How do I get my Dad to understand that he has Dementia?

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He is in complete denial, won't take meds or visit a doctor.

Answers 1 to 10 of 15
Will your father respond to a son or brother or clergy? If you can tap into a trusted relationship to deliver the news, it might help for that person to deliver the news. Additionally, ask your doctor if you can tape the message for you to play over and over again. Dementia by definition means confusion. It is very hard to expect them to understand. Also, my mom did better on a low dose of Zoloft-ask the pharmacist if it can be added to food in liquid form or ground up. It may help your dad's brain chemistry to register the importance of taking his other meds.
Try to use emotional tugs or emotion driven arguments. Rational thinking, rational arguments generally do not work and generally upset or cause fear, depression, etc. Why does he need to know. What do you want him to do with this information. What behavior do you want to change. Think thru the end goal, and go at it backwards. A head on "
here are the facts Dad" will not work.
Top Answer
You really can not make him believe it or admit it but in time you won't need for him to accept you can get as much knowledge as possible to help you handle the process but you can not make him accept the facts.
You are between a rock and a hard place with this. The longer dad goes without proper treatment the worst the dementia will get. Sounds like you are beyond the point where rational arguments or information will work so you need help. If you dad was more likely to trust other family members, friends, or neighbors (don't laugh I've seen this myself) enlist their help. If dad has gone to a doctor he liked in the past then get that doctor involved. Also, contact your local chapter of the Alzheimer's Association. They are very good at helping you find the best way to approach this. IN any case, you must find a way to get your dad on track taking his meds correctly and fighting the dementia before it gets him to the point where he will have to be institutionalized. Also, if he is still driving don't bother trying to take away his keys. Just lose the car. Put it in storage someplace and tell him it was stolen. ;-)
If you could get him to understand then he wouldn't have it. All they know is they seem to forget more then they used too. My Mom has it and is in a nursing home because of heatlh issues as well. She tells me all the time she hasn't the memory she used to have. I see no point in telling her "Mom you have dementia" and that is why you act the way you do ,or forget things. What is the point it will most likely make her feel worse or make her afraid. Just be there for him and try to get outside help.
Thank you all 4 your kind words & info. I have an appt. made 4 him on the 1st. Will have 2 wait till the last min. 2 try & get him in the car. Also due to legal issues in Probate, is the reason why the Attorney wants him Professionally Evaluated. Hugs & Thanks 2 all of you out there. Cheryl
Tell him that he has dementia and name it....i.e. Althzeimer's or whatever the diagnosis is. Then go ahead and tell him that he has to take his meds. Stand there and give it to him and watch him. Tell him when he needs to see the physician and why.....RESPECT>>>>RESPECT>>>>RESPECT> and don't forget LOVE.
I need to protect my dad because he has it as well and he is now dating a women who I think is taking advantage of him. He is 78 and she is 59.
I do recall having been in a similar situation as well and this did work_

One thing that seems to be working fine was to crush the medication up and offer in foods like Icecream, yogurt, applesauce etc.

Make sure you ask your doctor if it is safe to crush the medications. Some medications can not be crushed.

Good luck on your caregiving journey~

I think you need to talk to your father's doctor about this. There are different types of dementia, and depending on the diagnosis, your doctor can advise you whether your father even needs to be told he has dementia. There are other ways of telling an elder he has "dementia" and that it would be helped by such-and-such a drug, without saying the word "dementia", which could hurt his self-esteem. I've heard of doctors saying the patient is having "memory problems" or "sleep difficulties".....things like that which are easier to take in for the patient. And then maybe he'd be more likely to accept the need for medication. I totally get what you're going through with your father. My father is in denial that he has a dementia condition with depression, and refused to see a psychiatrist even though his doctor suggested he do so---and his doctor was so careful to NOT say the word "dementia" but used other words that were kinder to my Dad's ego. It still didn't work. So I am still having to handle my father's occasional angry outbursts and fairly chronic negativity.

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