My Dad has CPOD and is 75 years old - he also has atrial-fibrillation along with a racing heart and is on various medications. However, he also has "dementia" - this has been diagnosed through a psychiatric assessment where he scored very low. The question I have is how quickly can this progress? I can speak to my Dad one day and he has completely the forgotten the entire conversation the next day (absolutely no recollection at all). He struggles to breath and no longer leaves the house, he was supposed to go for a heart scan but on the morning of his appointment he refused. He will not help himself, I think he is very depressed but at a loss what to do. It is very sad as my Mum tries but has got to the point where she has had enough as he is verbally abusive towards her.......

He no longer washes and his clothes are very dirty - we are all trying but he often says he wants to be left alone to die....

The Doctors are aware but have said if he won't help himself they can not do anything.

Sad and frustrated daughter....

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Hi Helen, it sounds like your dad is pretty depressed. My mom had atrial fib and just about zero short-term memory. She couldn't remember something five minutes later. She'd ask me the same question five times in five minutes. But she lived to 97.5 years and stayed stable mentally for those final 10 years or so. It depends on what's going on with your dad's brain. I never had my mom formally diagnosed, as it wouldn't have made any difference in her treatment, but she was able to live in independent living with a lot of help from me. She could dress herself and heat up the food I took her in the microwave. As long as she had a schedule, she did OK. Anything that deviated from her schedule threw her off course and she couldn't remember anything.

Your dad's most immediate problem is his giving up and that needs a doctor's attention and care. If his COPD and atrial fib are controlled, he could live for years in his current state. It sounds like he thinks he's gotten a death sentence. Has any doctor told him anything about his long-term prognosis?
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I'm not sure what to think of a doctor who thinks a person suffering with dementia is responsible or capable of helping themselves. I might try to find a geriatric doctor who treats dementia patients. Are you the Healthcare POA?
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