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Since my moms passing, my dad has had memory lapses which I consider normal. One thing he has started doing is constantly patting with his right hand. There isn't any definite beat. He thumps the chair by rubbing his fingers each time. This is constant. I have asked why he does it and he gives me multiple answers. Ultimately he doesn't realize he is doing it. Has anyone else experienced this?

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If your dad likes animals, look for a person with a therapy pet to visit him. Therapy pets are trained and tested. The people who own them are generous people who want their pets to help others. There are many therapy dog organizations and pet therapy organizations where you can find volunteers willing to bring their very special pets to visit your dad.
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I would recommend a dog to anyone! If your dad doesn't have one, bring one to him because they seem to have abilities we humans cannot even fathom.
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I had problems dealing with my grief. Being a dog person, I got a couple dogs. After they matured, somehow they could tell when I got one of my spells and would come to me and it consoled me. I have never gotten over the loss, but have gotten over the pain of it. My dogs helped.
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Grief counseling might be appropriate. My cousin was telling me that the hospice where his mother had died called him for grief counseling. He said he didn't think he was interested. I asked him what about his dad? He said. Oh my goodness. I feel so bad. I didn't even consider my dad. His dad lasted one more year and even though he was 96 it did seem that he died from grief.
I had a great aunt whose husband died. They were always extremely close. He called her "wife" and she called him "sweetheart". After he died she was in bed crying and she would say over and over. My heart. My heart. Everyone thought it was because she loved him so much. A few years later she had medicsl tests and we were told she had had a heart attack in her past. We could not imagine when that was. Finally we remembered her calling out my heart, my heart. We decided that must have been when it happened.
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Grieving can take far longer than one year. It's been 13 years since my boyfriend died. We weren't married nor even living together but since we were together forever and spent every day together for many hours, you bet I still cry. Of course I do! It was hard when other people started saying it was "nothing" because we weren't married, and that it "didn't matter." Yes it did.
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Could you be describing Parkinson's tremor? Typically it does start asymmetrically...
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Depending on your culture, death rituals for the loss of a spouse can take up to one year. The purpose of death rituals is to help the living. Your dad is in mourning. What have you, other family members, and friends been doing to help him come back into the fold? Small things like sharing a meal or calling him or inviting him out for a stroll help let him know he's not alone in his grief.
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CLEANDOCS ABOVE IS A SCAMMER....REPORTED HIM
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Grief does a number on a person. It's hard to eat and sleep after you lose someone, and that in itself, poor sleep, or digestive problems (meaning you might be eating but you don't really ingest or properly use what you take in) on top of grief can make it hard to think straight. You'll forget stuff more easily than usual, maybe be accident-prone, too. All that is pretty much to be expected, especially insomnia. I wouldn't be too quick to rush to the pharmaceuticals. Many of these are not safe for elderly people and only make things worse due to side effects. Why medicate normal grieving? It's not a disease. Time and time alone will take care of it. You cannot rush it nor set a time limit nor demand that a person snap out of it. Some take years, while others bounce back more quickly, and it's not a moral issue if you take longer, nor any indication of weakness of character, nor any measure of the strength of love toward the one who has passed. It simply is.
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I lost my mother eight years ago, and did I cry! I also had some anxiety especially when I went to sleep at night. I also had talk therapy with a hospice social worker, and had some counseling sessions when I got my apartment. I did get by with a little help with my friends
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nothing worse than losing a loved one!!! the grieving process is a killer...not to mention that spouses have died shortly after their loved ones passed from a broken heart!!! soooooooooooo sad!!
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Some elderly couples will function better when together. They can compensate for each others weaknesses so that when they are together you don't notice.
After losing a spouse with all of the other reasons already mentioned it may be impossible to conceal the loss of cognitive abilities. This can also contribute to stress because the partner is not there to support them.
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If this is the only thing that has noticeably changed after the trauma of losing his life partner he is fairing pretty well. It could be a symptom of stress, boredom or a manner of comforting himself. When my father died my mother began falling and could not get up. A couple of ambulance rides and me taking her to the ER a couple of times made me think we were on the downhill slide. But it they all happened with in 2-3 months of Dads passing. It has been about 3 years since she has fallen and I think this was a manifestation of her grief and feeling lost without him. A check up is wise, but I suspect he also needs some activity and ways to socialize. It is not uncommon for widowers and widows to find fewer invitations coming their way once they lose their spouse. Consider ways you can help him create a full life in his new situation. He may need help thinking through his interests and options.
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The majority of widowers have a harder time than widows. It's hard regardless of which. I'm sorry for your loss too. It's so hard to lose your Mom and on top of it see the impact on your Dad. My Dad is still struggling with the loss of his best friend, partner, lover, bill payer, meal maker, organizer of every little thing in life he didn't have time to do while he was working. She did it all. Raised us kids, the whole nine yards and then some. After eight years he is finally talking about her and how much she meant. He isolated to extremes. Falling ill allowed him to let go and open up more than he has in years.
Huge hugs to you. It's not easy.
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Sounds like it could be depression and anxiety. Seeing his PCP and getting antidepressants could help. I would recommend mental health counseling if he will go. Praying for tou both.
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I agree with a check by his doctor. What does he do during the day? Is he alone?
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I agree, a physical would be good. And perhaps, at least temporarily, anti-anxiety meds would be helpful.

But, gosh, this poor man lost his life partner less than 2 months ago. Weren't you expecting some disturbances? Mourning takes many different forms. Some people have cognitive issues. (I did. Didn't cry but had memory problems for months. I was surprised to learn that was a "normal" way of experiencing grief.)

He deserves a good checkup, and medical support if necessary. But it sounds to me like he needs a lot more time to adjust to being a widower.
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FF is right, the hand tapping is anxiety. Old people can literally die of a broken hear. Get him a complete physical soon.
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The patting of his hand sounds like he is trying to release some stress. Is your Dad mobile? If so, have him keep himself busy to let loose of that energy.... I know that is easier said then done [I need to take my own advice for myself].

Also, if he hasn't already, time for a check up with his primary doctor.
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