Repetitive Phrases/Sing-Song Speak
In case you want the bottom line, I've highlighted way down there, but I always write a lot in case something is important. Thanks for your patience...
My dad is 92 years old, pretty good for an old guy born in proverty in rural China. For the last 3 years, his medical conditions have included congestive heart failure, angioplasty, and pacemaker inserted, but everything is under control. The CHF comes up a couple times a year when he overindulge in salty foods, but it's hard to tell a 92 year old to change his diet!
He lives in his own home with a caregiver family (husband, wife, and 16 year old daughter - the wife has another job, so the husband is the main caregiver, although they treat him like their own dear old dad).
During Thanksgiving weekend, we took him out to a restaurant. I noticed that he was reading out the menu but in a sing-song fashion (like singing "roast duck," "BEEF with brocolli"). When he came over to our house, he sat at the sofa and either sang to us what he wanted to say (Your DADDY is VERY tired). I asked him why he was singing and he said, "What?" I didn't pursue it.
About a day or two later, his blood pressure was higher than normal, he was looking lethargic, and he was singing/talking much more, so his caregivers called me, and we brought him to urgent care (he's a patient at the local Veterans Hospital). He had CHF and pneumonia, so they had him stay for several nights. He lost 10 lbs. of water and went home. For the first two weeks, he was incontinent (he normally has control); he continued to sing, sometimes all night long; he didn't have much appetite; and he was extremely tired (alert about two to three hours a day at best). The doctor came for a home visit, adjusted his medication, and he has improved: he's able to control his bladder and eat a little more. However, he is still very lethargic and can't walk like he used to (as in like six weeks ago), but I'm much more concerned about the constant singing (instead of talking) and the repetitive phrases. An example would be his singing to the caregiver "you don't need to give me more food, you don't need to give me more food, you don't need..."
My dad has always had a different way of thinking than "normal" society at the time, although in hindsight, sometimes he's just ahead of his time... like when he wrote an essay that MLK would be assasinated or that we shouldn't invade Iraq (when Congress was voting on it several years ago). Because he was 52 when I was born, he's always been "old" to me, so I've always excused his behavior/thoughts as "Dad's like that cuz he's old." If he were showing signs of dementia, I would have just excused them all, BUT this repetition and singing is REALLY different.
Is this the beginning of dementia? Are there tests for this? Any insights? Thanks.
Last edited by boltnut55; 12-30-2006 at 12:46 AM.