Early stages of dementia question.

  1. My mother's husband is 69 years old. I think that he is in the early stages of dementia and has been for at least a year. Recently he has become quite paranoid which is a new thing, and this is directed at me ie. saying that I don't like him. I don't know why because we have had a decent relationship. Could he be trying to hide his condition and afraid that I will notice his slip ups? I am very concerned as my mother is not ready to accept that this is happening. I would like to help her because I do notice that she seems very strained and tired these days but I don't want to force her to accept this.
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  2. 14 Comments

  3. by   chris_at_lucas_RN
    Quote from linzz
    Could he be trying to hide his condition and afraid that I will notice his slip ups?
    Yup. People with dementia generally notice something not quite right before anyone else does. They will fill in "holes" and try hard to "look normal" but eventually their best efforts are not good enough. If he has had respect for your and your abilities in the past, you are now the primary risk in blowing his cover, as it were.

    Quote from linzz
    I am very concerned as my mother is not ready to accept that this is happening. I would like to help her because I do notice that she seems very strained and tired these days but I don't want to force her to accept this.
    She is going to have to accept what she can accept at her own pace. I'm sure she is strained and tired. See what she might like for you to do to help her. If she is very independent or whatever, then just do a little something for her from time to time. But let her come to her conclusions as she does on her own (assuming no safety issues here).

    Maybe a good thing would be to be sure and make yourself available, receptive and patient.

    Nice goes a long way sometimes.

    Good luck to you. Hard road ahead.
  4. by   KJRN79
    My dad is 78, and has had the dementia diagnosis for over 5 years. In my experience (only with him, I'm a pedi nurse) the "symptoms" come and go. He has had some paranoia, and the doc adjusted his meds. Whether or not that did the trick, I don't know...but that is just a suggestion from me to you. Have the doc look at meds/ side effects and interactions. Good luck!
  5. by   nightmare
    You say your mum looks strained and tired so I would hazard a guess that she has been dealing with his change of personality for a while,deep down she will know that "something" is not right but is not ready to give it a name yet.Is he on any medication at all? Maybe you and your mum need to see the doctor together so that he can explain to her what is happening and what will happen in the future. Good luck.
  6. by   MI LPN Student08
    My mom is 77 and has dementia, she has been living with me for the past 4 years, my dad has learned to become very patient. This is a life changing experience for everyone involved, but you have to be patient, caring, and willing to do alot of adjusting......Just give it time, and room to adjust to the changes. Just be there for them!!!!
  7. by   linzz
    Thank you you guys for all your advice and support. It is really a huge help and a relief to know that I am not alone.
  8. by   elizabeth321
    Have the family doctor arrange a Geriatric Assessment with a geriatrican.

    Liz
  9. by   CapeCodMermaid
    Great advice from everyone. Don't forget to look for a medical reason for the change in behavior....new meds, thyroid being off, infection...many of these can contribute to what looks like a dementia but is really a treatable condition. Maybe you could take your mom out for a girl's lunch or dinner just to give her some time without having it look like you're butting in to her business.
  10. by   linzz
    Thanks for the advice, I will try to look through his meds next time I am there. The only thing I know is that he has high blood pressure, drinks heavily and always has so maybe his body is just not able to do this anymore. Certainly I will try to make it easier on my mother to deal with all of this.
  11. by   nightmare
    If he has always been a heavy drinker then Korsecoff's (spelling) syndrome immediately springs to mind,has he had any sort of medical assessment or is he resistant to the idea?
  12. by   linzz
    Yes nightmare, he is 100% resistant to the idea. It is even compounded by the fact that my mother is also in deep denial. It is hard as a family member to watch my mother spin her wheels and eventually burn herself out.
  13. by   nightmare
    What a difficult situation you are in,I hope that it will be resolved one way or another for you and your mum and that eventually he gets the help that he needs. Good luck and courage.
  14. by   marjoriemac
    My gran has recently been diagnosed with vascular dementia after a year in hospital with ?Alzheimers? and before that a year at home where I knew she had dementia and was unsafe to live alone but could not convince her GP of this (he would not even come out to see her!). My gran new she was forgetting things but didnt know why, in just 2 years, she has gone from a few errors in what she is saying to not recognising her family and speaking nonsense. My gran was very paranoid at home, believing 'someone' was coming to throw her out her house. She was eventually picked up by the police at 3am one morning in the street she lived in as a child, she was wondering with no handbag or identity as she had been 'thrown out her house'. Never too soon to get help.

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