Gransnet forums


Could this be dementia?

(36 Posts)
sazz1 Sat 15-Jun-19 21:19:41

Visited sister and BIL today and sister is worried about her OH as he seems to be more forgetful. She told me he noticed a neighbour was building a shed in the garden yesterday and pointed it out to her. Then today when she remarked they could do with a new shed like the neighbours were building he denied any knowledge of ever noticing it. She pointed it out to him and he said it's the first time he's seen it. Sister is v worried and wondered if it could be the start of dementia. There have been other bouts of forgetfulness too like conversations about their son visiting which he has swore she never told him. Any advice could it be dementia or is it just old age? BIL is 67. He seemed fine when we visited though.

BlueSky Mon 17-Jun-19 18:08:41

GracesGran yes good to remember about the normal memory loss associated with ageing.

GracesGranMK3 Mon 17-Jun-19 09:37:59

I worry about people saying this and that emphatically are early signs. The only way to know is to go to the GP. This is a good article. If it is you can learn about ways to assist the failing memory. It is worth remembering that there is such a thing as age related memory loss - we will all get a bit of that.**EC%20Care-Your%20Relative%27s%20Needs-Dealing%20With%20Memory%20Problems-Exact&utm_term=early%20signs%20of%20dementia&utm_content=early%20signs%20of%20dementia

kittylester Mon 17-Jun-19 07:21:32

I'd just like to point out that there is no treatment for dementia. There are treatments that can slow the progress of Alzheimers Disease and for specific symptoms of other forms of dementia.

lilihu Sun 16-Jun-19 23:44:55

Apparently there are up to 25 causes of forgetfulness or memory loss. Best idea is to keep a record of issues over a week and take them to the GP. Could be nipping something in the bud before it gets serious, or may be simple ageing.

Mossfarr Sun 16-Jun-19 20:27:25

I have the same problem with my other half and he can be quite aggressive when i mention it. He also can't remember how to get to places when he's driving. He never wants to do things on his own either, its like having a small child again! In his case its too much alcohol. No important conversations in our house after the wineglass has appeared because the next day he completely denies anything that was spoken.

ReadyMeals Sun 16-Jun-19 15:37:45

Ah yes it shouldn't be forgotten that sometimes even a vitamin B deficiency can cause dementia-like symptoms, and vitB shortage is often caused by medication for acid reflux, for example and easily rectified

Tillybelle Sun 16-Jun-19 15:19:26

sazz1. I am so sorry to hear of this. You are right to notice these things. If there are several such instances then you need medical advice. If any form of dementia is suspected, the earlier it is treated the better. Do not panic but please make sure you get medical advice as soon as you can.

Your sister needs to talk to her husband's Doctor. The Doctor will know what to do. If she can take along some examples of his memory losses, it will help the Doctor. She does not need to take her husband for this appointment. It will be easier for her to talk to the Doctor on her own. She could ask for a telephone consultation if necessary.

If there is any problem the Doctor will refer your BiL to a Hospital Consultant. There are different types of dementia and different reasons for memory loss. Please try and have him assessed soon. Be calm and upbeat about it. If it does turn out to be dementia it does not mean he is suddenly going to lose all quality of life and not be able to do things. A lot can be done and help can be provided and the earlier that is in place the better.

Wishing you and your sister and brother in law all the best.

grandtanteJE65 Sun 16-Jun-19 15:02:29

How is his hearing? Does he answer when his wife tells him something? A lot of men, my DH for one, don't, which makes it difficult when they later on claim that you didn't tell them something. I have no sure way of knowing whether DH heard what I said or not.

His hearing is OK, but like most married men, he does not always listen to his wife!

Not being a doctor, I do not know whether your brother-in-law is suffering from the onset of dementia or not, but I do understand why your sister is worried.

Perhaps she should try to find out whether he does actually hear what she says - if not a visit to the doctor is indicated on account of his hearing.

Is he forgetful of other things? If it is only conversations that they have that he forgets, it is highly exasperating, but probably not the health issue that forgetfulness in many areas could be.

merlotgran Sun 16-Jun-19 14:58:44

I sometimes wonder if they do it to wind us up. Yesterday I asked DH to help me prune some branches of a Philadelphus because they were flopping over the path. It was raining so I didn't expect him to do it immediately but reminded him when the sun came out.

This morning I reminded him again but he had something else to do first. Later on he asked me twice what it was I wanted him to do. I ignored him.

Half an hour later, there he was, loppers in hand, pruning back the wayward branches. hmm

Pat1949 Sun 16-Jun-19 14:42:27

My husband is very much like that. To be honest the test he had for dementia is so easy you wouldn't identify any one as having early dementia from it you'd have to have full blown dementia.

trooper7133 Sun 16-Jun-19 13:30:24

Alarm bells definitely ringing with me. There are other conditions that can have similar symptoms to dementia though. (anaemia, thyroid problems). A blood test would rule these out. Easily treatable if it’s one of those. Depression can also impact on memory.
Definitely needs to see a doctor for blood test and memory test if only to have a baseline documented (to measure against further problems).

Boolya Sun 16-Jun-19 13:20:34

I have a similar concern about my DH, so I am keeping a discreet diary about things that just don't seem to be quite right. That way I feel I can monitor things.

Witzend Sun 16-Jun-19 12:36:32

FWIW, my dh often swears blind that I haven't told him this or that. The fact is, he just doesn't listen - or else he hears but doesn't register it because his mind is full of something else. It's def. not dementia (not yet anyway!).

One of the earliest signs with my mother happened while on holiday with my sister, who noticed that she started to read the same book from the beginning a few times - she had always been a great reader. She was also getting repetitive.

However, having already been through it once with FiL,,I chose to dismiss what my sister said, especially the repetitiveness, until the day when my mother phoned her bank about something - she'd always been very clued up about finances - and could not remember, literally the instant she'd put the phone down, what they'd said.
That was when the penny finally had to drop.

Teacheranne Sun 16-Jun-19 12:19:09

Tell your sister to keep a diary of any worrying incidents so she can tell his GP. My mum has Alzeimers and we noticed a lot more than just forgetfulness before we felt we had enough "evidence" to write to her GP. Such as struggling with familiar technology like the tv remote or the microwave, constantly repeating things or asking the same questions, forgetting where she had parked the car etc.

I was with mum when the memory nurse gave her the standard initial test, mum was doing really well with all tasks including remembering the address, spelling a word backwards but bombed out with simple things like what the date was! I was trying not to laugh as I knew that my mum and her friends had practiced parts of the test before, apparently they always ask them to remember the same address, count back in 7s and spell "world" backwards! I accompanied the nurse to her car to tell her of this and she had no idea!

EllanVannin Sun 16-Jun-19 12:03:25

It's when you forget your own address is the time to worry.

EllanVannin Sun 16-Jun-19 12:00:33

Inishowen, take comfort from the fact that if I lost my address book nobody would get a Christmas card ! It's become my " Bible " to have beside me at all times, with phone numbers too.

sarahellenwhitney Sun 16-Jun-19 11:58:28

Why are we so ready to think that when ever some one appears forgetful it must be or might be dementia.? As for why do some and not others get dementia only those in the medical profession can answer that one.

inishowen Sun 16-Jun-19 11:48:19

I've always worried I would fail the dementia test even when young. If I'm told to count backwards in threes I can't do it, and if someone gives me an address to remember I will forget it immediately.

EllanVannin Sun 16-Jun-19 11:43:11

The serious question is, where is it coming from ? Why do some have dementia and others not ?

ReadyMeals Sun 16-Jun-19 11:31:10

Well, if it was the other way round, you'd mentioned there was a new shed next door and then he saw it himself the next day and had forgotten you'd mentioned it the day before, that would seem like normal lack of attention or forgetting. But if he himself saw the shed, and paid enough attention to actually point it out, then the next day forgot he'd ever known it was there, then I agree that seems far more worrying

EllanVannin Sun 16-Jun-19 11:24:55

I can hear my mother's dulcet tones " your father never listens to what I have to say ".

harrigran Sun 16-Jun-19 11:19:45

Sounds very like DH and I at present " I told you that yesterday " " I think I would have remembered if you had told me just yesterday " Dear me, old age is awful.

Joyfulnanna Sun 16-Jun-19 11:17:50

Sazzl If he's doing all those things well and has always done them, she has a good man there. There is something else your sister could try as 'triangulation'. It's about learning something new. Often in the first stages, someone who has always been as capable as your bil will not be able to cope with new tasks because dementia is very subtle at first, and often affects self confidence to take on new things.

sodapop Sun 16-Jun-19 08:58:43

EllanVannin is right, if your brother in law is concerned then have the simple test initially. We do forget as we get older and as BlueBelle says we don't always listen properly to a conversation.
I think its unwise for diagnoses to be attempted on forums like this.

EllanVannin Sun 16-Jun-19 07:54:04

A simple test done at the surgery will soon detect anything going on with the memory.
It was a few years ago since I had one which was just routine and not for any other reason. I had to draw a clock and fill in the numbers, starting with North, South, East and West. Then memorising an address he'd first given after the short session ended. Also my favourite meal.
I'd faltered slightly on the address as it was close-sounding to a friend's address, but I still passed the test thankfully.

Now and again I find myself going through the alphabet in my head if I'm struggling for a name, but I'm not unduly bothered or worried by it.

There are lots of people who don't always listen to what's being said, or been said , my own father was like that but it doesn't always indicate that there's anything amiss.
We live at a much faster pace than years ago and sometimes it's all any of us can do at times to catch up with it.