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By worriedaboutdad On 2010.12.29 23:51
Hello all! Been reading from time to time but haven't posted in a while. Since my last post Daddy attempted suicide at the memory care facility and wound up back at the psych ward (sorry if that is no the proper term) for the last three weeks. We found a baggie of about 40 pills he had been hiding in his room. Now his meds are regulated and he is back at the facility. The psychologist says his dementia has gotten pretty bad. However, I just don't see it. Maybe my idea of what it is is wrong? What I do see is this: More time staring into space, longer response time (speaking). Otherwise his "memory" is fine. I guess my thought of dementia is not remembering. What have your experiences been with dementia that comes with parkinson's?

By Emma On 2010.12.30 05:04
I'm not a doctor but what you are describing sounds more like depression than dementia to me. It also reminds me a bit of what my mother (who didn't have PD but had a lot of other stuff going on) went through during a point in her life when she was going back and forth from assisted living to a psych ward. She just kind of shut down, almost like being in shock. I think the whole situation was too much for her to deal with and she just couldn't process it so she "checked out".

My husband has had dementia for some time and yes, his memory is bad but among other things he also has trouble learning new things, processing information, problem solving, making decisions, understanding what is being said to him and communicating what he wants to say. His thinking is generally confused and things that used to be simple for him intellectually are now difficult. He does have a much longer response time as well. I would ask the doctor exactly what it is he sees that makes him think that your dad has worsening dementia.

Good luck and keep us posted.

By karolinakitty On 2010.12.30 09:12
Worried, my guy too has dementia, as Emma has said all those things can happen. However, there were times before diagnosis, that he "checked out" Like Emma's mom, we think it was just stress, almost like a psychological overload. However, working in an ALF's i came to find there were many different faces of dementia. Also, reading up on dementia and reading some doctors papers on it one doctor compared a particular type of dementia as "deer in the headlights". They just go away for periods of time. I found that interesting as i never thought of it in that manner, but have observed it in the Alf's.
Due to the fact my guy is younger, i did a lot of research on dementia and found many articles about possible restoration of the mind. There are things we have been doing to try and stimulate the brain, some on purpose and some not. His last visit he did better on his MMSE test and the doc was impressed. He still gets confused, doesn't know what day/month it is unless like now in this holiday season. Learning new things takes him a long long time, but he usually gets them. Waiting for him to answer or tell you things he wants, usually ends up in a long dissertation. Communication i think is the big thing with mine. It takes him awhile to come up with the right words. I don't know if you are old enough to know who the comedian Norm Crosby was, but his routine was made up of "mis-speak" words that sort of sounded right, but weren't right. My guy is the king of mis-speak, we joke about it all the time as he thinks it is the right word or that word comes out of his mouth, but it is nowhere near the word he wanted.
In some folks, that stress factor, signals the brain to go into escape mode, and, I'm no medical professional, but i think that is your case, Whether it be related to dementia, or as Emma said depression, it's just a way for the brain to handle just goes away

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