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Mild Cognitive Impairment?

(84 Posts)
HarlemShuffle Sun 26-Mar-23 11:28:34

DH is 70. Both his mother and her mother had dementia. I don't know if that's relevant. He's also losing his hearing, despite having hearing aids, and has quite bad arthritis.

Physically, he has now had to give up work, as he just couldn't do it any more. That was the end of last year. Since then, there have been a number of worrying incidents:

He couldn't work out how to get out of the car. I had to show him where the door handle was. We have had the car for four years.

He put the clocks on for me last night, but only by half an hour. That was confusing!

His driving has become very erratic, often drifting across lanes on the motorway. Frightening for me as a passenger but he won't let me drive.

I will tell him where I am going and when I am leaving/returning and afterwards he will ask me the same questions repeatedly.

I said I was going to arrange to go and see my oldest friend, but he didn't seem to know who she was.

There is no hope of getting him to a doctor. Does this sound like mild cognitive impairment, or does it sound more like something that is going to develop into a real problem?

Throughout our marriage it has been one thing after another and I had hoped that once we both stopped working (I'm due to stop in November) we would have a happy retirement, but now I'm afraid that this won't happen.

Does anyone have any advice , or experiences to share?

VioletSky Sun 26-Mar-23 11:33:34

Please go to your GP and ask for support, of he won't go to the help maybe the help can be brought to him.

Especially if his driving is deteriorating

NotSpaghetti Sun 26-Mar-23 11:35:58

I really feel for you and I'm sorry to say I think this is all very worrying.
Can you at least try to persuade him to see a GP about his arthritis and then hopefully discuss the "memory issues" there.

I think you should definitely stop him driving if he is wandering between lanes. This is really unsafe.

Thinking of you and hoping someone who has been through similar will pop along soon.

Damdee Sun 26-Mar-23 11:36:14

I certainly wouldn't go in the car with him driving, for whatever reason.

Theexwife Sun 26-Mar-23 11:54:19

Explain it to your doctor's receptionist or do an e-consult, and ask for them to call him in for a routine assessment, plausible as you can say everyone has one at 70.

You must inform DVLA or tell the doctors about his driving, you cannot risk him killing other people, and you would feel partly responsible as you knew his capabilities.

M0nica Sun 26-Mar-23 12:35:23

He could kill you as well. Refuse to travel in the car if he is driving. If necessary order a taxi.

Jaxjacky Sun 26-Mar-23 12:41:04

You need to remove the car keys from him now, tough as that is.
As others have suggested, a GP assessment is needed, under a pretext as he won’t go.
He may well feel bewildered and scared, I wish you good luck.

MerylStreep Sun 26-Mar-23 12:50:34

I can’t believe you’re actually letting him drive. 😡
Take the car keys away. Just say you can’t find them.
This isn’t mild cognitive impairment Your husband has dementia.

sodapop Sun 26-Mar-23 13:24:07

You need to insist on your husband seeing his Dr HarlemShuffle he is putting both of you at risk as well as other people on the road. Gransnet is not the place for a diagnosis, this needs to come from professionals.
Have you tried your local mental health team for advice and support or any of the on line support groups who may be able to advise.
I hope you manage to get some help with this.

luluaugust Sun 26-Mar-23 13:27:28

Please stop him driving for everyones sake. The GP idea is good at the very least give it a try.

Luckygirl3 Sun 26-Mar-23 13:35:14

Two things:
- arrange for him to go to doc - if it means a fight, then fight.
- inform DVLC that he is unsafe to drive.
- hide the car keys.

It is hard I know and I too mourn the loss of the retirement that I had hoped we might enjoy - OH had Parkinsons. But when these things happen we have no choice but to bite the bullet and do what has to be done.

If you do not act on his driving problem you will be consumed with guilt if he kills someone. "He won't let me drive" - hmmm.

Hithere Sun 26-Mar-23 13:58:04

I am so sorry you and your dh are going through so much

There is nothing mild about this, this is VERY serious

You and your dh are in denial

The keys to the car need to get lost asap. NO more driving
It doesn't matter how much he complains, he is no longer capable and he can kill innocent people!

Call his GP, he needs an evaluation yesterday

Germanshepherdsmum Sun 26-Mar-23 14:13:56

Absolutely right Hithere and everyone else. This is, sadly, not ‘mild’. It’s serious and he Must Not Drive. We don’t know where you live but if he ventures out again he could easily kill one of us or one of our loved ones. It’s your duty not to be complicit in this.

Marydoll Sun 26-Mar-23 14:16:10

This is really worry. What a dreadful position to be in. I agree with the others,, it is definitely not mild, but I think you already know that.
your DH needs to see a GP ASAP and you have a responsibility to inform the DVLA.
If you do not, his GP will.

Patsy70 Sun 26-Mar-23 14:31:55


I can’t believe you’re actually letting him drive. 😡
Take the car keys away. Just say you can’t find them.
This isn’t mild cognitive impairment Your husband has dementia.

Hide the keys immediately and make an appointment with your GP. Your husband is a danger on the road. So sorry you are going through this.

silverlining48 Sun 26-Mar-23 14:53:05

This is a worry and such a shame he has only recently retired.
I agree with otgers, he should see the dr, people do have a 70 check so its perfect timing.
It could be a urine infection which can cause confusion like this, but it does need looking at.

NanaDana Sun 26-Mar-23 15:14:30

This is far more than mild cognitive impairment, and from your description, sounds like full-blown dementia. First and foremost, there is no way he should be driving. As he appears unlikely to stop, and is also resistant to going to see his GP, I would strongly recommend that you advise his Doctor that you suspect that your DH has dementia, yet still insists on driving. The GP can then intervene, and if the diagnosis is confirmed, either the GP or you must advise DVLA so that DH's driving licence is cancelled immediately. In the short term, I would hide all car keys from him -ideally away from the house with family or friends. With his dementia he may simply believe that he has lost them. What a very difficult situation you are in, but I would urge you to act quickly before someone is hurt, or worse.

NotSpaghetti Sun 26-Mar-23 19:14:54

If he is maybe becoming aware of his condition- and the beginning of (as he sees it) a "mild cognitive problem" why not suggest he has a test for a urine infection? That would at least be a step in the right direction in terms of seeing his doctor.

I suspect he is very scared - I would be scared too.
And I think I would also be worried in your position as the road ahead is unpredictable and probably scary too.

Be brave, take the first steps. Get him to the doctor on some pretext (like the urinary infection) and if necessary call his surgery ahead of time and explain the situation to your practitioner.

Good luck.
Take care of yourself. Try not to carry your fears all alone.

He may be open to this gentle way forward. Fingers crossed.

V3ra Sun 26-Mar-23 20:53:00

His driving has become very erratic, often drifting across lanes on the motorway. Frightening for me as a passenger but he won't let me drive

HarlemShuffle this can't carry on and in your heart you must know that.
You've been brave and asked for help and advice on here. Now you need to listen and take that advice.
Your first task is to take both sets of car keys and give them to someone you can trust to keep them safe.
Then let the GP know exactly what you've told us and say you both need help.

I had to take my Dad's car keys as his driving wasn't safe.
He was due to have a brain scan so I said it was until we got the results, but I had no intention of giving him them back.
Dementia is a notifiable disease to the DVLA.

I'm so sorry you're in this position xx

Whiff Mon 27-Mar-23 06:38:45

HarlemShuffle sounds like dementia. If you can't get your husband to go to the doctor's could you ask for a home visit ?

My mom had it and unfortunately it's only going to get worse and more dangerous for them and you. Luckily my mom didn't drive. But when my husband was terminal with cancer I had to stop him driving. He hit someone's wing mirror. Still remember telling him he couldn't drive anymore and he roaring but I been driving nearly 30 years. I pointed out he could have killed us or someone else. He got in touch with DVLA that day.

Unfortunately anyone with early sights of or having dementia will not act you have to step in and take control of the situation. It's not they don't realise how bad things are getting but they can't admit it plus they forget from one minute to the next.

In my experience with my mom the person you love dies but their body lives on . It's a living grief for the family of the person with it. I had my mom live with me the last 18 months of her life as she wasn't safe to be on her own. And unfortunately the last 4 months she became violent. But she didn't realise what she was doing and dementia and Alzheimer's violence isn't abuse as someone said on another thread it's because of FEAR. They forget who they are ,where and who you are . Having an UTI made it worse so I knew the signs as mom couldn't tell me but the GP just sent antibiotics when I asked for them.

My mom was only little but I bear the scars of what she did to me . But I couldn't put her into a home. She thought I was her mom . Her lucid times where what I cherished. But it took me a year after she died not to just remember the violence. As my mom would have hated what she became. Luckily she only attacked me but I was with her 24/7 . I used to hope every morning she had died in her sleep sounds wicked but my mom had already died but her body hadn't. But I am proud of the fact my mom never had a sore on her body as she was bedridden. I made sure of that.

With loved ones who have dementia or Alzheimer's you have to decide what you can cope with. Plus factor in your age and health. Also could you defend yourself without hurting them if they attack you.

This is only my experience. And to be honest looking back I don't know how I coped . Mom died in 2017. Years of looking after others whilst being ill myself I didn't realise what a toll it took on my physical and what surprised me was my mental health.

Have you children or close family to talk to if not get in touch with the dementia and Alzheimer's charity. They can give you advice and help.

Unfortunately dementia and Alzheimer's can happen to anyone . Unfortunately it's the people who love the person it effects more as the person does realise what's happening and eventually they lose who they are . It's cruel and the only relief for them and those that love them comes when they die. My mom was 90 when she died .

Please look after yourself and get support things are only going to get worse.

Marydoll Mon 27-Mar-23 06:56:08

Am I the only poster, who feels uncomfortable with the OP being told that her husband may have Alzheimer's? There could be other reasons for his behaviour.

I'm sure she already has suspicions of what may be wrong, but it is not our place to diagnose, nor speculate.
We are not doctors, nor do we know the person involved.

The OP asked for advice, which is that he should stop driving and see a GP ASAP.

Juliet27 Mon 27-Mar-23 07:11:04

All really well put Marydoll.

kittylester Mon 27-Mar-23 07:21:23

No you are not MD. It could be lots of other things too.

There have been good suggestions for a course of action and I would also suggest that the OP contact and express her concerns to her DH's GP (who should listen to her but not divulge any information) and try to get the GP to invite her husband in for a 'routine' check up.

And, lose the car keys.

sodapop Mon 27-Mar-23 08:20:34

Agree Marydoll as I said up thread it's not for Gransnet to make a diagnosis.

Marydoll Mon 27-Mar-23 08:41:43

Thank for those who agreed with me. I thought I might get shot down!

My mother had Alzheimers and my father, vascular dementia, this made me feel very uncomfortable reading this thread. It took a long time, before either had a diagnosis.
Despite me constantly nagging contacting her GP, it wasn't until my mother was admitted to hospital with a broken hip that she was assessed and diagnosed.