I believe my father to be in stage 6d Alzheimer's. He is 91, lives with my aunt (90) in an independent living situation. He broke his hip on Easter. When through surgery, he couldn't be left alone in hospital, didn't know where he was or why he was there.
Last summer I talked to his doctor about his loss of memory. Doc said Alzheimer's. Daddy sundowned big time. Though he was still a politician in DC and was in a hotel. He would ask when his driver was coming to pick him up. Aunt said he was just pulling our leg. When I asked for a diagnosis by someone (a geriatrician) I was told no. Aunt has POA and POHC. Daddy now gets lost going to the dining hall, can't read menu, (he can read symbols, like the M in McDonalds) occasionally wets him self. Spends most of his time napping. Great at Jeopardy. He really reminds me of a 4 year old. Needs help with most daily tasks. Could he be just pulling our legs like my aunt thinks? I can't think that any grown man would want his daughter changing him and cleaning him. Aunt thinks he is just spoiled. He is great at politician glad handing. (Great to see you. I see you love soup too. What is your favorite kind? What is your secret ingredient/technique to making a great tomato soup? Roasting the tomatoes first! I'll have to try that! Any particular kind of tomatoes? Ones with green shoulders! ) This is why my aunt thinks he is "just fine" I think this is a skill that will be with him until he dies. How can I see 6d Alzheimers and my aunt see nothing?

This question has been closed for answers. Ask a New Question.
K43, when you mentioned that your father is great at Jeopardy I thought that was unusual considering everything else he needs help with.

My late Dad was a whiz at Jeopardy, but as he started to venture on the path of dementia, and needed more help with his care, so went away his ability to answer questions on Jeopardy. But Dad was able to keep his sense of humor, simple silly stuff that would get us laughing.

So there could be parts of his brain that still are active such as Jeopardy answers.
Helpful Answer (2)

I think you correctly assessed the situation. I also think your Aunt sees it. Others don't want to admit it because it makes a scary situation way too real.
I think they key issue that others raised is whether your father's care is being hindered by the denial? If not, then I'd probably just drop it. I wanted an official diagnosis for my mom, but realized there's no cure, no good treatment, and putting her through the stress of the assessment would be way too much for her.
Keep an eye on things from a distance and make sure his overall care is being handled. He will decline as this disease runs it's course, so can you start thinking of things now that may help down the road? (Sometimes instead of asking my parents in advance when I know they'd turn down my assistance, I just do things and noticed they never stop me.)  
Also by the way, your dad sounds like a gem of man.  I love that he's still got the personality and wit that carried him through his chosen profession. It is touching to know that some of those key aspects of our character never leave us.    
Helpful Answer (0)

Obviously none of us is qualified to diagnose your father, even if we observed him for a few days. But I'd be willing to bet a 2-pound box of Lady Godiva chocolates that he NOT pulling anyone's leg. That is a preposterous explanation.

A doctor has given a diagnosis. If Dad's sister won't accept that, why do you think she would accept it from another doctor?

Does her denial cause problems for your dad? For example, does she scold him when he wets himself? Insist that he go to the dining room alone? Generally expect him to do things he is not able to do and then get mad at him?

What would change if you got a second opinion and it confirmed that he has ALZ, or identified some other dementia type? There are no cures for dementia. There aren't even reliable treatments.

Why doesn't his sister see what you see? As CM says, she doesn't want to. And she is just a year younger than her brother. If he has dementia, that sure shows how vulnerable elders are. Pretty scary at age 90.
Helpful Answer (1)

Your father needs to be evaluated by a neurologist. He will also need to be in an AL or memory care unit eventually. Your Aunt is too old to care for this man. She will eventually decline. The elderly cannot be reasoned with.
Helpful Answer (2)

Your aunt doesn't want to see. That's why she doesn't.

Um. Is there anything to do with your father's *care* that you would like to see done differently; and would that depend on a more detailed, better defined diagnosis?

The point being that, before you push for investigations and diagnostics, make sure there's a worthwhile aim to them.

Otherwise, what harm is there in polite discretion?
Helpful Answer (4)

This question has been closed for answers. Ask a New Question.
Ask a Question
Subscribe to
Our Newsletter