My 90-year-old father has been dealing fairly well, between Parkinson's and depression, but I've noticed over the past few months some repetition of conversations--eg, this past weekend he asked me about my niece's (his granddaughter's) bat mitzvah, which I had attended a couple of weeks ago and talked to him about last week. My question is whether I should let him know, "Dad, fyi, we had this conversation last week" or simply let it go. The reason I am considering the former is that he believes he doesn't need any help (but he does--getting up in a timely manner, taking meds, etc); my stepmother has some help coming in, but I want to make sure my dad is receptive.

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Sometimes I think some elders get stuck in what they believe. For the past 5 years Dad [93] has been complaining about slow internet speeds and not being able to get onto the internet.... and for the past 5 years I've been telling Dad he needs to drop dial-up and get high-speed cable. Sigh... we still keep having that conversation every other month.

I would just throw in the comment, "Remember dad, we talked about this last week and how my niece blah blah." I wouldn't make it a big deal or he'll get defensive. Just start to hint here and there that he's not remembering everything. But I'd also say that I don't remember everything either and I'm 64 and don't have anything going on medically that would affect my memory. If the most you see is asking a question about something that has already been discussed, he sounds pretty good.

My mom has no short-term memory, so she'll ask me the same question 3 times in five minutes. She didn't want help with her meds until she forgot her coumadin for three days straight and had problems with a clot in her foot as a result.You may need to wait for something bigger to take more action. But it sounds like he's already got help coming in, so what is it you're concerned about?

It sounds like your father is entering an early stage of dementia. With my father I can't reason with him or change his mind about something that he did five minutes ago. Arguing and trying to convince your father may just confuse him more, hurt his feelings or make him angry. I find its best to just roll with it , change the subject slightly, or tell a "therapeutic lie" to get through situations with my dad. There are great articles and discussions on this site regarding dementia which will be a great help to you.

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