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Does this mean he does have dementia?


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Old 04-28-2015, 12:59 PM   #1
demiscared
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Does this mean he does have dementia?

My husband is 74. He still works and tries to stay active. He has had several strokes in the past few years but always bounces back very quickly. Lately he started falling and blaming it on something tripping him, his driving was not normal. He is always a very safe driver. We have almost been in several accidents and one day he didn't make a curve and we went through the ditch. He has forgotten how to do many things. He can't always remember how to start the riding mower and I have to start it for him. Sometimes he starts it and mows and when he gets off and then goes back he has forgotten how to start it. He has given away a lot of money recently.
So with all these happening I talked to his Dr and he referred him to a Neurologist. She looked at his previous MRI's and did a MOCA test on him and he scored 18/30. She put him on Namenda, but she never said he had any form of dementia. She did say he shouldn't be driving, but got angry with her and she told him that he should never drive in unfamiliar areas by himself. Oh yes and one morning he told me that someone had tried to hook up our automatic gate opener, which he had messed with the day before, it hasn't worked in a few years. Now he puts a chain and pad lock on our gate every night. I am concerned. Any info or suggestions would really be appreciated.

 
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Old 04-28-2015, 09:52 PM   #2
Gabriel
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Re: Does this mean he does have dementia?

demiscared... This is frustrating for you and for me. First, if your husband only scored 18/30 on his test then he does have significant cognitive decline which impacts his daily life.... and this is the definition of Dementia. This is supported by the symptoms that you have described. Beyond this, Namenda is specifically prescribed for those diagnosed with Alzheimer's. This is the ONLY reason it is prescribed. Sometimes doctors do not want to face this kind of diagnosis which they have cure or treatment. Is there a Geriatric Neurologist or Memory Assessment Clinic in your area that specializes in treatment of dementia? Perhaps check with your local Alzheimer's Association to see if they can make a recommendation. They will also have help and information.

As for the driving, this is a very difficult privilege to take away from someone. It is their independence and their freedom. But if the doctor has recommended that he not drive, it would truly be the best to follow his initial recommendation. Yes it's difficult but better than someone being hurt or worse. Contact your state department of motor vehicles or license bureau. In many states they will write a letter revoking the license. This way they are the bad guy and you have written prove to remind your husband that he should not drive.

I wish you good luck. It's a difficult road and lots of on the job training. Any questions can be posted here as well

Love, deb

 
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Old 04-29-2015, 08:38 AM   #3
demiscared
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Re: Does this mean he does have dementia?

Thank you so much for your opinion on this. I have feared this for a few months. He did really good after his last 2 strokes in December and then around the 1st of March he had 4 falls in less than a week and was very unstable. That is when he started really showing signs that concerned me. I think he may have had another stroke at that time and that is why he has gotten worse. His MRI says something to the effect of microvascular disease has progressed since comparison MRI. I guess it is time to really face the facts and start moving toward keeping him safe.

 
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Old 04-29-2015, 05:36 PM   #4
Gabriel
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Re: Does this mean he does have dementia?

demiscared... because of his strokes, what you said about the MRI (microvascular disease), and the sudden worsening of the symptoms, I suspect he may have Vascular Dementia. But your statement still stands no matter which Dementia he has... "...it is time to really face the facts and start moving toward keeping him safe." Will help any way I can...

Love, deb

 
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Old 06-28-2016, 09:36 AM   #5
golfhat
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Re: Does this mean he does have dementia?

yes, the vascular problems can cause a type of dementia. my mom was diagnosed as having "atypical dementia". they couldn't call it ALZ because a lot of the symptoms for that were missing.

Just because someone has short term memory loss and shouldn't drive does not automatically mean ALZ. Or even true dementia.

We have all forgotten during the last 20 years that old people used to get senility! check your old science and health college books. No one even heard of ALZ.
Now that is all anyone wants to call it.

The problem is, not everyone has ALZ and those ALZ drugs do more harm than good.
My mom did far worse on the ALZ drugs and that is why they said she has become senile not ALZ. We had a Visiting Angel be with her for many hours during the day and she would do fine.
But being alone at night was kinda scary all of a sudden. We would not let her drive after age 80.

Finally she tripped and had a bad fall and they did an MRI and said evidence of scar tissue from small old strokes was there. you see those strokes can go almost unnoticed during 15 or 20 years and suddenly at age 80 you can't think straight.

They call that vascular dementia.

it can be as bad as ALZ. My mom however, always knew us and was happy! she never lost vision or hearing and was definitely atypical.
So I am on a tear to tell people don't accept a diagnosis of ALZ automatically.
Those meds can be very bad if all it is old-age senility.

Last edited by golfhat; 06-28-2016 at 09:39 AM.

 
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