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Alzheimer's Disease & Dementia Message Board

How can I tell my dad that he needs help?

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Old 01-23-2004, 02:47 PM   #1
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Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 15
How can I tell my dad that he needs help?

My father's 'being' has declined rapidly in the last year. He is only 64 but is displaying all the signs of Alzheimers - I know it could be many other things but the crux is he is in denial and will not seek help.

The usual symptoms like memory loss and confusion are all too apparent - he's like a 10 year old mentally. For an ex-policeman, I now worry about him even leaving the house.

How can we get him to sek help? He has seen a doctor but played down all his sympoms and refused further testing.

Any advice would be much appreciated.


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Old 01-23-2004, 04:18 PM   #2
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Join Date: May 2003
Location: Virginia, USA
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BarbaraH HB UserBarbaraH HB UserBarbaraH HB UserBarbaraH HB User
Re: How can I tell my dad that he needs help?

You have my sympathy - my 88 year old mom has Alz. and it's no picnic.

I suggest you read all the available posts because several address your concerns and will be of help.

It's important that someone have Durable Power of Attorney for your Dad and you'd do best be seeing an elder care lawyer to make sure everything is done that might be needed. My mom took care of this legal issue 10 years before she got sick, so I had what I needed to step in and take over paying the bills, etc. Thank God!

Your father's doctor needs to be contacted by you "kids", so the doctor understands your concerns for your father's safety and the safety of others when he's driving. There is no one diagnostic test for Alz., but the doctor can observe him more closely and ask questions that will give clues to your father's memory problems. He can also test to rule out treatable problems that can give similar symptoms. Do this soon!!

My mom had forgotten about a million things - "1" before a long distance call, how to make coffee, how to work her washing machine, how to write a check, and opened a Christmas gift bag 3 times and was equally delighted each time, then she tried to leave the house (shower cap and cold cream in hand) at 11pm - yet she was furious when I took away her car keys and told her she could no longer live alone. We cried together. I moved her into an assisted living facility where she had an apartment with her furniture and meals served in a nice dining room. A medication aide gave her medicines to her so she couldn't take them incorrectly or forget them. When she got over the anger, she liked not having to cook, being with friends, and was more relaxed since she didn't have to struggle to do everything for herself. 7 months later, she didn't know me or her furniture (which she'd had longer than she'd had me!). She's since forgotten how to walk.

You're not alone on this unwelcome road. Barbara

Old 01-27-2004, 07:18 PM   #3
Join Date: Oct 2003
Location: Central California
Posts: 97
camachinist HB User
Re: How can I tell my dad that he needs help?

Couple of questions...

Ex-cop...any guns in the house?

Has dad made any new memories of late?

Is his automobile "in the shop"?

Perhaps, if his doc is co-operative, a private submission of your observances may be in order. S/he may not be able to discuss dad's condition with you, although HIPAA does not disallow such discussions.

He really needs to be assessed by professionals to rule out other causes for his symptoms. Until he becomes a danger to himself or others, there's not much you can do, short of legal action. Perhaps some of his cop-friends should be brought into your confidence. Their brotherhood runs pretty deep and he might listen to them.

Good luck!


Old 01-28-2004, 03:29 AM   #4
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Join Date: May 2001
Location: WA.
Posts: 159
gizmolove HB Usergizmolove HB User
Talking Re: How can I tell my dad that he needs help?

Dear HVP,

I take it from your post that you want your dad to do something. Something like stand up and admit that he has a problem and seek help for it. However, when you are talking about "Alzheimer's" that's exactly what he WON'T DO.

It's sad but true that this is the very nature of this awful disease. It's not that your dad forgets, as much as it is that he forgets that he has forgotten. So to him, there is probably something much more wrong with you, than with him.

When you study and learn more about this disease you will learn that it is not always necessary for him to know what is wrong; but, for you to know is imparative. And, all the while you will be working hard to reassure him that everything is "OK". Because in the end, everything IS REALLY "OK". After all he still loves you and you love him and will make sure that he is safe and cared for and made to feel comfortable and happy, (as he can be with this awful disease). And, that is all you can do. But God know's, that that will be enough for anyone to have to cope with.

Remember that we, none of us, can change others. But in the end, change in ourselves is everything.

Hugs on your journey,

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