Is this Alzheimer's or dementia, or just plain old age? - AgingCare.com

Is this Alzheimer's or dementia, or just plain old age?

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My 97 year old father is and always has been verbally and emotionally abusive, especially with my sister. He is narcisistic and now in his old age, he cannot stop talking about all of his great achievements and he exaggerates stories about famous to make himself look important. It's hard to hear, and he has lived alone as a result, but now, as he approaches the century mark, and my sister is the primary caretaker because I still work, he has turned on me. He tells my sister that she needs to take care that I don't cheat her, and he is accusing me of stealing from him. I have left his house in tears. He makes a point to ignore me, hangs up on me when I call, and my sister shouldn't have to have all of this on her shoulders. He has always told us that we were worthless, and he wants our children to care for him, which they obviously won't. Though he's always been abusive, we think he may be developing Alzheimer's. Does this sound like it?

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I doubt it. At 97, I'm pretty sure a psychiatrist would probably run. Treating people my dad's age with antipsychotic drugs, or even something as mild as a low dosage ativan could cause their mental and physical control, whatever they have left of it, to become worse. I imagine that I would have to take him to a geriatric doctor, but he would resist that one completely. We're talking about a very stubborn man. One who waited almost 80 years before he went to a doctor.
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Adriana, what kind of doctor is he seeing? If it's just a regular MD they rarely prescribe head medicines so to speak. Can you take him to a psychriatrist and not tell what kind of doctor it is?
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As I understand it, when a person gets dementia they change personality. The once nice person becomes NOT so nice anymore. In this I got lucky. My mother-in-law never was that nice, always a little ornery, and looked down on me when I quit work to stay at home with our son. Now however, she's as nice as can be, is so grateful that I DON'T WORK like she did for 40 years, and has nothing but nice things to say about me. ha. She is still loopy with the memory thing, but this personality change is an improvement. Hopefully she won't flip it over again....
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His doctor sees his change, but is hesitant to prescribe anything. He says we just need to get conservatorship over his affairs and finances, but it would take a court order for that to happen, so I don't see it happening anytime soon, if ever.
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Adriana, does any of his doctors see any of his aging problems? There must be one doctor you can go to. Since my mom created an incident that caused her to be prescribed some meds. It's tough to have to wait for some disturbance has to happen before anyone prescribes something. But NPD is not widely recognized still because of exactly what it is a personality disorder. Some alz/dem meds may calm him down.
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Sorry, let me make a correction to my last post. My father WAS not paranoid, but he is now. I do want to thank all of you who have been generous enough to share your thoughts and stories with me.
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My father is not paranoid, but he is narcissistic. His narcissism is exacerbated by his dementia which is worsening by the day. The conversation does not exist if it isn't about him and he isn't monopolizing it. Drama? Yes, plenty of it, and it has always been that way. I don't know how my dear mother lived with him all those years. He is old school, and women are for nothing other than to serve a man, and he made it clear that he helped give birth to my sister and I, and that it was our responsibility to now take care of him. He can't make sense of the fact that no one wants to live with a man who is constantly degrading and belittling them. I feel very guilty about the fact that he is alone at such an age, and I worry about him, because I know he is not eating right and perhaps not taking his medications as he should, but what is the alternative? He refuses to have anyone but family take care of him. He is not taking any medication for any personality disorder, including dementia. On top of it all, he is now losing money to insane projects he thinks are going to make him look important.
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Adriana, it sounds like your father always wanted the center of attention and with old age it will be even more. It sounds like he has Narcissistic Personality Disorder. I myself found this term and what it entails last year and finally figured out my mom after all these years. There are a few websites that deal with this topic but there are only a few. The drama that they need is called narcissitic supply and it will be used at your sacrifice, because they don't recognize you they only recognize what they can get out of you. They also have paranoia issues. I bet he was paranoid when you where younger as well. Please let me know. When my mom finally blew her gasket last year with on-set dementia the meds they prescribed helped a lot the problem with these folks is they will never understand they are not 'alright' since they are always right, and sometimes it's hard to get them to take their meds. Is he on any pscyh meds?
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My Mom is in a NH with dementia, she's 94.
She went from a loner to crying out constantly for attention.
It"s hard to see the person you once knew change so much.
It"s like a stranger has moved into their body.
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Well said... Anne!! :)
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