I’m taking my dad (80) to his GP on Thursday morning. I do not know if his general confusion has, or is, developing into dementia. Most likely vascular dementia on account if he has has 2 strokes. ( I’m a nurse)
He’s become quite controlling to my mum (83). Aggressive verbally and unable to do simple things without problems like banking. ( I don’t believe he would be physically aggressive- yet ) Also he can still do things like connect his iPad to the printer. It’s difficult as the strokes left him with some aphasia so he can’t do things with dates or numbers anyway. He forgets recent things like he had his covid booster ( which we could all do I guess at 85- but I think it’s more)
I’m an only child and getting him to the Doctor on Thursday is really stressing me incase he decides not to go. I’ve explained all this to the Dr who knows he has to ask my dad about his alcohol intake ( way too much) and stop him driving …. My dad is going to know I’ve told the GP this. I’ve told my dad I need to get him checked out and his bloods tested to see if we can understand ‘his unsteadiness’ and brain ‘fog’ he has, that is making him forget things. I am focusing on the physical issues to get him there but as soon as the GP starts asking him questions like ‘ who is the Prime Minister’ he’ll know …… he’s forgotten twice the appointment is made! He’s not happy about it.
I’ve heard this from others in my dad’s various Alzheimers groups. Have always thought we were extremely lucky to never experience the moodiness. I think it’s because my dad has vascular dementia rather than proper Alzheimers. Essentially his arteries are so blocked that his brain is starved of oxygen. He doesn’t have good days or bad days, he’s just been on a predictable decline.
I suspect it’s not the loss of memory that makes Alzheimers sufferers moody or emotional, it’s the fear. It’s snapping in and out of your fully functioning former self only to find your faculties diminished. It must completely shatter one’s foundation to not even be able to count on one’s own perception of reality. Without that certainty, figuring out what is real becomes an impossible and deeply frustrating task.
By comparison my dad’s new shortcomings are consistent which allows him to cope with them. When he started to forget things, he still had his wits about him. He’d get frustrated at blanking on something once in a while but nothing more. Then his memory got dramatically worse and he entered a sort of blissful ignorance. He was always curious, asking for clarification, not unlike a small kid. Now he just listens to conversations and puzzles out what’s being said as best he can. But he seems happy, loves saying hello to kids and animals whenever he’s out, and knows my mom is looking out for him. It’s not how I’d like to go but he seems to be doing it with more grace than anyone thought possible.
My late husband had vascular dementia . It somewhat n changed his personality at times. He never used bad language to women, or would be aggressive before dementia started to set in. He did in the hospital, and nursing home until the learned how to approach him. Everyone is so individual and I believe if the front lobe is affected it brings on changes in personality. He never forgot who we were ( family) and he knew we had his well being at heart. Knew we loved him.
It was such a shock the first time I saw aggression in him. Was fear in him deep down not knowing what was going on.