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Has had for at least two years. Now he is confusing/mixing up his conversations; he doesn't know who told him what. He will ask me REPEATEDLY the same question, not realizing he is doing that. He will finish a story and tell it over and over.... yet, he can balance a check book still and can get from point A to point B.... but he will forget what he drove down our 1/2 mile long drive way to do (get the mail).... and he misplaces things all the time and can never find them. When I gently ask him about anything, he LASHES out and verbally attacks me. His moods have changed as he is not like this at all. It is very uncharacteristic of him to have mood swings. He is unrecognizable at times when he is verbally attacking me, and he even told me to GET OUT at one point and shortly there after acted like he didn't remember and told me he couldn't live without me and how much he loved me. So I don't bring things like that up after he lashes out because he seems to forget about it. I am scared and worried, however, I cannot get him to cooperate to go to a doctor to get tested. I don't know what to do. I have called doctors to ask for help and I am hitting a brick wall. HELP....can anyone offer any suggestions as to what to do. Does all this sound like dementia?? I feel so helpless and lost....

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Often a person can be convinced to see a doctor about a regular health issue such as blood pressure. If you can get him to an appointment for something like a yearly physical or a medication check, then write the doctor ahead about your real concern. This will give the doctor a heads up. There are some subtle in-office things that a good doctor can look for. Don't mention to your husband anything about a cognitive check. Just act like it's an ordinary appointment that one would have yearly.

The checkup could possibly find a reversible reason for his changes. Also, if a doctor says "I want to refer you to a specialist for more testing" the person will do it when if a family member tries this the answer is "no."

Good luck to you. This is a common issue and a sad one since early detection is better all around. Please let us know if you are (or are not) making progress.
Carol
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It may be dementia or he may have a urinary tract or some other sort of infection, that can also cause dementia symptoms. That alone is a very good reason for him to go to the doc for a diagnosis. Also if he is stressed about so!ething that can cause dementia symptoms. Another reason to visit the doc? Some things that cause dementia are reversible but only if treated appropriately. So, get him to the doc.

One suggestion, it is time to get all of his elder planning documents in place. Will, Powers of Attornet, etc.
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Beachlife...contact a Patient Advocate at the VA and express the fact that the Doctors seem to be ignoring symptoms of another possible problem. I have found that the Patient Advocates are pretty good at helping some situations.
And I agree with everyone else that you should consult an Elder Attorney to get all the proper paperwork for POA's, wills and the like. (Everyone should do this before it it "to late")
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I would protect myself. Get information on to stay safe.

I would consult with an attorney on Elder Law for estate planning purposes. Powers of Attorney, etc. AND a Family Law attorney to see what your rights and obligations are under marital law. You might find one who does both or has them in the same firm.

Finding out what is causing the bizarre and troubling behavior would be good, but I would protect myself first. I will say that his behavior sounds a lot like my cousin's leading up to her dementia diagnosis. She ran her own household, paid bills, acted normal in many respects until a couple of months before her diagnosis, when she could no longer do any of those things. Hostility came just before she was not able to function.
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8/22/16..... Beachlife, by chance is your hubby on chemo for his cancer. It is not unusual for someone to have "chemo brain" where one's brain is foggy, hard to remember things, etc.

Hubby is upset having cancer, that is one really scary disease, and he probably knows he's not thinking correctly, so that just adds to him being really grumpy. If he repeats a story, just listen like it is the first time you heard it.

And by chance did your hubby have any recent surgery? If yes, for every hour "under" that means one month of recovery... thus a 3 hour surgery would mean it would take 3 months before one's brain become clearer. But if he already had early stage of dementia, surgery could accelerate the dementia :(

By the way, oncologist aren't known for doing a urinary tract infection test. They don't even think about that. Your hubby's primary doctor would need to do that.
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To put it bluntly, you're not their patient and they have no duty of care towards you. Although frankly they should be interested in any information you can give them about their patient, and they shouldn't be ignoring what you tell them. Are you writing this down and presenting it to them in document form? Headed "Observations of behavioural changes" going back as many years as you've got a record for. I'd do that anyway - at the very least, it will give you a good, clear look at what you're having to deal with; and on top of that they won't be able to turn round later and say they didn't know what was happening.

Next, I absolutely agree with Sunnygirl: you must protect yourself *first*. If the lashings out switch from verbal to physical you will be in harm's way, and unfortunately there might be no warning signs.

So if no one treating your husband is responding to your concerns, take this up with your own doctor and seek advice on your own account. If your husband won't discuss the issues, you may have to consider removing yourself temporarily in order to force his hand: if he is unable to function alone, it will rapidly become clear and his medical teams will no longer be able to ignore you. Is there somewhere you could go?

Also think about what changes would make you feel safer and make you happier about your husband. Would you want him placed in care where you can visit him daily? Would you want support at home, or a helpline to call if there's a crisis?

It sounds as though what you would really like is for someone else to make your husband see sense and get treatment for his issues? That's going to be a problem, I'm afraid. It's in the nature of dementia that sense is the last thing the sufferer will see. However; I agree with you that one of his many attending practitioners ought to be prepared to broach the topic with him. If they too get an angry reaction, then at least they'll understand what you're dealing with.

What does his regular physician say to you? Is he no more sympathetic than the NIH ones?
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Ask for a consult from a geriatric neurologist and get him in as soon as possible. Tell him the cancer doctor made the appointment if that will get him to go. Be prepared for him to deny that anything is wrong to the neurologist, but they are used to that.
Also call the Alzheimer's association in your area; they have a lot of support ideas and they won't care if he is diagnosed with Alzheimer's or not. Best wishes and lots of hugs.
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Your husband sounds just like my mother in law who has advanced dementia. Why he can still balance a checkbook is different-but maybe because it is one of those long term skills he did almost like second nature. Personally-I would not be letting him drive (a danger to himself, others, and could very well get lost. Driving is a skill that requires the full use of one's faculties.) They have found some dementia patients in other states! Plus he is vulnerable and could be easy prey for someone with ill intentions. Also-when dementia patients have good caregivers, sometimes they can appear more functional than they really are. The repetition thing can drive you crazy. With education, there are skills you can use to minimize the negative behaviors. And as my family member progressed she became more resistive and aggressive.
I would get some information on the stages of dementia and maybe find a geriatric doctor who has experience with the elderly. We knew Sheri had dementia and there are many causes and types. At his age it might be good to have a doctor assess him more professionally. Sheri is in her 90's so there are not as many reasons to put her through the hassle if everything else looks good. You should get durable power of attorney before it is too late.
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Thank you for your suggestions. I know he doesn't have any medical problems as he is undergoing treatment for cancer and he has no other problems believe it or not and I've talked to his cancer doctors about testing him for dementia and they are BLOWING ME OFF. I can't believe it, but they are,.....which really upsets me. But he takes NO meds..... and they told me it is not the treatments....they are experimental....and they said it is nothing they are giving him or doing to him ... so sit seems to be pointing in the dementia directions. But I am just stuck as I can't say a word to him as he attacks me. =(
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No....no surgeries, no chemo. he has had the cancer since 03. His regular closely watches him in conjunction with the treatments. They work together and he receives a TON of tests and scans EACH month to check his entire body for everything to see the progression and there is nothing. He can't have ANYTHING going on or they would not proceed with the treatments. They are just injections and the memory issues have been going on for at least two years and started getting much worse before these treatments started with extremely severe mood swings. He is a kind and gentle man and I've never seen him act this way before. So that is why I'm concerned. I've tried reaching out to every doc at NIH and can't get any one there to even help me. I'm trying to think of/come up with another way because I can't say a word to him. He blows up. =(
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