My Dad has dementia and he's making my Mom Nuts!

Started by

My Dad had Lewy's Body Dementia. A horrible combo of Alzhiemers and Parkinson's. He has had a physical therapist coming to help him get stronger. When the pt is here is aware and can do everything the pt asks him to do. As soon as he leaves and all the rest of the day he is confused and can't do anything for himself. Is this normal? We can't seem to convince the pt that his behavior when he is here is abnormal to his daily routine. We need help it is making us all frustrated and confused.


Stormy, I am so new to taking care of my mother that I have barely begun unravel her needs, etc. She also has dementia. Before I moved in with her, I lived out of state. I didn't know what to do! I could barely take care of myself let alone my mom! So I called social services for the aging. They got her some help! But it was still inevitable, I had to move in. Your issue is something that I am now realizing with my mom. No matter what she is told or learns, she is almost immediately confused as soon as we get home/the help leaves. She just nods and agrees with whatever the doctors tell her as if she knows what was said to her last week or so. They didn't know that NO she doesn't know. They don't see how far she is. They don't see the confusion as I have seen it. I have started asking her doctors and money manager to write down what it is that she needs to take care of. Lower her dosage of something(doesnt matter that I give her her meds, she still inspects it and comments and argues). I have them highlight information for me, I repeat new instructions to her often. I don't get in the middle of her appointments, but I ask questions that she doesn't. I pretend sometimes that I didn't hear something or needed elaborating. If I let her do it alone, she also becomes very disoriented. I let her see that I am apart of these things, so that she can associate me and them together. All this, so that when an issue arises, my mom feels that I'm apart of it all too and she doesn't feel alone, she feels that we can "work it out together". I don't know if this helped or not. It helps me, and hopefully, you can take a little something from it!
Thank you. It's just nice to know that it may be normal. If it is, why aren't the professionals aware of it? Everyone seems to think he's doing well. But the day-to-day living is difficult and it seems to change on a daily basis. I just wish my Mom could have more help. We just can't afford it. I'm working 2 jobs and school. I help on my days off and when I get home. But it would be nice to to just get away together once in awhile and let our minds clear. What do you do to relieve stress?
I think the professionals are aware of it, but since they don't see it themselves, they don't see where the problem begins and how to make it better. My mom was told to let the wounds(she's also a diabetic) "air out". This was said by the doctor at the Wound Care center. I found her picking her wounds raw. I asked her what she thought she was doing and she said "they told me to keep the wounds open". It's now come to the point that I can't leave her alone for a MINUTE? No thanks! I can't live like that. Make her wear mittens like she made me when I had the chicken pox? I sleep when she sleeps now. This is a 1 bedroom, so If she wakes, I'm on the couch and can hear her. My mom LOVES tv. She's addicted. When she starts to drive me crazy, I turn on a movie that I KNOW she would hate. She quickly high tails it into her room to watch something. And promptly falls asleep. Her naptime is my only salvation. I play on the internet, call friends or family. I play with my cat, read. My stress reliever is whatever I find enjoyable at the moment, even if it is in the home and only for a couple hours.
Thank you so much. I had not heard of a geriatric social worker. Maybe they will have some suggestions. Any help right now is so appreciated. It's all so overwhelming.
Thank you - Allison
I'm glad you responded! I also, did not know there was a geriatric social worker. When I lived far away and mom was in the hospital for upteenth time within a 6 month period, her doctor called my brother and said "she needs assisted living". My brother, of course, threw it in my lap. It got so frustrating since I didn't know what to do. I called the local Dept of Social Services Aging Div. Yes, they've gotten her help, but her social worker, who happens to be head of the Dept, all she screams is "assisted living" too. Is this the only answer?? I didn't think so hence why I came home. I feel with her mental condition she really is best cared for in the home. I'm going to call her social worker in the a.m and check to see if there is someone else who can help evaluate the situation. Thanks again!
3931 helpful answers
My mom didn't handle my dad's dementia well, either. I think that they feel the loss of their mate as they were so accutely that they can't make the "switch" to working with them with the dementia. Some can, of course. But some can't. A lot depends on personality and their own mental state.

Kelly bean...Do you think that dementia facilities ...assisted living...nursing home..will cause more mental problems for my dad if i used them for a certain period of time
Wow, I have the opposite problem...Mom is driving Dad crazy! I will be moving in with them at the end of this month to help out as much as I can. (I am permanently disabled due to chronic back pain)
We really aren't sure what Mom has. Like other posts, she fools the healthcare professionals, but we can see the decline and it seems to be coming faster. She is easily confused, I think also somewhat depressed. She is argumentative with my Father and at times myself. She cannot be pleased by anything...there is always SOMMETHING for her to complain about- Too hot, too cold, too loud, too tired...NOTHING is right for her. Just trying to take her out to lunch with us is a project.
I wonder if anyone has any ideas on how to get her diagnosed? She has a Geriatric PCP who has asked her a few questions and decided she does not have alzheimers, that she is fine. He doesn't spend the time with her as we do to see it. Where else can I go from here?? Oh, she, of course, thinks there is absolutely nothing wrong with her.
Thanks for letting me vent!
3931 helpful answers
Hi Loirilocks,
Fooling the doctors seems to be a common occurance. My mother was great at that and she was also great at fooling any vistors who didn't see her daily.

Your mom may or may not have dementia, but it sounds like she is depressed. Has the doctor looked into that? Does she need to see a different doctor or a specialist? Obviously, things aren't right.

Glad you can vent, anyway. It does help.

Take care,
Thanks Carol. I agree she probably is depressed, the problem is, she will NOT take anything for it. The Doc gave her prozac once and she felt worse, so now she refuses any meds like that.
I am going to see if I can talk them both going in for a geriatric assessment. There is NO WAY she would go herself, but if my Dad went too, under the pretense that it will help me help them, then maybe we can get her some help.
Thanks again, Lori

Keep the conversation going (or start a new one)

Please enter your Comment

Ask a Question

Reach thousands of elder care experts and family caregivers
Get answers in 10 minutes or less
Receive personalized caregiving advice and support