millie1128 Asked July 2011

How do I get my 85-year-old dad to stop asking what time it is every 3 minutes?

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He obsesses about when the heat and air come on and go off. As soon as someone throws something in the trash, he takes that bag out and replaces it with another one. He has lost 40 pounds over the past 6 months, but all his tests come back normal. He no longer carries a normal conversation. He is taking celexa, trazadone and ambiem.

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looloo Oct 2014
OCD maybe?
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johnvic Oct 2014
Many thanks for this thread. My father who was ageing slowly and had a minor memory loss was doing pretty well for a 92 year old (minimal loss of thought process). He was admitted to hospital for dehydration and put on a saline drip. He was later (next day i believe) put in a drug called zopicline. The point i am making is that the drip resulted in a huge improvement in his cognitive behaviour. However. That was short lived, and, in my view the zopiclone made his memory worse. Zopiclone didn't suit my father, but, my mother who is the same age had the same problem one year earlier got on well with Zopiclone. Different people react differently to the same drugs.
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NancyH Jul 2011
Actually it was 'Transient Global Amnesia'. I forgot. ha
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jeannegibbs Jul 2011
Thank you for sharing that personal experience, naheaton.
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NancyH Jul 2011
About 3 years ago my husband got new insight and understanding into the whole asking the same question over and over and over and over... that his mother does. On a Saturday morning he came home from work, we talked for awhile then he went to sleep and I took a shower. I got out of the shower and was right in the middle of putting on my makeup, when suddenly I couldn't remember anything. I knew I was putting on my face, but I couldn't remember if it was because he and I were going somewhere, or is was it just the normal routine. I woke him up and asked him what's going on? Are we doing something today? What day is it? Well it nearly scared him to death needless to say. On the way to the hospital I asked him for the hundredth time, 'what day is it?' He told me it was literally a hundred times, but to me it was only that once. Well it turned out that I had what they called T.G.A (total global amnesia) for no apparent reason and would probably never happen again. It started going away about an hour after I first looked in the mirror and had no idea of what day it was. My point was (I had one) that I kept asking him what the day was, because I kept trying to get a handle on what was happening to me. I just knew if I could just remember the day of the week, then I could understand what was going on. So now when his mom repeats herself, or asks constantly the same questions, he's much more forgiving then he used to be. Which is a good thing.
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newton thanx for the good idea comment , I forgot one thing, the asking repeated questions is most likely a stage that will pass to a new stage, I remember now how I got clever and finally figured out a solution and as soon as I did there was a new one unfortunately, like a growing child only backwards.
Austin is right you should not let others think it's OK to shovel everything on your plate although, I totally understand that everyone thinks that thier life is far more important and it's like you asked for the job and all the drama. This only means your the one that cares and you should be proud. I also learned that although this time is tuff you are the one blessed with the awareness of "LIFE" and how this is the most important treasure we have all been given! Those who look at "LIFE" through sellfish, uncareing, heart and eyes is a punishment they bring unto themselves!!! I am glad I will never suffer with that reality. The more you give the stronger you will get. The more they shut out the more suffering they will encounter. Stay possative and focus on good and keep evil and greed far away. Honesty and a good heart is your best weapon. Remember this... if your not a part of the solution your part of the problem. It might help you to express that thought maybe they will wake up. Good Luck!!!


Give other a chance and if they are bringing you down don't even waiste your good energy. I call those who do that "FUN SUCKERS" .
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195Austin Jul 2011
Millie I hope you have help caring for him and are not trying to do it all alone and do keep comming back here to vent -it does help that their are those here who want to help and to keep you from feeling all alone. Most hospitals have neuro support groups that if you could attend would be so much help for-talking to others with the same difficulties-I wish for things to get better for you-dementia changes just when you think ok now I can cope their behaivor changes and you have to find another option,
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newtonjoyce Jul 2011
wuvsicecream gave some great ideas. My dad always has to have a 'hankie'...back in the day before kleenex that's what they had and no one left the house without one. Someone asks dad the date, he looks at the newspaper. I put up pictures and snapshots all around his room so he remembers what he likes to do and his family members.
Gosh, all these little tricks to make their life and ours better. We are truly wonderful and we are learning so we can share and help others now and in the future.
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millie1128 Jul 2011
Again, I thank all of you for your comments; some were very helpful in that I have not thought of before. Believe me, and from your comments I can tell you have been there, I have done everything possible and within my power to narrow down the problem with my dad. Although I have a brother and sister, they rely heavily on me for the decisions. But they are helpful. And, yes, I am there at every visit with every doctor. And they all are aware of the weight loss and obsessions and are trying different medications. Because I have already warned my dad of dehydration, he keeps FIVE cups of water on the table, and constantly fills them with ice and drinks them throughout the day. And his appetite is very good - he eats! So frustrating and baffling. Again, my thanks and hugs to all of you!
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Get a clock that is familiar as in OLD fashioned! Maybe he always carried a pocket watch, and possibly hes just used to having it there. If you wear a ring on one finger for twenty years and then remove it you feel something is missing even if you don't know what it is that's missing. You feel lost or naked in a way. Easy to read clock, watch, or for blind there's an audio... out loud...say the time clock. Or maybe he just can't see a clock, or not know where it is because unfamiliar or change of settings are confusing him. He knows how to tell time probably, but he's just lost.
Example: "My Mom asked me everytime she washed hands where's the soap?"
I was glad her hygene was 100% but arghhhh!!! Then after two months I figured out she was not used to liquid soap she was looking for a bar of soap on the sink.
I put a... bar and she never asked again. Sometimes the most nerve racking thing to us has a solution, you just have to "solve the dementia logic puzzle".
Example: My Mom's room was moved, down the hall, it was in reverse, from the one she got used to in NH after a year. She was confused and would go back to the old room to nap. Upon visiting her she was napping and I couldn't find her in her room, she was in the old room. I asked the staff and they said she does that we don't know why! I looked on the name tags on the door entrance to her old room, there was her name. She reads whats on the door so she knows its her room, same with bathroom. After bringing this to the staffs attention all the closets are name tagged in rooms now too, solved many lost item problems too. This may not solve the big picture but hopeful it will help this issue.
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