I recently moved back home from the Military to my mother and dad. When I had left, I had no clue about any of this because it was not a thing then. (About 5 years ago) Since I’ve been home I’ve noticed during the evenings my father acts confused over simple things. The TV might be hard to turn on, putting something in the microwave, etc. Recently we had a night where he was very sad. He could not control his balance, and I had to carry him from the backyard to put him to bed. My mother says this has all started within the past year and a half, but she isn’t surprised because my dad's grandmother had Alzheimer’s at his age (57).
Just looking for maybe some advice, because it is heartbreaking knowing the man I’ve looked up to in my life, is starting to struggle to change the channel on the TV. Thank you.

It would hurt for Dad to have a full physical. My Dad went into a depression because of low potassium. A neurologist can help with an evaluation for a Dementia. I would question the balance problem.
Helpful Answer (1)
Reply to JoAnn29

If you take him to get diagnosed and your dad is in his 60's, I hate to say it but 2 generational diagnosises in the family and at such young ages may mean it is genetic. You may want to ask for genetic counseling. They will do bloodwork and look for a specific gene. From there they will offer counselling.

As for sundowners, it is quite common. Start attending Alzheimer's support groups. You will be surprised with the help offered for specific problems including how to stay a step ahead in future planning. Also begin with Geaton777's advice before it becomes too late for dad
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Reply to MACinCT

I agree with Alicew, your mom or you needs to get him to a specialist so you know what you're dealing with. He could even have just a UTI, (except I don't think that would cause the balance issues).

This is also the juncture where you need to have a gentle conversation about them being prepared for the future. They absolutely need to have their legal ducks in a row right now: assigned POA for each of them, Living Will, Healthcare Directives, create a trust for their assets, Last Will and Testament, pre-paid funeral, etc. It would be a very fruitful investment for them to consult an elder law attorney who has experience in estate planning. He/she can help open their eyes to what's coming and prepare so things go well. Considering what's been going on with your Dad, have this conversation early in the day. With aging and dementia (or the typical decline we will all experience) there is a lot that can go wrong and make a challenging time in life unnecessarily more stressful and difficult, especially for the LOs who choose to take on the caregiving. Educate yourself, even if they don't. I wish you all the best as you have the hard conversations with them. May you gain peace in your heart.
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Reply to Geaton777

Has your dad been diagnosed with dementia? I think that would be the first thing to do. I would suggest bringing him to a Memory Care clinic if there is one available to you. If there isn't, look for a geriatrician or geriatric psychiatrist.

In my experience, the regular physician did a really short mental exam, prescribed Aricept and that was it. A memory care clinic will look for other possible causes for your dad's confusion and they will follow up with him.

If it is Alzheimer's there are things that can be done to try to slow down the progression of the disease. I think there are medications and techniques that may help with Sundown Syndrome too.

I'm very sorry you are going through this. This forum can be a good source of information.
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Reply to Alicew234
Livingston96 Jun 2, 2020
Thank you for the amazing advice. There was a confrontation tonight and it turns out the issue has more to do with alcohol than anything else. I’m only 23, so besides parties I’ve never dealt with anything like this. Thanks again.
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