Is it possible that an 83 year old parent can have dementia but not be diagnosed with it? - AgingCare.com

Is it possible that an 83 year old parent can have dementia but not be diagnosed with it?

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Isn't paranoia a sign of dementia? My dad has been seen by his primary doctor and a psychologist and all said he was fine even after we pointed out the problems. Yet my dad still continues to show severe paranoia toward his daughter and her family. Any advise as what to do?

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My advice as a nurse is to have him see a psychiatrist. He could have another mental disorder rather than dementia which presents with paranoia.
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You should check and see if there are reasons that he has these feelings. I do elder law with several clients and believe me there are ample reasons for some parents to distrust their child or children. Elder Financial Abuse is running ramped and by children or others who are close to them. Check it out there may be a good reason.
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Dementia itself is not a diagnose. It is just a symptom and means that person had forgetfulness/memory problems. Yes, it can be due to UTI, side affect from different meds, thyroid problems, depression, etc.
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Hospice asked my mom about five questions one being what day of the week it was she missed it. Next thing I know they tell me well the Dr. diagnosed her with dementia. As she is sitting with a chronic uti, on drugs etc.....It does not matter to me.
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Of course it is possible. Most of the time Doctors don't want to deal with it. Use your own judgement and use the internet to research the rest. If your parent of loved one does not remember things, can't understand what is happening in the short term then it is most likely onset of dementia of one form or another. As of now there is not a cure for this. There is not pill or med that will make it better. You have to learn to deal with it as best you can. You can't leave someone with dementia alone at all. Those days are over. Don't rely on a doctor for all your information on this. Research for yourself there is a lot of information out there. Good Luck.
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It might be Lewy Body disease.... goggle it!
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The quality and accuracy of the diagnosis is only as good as the clinicians providing it. My uncle's doctor told my cousin "your mother and father are nice people and nice people don't get dementia". That being said, paranoia is a symptom...of something. If it's a new symptom, and not a lifetime sort of "frame of mind", then it's a symptom of SOMETHING...UTI, one of the many dementias, a brain tumor, drug interaction. Was this a neuropsychologist who saw him? Most Clinincal psychologists don't have a lot of training in geriatrics or in diagnosing dementia. What does "fine" mean to the docs? Does it mean that he's not a danger to himself and others? Does it mean that he's not incompetent? Does it mean that he can take care of himself and that he doesn't need ANY care at all?
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Just a short comment. My mom is 93, yet only has a dx of mild cognitive impairment, and comments from doctors are that she should have problems just from her age. Her (newly FORMER) doctor in essence didn't want to bother wish this complication--he also said any meds to help had more side-effects than any help. So be careful with what MD's are doing or not doing. (And this happened when she was hospitalized several times in the past year too.) At this point I don't believe the medical system in this area is very concerned with AD or other dementias, so we cope without whatever they could do for us. Something to look out for but I hope not relevant to you; I agree that elderly "rise to the occasion" to hide problems from others.
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As the others are pointing out 1 symptom does not provide for a diagnosis of dementia. Some dementia is treatable so it's important that you continue to educate yourself so that you can help your loved one. It seems as though the doctors didn't provide you much guidance. I suggest you complete the Informant Questionnaire on Cognitive Decline in the Elderly (IQCODE) screening test. It's very quick and is discussed in this article: Best of luck.
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What I worry about when someone is paranoid is that they will take some violent action against the other party in order to protect themselves. In other words, the paranoid person may not just stop at complaining. Can you record, film, or keep a journal of what's happening, frequency, duration, triggering events, outcomes? Is anyone afraid or just annoyed? If the paranoid person is showing some deranged behavior call the police at the time.
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