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Old Age Or What

Question:

i have a relative that i think has the beginning of alzheimers. Sorry for the spelling. He has for quite awhile been asking the same questions over & over & telling the same stories. He is 79 years old. But the other day he pulled a new one on us. He got an impulse to go to one of the relatives house & try to have an affair knowing of the consequinces but he just had to do it no matter what. Nothing happen because she was not interested. Can you give me your opinion as to what you think he has? Is it a disorder, dementia or what? Thank for your advise.

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Answer:

It is impossible to rule out the possibility of Alzheimer’s illness but it is also impossible to make that diagnosis based on the present information. Your relative needs to be seen by a neurologist or psychiatrist in order to be tested for the possibility of Alzheimer’s or other dementia.

Some of the symptoms of dementia are:

1. Memory loss of recent events.

2. Misplacing common items such as keys and not being able where they were put.

3. Find it difficult to find common words to express things in every day conversation.

4. Inability to remember the day, date, year and time.

5. Depression.

6. Agitation and anger.

7. Confusion.

8. Leaving the stove on when cooking is done with the risk of fire. This is another example of forgetting.

It is said that, in dementia, people go in reverse order from when they were born and developed. In other words, they lose the most recently acquired memories and abilities and work their way backwards so that, in the end, they are not able to toilet themselves or dress themselves and need constant supervision. Along the way, in the process of deterioration, there is increasing anger, agitation and confusion and even spouses and children are no longer recognized.

It is common for elderly people to repeatedly recount old stories to family members or anyone who will listen. Than in itself is not a sign of dementia. Speaking strictly for myself, when I was a boy I loved the way my grandparents told the same old stories over and over again. I cannot say that other family members felt the same way. I guess it was just me.

In any case and to repeat, please have your relative evaluated as soon as possible. In the event that he has Alzheimer’s or some other dementia, there are now medications that slow down the entire process and give patients and their families more time to enjoy one another as well as make plans for the future.

Best of Luck

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