner it's treated the better, as I'm sure you know.


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Re: dementia


Postby bungeejumper » October 17th, 2023, 6:47 pm

villageboy wrote:They won't admit that they have a problem, and they certainly don't want to go and talk to the GP about it.

I'm wondering what, if anything, would be the best thing to do?

Well, you've done the first thing, which is to post your worry here. A problem shared is not just a problem halved - it's also a gateway through which you can ask for help or advice again.

A lot of us have been through this with either spouses or parents - my old dad had vascular dementia, which is a different thing from Alzheimers because it's caused by a series of micro-strokes rather than a slow build-up of plaque on the brain. But both of those things are different from natural ageing, which we often leave out of our list of possibilities.

Do I forget stuff? Yep, three or four times a day, and so do my friends. (I'm 73 and still running a business, so hopefully not gaga yet.) How about names? Somebody very wise once told me that if you're stumped for a name but it comes back to you after a few minutes, then that's not dementia, it's normal for my age.

Do I have days when I can't face doing my bank account or sorting out my email? You bet I do. Do I ever say "now, what did I come upstairs for?" Did I forget to buy some of the stuff on my shopping list this week? Doesn't everybody?

Other things can be more difficult if they relate to safety. We did have to take my dad's car keys away, which hurt us even more than it hurt him. :( We found that he couldn't do even simple things without having written a list of instructions to himself. He once put an electric kettle on the gas hob and set fire to the kitchen.

We found that my mother's GP was an invaluable source of help and support, although I guess that's become less easy to access these days. All the suggestions already made will help. The Alzheimers' Society doesn't just do Alzheimers but supports for all types of dementia, even if they're only suspected. Age UK is pretty good too. Do you have children?

Most of all, look after yourself. Eat well, keep in contact with friends, and stay active, because it sounds as though you'll be the household's anchor from now on. Sending you and your partner the very kindest wishes.


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Re: dementia


Postby Steveam » October 17th, 2023, 11:20 pm

You might want to get your partner a medicines review. I was feeling a bit confused and tired and had some memory loss - one of the drugs I’d been put on for a short term problem [low dose Amitriptyline for headaches] continued to be prescribed but is actually contraindicated for older people. I’ve now halved the dosage of the particular medicine and things are much improved. My GP has been ok but pretty indifferent. It might be worth doing a medicines review but you may find that you need to drive the check.

Whatever happens I wish you well.

Best wishes, Steve

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Re: dementia


Postby terminal7 » October 18th, 2023, 9:42 am

To summarise much of the advice above: your OH must have:

(i) review of medication taken (i.e. father started having effectively withdrawal symptoms after change of medication - my wife (a doctor) had to intervene to sort)

(ii) blood and urine tests (mother had initially undiagnosed UTI - urinary tract infection - several weeks of 'confusion' - antibiotics cleared the problem)

Whilst clearly the initial solution is to go to GP - unfortunately so much in the NHS has to be driven by the family of a patient. It is a process of elimination - but the quicker you can get to the basic cause the quicker you get to the appropriate treatment.

Blood and urine tests do not cost a lot privately if your surgery is lethargic.

Blood tests by your GP in normal circumstances should have a 48/72 hour turnaround and urine tests slightly longer.

villageboy - you have a number of Fools who have been through similar - so us as a sounding board if you think appropriate.


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Re: dementia


Postby Mike88 » October 18th, 2023, 11:39 am

I have been through a similar experience and sadly there is not much you can do without assistance from a GP. In my case my wife collapsed in Marseilles and following a stint in hospital we arrived home. We saw the GP who immediately diagnosed a stroke but, as time went on, her memory deteriorated to the point that her recollection of events in the short term was virtually non existent. That is a person who is supremely intelligent and a MENSA member. The GP referred her to a neurologist who thought she had Parkinson's and then the Professor who sent her for various scans (MRI and CT) as well as blood tests and concluded with a PET scan which revealed there was no evidence of Parkinson's and furthermore thankfully ruled out Alzheimer's. Back to the GP who referred her to a memory clinic. She was tested by various psychologists who concluded what we knew already that her memory was bad. At first they blamed her medication but changed their minds following further thought. She has now been discharged; they say she has experienced a cognitive event and there is nothing more they can do. Her memory may get worse if that's possible or it will remain the same.

My conclusion is that you should not always fear the worst. Poor memory and constantly repetitive behaviour does not always mean the worst. At first my wife was also reluctant to get help but the fact I had an Enduring Power of Attorney helped smooth the path with the GP and enabled me to make and attend all appointments. To help gain her cooperation she also has similar powers of attorney for me. The Attorney power is something you can easily do yourself online. That's something you could consider.

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Re: dementia


Postby stewamax » January 25th, 2024, 9:47 pm

Both of you - but specially the individual concerned - should wear an ID bracelet (£25 or so ea.) with note on 'dementia' and who to contact.
Those with dementia can just wander off and then be unable to say cogently who they are or where they live.

A sole carer should also wear one in case something happens to them, especially if the dementia individual is housebound.

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