My BIL who is 85 only bathes once a week, doesn't change his clothes often enough, and has taken to urinating in a pan rather than the toilet even though he is capable of walking. He is an avid reader, and still works. Is this possibly the start of dementia?

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Not sure about the other behaviors you mentioned. My sis is pretty disgusted with the "habits" I mentioned so she tells me about them frequently. Will ask her if she is aware of any of the other symptoms. Thanks for getting back to me.
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Are there other "dementia-like" symptoms? While those behaviors often happen in dementia, I don't think that is enough to draw any conclusions.

How is his memory? Is he oriented as to time? For example, does he dress appropriately for the season? Does he generally sleep at night and be awake during the day? Does he know the month, day of the week, and full date? Does he remember to eat at mealtimes?

Is he oriented as to place? When my husband developed dementia he thought our house was a train station, a school, or a hotel. He wanted to go home. Does your BIL understand where he is, at home and in other places he visits? Does he ever think the drug store is dairy barn?

Does he repeat himself a lot? Ask the same question a zillion times?

Can he still handle a checkbook? Do his finances confuse him? Does he ever hide his bills because he doesn't know what to do with them?

Does he ever mentioning seeing things that aren't there? (Hallucinations.) Does he seem to believe things that aren't true, like the neighbors are spying on him? (Delusions.)

Neglect of hygiene in itself is not strong evidence of dementia. If it is accompanied by other changes in behavior then some concern and further investigation may be warranted.

BTW, bathing once a week may be just fine at his age, unless he is incontinent. Many caregivers here would be thrilled if their loved ones would take a bath or shower without fuss once a week!

What does he still work at? Is it with other people? The public? If he is seeing clients or customers he should maybe change clothes more often than if he sits at home and reads.
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