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Dementia x2 - Carers UK Forum

Dementia x2

Tell us a bit about yourself here.
My mother has quite aggressive dementia and has gone from being aware of everything, to being completely confused in a space of a few months. My Dad is virtually blind and he has now lost her to assist with reading etc. Over the last 3 weeks he has also rapidly become confused and I am convinced also has dementia. It is almost as if the stress of living with mum has caused him to take on her symptoms. Has anyone else experienced this?
Hi Tim58

You poor thing. Having one parent with dementia is bad enough, but possibly two?
Perhaps your mother's aggression has confused him rather than it being incipient dementia? Plus the loss of his reading partner. That would be enough to confuse anyone. I do hope so.
I personally don't have any experience of what you have noticed regarding replication of symptoms. But if others have, I'm sure they'll be along to share their thoughts and tips with you.

Sajehar x
Hello Tim and welcome to the forum Image

Dementia isn't 'catching', but I suspect that your Father's confusion is more to do with "losing" his companion - especially as he is blind and he probably relied on her for most things (from reading to making a cup of tea). Not being able to 'see' what is happening must be very confusing for him.

The only way to be sure would be to get him assessed by his GP and then take it from there.
My father inlaw has dementia and had it for five years and he has deteriorated fast from sept and now sadly in a care home he was very nasty and he seems to have meds and has helped
Hi Tim,

And welcome to the Forum.

I "only" have 1 parent with dementia and that is enough so I can't imagine what you are going through. As Susie says, there is only one way to be sure and that is through the GP. I do wonder though if your father's "rapid" dementia could be caused by a urine infection - very common in the elderly and often looks like dementia. Definitely think you should contact the GP anyway and then Social Services for a revised care assessment as I think you will need all the support you can get.

Good luck,
Anne
I would agree with Anne, any 'rapid' symptoms need to be checked out for a medical cause, and this is true even for people who already have dementia as delirium (acute confusional state) is a common problem.
Tim,

What a very sad and worrying situation for you. It sounds like your parents both need a lot of support and it has reached the stage where they can no longer care for each other's needs, as they both need a lot of support.

You don't mention much about the home situation and whether you live with them or not, so it's hard to make suggestions. Regarding your mother's increased confusion and your father showing recent signs of developing dementia, it's possible that both of them could have a urinary infection. The combination of your mother's dementia and your father's blindness could mean that personal hygiene is poor for both of them and maybe they are both dehydrated too, both of which can make UHTs more likely.

As to whether your father could somehow have 'caught' your mother's dementia, technically that's not possible, however I experience feelings of confusion after spending a couple of hours with my dementia ridden father, which I think is partly due to the strain of having to humour him constantly and partly due to empathy. Also, I believe something telepathic can happen whereby I'm picking up his confused brain patterns/vibes, but that's just my oddball theory. So, I don't doubt that the combination of being blind and also in the company of a dementia sufferer 24/7 could well cause a person to end up losing their mind a bit, but I wonder if your father's thinking would become clear again, if he was removed from her presence for a few hours? It would be interesting to know.

As a first step I think you need to get their GP to assess the pair of them, then push for all the help you can get. UHTs can be effectively treated by antibiotics, but that aside, things may have reached the stage where one or both of your parents need a level of care that only a care home can provide, or at the very least, a team of care workers, with or without support from you (if you are able/willing to provide it - I make no assumptions/judgements here).
Hi Susie
So sorry I did not thank you before. I have not been back to the forum for months as things have been hectic. Dad was diagnosed with double Alzheimers, so it is just a bad luck situation with both. They are both at home at the moment with support from my sister, myself, and some support from the Social Services Team covering some of the medication visits. We have a meeting today with the Community Team where we are to discuss a Care package - which they want to hand over to us to then start paying for.
Sorry for not replying before Anne. See message below.
Tim - no need to apologise for not posting recently, we all understand how caring can take over :)

Before you agree to pay for everything I would suggest that you contact the Carers UK Adviceline for up-to-date information on where you stand - Social Services will need to do a financial assessment with regard to your parents income and savings before they start making any kind of charges. As I recall you are not liable for any of the costs.

the contact details for the Adviceline are here :
http://www.carersuk.org/help-and-advice/talk-to-us