Dad Showing Signs of Cognitive Impairment


#1

Mum, 81, was diagnosed with Vascular Dementia a few years ago and has deteriorated rapidly since then following a series of strokes. 

This has been an enormous strain on my Dad who was diagnosed about the same time as Mum with Vascular Parkinsonism.  He is now barely mobile and cannot leave the house without help.  Up until now they've worked together ok with my help.  Dad has been the brains and Mum has been the brawn so to speak.

I gave up work a few months ago to look after them, I do all the shopping, prepare meals in advance, take them for hospital appointments, Over 60s Club etc but he insists I don't spend too long with them at home (you have your own life to live etc etc) and that they can manage with stuff around the house by themselves.

Sadly this is no longer true.

Dad has been worrying me lately with forgetting important stuff and events.  He forgot that he'd been told one of his ex colleagues had died, he forgets about what appointment I am taking them to the next day and often rings me just half an hour after I've left to ask what time I'll be round, even when I've written it on the white board we keep on the tea trolley which has the week planned out.  He also struggles to follow when I am journey planning, times for pick up, dropping off him or Mum etc.  He supervises the medication in the mornings, so far this is going ok but for how long I don't know.   

At his last neurological appointment a couple of weeks ago I mentioned to the doctor quietly that I felt he is showing signs of minor cognitive impairment and asked if she could refer him to the Memory Clinic.  Believe it or not she forgot eye roll but I have chased it up and we should be hearing soon, however I am wondering now what purpose this will actually serve?

As Dad's condition is vascular he doesn't respond to the drugs normally used to treat Parkinson's and I can't see that this will be any different when it comes to his memory and cognitive skills.  I am now worrying that all an appointment at the Memory Clinic will achieve is to make him feel even more depressed and aware of his deterioration.

Does anyone have any experience of what might happen to someone with Vascular Parkinsonism being diagnosed with Minor Cognitive Impairment, especially with regards to treatment?  And could this become full on dementia?

It's all a bit rubbish.  frown

(I'm also posting this on the Alzheimer's forum in the hope that I can find someone who's also been through this)


#2

The memory clinic  will do tests, maybe over some time, to detect any significant changes/deterioration in cognitive function. It has taken years for my OH to be referred to a memory clinic and action taken, only recently.

Any medication that MAY be prescribed will not reverse or stop any further deterioration  but may just help, if the side effects can be tolerated, further deterioration for a short time, maybe 2 years.

OH is on Rivastigmine for the  past month; no side effects thankfully but it   does take some weeks for any significant change in cognitive function,to be seen, so I am told.