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What causes dementia? Mom and Dad had the worst upbringings. Dad is 12yrs older than mom and has always been kind of an absentee dad, husband, sibling. He's always lacked social skills for some things but was kind of a womanizer. Now, my mom and dad live together as roommates out of necesity to survive financially because they're combined income is less than 15k yr. I'll tell you in a second the reason for this background story. Dad has always been healthy as an ox but that last few years we've noticed his mental health/behavior deteriorating and drastically in the last couple of years. It started with small things like, "dad can you check in the shed for the hammer" and he'd take about 30 minutes and come back inside without anything in hand. When asked about the hammer he would lie (you could tell) and say it wasn't there. Then it progressed to more significant things like, going to the wrong doctors office for his appointments- one he hadn't seen for years. Then, it was not so random for him to not know basic things like cities he worked for years in or highways he traveled for years or cooking somthing basic. Now he is just, isolated (which he had never really been to social with his family), he lacks hygiene (coming from a man that would shower daily if not twice a day), won't even change clothes, he lies, we've caught him stealing (candy bars) at convenience stores and digging thru our purses, he won't leave his room unless it's to use the restroom or smoke, forgets to shut the restroom door, started dragging his feet and inches thru a room dragging his feet an inch at a time, pulls off skin tags and sits there bleeding without telling anyone, he cant drive anymore but when he would (which was up to about 3 months ago) he would go to the grocery store 2 blocks away and bring really random things - especially if my mom requested something in particular he would bring the wrong groceries or the wrong fast food meals written down for him. He has fallen recently, is aggressive with my mom - threatening her life, will hit himself when told not to do something inappropriate, he acts like a child- if guests are over he'll just come out of his room with a funny wig/ hat or fake nose & glasses as if adults and teenagers would think that was funny, or he'll show people he lost his teeth while in the middle of family gathering. I mentioned he doesn't leave his room but if no one is home he'll go and do something incredibly dangerous like unloading 50lb bags of cement (he's 74) off the loaded pickup. He would have the same conversations with me everytime when I would smoke and go outside to smoke with him- same exact things everytime. He's pooped his pants in public. I don't know if this behavior is normal but I know its affecting us. My mom was in the hospital recently because she was just dishonest with hypertension and her BP was out of control and while my sister had me taking care of the kids she was with my mom at the hospital, dad was home alone and fell! My sister came home after mom was discharged and took dad back you the urgent care because he said he had no control over his legs and seeing the video left everyone concerned he might be having a stroke but he was perfectly fine - was it to call attention? My mom and sister are sure frustrated but now even concerned. I feel terrible for thinking this but I think this is his way of sticking it to them because they're short with him. Like I said, my parents are together out of necessity and I've offered to Dad or my mom and relieve both my parents of their miserable lives together but my mom refuses to be a burden on us. My older sister lives with them and pretty much supports them because they would not survive on their income alone and she needs the help as a single mom of 2 kids but that's a whole different story. But to address the background portion- I don't know if this is dad's way of sticking it to them or if her is sick. My fiance says he's just old and is probably unhappy as much as my mom is and this is his way of sticking it to her and my sister but even if that were the case and he just wants to reciprocate the miserable life he has with them, that is still disturbing behaviour in itself! I don't know much about dementia or Alzheimer's but independent of our family disfunctions all around his behaviour is the only one that is not normal - socially unacceptable, DISTURBING! What kind of doctor needs to see him, what kind of tests need to be done? I'm afraid my family is frustrated with him when maybe he should be getting medical attention and if not, he at least needs mental medical attention for his behaviour. I'm to the point where I don't even want a wedding because I'm afraid of what kind of a show hes going to pull or afraid for him to be around my baby that's on the way. I hate not knowing how to solve this problem. Despite everything - we are a very close family and his behaviour affects everyone in so many ways! Please help.

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This jumps out at me:

"He's pooped his pants in public. I dont know if this behavior is normal but i know its affecting us."

You don't know if this is normal? Really? Well, what would you think..?

You are correct. Your father needs a thorough medical and mental state assessment.

If he already has a primary care physician, give the office a ring and tell them what you've told us. They'll be able to advise you what first steps to take.

If he doesn't have one - find one!
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When was the last time your dad had a complete workup, with a caring family member present who could speak to the issues at hand?

Sometimes, when one family member has severe issues, the other looks quite "normal" by comparison. I'm reminded of a family we saw years ago; they had a small child with very severe CP. They brought their 4 year old to see us on the advice of special educators who were in the home working with the younger child. The parents saw nothing amiss with the older boy's development, when in fact, he was severely autistic. The fact that he could walk and talk, in comparison with his younger, quite disabled sibling, made them ignore the fact that the older child had missed many developmental milestones and was in desperate need of help.

Get your dad to the doctor and find out what HIS needs are.
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How old are your parents?
And why is their income so low, if they qualify for disability or old age pensions they should be getting more than that. Perhaps someone should call your local Area Agency on Aging to see what kinds of benefits they could qualify for.
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Talk about extreme denial! ConcerneD. His memory issues are pretty severe. On the top header of the web page is a link to care guides. Please use them. Consider a nursing home and Medicaid.
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A short shuffling gait can also be part of Lewy Body Dementia and Parkinson's Disease. It seems like an odd choice for "sticking it to" someone, don't you think?

If Dad has a primary care provider, arrange for him to see that doctor. If not, I suggest finding a geriatrician for him. That is a specialist like a pediatrician, but for the elderly. A geriatrician may do some testing and refer Dad to a neurologist for further testing and a treatment plan.

You are right. Whatever the reason for it Dad's behavior is disturbing. My suggested to-do list for you
1) Research what resources are available. Look into Medicaid.
2) Read up on dementia
3) Arrange for Dad to see his PCP or a geriatrician. I assume he is on Medicare -- ?
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Concerned you can go to Youtube and watch videos by Teepa Snow about dementia. She has some very good approaches and explanations.

One thing you mentioned that caught my attention was your dad inching along. There's a brain condition called NPH or normal pressure hydrocephalus. It's when the fluid in your brain doesn't drain the way it should and presses on your brain. It can give the person dementia-like symptoms. It can have a very particular kind of walk that is a shuffling gait. If you go to Youtube and look for '60 Minutes and NPH', you'll find a segment on it. Here's a link, but they may take it out: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fm0CZh_X-vM You can see if that looks like your dad's walk. I had a neighbor with it and they thought he had dementia. Once he had surgery to relieve the pressure in his brain, he was back to normal.

With dementia, your dad can't help himself, if that's what's going on. And it can change from day to day and hour to hour. So one day he may seem normal and the next day he may be acting very strangely. Please keep us posted - we care and we learn from each other.
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You don’t say what their ages are but if your dad is on social security then your mom is entitled to half of his as her share. I don’t understand what you meant about your mom not taking early retirement. But if she worked and paid into SS, and if she’s 62 she can draw hers. If half of her husbands would be more than her own SSI then she can claim that instead.
As far as a wedding, why not a small affair. You can walk down the aisle together for that matter. No one has to "give you away". An archaic tradition anyway, back when women were considered property.
I’m sorry about your dad's change in behavior but others here are right and give good advice.
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ConcerneD2180, time to arm yourself with all the information you can gather on memory loss.

Scroll down to the bottom of this page to the blue section.... click on ALZHEIMER's CARE... and read the articles which relate to both Alzheimer's and Dementia.
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If your dad is on Medicare for his health insurance, they will pay for what’s called a neuropsychiatric evaluation. It’s usually done by a psychologist who specializes in evaluating and diagnosing dementia. I’m sorry to say, I agree with many others who have stated that this sounds absolutely like he has some dementia-like behaviors and issues. In addition to the ideas already shared, see if you can find the contact number for your local Area Agency on Aging. They will be able to provide you with advice specifically about the kinds of help available to you locally. You can also call your state’s social services department to anonymously report him as an adult who is endangering himself and others, which will put him on their radar for assistance should you need it. In particular, I’m concerned, as you mentioned that among all the other things, has he has threatened your mother’s life. Please do not delay in getting help. This is not easy to handle on your own and it sounds like you have little support from your family. Let us know how it goes. This community cares.
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I'm an MD. Was thinking of frontal lobe dementia, but Lewy is a possibility, too (they usually hallucinate with that.)
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