My SO has a neuro appointment next week to be evaluated for dementia. He has lately forgotten what day it is multiple times in the last week. He gets confused about appointments and thinks they are a week earlier than they are or he forgets them all together. Today he got a confirmation text for one of next week's appointments and somehow thought that meant he had an appt. today and took off while I was out of the house. How can I discuss this with him? He's already angry with me for questioning him and telling him to come right home as I was worried about him out driving alone. He hasn't driven by himself for the last three weeks when it became obvious something was wrong. I know I have to take his car keys away, but I expect it to be difficult. Hopefully I'm wrong and it's not dementia, but I don't know what else it could be. All of our friends have noticed and commented on his behavior and are also worried about him.

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Thank you, Jeannie, that makes a lot of sense. I tend to think that way myself, but I do try to put myself in their shoes, so to speak.

When he came back (safely, thank God) from his 'adventure', he seemed quite angry with me for insisting he come directly home. But when I went to his room and asked him, he said no. I think he must be incredibly frustrated. Just this morning he sat on my bed looking thoughtful and when I asked what he was thinking about, he said "I'm no good." Sad to say I knew what he was trying to say. On some level, he is aware that he is not quite 'right', but if I ask him to elaborate, he is unable to put it into words. When I say to him, "you don't feel like yourself?" He agrees. Which is how it seems to me. Someone has stolen away my sweet, loving man, little bits at a time, until he's almost a stranger.
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Don't panic. Deep breaths.

You have done incredibly well already by setting up the evaluation; and I hope it will at least bring some clarity to what is (or might be) going on.

There are all sorts of things that could be causing these symptoms. How old is your SO? How long has he been having these difficulties? But try not to cross bridges before you get to them.

That might also be the best approach to take when it comes to removing the car keys - that this is an immediate measure, it may be only temporary, who knows, but the essential thing is to get through to the appointment in one piece before anyone has to make any plans or decisions.

Just keep reminding him of that - it's seven days, hold tight, let's find out. You might like to make a wall calendar and pin it somewhere prominent, too, meanwhile, to help him stay oriented to time and date.
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He knows.
I read that many people with dementia have had and known about signs for upwards of 10 years before others notice. They just get REAL good at hiding, explaining and circumnavigating things that might be a problem to them.
I bet if you think back several years you will find little things that now might make sense when you put the dementia with it.
I said years ago that Alzheimer's should change their "logo" from a purple ribbon to a purple puzzle piece. For it is not until you look back and see all the little things that made no sense over the course of years and you take all those bits and put them together to form the picture that you are looking at now.
I am sure he is just as worried, concerned and scared as you are right now.
Now is the time to have a discussion as to what he wants you to do. What he does not want you to do. Will he agree now that if he reaches a certain point he would want to be placed in a Memory Care facility? If he says he NEVER wants to be placed what will happen if and when you can no longer care for him yourself? (And remember later that the man you are making promises to now will not exist in a year, 2 years or more) Make sure all your paperwork is in order, set up trusts if you have to. Will, POA for health, POA for finance. See a good elder lawyer to set you up on the right path.
If your SO is a Veteran get him into the system now. There are lots of advantages and services that you will be eligible for. (Even more if he is found to have a "service connected" disability. And those diagnoses are expanding every year)
My Husband was diagnosed when he was 63 and I cared for him for 12 years. Are you prepared to do that?
I can tell you now you will loose friends, you will loose yourself, you will need help.
If you are lucky he will be like my Husband was and easy to care for. Unlucky you will be like many others that have to deal with anger.
I told myself, and others that I would care for my Husband at home as long as it was safe for him AND for me. If he ever became violent I would not have been able to handle him and I would have had to place him. Luckily he was a sweetheart. And with the help of the VA and Hospice I was able to get the equipment and supplies that I needed when I needed them. I live in a house that was built handicap accessible so I did not have to adapt the house. You may have to.
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Yes, it may be Alzheimer's or other progressive dementia. But there are many other possibilities - some of which are curable if attended to in time! Diet deficiencies can affect memory and/or behavior. Anything that reduces the level of oxygen that reaches the brain can be a temporary cause, if time-limited; circulation, heart problems, lung disease, any kind of blockage. Etc!
And if it's a progressive dementia, you need to know that, too, for his sake and your own.
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Hi. It does sound like dementia. There is a check off list somewhere on the Internet. Not sure where now, that defines if it's just bad memory or dementia. My dad was in hospital when diagnosed with dementia 2 years ago. There are different types and varying degrees. Eg my dads is front lobal and affect his ability to have any insight. ( when asked he sometimes can't remember the names of his children and can stay outside in the dark not realising) he is lacking ( most of the time) of emotion. We took car keys away, he found a spare set, we took car away when he was in hospital. Yes, it was a difficult time but lovingly necessary. Men take this hard, as driving is part of their manhood. (He had his licence taken from him when he threatened us he would drive unlicensed.) love sometimes has to be tough and they don't forgive you..we just need to protect them & be happy we have done the right thing🌹
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Thank you Countrymouse, I will keep that in mind. He's 66, so entirely too young for this! He is also incontinent, and tells everyone he "has the flu" (he doesn't) or blames his issue on "that flu shot I got in October".

His mother has ALZ, so there is that concern as well. His symptoms have been getting more and more noticeable the last six months. Prior to that I wondered, but thought I was imagining things. Now I know I'm not, and his primary agrees.

I'm taking it one step at a time for the moment. But I wonder if his family should be told he's having some problems? They keep talking about visiting, and I keep thinking if they want to see him while he's still mostly himself, it should be soon.

It could be related to having autonomic neuropathy, which causes him to have dangerously low blood sugars of about 20. I have to constantly be on guard for that and make sure he eats regularly. This is difficult since he often says he's not hungry these days. An endocrinologist will be brought in eventually once I see what the neuro has to say about it all, but the primary thought his recent mental decline (she saw it for the first time firsthand this week) was such that it was more important.
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You are taking the right steps in the right order. I agree with CM that no decisions need to be made until he has had the evaluation. If family isn't around and hasn't noticed anything, wait until you know more. If they have expressed concerns, briefly mention the exam and that you will let them know the outcome.
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In addition to the diet, circulation problems, blockages etc. I would have a test done for a simple UTI. as well. This can cause confusion and behavioral problems in some people and can be treated with antibiotics. I hope he gets to a doctor to be evaluated soon.
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Doctors have ways to test. Don't scare someone with self-analysis.
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jcrain, I’m so sorry for these changes that you and he are dealing with. I think you are right to watch the blood sugar/food intake, fluxes can wreak havoc on brain function. Have him checked for UTI. And the flu shot thing may not be entirely off the mark, do some online reading such as Dr. Bruce West with Health Alert. He’s very lucky to have you, and I just know you guys will find some answers that will help you move forward with more confidence.
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