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Most of his fathers brothers and sisters suffered from Alzheimer's including his father. Its been a tough 8 months since mom died and I moved him far from home. Its just the little things and he told me last night he is having issues remembering things and names. Is it stress or something greater? I saw it start slowly with my grandfather. How do I go about getting him checked. I have an appointment for a full physical with my Dr. here. I have to find him a cardio and dermatologist and ortho dr yet. Its only been a few weeks an I am already getting burnout (8 months really). Also he is already planning an 8 hour drive to go back home to visit. He is planning fishing trips for me an him ( I have to work) and I already have a 8 day trip planned for us to go fishing on the other side of the country. This is my big vacation for the summer. I haven't even planned one for my wife and I yet. Whooo boy I am fried. Am I just making too much of this? The forgetting issue that is. Sorry went on a tangent.

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My mother in law was moved from IL. to AZ., by her elderly son - to try and help her. Little did he know that it was the worse thing that he could have done. She went completely bonkers within 24 hours - disoriented, accusing him of poisoning her.

So, the decision had to be made quickly to get her back to IL. Even though she was in a nursing home, there, her demeanor returned to normal. (She had never known anything but IL.)

Big changes are awful for anyone. Add losing your spouse and it is a recipe for disaster.
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It is tough for we adult children to see the forest for the trees, but go back and read your letter pretending it was one of your own children that you were putting through all this. I don't believe our parents ever mean to torture, scare or ride us with guilt, but someone has end the burning. Terie Novak - Author ebook "Bold Actions for Helping Older Parents.
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Any change in their routine can be overwhelming and can cause some issues with memory. Give it some time, a good daily routine and see how he is in a couple weeks.
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My mother is 103 next month and drove 2.5 hours to Atlanta from Chattanooga twice a month to visit our family until she turned 90. After a stroke at 97 she gave me her car (a 1993 Crown Vic that I still sport her around it) Let him decide when he can no longer drive (if he is a reasonable person and from what you said he is). I'm on the B12,6 & 9 tangent along with full thyroid panel. If my mother had a decent doctor at age 97 and had gotten a thyroid panel she would not have many of the problems that plague her today - stroke being one of those. That being said, I mostly go along with what everyone else has said. Get your wife a spa day and schedule a dinner date weekly with just you and her if at all possible. Get your self a spa day too. My husband has just discovered the benefits of medical massage. It helps the tension.
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Hi tgengine,
Sorry you have so much on your plate. You don't say how old your father is, but as a geriatrician I'd say if he tells you he's having trouble with remembering things, it certainly could be the very earliest stages of something like Alzheimer's.

That said, whether or not he has the beginnings of Alzheimer's, everyone's thinking can be worse when affected by stress, depression, insomnia, medication side-effects (esp sleeping meds but there are others), thyroid problems, low B12, and a few others. A doctor's visit can help you check on those, although many docs don't notice the problem meds unless you ask "could this make thinking worse?"

Otherwise, the Alzheimer's Assoc has an AD-8 informant interview that highlights what you can look out for:
http://www.alz.org/documents_custom/ad8.pdf

Also, NYT just had a story about a "take-it-yourself" memory test. If your dad is worried, he could try taking it.


Good luck!
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roselitzinger, good heavens, there is nothing wrong with having a night light in your room.... I am in my 60's and have been using them for the past 30 years. In fact, just about every room in my house has some type of timer light and/or night light.... that way if I need to use the bathroom, which also has a night light, I don't need to turn on all the regular lights to find my way. Even my parents have night lights all over their house, too.

Think of it this way, some people fall asleep with the TV on in the bedroom, it's like a giant night light :)
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As far as getting him apts with a dozen Drs.. start with one good geri Dr. I did this and cut the Dr visits WAY down. So far our New Dr has been able to handle the ALZ, the skin cancer checks, everything but the the toenails and eye Dr, Moms cardiologist. Dad has diabetes, and this is handled by the PCP also. They are in thier 80.s and seemed to go to at least one Dr every week before. I schedule our eye exams and dentist apts at the same time.. only a morning every few months. CG can take them to regular PCP visits and podiatrist. This has saved my sanity and preserved some of my free time
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My daughter thinks there is something mentally wrong with because I have night lights. On my house,and I sleep with a light on at night when I go to bed. I read before going to sleep .I sleep but the light is still on. She insists something is wrong with me. I am eighty and had a hip replacement and they the doctor said I have to be careful about falling. I feel fine .
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Your worry time is just starting. Yes, he has the predisposition for dementia and yes, if he is forgetting, he is starting the beginning stages. Make an appointment with a neurologist, get an MRI to see where his brain is functioning. It is going to be a long road I'm afraid and you need all the strength you can muster to get through it. Good luck!
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I'm beginning to wonder if dementia isn't just natural as we live longer, especially in a rapidly changing world of technology, in some bizarre way offset by a world of countries which still continue to fight and haven't yet figured out a way to co-exist peacefully.

Maybe dementia is the body's way of coping with stress that's just too much to deal with. I wonder if the folks in some countries who live up to 100 and past deal with dementia as well. Just thinking...
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tgengine, if you are noticing things, chances are that something is going on. Something I've learned is that worrying doesn't help at all. We pretty much just have to let things happen and hope for the best. I knew my mother had dementia soon after I arrived. It wasn't so much memory loss that let me know, it was because things didn't make sense. Her reasoning ability left faster than her memory did.

Both my father and mother had, or have dementia. What I hoped for both was their minds held out as long as their bodies. It worked out that way for my father, who kept his reasoning ability to the end, though he had some very troubling effects from the damage (compulsive catalog shopping, neglecting hygiene). My mother is just the opposite. Her reasoning ability is almost gone, though she still manages to take good care of herself physically. It is hard to predict what will happen on down the road, but I've learned that it is going to happen no matter how worried I am. So I TRY not to worry about the things I can't control. I have to admit that it is easier said than done.

Probably the most important thing I've learned in the last few years with my parents is to look for happiness even when the world around us seems so chaotic. We can only take a day at a time when there is dementia. It helps if we have a good doctor to share the burden.
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Ctupton reminded me of another tactic I use when my head begins spinning and I can't think clearly, and when there are so many things that need to be done I feel overwhelmed.

Besides looking at gardening magazines, exercising and listening to music, I force myself to think not in terms of what has to be done that day, but on a zero-based priority level. Start with nothing besides the basics: eating, drinking, etc. Then gradually add 1 task at a time.

It's a variation of zero-based budgeting and planning - and it becomes easier to realize that not all of the things that seem so necessary are really immediate priorities. It's also a sense of planning on a more business-like level.
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Take a deep breath! Maybe a few! I went to a counselor for myself to get my own head focused. I found I was having problems prioritizing and actually getting things accomplished. She helped me sort things out. I know you want to help your Dad . It is wonderful of you to have him live with you. My husband puts demands on me, too. I am very overwhelmed already. When I feel rested, I sit with him and make a plan of attack to find out what he needs. Right now he needs new glasses. I put it off for too long. But I had a long list of things to get done--like finding a new place to live! My husband was easier for a few years because he pretty much had no thoughts! e was passive and went along with what I decided. It is 8 years since his stroke and his brain has improved! Now he is thinking of things he wants. Great! But it puts some different pressures on me! So, I'd suggest getting an outsider's view to help you prioritize. Please, let us know how things are going. You might be helping someone here to cope with a similar situation. Hugs! christine
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Ease into finding new doctors slowly. Too many medical appointments is mentally and physically tiring. I used to try to get all the medical appointments over with, but now I won't schedule more than one biweekly. We both need down time.

Balance medical appointments with vacations, even mini vacations. Perhaps you could take shorter vacations with your father so you still have time for your wife. These vacations are probably just as important to the health of all of you as seeing the doctors!

If the medical appointments that are priority start wearing you both down, plan a short outing afterward to recharge your spirits. Go to a dog park, get a dairy queen, ice cream cone, or just go for a walk or ride. Turn them into a reward to balance out the inconvenience and tedium of medical appointments.

As to memory loss, it happens even to younger people but it gets more attention in older folks. And sometimes the more you worry about it, the more easily you forget.

Just try to ease into this new situation gradually or it can be overwhelming. And set aside time each day to enjoy your father and your family - no medical, political or financial talk. No tv or computer work. Just relax and smell the flowers.
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First, please don't let him drive. You have many hard decisions ahead.Your role between you and your father is changing. You are not his child but his son.Please keep coming to this site. You are not alone and their are many good people on this site that can help you along the way. First you must understand to take care of yourself first mentally and physically,this is not selfish.You and your father are in a transition of roles.This is difficult even under the best of circumstances. The driving thing will be a big issue.This is a great place to just vent, don't feel guilty.You will get angry, frustrated, feel guilty for getting mad at him etc. Please keep coming to this site ,it will help you so much.Keep us updated on how things are going.
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Welcome to old age....keep writing here. You'll get lots of advice.
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Just my opinion being on the outside looking in...It's a hard time for all of you. Your Father has just lost his mate, and isn't around all that he has known anymore. Everything is new. It can be very confusing. And as for you and you spouse, all of a sudden your life has a lot more responsibilities, but remember that everything doesn't have to be solved Right now. A vacation for you and your father would prob be very good for both of you, with arrangements being made that you and your spouse will have your time together planned. You're very important to your Father right now, and he is very blessed to have you being there for him.
As far as the memory loss, when he goes to the dr appt, ask the dr about having some testing done for him. They can tell how advanced any dimentia or alzheimers is.

Also, remember that you are not alone in this. One of my problems ws thinking that i ws the only one in the world that had these feelings, but as you talk about it to others, you will realize how normal your feelings are.

God Bless You and your family.
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Before he drives anywhere, get his drivers license in New Hampshire. This will mean a vision test, and at age 75 or more, a road test. A complete physical is a great idea. Memory interruptions after all the stress he's been through are perfectly normal. Give him time to adjust before you go on long road trips. There's plenty of fish in New Hampshire.
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I believe we all have issues with remembering things and names as we get older. I'm in my late 60's and will forget a name of a famous movie star from 50 years ago but once the name pops into my head [it must be taking several detours before I finally remember] the name will stay with me for weeks on end.

Stress will also cause us to have minor memory problems. Moving to a new home and new area isn't easy, no matter what the age. And now your Dad needs to acquaint himself with all new doctors. Instead of using your doctor, maybe a geriatric doctor would be better if there is one in your area, they specialize in senior health care.
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