• Quote of the Day
    "Worrying is like a rocking chair: It gives you something to do, but it doesn't get you anywhere."
    Van Wilder, posted by Daniel

just mary

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Hi,

I wasn't sure where to post this one. It's about my Dad and what happens to people as they age. My Dad is 72 and a half, and for the last several years I've noticed him becoming more suspicious of people. He tends not to trust others and thinks others are out to "get him" or "take advantage of him". In his own words "Good time Charlie died long ago, nobody gives anything away for free". He makes up stories about things that happened a long time ago, though as far as he's concerned, he's right. He always seems to be on the attack. I'm beginning to wonder if this is the onset of some type of disease or is it a man with too many negative life experiences and he's just decided to err on the side of safety or am I just worrying too much?

In addition, I've noticed the strain om my Mum recently. For the last five years or so, she has been mentioning this strange behaviour to me. I didn't really do anything, since there was nothing I could do. But she seemed really tired when I went home to visit the other weekend and I'm kind of worried about her.

Thanks,
 

just mary

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Yes, I would say he's a drinker. And that has crossed my mind, he probably drinks more now that he's retired and he is the type to binge drink (like father, like daughter...as my Mum always says) and this could be a source for much of his odd behaviour.

But that seems to be a problem with many seniors, once they stop working, they start drinking. I personally think it could be a much larger problem than is thought.
 

David Baxter

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It may also be what's behind his increasing "paranoia".

Perhaps a word to the family doctor about your concerns would be wise... the doctor could then make some suggestions without revealing anything about where the information came from. Of course, there's probably no way at this point to compel your father to listen to anyone...

One of my friends recently went through something similar in her family and as the father deteriorated he eventually got to the point where the family doctor admitted him on a Form 1 (involuntary admission for a 72 hour assessment) and they were then able to detoxify him and convince him that he needed to make some changes.
 

just mary

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Thanks for the advice. He lives in another city so it would be difficult to talk to his doctor, but I think I'm just making an excuse to absolve myself. I can be quite cowardly, I'm a bit of a people pleaser. I have to give it some serious thought however. Thanks again.[/quote]
 

David Baxter

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That's understandable, Mary.

With my friend, no one wanted to confront the father either... until he tried to remortgage the parental home and then the kids stepped in to protect their mom.
 

just mary

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Okay, I was a bit of a cop out there. But how do you even approach the family doctor, what if he doesn't believe you, what do you say exactly?
 

David Baxter

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You just express your concerns. He won't of course give you any information or feedback about your father in most cases but there's no breach of confidentiality in receiving information in the form of such concerns from a family member.

For one thing, if your father is binge drinking and his competency is suffering, there is an issue about fitness to drive -- his doctor could use that as a bit of a carrot too, if that's important at all to your fathewr.

Beyond that, unless his behavior accelerates, you may just have to wait and monitor the situation and encourage your mom to keep you posted.
 

just mary

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I think I'll try the wait and see approach for now, as I would like to talk to my Mum about it first. We're just not big communicators.

Sorry to sound so desperate or hysterical. However, thanks very much for your advice and concern, it is appreciated.
 

David Baxter

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Not at all, Mary, and please don't think I'm being critical: I understand the reason for worry and I also fully understand the reasons for hesitation and caution. I don't think it's a cop-out... I think it's just reality.
 

HA

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Mary,

My mother has complained about my father's "attention deficit" problems and had wondered if my dad has been showing signs of dementia. Initially, I listend to her complaints and felt that she just needed to vent. I was seeing her concerns more as her problem versus my dad having problems.

I felt he was just having the usual "slowness" that comes with age. I did notice that his driving was a bit of a concern because he would look at something and start to wander into the other lane until someone brought it to his attention. Again this just seemed to fit with his general "slowness" and laid back demeanor.

Recently though, when I was having a "listening session" (my brothers don't like to listen to her) with my mother, she referred to my father's mother, who did develop dementia, and said my father was just like her. She is not too good a descrbing things but this time I did say that she could be right, dad could be developing some dementia. She is the one living with him and who am I to doubt her observations that something must be wrong?

Your post brought up an issue that I was not wanting to deal with. The possibility of dementia and all that would come with that in my father.

One thought that came to mind while reading your posts was that if need be I would tell my mother to talk to the family doctor about my father and her concerns and hope that the doctor would be helpful. Maybe this is something your mom could do?

Sheesh...never a dull moment with families, eh?
 

just mary

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Hi,

HeartArt said:
My mother has complained about my father's "attention deficit" problems and had wondered if my dad has been showing signs of dementia. Initially, I listend to her complaints and felt that she just needed to vent. I was seeing her concerns more as her problem versus my dad having problems.

Exactly how I felt, I knew my Dad wasn't perfect and I felt all I could do was listen.

The more I think about it, the more I feel as though I should talk to my Mum first and maybe get her to talk to his doctor, as you and Dr. Baxter suggested.

I also like your reference to your brothers. I am the only girl with two older brothers and needless to say I get to hear all the horror stories. My brothers get off scott free. :)

And no...there is never a dull moment with families.
 

David Baxter

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Three of my sisters married Scots. I told them it was just a matter of time -- I knew we couldn't get off Scot-free forever...
 

David Baxter

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My apologies for the digression...

I'm certainly not making light of the subject matter, not at all.
 

HA

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Oh, Dr Baxter....we know you are just being the silly one that you are. It's nice to giggle along the way. I bet your humour was necessary to survive 3 sisters. lol.

Mary, I am the only girl with 2 older brothers as well. My brothers are 6 & 7 yrs older than me. It is true that girls do the emotional caregiving...I guess. I think it all balances out though. My one brother is semi-retired and now has more patience and time to help them out and my other brother is always available to help them out.

When I consider the situation they are lucky to have us. I won't have the kind of support they are getting from their children. Now I see the benefits of having a large family.
 

David Baxter

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Actually, it was 8 sisters but only 3 married Scots.... I was one of 12 children :eek:)
 

HA

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Holy Cow, Dr. Baxter!......11 siblings and 8 of them sisters.....you really did need to have a sense of humour.

I have a very close friend who came from a family of 20 kids. She is the oldest and there were three who died in childhood. She has done the most wonderful paintings of her family life which she cherishes. The Childrens Aid Society did an exhibit of her work.
 

David Baxter

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LOL -- I would think your friend's sponsor should have been Planned Parenthood ;o)
 

HA

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I'm going to tell her you said that. :~}
 

just mary

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Hi there,

David Baxter said:
My apologies for the digression...

I'm certainly not making light of the subject matter, not at all.

I know and I hope you didn't take my silence the wrong way, I just got busy with work and other things. It did make me laugh though and I was wondering how to spell "scot-free". By the way, this is my first attempt at a forum and I was a little surprised at the spelling I see. I wonder how this type of internet chat will affect our language in the future. Whether or not our dictionaries will reflect the masses.
 

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