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He has fits of extreme anger over the smallest things. He leaves drawers and doors open and has become very forgetful. He has withdrawn from most activities and will only travel to see myself and my brother (we live in different states). I don't even know how to get him diagnosed. I suggested to my mother to keep a journal of his behavior so when she goes to her doctor she can show him (they have the same doctor). His poor behavior is displayed at home right now. When they come to visit he seems like his old self. I read that this could be showtiming. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

How old are your parents?

Have there been any recent changes for either of them?

These fits of extreme anger - what are we talking about, here? Shouting, throwing things, door slamming, directed at your mother or at the world in general?

What sort of activities has he withdrawn from?

What sort of forgetfulness? - e.g. the classic "forgetting where you've put your car keys is normal. Forgetting what your car keys are for is not."

The thing is, it *could* be dementia; but it could be dozens of other things too and it really is best to keep an open mind. You don't want to start down one track only to find you've missed something terribly important.
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It’s helpful that they have the same doctor but my feeling is your mom doesn’t really even need to wait until she has a journal of evidence- she can just speak to the doctor and tell them her concerns. In my moms case (very combative in early Alzheimer’s) after we spoke to her doc, the doctor called her in on a spurious reason to check on her before referring her for diagnosis. It was done fairly rapidly. Her behaviour worsened at that point though as she had still been driving and the day the consultant reviewed her results he called to say she mustn’t be allowed behind the wheel. She was much more combative after that. Just a warning! I wish you the best of luck.
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Thanks for your suggestions.  My father is not always the most cooperative so we will see...
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I feel for you as I have been through the same with my mother and still am dealing with the effects of Alzheimer's dementia. My father has passed and I feel so very sorry for what he had to endure. I did not realize the full impact of what he dealt with daily until after he was gone. We both struggled to get meds to help my mom but it was difficult at the time as she became so resistant to help. She became abusive and out of control. The very best advice I can give to you is to seek medical help and find a way to get the best medications prescribed as soon as possible as the effects of dementia only progress, and worsen. It is heartbreaking as the effects we see are not those of the parent we once knew and untreated, its effects are damaging. For my mom, it was difficult because while my dad was still alive we tried to sneak medical help but she had reactions to the typical dementia meds. Once she was in a controlled situation, ie. personal care home, we were able to get her psychiatric help along with the use of Risperdol and Celexa and it has calmed her to the point where she is at least capable of attending activities and capable of calm communication. It is a difficult time, a heart breaking time, but in time we learn to accept life's curve, remember the parent we had and the great memories they gave us and do our best to get them, and us, through this heart rendering experience. They are no longer responsible for the words they speak so do no take them personally. You never really accept the Alzheimer effect and how it has destroyed your parent and those around, but you, in time, learn more about the disease and do your best to keep them as memory oriented, and happy in their own world, as possible. Every person afflicted with this disease has a different level of progression. Some deteriorate rapidly and others slowly. I was helpless while my dad was still here because he hid and tried to protect despite the pain he endured. He and my mom had 60+ wonderful years together, the last 2 years were devastating to him and know he left this world with a broken heart. Please spare yourself the pain and turmoil and whatever it takes, please seek help as the effects on the caregivers of a person with Alzheimer's dementia can be scarring. Our parents gave us their best in life, it is at this time they need us most even if their mind cannot relay this message. Seek the help needed, come to terms with the disease and give back to them just a little what they gave to us. My thoughts and prayers are with you. Wishing you the best! Hope my input helped, if only just a little.
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Yes. It does sound like he is showtiming in front of other people. My mother seems almost normal to visitors who spend an hour or less with her. They tell me she's normal. No, she's not. She forgets what she just says a minute ago, and repeats the same questions multiple times a day, sometimes within minutes. She can't carry on a conversation, and has forgotten all her friends.

My mother's Alzheimer's condition was diagnosed by an neurologist. He ran a series of verbal test to check her memory and cognitive function, and determined that she had Alz.

The idea of your mother keeping a journal of his behavioral changes is a great one. She needs to show the journal to the doctor prior to the visit so the doctor can be prepared. Your mother needs to get him to see his primary doctor and then get a referral to a neurologist.

If he resists seeing his doctor, tell him it's his annual exam and he must go or else insurance will be cancelled. Or tell him your mother needs him to accompany her to the doctor. Or make up any excuse to get him in.

My mother gets really angry when I tell her she has to go to the doctor. It's a nightmare getting her in the door, and keeping her there until the doctor comes. So, I hope your dad is more cooperative.
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