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Could this be dementia?

(35 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.

BlueBelle Sat 15-Jun-19 21:32:20

Sometimes people are just not listening when you’re telling them something or they may be concentrating on something else and just saying ‘yes’ automatically
I think you d need more than that incident to worry about dementia to be honest

Doodle Sat 15-Jun-19 21:33:26

Wives/husband’s tend to be the first to notice any changes. My SIL was adamant that my brother was showing signs of dementia years before he was diagnosed and long before the rest of us thought that anything was wrong. Worth getting checked out as the sooner diagnosed the better.

SueDonim Sat 15-Jun-19 21:34:02

I'm sorry you have this worry to deal with. I don't think anyone here can answer your question one way or the other, though. Your BIL needs to see a doctor and get an assessment done. If it's simply forgetfulness, that would be cheering. If he does have something more serious going on, then it's best to have an early diagnosis in order to gain the best treatment as soon as possible.

Luckygirl Sat 15-Jun-19 21:40:12

Sister must be so worried. She will notice little things that others do not; and they add up bit by bit.

I do hope that it is not dementia. She is going to need your support.

Joyfulnanna Sat 15-Jun-19 21:58:18

That just sounds like forgetfulness. Does he have problems with everyday tasks?

sazz1 Sat 15-Jun-19 23:13:19

No he's very capable around the home, she's got a real gem as he helps cook, clean, does DIY etc. She's worried tho as says he doesn't remember things she tells him and him completely denying he even saw or mentioned the shed has really thrown her. Think there has been quite a few instances of forgetting things being said and it's getting more frequent. Thanks for your replies xx

BlueSky Sat 15-Jun-19 23:43:21

I think as we get older we tend to worry about dementia and become very aware if our partners or ourselves seem to forget things. Men are notorious for not really listening to their wives, my father used to be like that, telling people that he was always the last one to know and now my DH seems to do the same! But as others have said if she's worried a check up with the GP would put her mind at rest.

stella1949 Sun 16-Jun-19 02:45:31

Forgetfulness isn't always the beginning of dementia. The first sign is often word-finding difficulty - starting a sentence and then not being able to find the words you need . Forgetfulness is often just "the brain cells getting old and worn out" so to speak. But the best thing to do is to see the GP and go from there.

kittylester Sun 16-Jun-19 07:22:31

Lots of things can cause this as lots of people have said.

The best way forward is to get him to the gp for a memory test. If he doesnt accept that he needs this, his wife can call the gp and express her concerns prior to a routine appointment.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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 ".

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 11:43:11

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

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.

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.

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.

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

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

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!

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.

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.

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).