How do you convince an elderly parent to go get tested for dementia?

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My father is 86, he lives across the street with my mother, who is 83. They are self sufficient and both still drive, though my dad has limited himself. My dad though is forgetful, gets confused, especially about medical issues, what happened when and forgetful of taking his meds. He is angry about his state of confusion and loss of thought when in conversations. He can be very rude and always thinks he is right no matter the circumstance. He can be very rude and ugly to my mother, she gets the brunt of it. When we have brought up going to the doctor to check on his mental state, his answer is, "no, I am just old and there is nothing they can do about it anyway." How do I get him tested to see whether or not he has s ome type of dementia or is this just old age.

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Depression is one of the most neglected issues that seniors deal with and for sure it can cause a lot of memory and confusion problems... But it could be many things so a medical checkup would certainly be helpful. One of the guys that worked at the same place my husband used to work would get almost crazy likened coworkers learned that be had diabetes and when his blood sugar was off too much, if they called his wife, she would call him and see if he'd eaten. All he needed to do was eat more frequently and his blood sugar stabilized and he was fine. If you can't get him to agree to a physical, you can look up the mini mental exam on the web. Instead to telling him you're checking out what his mental status is, work the questions into a general conversation or use the questions as a game. There's a longer test but I can't think of the name. It checks their ability to take care of their ability to live independently. For example, you give them a telephone number and ask them to call it for you, or a pretend check and ask them to fill it out for you.... But basically, if you're seeing that there are changes, there is probably more than you realize.ll
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Hi Maryclare, it sounds like you have noticed some significant changes in your dad that worry you enough to consider having him tested for dementia. The symptoms you have described could indicate dementia, but they could also indicate depression which is a treatable condition. The early stages of dementia and depression can be easily confused (some of the symptoms can be the same, including confusion and forgetfulness) so it is important to encourage him to be seen by his doctor. The fact that he is aware of his forgetfulness might indicate depression – this tends to be a more typical marker of depression than dementia (often people with dementia cover up their memory lapses, whereas people with depression are more open about them). You also mention that he gets confused about medical issues and is forgetful with his medications – missing his medications or taking them inconsistently could be part of the problem too and could be causing some of the behaviors you see. The fact that your parents are still independent is great and you might be able to motivate your dad to get a check-up by helping him see that this could be an important part of remaining active and independent. Research has shown that people who remain physically active and intellectually stimulated do better as they age. Your dad may also benefit from speech therapy which helps people to learn strategies to think in a more organized manner – his doctor could advise about that but I have seen speech therapy help a lot of older people who were showing signs of mild cognitive impairment. Good luck!
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Tell your dad he is going for a thorough physical. This is what I did with my mom and it worked beautifully. They did give her a physical, did lab work, tested her balance, and did memory tests on her. Medicare paid 100% for this senior assessment. It is possible that this is not dementia but perhaps a vitamin B deficiency, which causes confusion and/or forgetfulness. There are other causes for his symptoms besides dementia. Keep trying maryclare. It's important to address these health issues. You may find a simple solution to his problems./
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