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These things he's never been before. He's become embarrassing. My father doesn't fit most of the descriptions for Alzheimer's or dementia. He lives independently with some help from family (we do all yard work, repairs, some house work, taking him to some dr appts) He handles cooking, driving, his finances without issue. But in the last year he's had big personality changes, very rude and demanding to people like servers in restaurants, he compulsively talks to strangers even when it's plain they aren't interested in conversation, he's loud and has a mean streak. All of this is foreign to us. He's always been courteous and kind. It's become harder and harder to be around him, but more so to take him places. Anyone else experienced this?

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I had the same thoughts as sunny about some damage in the frontal lobe if there has been a big personality change. If you think there is a problem, see if you can talk him into visiting a neurologist. Knowing what is going on may give you some idea what to do.

Of maybe he's just getting older and setting aside some of his old suppressed ways. Being rude and demanding doesn't sound good, though.
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Thanks Sunnygirl, I think you're right, it's certainly not right to rule out some dementia coming on even though all the symptoms aren't present. I will watch more closely and see about speaking to his primary care doc. I do soooo want my final years with him to be made of good memories and not stress. Hope that's possible
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The behavior you describe him as being rude, demanding and compulsively talking to strangers, does sound like dementia to me. I would discuss it with his doctor. Has he been properly evaluated? There are different reasons someone may have dementia with Alzheimers being one cause. He may have Vascular dementia, Lewy Bodies, or Frontral Lobe. Frontal Lobe is associated with personality changes, perhaps more than other diseases in this category. Here's a link about them.

http://www.alz.org/dementia/types-of-dementia.asp

Also, I'd pay close attention to the things you think he is able to do. Sometimes they aren't doing as well as they pretend. You might be surprised.

A person can have certain characteristics of dementia, but not the others. It progresses differently in most people. My loved one ran her household seemingly fine for a long time, but she was volatile, unkept, too friendly with strangers and lied a lot. Soon, the other things appeared.

I would get him evaluated medically, to see what is causing it, but I would assume that it is medical and not him being mean on purpose. I would try to be patient and give him extra care and protection.
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Thanks for the replies. He has had UTI's in the past and is followed by a urologist, saw the dr a couple of weeks ago and there were no concerns at that time (he is having more episodes of urinary accidents, not "making it" to the bathroom in time) We've repeatedly discussed moving to a retirement home or AL, but he's a child of the depression and refuses to see the benefits of leaving a "paid for house" only to pay to stay somewhere. He also feels some sense of loyalty to staying in the home he shared with my deceased mother. I've been to most dr appts, there have been no red flags for strokes. Depression is certainly at play. I fear he's so old school on any mental health issue that he'd resist treating it. I've asked many times what's going on. That illicits a guilt trip of "I guess I'll just be quiet and not talk at all" The pendulum swings wide the other way and he pouts, but nothing really changes. Frustrating! I guess worst of all is the little thought in the back of my mind that this is my own future, turning into someone no one wants to be around
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If he's had one or several small strokes, that can certainly change his personality. He may be depressed or anxious. I might see if I could go along on his next dr visit if he were my dad, so I could bring it up to his doc at that time.

You might also come right out and ask him what's going on. He may be very concerned about a health problem you know nothing about.
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Daughterof1930, has your Dad been been checked for a urinary tract infection? I know most people think that only women get these, but in the elderly UTI knows no gender.

Or your Dad could be angry he is aging, that he can't do the things he use to do. Now other people are doing his yard work, housework, and repairs. I wonder if he would be happier living in a place where he would be around people of his own age group, where he has a lot of common? Has anyone asked him?
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