I feel the need to let my BIL know that he has the same disease his father had Alzheimer's.

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He's a handful and of course doesn't believe it. I'm almost sure some replies might say he'll forget anyway, but his behavior taking electrical things apart being destructive is overwhelming . We clalled the dr. and he is also bipolar and has ocd they as of yesterday increased depakote to 2 times . He wants to go back to pa. where there is no home or anyone to care for him, although he thinks he takes care of himself as he walks out our door with his shoes on the wrong feet (small example) He hides things and blames my husband and I for hiding them in order to f up his brain. so, long story short Ifeel like screaming you have dementia--ya get it ! My husband will be 77 and we had to take his brother in 3 years ago for what was siagnosed at the time as alcholiic induced dementia, low and behold we sure got a lot more the that added to our lives ( btw he hasn't touched a drop in 3years ) so that isn't the issue. I guess long story short is im grateful that I have a way to vent here, but also would be so interested in opinions about reinforcing him about his disease with the hope that maybe just maybe one day it will click and he'll be grateful for the home he has here and the family trying our best to make his life if nothing else just CALM. p.s. guess i could have waited a week to see if the meds increase help, such is life---------honey opposed to vinegar gets so hard at times. thank you


Mary, not to be critical but given the level of confusion, do you think he would really understand that he has multiple problems and the effect they're having?

Someone who puts shoes on the wrong feet probably doesn't have the mental cognition to know that he's doing it or why he's doing it. An explanation that he has dementia isn't going to change that.

I'm wondering if you wouldn't be better off in trying to find some help for you and your family, perhaps asking the doctor who diagnosed the bipolar (a) if there are support groups for you and your family to help in coping with your brother's illnesses, and (2) what recommendations she/he has specifically for your brother beyond medication.
Mary, it may be that he will not accept anyone's word that he has dementia. My mother has had dementia for 10 years, maybe more. Doctors have diagnosed her as having it. Still she does not think that she has it. I don't even mention the D word because it upsets her. She tells me she's not crazy and that she remembers everything. Many people do not accept that there is anything wrong with their brains. It would make it easier if they did, but trying to make them accept it doesn't work.

My brother had alcohol-induced periodic dementia-like episodes. Until the day he died he did not accept that the FBI had sent spy rats into his hotel room. The rat tails had cameras and were held up by balloons. As crazy as it sounds, he "knew" it was true.
There is damage in your BIL's brain. It is highly unlikely that one day it will click and he'll be grateful for the home he has here and the family trying our best to make his life CALM. This is an unreasonable expectation. Dementia progresses. That means it gets more severe.

Many people with dementia experience some paranoia. They hide things to keep them safe. Then they forget they hid them and blame others. This reinforces their belief that their possessions are in danger and so they hide even more. Does it help to know that this is typical dementia behavior? It often subsides on its own and the person goes on to different odd behaviors.

Trying to convince BIL that he has dementia is a lost cause. His brain is damaged. Your reality is not his reality. If you can, it is best not to argue with him at all. Use your honey and not the vinegar! "Your glasses are missing? Oh, I'm so sorry to hear that. It must be frustrating for you!. I know I didn't take them deliberately but I guess I might have moved them for some reason. I'll take some time now and see if I can find them." Obviously you are not going to agree that you stole them, but reassure him that you care about his feelings and you'll try to solve his problem.

Attending a caregiver's support group would help you know that you are not alone and to hear how other people have handled difficult behaviors.
Telling him won't do any good. I hope someone has Guardian status for him and can get him situated in a group home nearby.
I never told my Dad he had dementia, he probably wouldn't have known what that word even meant. In fact, I never knew about dementia until I started on this forum a few years ago.

One time Dad called me as he said he is having trouble thinking, so I made light of it.... told him we have all these filing cabinets in our brain and they are jammed pack with information, so it take us longer to find the right file and find that information we need. Told Dad I have the same issue, so that helped calmed him down.

Mary, I agree with everyone else above, do not tell your brother-in-law. It won't click.

Thank you all for comments. They all confirmed what intellectually i know to be the correct way to handle the situation, I know never to argue, I know it will only get worse, I know to keep using that honey, but today after he destroyed his cable box i guess i was just so happy to be able to come to this forum and vent. Once again once again thank you. Whew another day, but looking forward to tomorrow.
Mary, by chance did your brother-in-law work in the electrical field?

My Dad, an electrical engineer and inventor, use to take things apart to see how they worked but he was able to put things back together again... until his dementia started to set in, plus losing some of his eye sight.

When he was in Assisted Living/Memory Care, he was trying to see how the cable box worked... that didn't go well, he was without TV for most of the day.... I had Dad in "time out", later I called maintenance to come repair it :)
When My Late Mother had been diagnosed with Alzheimer's a Senior Nurse at the Hospital advised Me NOT to tell My Mother She had this diagnosis, as She's in Her own little World, and She's happy there, so leave Her be since there's no kneed in upsetting Your Mother. And I never did tell Mam, although a distant Relative called to visit one night and almost revealed it to Mother...until I tapped Him on the ankle. Telling some one Who You Love that They are dying achieves nothing as it only breaks their Heart. All You can do is Your best and to be there to help them through this awful journey.
Telling him will not help anyone, especially you. It will only raise your level of frustration and stress because he will not understand, say you are wrong and get agitated. Try to be more agreeable with anything he says. Don't go looking for confrontation, you and he will only become more angry. To be a caregiver you need a thick skin and the ability to just let things go. If he is destroying things, time to Alzheimer proof the house.

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