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How to know if my father is slipping away? He doesn't talk much. He has no interests. apart from a poor hip, he is in good physical health, even though he suffers from a heart condition. How can I interact with him now? How to stimulate him? Or should I just accept he is slipping away?

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could it be depression? I would talk to his doctor, with your dad's permission of course, and see what they can do. Sometimes it is something relatively simple. I hope you can find out what's wrong.
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My 90 yr old mother is the same way around family (she lives with me, I was widowed 2 yrs ago), but when I have outside help in (nurses, PT, OT for her many problems) she is a social being. She tells stories about the old days (even if they aren't 100% true) and has no problem starting or carrying on a conversation with these strangers from the first day they enter the house. She's the same way when I take her to the doctors office, complimenting the receptionist on her blouse and stuff. My adult children and I have tried to get her into conversation and it just won't work. My friends have also tried, but she picks and chooses who she wants to communicate with. When I brought her out of state for a family wedding, she carried on a long conversation with my cousin, but closed back off when I or my adult children were around. It's as if we (those who are there everyday) are to blame for the fact she is much older and can't do what she use to do. I guess it's easier to take for her if she has someone to blame, but it's a lot harder for those of us that are there every day and get treated like we're transparent.
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If he hasn't been diagnosed with dementia, have his doctor check him for depression. When one is depressed you do not feel like talking...
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Has he been checked for fluid build- up in the brain? The medical term escapes me but this is quite common. They put in a drain to drain the fluid. Could be worth looking into.
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Get him with some people his own age, it might help.
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You can ask for his advice or opinions on subjects he used to for interested in. Or ask him to tell you about his life so you know his whole story. If you have kids or grandkids, ask them to collect family stories. They'll love hearing the secret tales of when you were a kid.
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Analysis and diagnosis: by you and experts. Then take action accordingly. And the problem could be anything and everything. My MIL had no appetite or taste for food. She has full dentures. Come to find out that dentures affect the taste buds. I have a full lower and partial upper and am now experiencing loss of taste. Or maybe its the denture paste. The actual diagnosis was 'loss of will to live'. If she kept on, she would be dead in six months or less. Medicare paid for hospice and they knew all about this syndrome. She had many other problems contributing. Each had to be found out, analyzed, and treated. She's not great because she has the onset of dementia and scheduled to go into a nursing home this week, but hospice stuff was over 10 months ago!
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Has he been to a neurologist? There are so many disorders that affect the brain. My mother was diagnosed with something called FTD and one variant of it can cause the person to totally loose their ability to speak and understand language. It's my understanding that speech therapy can help. Also I've heard good things about art therapy. A lot of people become quite creative after an ALZ diagnosis. Just some thoughts
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Good friend of mine was a talker, interested in community life but when childhood polio hit in 70's. 80's, he retired to the quiet life, reading, not conversational, sad for his wife.
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My Mother is the same way. She was such an interesting and interested person until a few years ago. I feel that she is fading away - just a shadow of the person she used to be. She is 90, in good health physically, states she is not depressed, she is just withdrawing. It helped me to read about the stages of aging to know that this is normal - that there is nothing that I can do to fix it so I must accept it and do the best that I can for her. I think that it depresses me more than her because I miss her and the fun we used to have. Now she calls me "that lady" who takes care of her. I really miss my Mom......
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My FIL never was much of a talker but when he became more with drawn it was because he needed hearing aids and couldn't take part in the conversation. Men are not usually very social anyway but if they can't hear the conversation they don't want to take part and appear like they are stupid either. I have found that a Sam-E taken on an empty stomach in the morning is really helpful for bringing up the serotonin levels which elevate mood. Also helps for achy joints. If we are in pain we aren't usually very social either. Good luck!
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My BIL isn't a talker now but likes bingo. Your w a group on your own and awake.
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Besides having medical check-up just to be sure ---
Is it possible he is just reflecting on memories of the past?? Perhaps if you have photo albums you could show these to him - or talk about his former work or a hobby he enjoys (or one he used to enjoy) with him. What is a current event to you may not be important to him. But he may find enjoyment in reminiscing about the past.
Maybe this will lead to finding some interest that he can still participate in
(For my husband this is gardening and golf (even if the golf is limited to watching on TV)
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It takes a village......to maintain and elderly person. Make sure that you get input from various sources such as the MD, Elder Law Atty, Home Health Care people, Caregivers, etc. Sometimes we are just too close to the subject that we can't be objective. Many seniors are super lonely b/c most of their friends have died and their bodies are breaking down. Help them to stay social - as much as they can - really helps. Neighbors, Church groups, Sr Ctrs, etc. are all good sources to get our parents up and out. Do all you can and then be nice to yourself for the effort. Sometimes they just want to be left alone but I make sure to at least have a radio on in the background- whatever station they like. Lastly, keep them active during daylight hours for serotonin and quiet nights. When we have our health, we are rich! Good luck to everyone here and thank goodness for this site. We are not alone, right? Sending hugs to all for brighter days.
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It could be a nutritional deficiency, a calorie or protein deficiency, onset diabetes type 2, or depression. What is his general dietary intake. It sounds like he has no energy. You don't tell his age; where you live could be important; HOW you live is important, does at home meanhis home, your home, do you live with him? I'm assuming your mom has passed? How long ago? Were they close? There are so many unknowns. You attend doctors appointment with your dad, don't you? A doctors visit is most definitely in order unless you have done that recently. If so, have you explain your position to the doctor. If not, why not? If so, what does the doctor say? Please get back to us with more information so we can get some focus in our answers.
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Maybe symptoms of depression. He's been to physicians to rule out dementia?
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You don't say how old he is.
Why not.... ask him?
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My dad was never much of a talker and he was never very sociable. As he hit 90, he lost interest in most things. He still liked to eat, so I'd get him out to restaurants pretty regularly. But he lost interest in TV, the stock market, and reading. My dad slept a lot more and seemed pretty happy but very passive. Does your dad live with you? Does he seem depressed? What were his interests in the past?
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