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Worried Relative May Have Dementia
Posted: Monday, November 22, 2021 11:34 AM
Joined: 11/22/2021
Posts: 1

I just read an article that states that shaky handwriting can be an early indicator of Alzheimer's/dementia. Has anyone had any experience with this? Is shaky handwriting something that should be of concern?

I ask because I just noticed that my 55 y/o uncle's handwriting has changed significantly over the last several years. It doesn't look like his normal handwriting. It looks more like a cross between his mother's and father's, and has that shaky look to it. His mother and grandma (different sides of family) both developed shaky handwriting in their later years and both had some sort of dementia, his grandma may have had Parkinson's.

My grandfather's handwriting changed as he got older, but it was never shaky and he did not have dementia. Dementia/Alzheimer's seems to run in my grandma's family as her and three or four out of six siblings had it.  

I would like to hear everyone's experiences and recommendations. My uncle is unmarried with no children. He's a bit of a recluse and we don't see much of him. We're not sure what his longterm plans are. Based on past and current behavior, I'm worried about him.

First he wanted no contact with anyone due to COVID. He didn't even want to meet up with two relative's after they all got vaccinated. Now, all of a sudden, he wants to have a family get-together. This from the quietest person in the family. Several of us think his behavior is weird. Combine that with the shaky handwriting and grammatical errors in his email, something is definitely off with him.

Michael Ellenbogen
Posted: Monday, November 22, 2021 12:49 PM
Joined: 11/30/2011
Posts: 4457

You need to get him to a doctor so he can be checked out. When you say sharing I thing of Parkinson’s. But they is not the only issue that can cause that.

Iris L.
Posted: Monday, November 22, 2021 1:02 PM
Joined: 12/15/2011
Posts: 18506

I agree with a medical evaluation.  But before you go, you need to spend some time with him to look for more clues, i.e. signs and symptoms.  See how he handles his daily activities, including paying bills and cooking.  Check his refrigerator for expired food.  Watch his driving.  Read for signs and symptoms.  

Shaky handwriting can be due to Parkinson's Disease or essential tremor, diabetes or something else.


Many older adults resist getting checked for dementia.  Say the visit is a check-up for insurance, or something like that.  If you post in the Caregiver board, the members will give you more tips.