What do you do with insistent parents who have plans for you to become the President of the United States?

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My father has it in his head that I should be president of the U.S. Folks, I have no desire, thank you very much! I have tried different tactics to deal with this. He pouts when I tell him no. If I tell him ok, well that is bad too.

He has been after me for 2 + yrs and it is getting real old. He really got in my face today about it to make sure I heard him. Following me around so much so that I can't get things done. He then wanted to know when we were moving to D.C. This goes on and on.

Awhile back he had his suitcase packed and told me they were coming to pick us up....I have agreed and disagreed, explained etc. He has dementia, so doesn't remember past conversations.

Anyone else have issues such as this?

Answers 1 to 8 of 8
Top Answer
I'd vote for ya. Gotta be an improvement right? ha
when my Dad follows me around like the way you said your Dad does to you I would give him a big hug, then he would mello out. I know how annoying it can get. I found with my Dad that he does this when he really just needs to feel loved. I'm not saying it's the same with your Dad but perhaps check it out. Sometimes a good hug is healing for you both. I'm just glad you didn't say he thought you were his wife... that could get really scary, lol All kidding aside, do you have someone to come in and help you out so you can get a break now and then? I find that when I need a break I feel like the "Dad walls" are closing in on me and I can't breathe because he is my shadow and into everything I'm doing.. like I go into the kitchen and then he has to come in and pick up things and ask me what the names of them are, like when I'm making a salad he will do that with all the veggies while I'm trying to do it.. it can get really maddening, believe me I know. Sometimes I pray "God please help me to see Dad and this entire situation differently to help me cope" usually not long afterwards something happens to give me more insight. I get through event by event. Talking here helps a lot to. Lots of support here.
Sonny follows me like a puppy dog when Marie is gone to the Dr, hairdresser, ect... I usually have to find him something to do.... like help me empty the small trash cans. get him to help fold the towels and washclothes... it has been too hot for me to take him outside for very long... He loves to pick up sticks in the yard and fill the bird bath... we call it our "yard work"..... he does ask when "we are going home" or " who is coming to pick us up".... my suggestion was to add some to his anxiety meds.. he is getting to where he paces a lot in the evenings... redirecting helps, does your dad like sweets? I can side track Sonny by asking him if he wants a cookie, he loves sweets and we have to keep them put up or he would make himself sick..... I also got him some large nuts and bolts to take apart and put back together... he gets very into that, as the "housework" is not a man's job, that is what he tells me..... lol. Are you in a situation where you can take him for a walk??? I notice more demanding behaviours when he has been stuck in the house all day.... he has worked outside his entire life.... so if fall EVER gets here we will be outside more, but am afraid of the heat and what it can do to him...
You might also ask him how he plans to finace your presidential bid and campaign... it takes ALOT of money dad, how we gonna do that???? It can be exhausting to have them following you around, getting into things, but as someone said, sometimes a hug or a chore helps... can he wash the veggys for you????? Even if he makes a mess, it will keep his hands busy... women are easier to redirect, so many things they can do that are "normal" to them, men, a different story. If anyone has any other ideas I would love to hear them... hugs to everyone, caregiving is not for sissy's...
I find these persistent delusion very interesting. We had someone in our local support group whose dad had a very rich and consistent fantasy life. He owned car dealerships and a resort and he watched construction on his shopping center out his window (construction that no one else could see, by the way). Eventually he was the governor of North Dakota. It was like an unfolding soap opera to hear of his delusions each meeting. His were mostly benign -- owning property and being governor were not distressing. But the problems arose when he wanted his daughter to take him to the train station so he could be on time for his inaugral ball, etc.

It sounds like your dad also has consistent and mostly happy delusions, newtonjoyce, with the added twist that they involve not his own high station in life, but yours! Like my friends at the support group, it is the caregiver who has some distress over the delusions.

My husband had delusions, but they did not continue from one episode to the next. Each one was self-contained. And he also had hallucinations, but not generally both together, like the dad who believed he owned the land outside his window and also saw construction on it.

Does your dad have any hallucinations to support his delusions? I find this a fascinating subject.

But, what to do? That is really the issue, isn't it?

Can you participate is his world a little (short of buying tckets to DC)? "Dad, I have to finish what I'm doing right now. At 4:00 let's sit down and make a list of the most important issues I should talk about in my campaign." "I can't pack now, because I don't think I have the right wardrobe. What kind of clothes do you think the president of the United States should wear?" Bringing up the money factor, as ladeeda suggests, is another approach. Or, "Dad, lets put some dance music on and practice for the balls I'll be attending. Can you pick out a good CD for that while I get these clothes in the washer?" Can Dad still write? Maybe you could ask him to write you a campaign speech. That ought to keep him busy for a while and give you something to talk about later.

I sure don't know -- have not have to deal with this personally -- but I'm thinking if you can enter his world a little that you can (maybe) lead him into reality. If you practice dancing for the inaugral ball, you could talk about whether he and your mother danced much and that can lead to talking about real memories instead of delusions. If you start out talking about what kind of wardrobe a president needs, maybe you can ask him if he remembers that outrageous dress you wore to senior prom. Or if he can remember something pretty that your mother wore. I think you get the idea. Start from where he is and redirect him to a real memory, or a real current topic.

And frequent hugs sure can't hurt!
Wow, thanks everyone! Great, great ideas! You are all awesome! I love a new perspective on things.
Re entering their world, I have not dealt with someone with dementia but an early teenaged girl with schizophrenia. I will share it as it follows some of what I read here. The psychiatrist recommneded that when D went into one of her fantasies to say :"No D that is not so." When I did that, she got worse and more agitated.and went further into the fantasy. So I decided to enter into her :"woods " (my image of her mind), but always keepng a rope, as it were tied to reality, so we could find out way out. She began to respond to me with more and more reality and by the end of term (school for disturbed and mentally challenged children), after an assessment she was found to be normal. Sadly, she returned to a somewhat toxiic family for the summer and regressed. Let us never underestimate the effect we can have on others. Having said that, my very best efforts in other situations have not brought forth the fruit I was looking for.
let us know how your "campaign " is going....... hugs to you...
As I have said many times on this sight, they no longer live in our world we have to go to thiers, Imagine some one always telling us, No, you aren't washing dishes, No, you aren't reading a book, No you aren't watching tv, No, those aren't your children.. and so on... that is the reality we live in..... how angry and upset we would get if someone was always tellling us it wasn't real.... so hope some of the suggestions work for you... they are so worth the time and energy to redirect them.. and they even make us laugh when we join where they live in thier heads..... Sonny keeps me laughing all day, his world is a lot more fun that mine..... hugs...

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