Dementia.... - Talk About Marriage
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post #1 of 6 (permalink) Old 09-29-2016, 07:56 AM Thread Starter
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Dementia....

My dad is 78 and is showing slight signs of memory issues...nothing too major but my sister is concerned. I get scared as I know personally at least 4 people who are dealing/dealt with a parent with dementia. 78 seems kind of young to me to start getting it, if that is the case!

Then I get worried about myself thinking, is it genetic...what if in 30 years when I am his age....

I am worried for him and hope that it is nothing to be concerned about. My stepmother says if she mentions something to him he gets annoyed.

I am confused about the difference between dementia and alzeimers (spelling?)

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post #2 of 6 (permalink) Old 09-29-2016, 08:16 AM
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Re: Dementia....

There are many different kinds of dementia... Alzheimer's is only one cause.... dementia itself is really a symptom. A neurologist can perform the necessary tests to determine if what your dad is experiencing is normal age-related memory loss, or if there is something more sinister going on, and if so what is causing it.

My mother (now 83) has Alzheimer's. She was diagnosed at age 70... I would encourage you and your sister to get him to a neurologist for testing and be prepared that he may fight you on it, my mom did. Diagnosis was the scariest time for her as she felt like everyone was working against her. The good news is there are medications now that can slow progression. She takes Aricept which in the beginning actually sharpened her memory a bit. She has still gradually gotten worse over time, but in general I think her progression has been rather slow. I'm fortunate that she still recognizes me even though that's not always the case with other family members.

My father (now 80) has milder memory loss related to a mild stroke he had about a year ago. There are also many other things that can cause memory loss so getting properly tested is important.

Good luck!
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post #3 of 6 (permalink) Old 09-29-2016, 10:04 AM
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Re: Dementia....

I know how you feel and its terrible. My mother had severe dementia in her 70s. I'm in my mid 50s now. Every time I forget something I wonder and fear.

Its a horrible way to go. I just hope I recognize it soon enough to kill myself so my wife doesn't need to watch that happen to me.
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post #4 of 6 (permalink) Old 09-29-2016, 10:09 AM
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Re: Dementia....

Dementia/Alzheimer's is a horrible disease. My dad died of this. It takes a loved one a little at a time. Horrible disease.

@heartbroken50 is correct, get him to a neurologist now. They can diagnose how far along he is and suggest treatment. My dad also took Aricept. It was mildly effective in the very beginning but quickly lost it's benefit. And it was very expensive. I hope it works better with your dad.

You mentioned it's genetic, it is. It's something I get to look forward to later in life. Fun.

I hope your dad is not diagnosed with dementia. As someone who witnessed this firsthand I would not wish this on my worst enemy.

I wish you and your dad the best.
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post #5 of 6 (permalink) Old 09-29-2016, 10:14 AM
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Re: Dementia....

Quote:
Originally Posted by uhtred View Post
I know how you feel and its terrible. My mother had severe dementia in her 70s. I'm in my mid 50s now. Every time I forget something I wonder and fear.

Its a horrible way to go. I just hope I recognize it soon enough to kill myself so my wife doesn't need to watch that happen to me.
I, unfortunately, have the same mind set.
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post #6 of 6 (permalink) Old 09-29-2016, 10:47 AM
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Dementia....

I worry about the genetics too.... But it's not guaranteed to be inherited. My mom is one of 3 sisters one was sharp as a tack up to her peaceful death at 90 ... The other also has Alzheimer's.

And remember it could be another non-hereditary cause as well. I know low potassium, high blood pressure, TIAs (silent mini strokes) or full strokes, Parkinson's disease and tumors can all cause memory issues as well as others I'm sure. That's why testing is important.


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