My once vibrant father now has no conversation, no interests. He is not in dementia or Alzheimer's. What is it?

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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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