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I think my Dad may have dementia.

Hi all, just looking for some advice on how I can help my father. I think he may be in the early stages of dementia, although I'm not too sure because I've never known anyone who has had dementia. I guess for anyone to give me accurate advice I'll need to talk about my dads day to day activities.


So my dad's always been a pretty big drinker, drinks every night. He will come home from work and crack a beer open and then he will continue drinking until he goes to bed. He'll drink pretty much anything, but mainly drinks home brew beer which he makes himself. He also smokes quite a bit, I have no idea how much he smokes while he is at work but I know when he comes home he has about 5 or so between the time he gets home and the time he goes to bed. He's not active, is single (my mother passed away three years ago) and seems to forget alot.


Since my mother has passed away I've seen him change, I've always thought my dad was a bit strange, even when I was a kid but he's gotten worst over the years. My father and I have never had a close bond really, but yet I'm the only child of his who seems to be concerned for his health and well being.


The reason I think my dad may have dementia is because he seems all happy chappy most of the time but then something as little as having 1 plate in the sink or having 1 thing out of place will set him off on one if his horrible temper tantrums. He will start yelling and cursing and calling my and my sister horrible names. He says terrible things like "You never do anything for anyone, you just sit around and be a lazy f***ing b**ch" and sometimes he'll tell me to pack my things and leave (he's kicked me out of home before for something as little as leaving a plate in the sink). These temper tantrums scare the hell out of me because hes just a mad ball of fury and he wont stop until he runs out of anger, its so confusing because his anger doesnt make sense. Never has he a proper reason to be angry, at first i though that it was just how he was grieving and that it was his way of missing mum but the more you see the temper tantrums you can see that its more than just that. 


Also he tells us kids 'stories' and will try and convince us that things have happened and when we try and say 'no dad that never happened' he gets really mad and yells at us and tells us to shut up and then begins telling us we are in the wrong and not him....its very confusing. 


He's had these temper tantrums for a long time, about 5 or so years, he had them when my mum was around and he also gets this kind of OCD behaviour sometimes as well where he will turn the house upside down because its not how he wants it, like he will clean it from top to bottom even if it's already clean, he evens throws our tupperare containers away and buy new ones!


Over the last year though Dad has apprently been 'seeing' another woman and at first i thought good on him for being happy and being able to have fun again, but recently I'm starting to wonder if she is real. He wont speak to me or my sisters about this suposed woman (no one knows her name) and will only tell our partners stories about her. Also whenever I try and ask about her or what her name is, he gets really defensive and says 'i dont need to bloody tell you anything' and his stories never really seem to match up. Lately he's been leaving an extra towel int he bathroom, he told us all its for when his girlfriend comes over- I dont know what he was talking about when he told us this, because he's never really home alone for someone to come over and if she did one of us would see her...yet none of us have! 


I'm really confused and upset by his wierd behaviour and even though I've never really been fond of him, I hate seeing him so deranged. If anyone has any useful imformation or advice please message me as I have no idea what else to do!

Re: I think my Dad may have dementia.

Hey @Pink-Leopard 


Welcome to Reach Out. I'm so sorry to hear how tricky things are with your Dad at the moment. 

There might be lots of causes for your Dad behaving this way but unfortunately you're not going to be able to get an accurate diagnosis online, anywhere. Least of all here where none of us are doctors. Smiley Happy


It sounds like it's a lot for you to have to manage though. Do you have a family GP that you could talk to about this? Or a school counsellor that you could talk to? Sometimes the best starting point in trying to manage a situation like yours, is to start talking to a health professional, or family member or friend who can guide you in the right direction.


Is there anyone you can think of that you can talk to this way?

Re: I think my Dad may have dementia.

I was actually thinking about approaching our family doctor and expressing my concerns for him, I thought maybe the next time he goes for a check up she could maybe mention it.


Thanks for the advice, I'm at a cross road where I dont know whether I should be helping him or leaving him alone, he can get very agitated whenever someone tries to get him to do something that he doesnt want to do and due to how much drama he causes I'm kind of wondering if hes worth all the drama.


Thanks again!

Re: I think my Dad may have dementia.


You poor thing. You are certainly dealing with a lot.

I agree with the others, and not being a medical professional wouldn't like to give a dignosis, but it does sound like your dad could use some help.

I think getting him to a health professional is the first step, but he is an adult, and you may find he doesn't want to go. If that isthe case, you need to talk to someone for your own sake. Perhaps you have a school counsellor, close friend, or your Dr to talk to.

Whatever the outcome,

this is not a quick fix situation, and you will need support of some kind.

Good luck with your dad, and keep us posted.



Re: I think my Dad may have dementia.

Hi Pink-Leopard,

So many people think 'oh this is not such a 'big' problem compared to what others are going through'.
If it's impacting you and your family then it's worth looking into a little further. Smiley Happy
Let us know how you go and take care of yourself.

Re: I think my Dad may have dementia.

Hey Pink-Leopard,

I'm sorry to hear about what you are going through.

My mum works in an aged care facility and I've volunteered up there a few times in the specialized dementia part. I have seen how devastating it can be for families but I have also seen how much support there is for those families. Please have a chat to your family doctor. If your father has dementia, it's much better to catch it early and start working on some things to help manage it. There are heaps of behavioural things you can talk to a psychologist or doctor about to help you and your family cope and there are also some medications which can help. So definitely worth having a chat with your family doctor!

Good luck.