He has had a brain scan that shows shrinkage, he has made numerous bad decisions, one of them being driving onto the beach and getting stuck there because he thought he could park there. He has had memory tests and phsycology tests but Drs say he’s fine but just basically a bit cantankerous. He forgets important conversations, he tries to contact old friends that he hasn’t seen for decades and some of them he stopped seeing because he fell out with them but he doesn’t remember. He’s not the man he used to be but he’s a danger to himself because he’s so mobile and has no diagnosis so no one can stop him. He’s angry and expects everyone to serve him and his needs but at the same time won’t let his children do anything to help him because he thinks we’re trying to get him locked up in a home and take his driving license away from him. We don’t know what to do for the best and the only thing we seem to be able to do is watch him decline and wait for him to do something stupid.

This question has been closed for answers. Ask a New Question.
Find Care & Housing
Not everyone experiences brain shrinkage, or cognitive decline. There are many elders that are still mentally sharp even in their 90s. The key is healthy eating and keeping the mind active.
Helpful Answer (0)
TNtechie Jul 2018
Sorry, but medical studies have documented that the brain shrinks as we age - even in people with no cognitive impairment at all. Medical studies also show that mentally sharp people lose speed as they age - our reflexes are slower and our brain thinks slower. We can still do complex math for example, but it takes us longer to work the problem than it did when we were younger. Healthy eating, not smoking, and keeping the mind and body active certainly helps retain function levels in the all the body's systems, but ultimately there is no denying the impacting of aging.

I have been fortunate to know more than a dozen people in their 90s who still lived independently and were very sharp. I can only imagine how sharp they were 40 years before.
I think what the doctors are probably telling you is that Dad is "normal" for his age. All brains shrink as we age and everyone has some cognitive decline - usually minor and often not a problem until/unless we are exhausted. What you are describing may be early signs of dementia or it might very well just be some normal aging.

As an elder law attorney told me "Bad decisions do not indicate someone is incompetent."

Could you give us some examples of how your father expects everyone to serve him? We might be better able to understand your concerns with some more detail.
Helpful Answer (0)

you are probably correct that you wont be able to do anything until something happens - a fall, an accident of some sort, driving...hopefully no one gets hurt.

my mom would start calling every other day with problems. locked her keys in car, driving with a broken fan belt, paying bills twice. cooking errors...then finally falling in the Walmart parking lot and breaking her hip.

is there anyone in your family that he may trust the most and might listen to?
does he live alone? maybe you could have a family meeting with all members and say you care and you are concerned about his safety and health. (don't bring up dementia)

what kind help are you wanting to give him? do you think he needs assisted living? has he set up any future arrangements, such as choosing a POA, a Will or having someone help him pay bills. ?
Helpful Answer (3)

It sounds to me like he needs to be seen by a neurologist that specializes in dementia.
FYI I read somewhere that there are around 90 different types of dementia. Old age being one of them.
I had to mention to our PCP about DWs memory problems before he agreed with me and sent her to neurologist.
DW did not put up a fight after she got lost and had difficulty finding her way home.
keep up the pressure and find a more qualified doc.
Helpful Answer (2)

This question has been closed for answers. Ask a New Question.
Ask a Question
Subscribe to
Our Newsletter