Some stories you just can't "go along with and re-direct." What can I do?

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dad thinks people are coming in the house at night. He obsesses on it all day long now! He already went to the police. Says he is going to call 911 in the middle of the night. How do you "go along with it"?? he can't be calling police every day.

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You are right. Some stories do not lend themselves well to "going along." When a a demented husband accuses his wife of having an affair with the neighbor, how can she go along without making matters worse.

You may be able to go part way on this one, though. People are coming into the house at night. That is his reality. I doubt that he can be talked out of it. So how can you comfort him and calm him and help him feel safer? Ask him how they are getting in. Then, it just so happens that you have a friend who specializes in entry-proofing that area. Maybe he puts in new locks. Maybe he sprays a special repellent along the window sills (that smells suspiciously like Lysol spray mist, but has a convincing computer-generated label). Maybe he walks around the outside of the house, nodding wisely, poking into bush branches, and generally looking busy, and goes back to his car for intruder-be-gone containers to place judiciously around the place. Whatever it takes to convince your father that you take his reality seriously, that you are on his side, and that you have a solution!

Also, he has gone to the police. Can you go to that same station and explain the situation (if they haven't already guessed?) Perhaps as a good-will customer service gesture they would send someone to Dad's house to assure him they are particularly monitoring this street.

Your goal is not the convince your dad of the "truth" -- he already has his own truth, thank you. It is to help him feel more secure, safe, and cared for.

These kinds of behaviors are really heartbreaking, aren't they? Good luck to you as you handle this challenging situation. And come back and let us know what works, it anything.
The problem with doing this is that after all the safeguards and protection is used, and your Dad still sees the people coming in, then you are back where you started. You need to explain this to your Dr. and see if you can get some anti psychotic medications. A very low dose can sometimes do the trick. It takes a week or more to kick in. It will help.
My grandmother heard a choir singing outside her window all the time. I asked her if they could sing--she said "of course, they're a choir!" Anti-psychotic meds got rid of the choir, but brought on physical problems for her.
gagak, I'd have asked if the choir bothered her. If it didn't, I'd have let her keep them. ;)
gagak, I agree with PCVS on this. I'd only take action if the choir bothered her. Now you can decide which is more bothersome -- some auditory hallucinations or delusions, or the side effects of the anti-psychotic meds. If the choir really is very bothersome to her, her doctor could try different drugs or different doses.

The condition my husband has, Lewy Body Dementia, commonly includes hallucinations and delusions. They are frequently beneign. Often the person enjoys them. The conventional wisdom in treating this in LBD is to leave it alone unless it is distressing to the person or is causing harm in some way. Generally there are enough distressing symptoms that really do need treatment that not treating things that can safely be ignored is a relief.

My husband once reported a dead body in our bed, in the daytime. Now that would freak me out -- I'd need treatment if I saw that. But he was not bothered at all. He just wanted to keep everyone out until the police arrived.

If my husband heard a choir, I'd ask if he could request Amazing Grace. But if it were keeping him from sleeping and distressing him, then I'd bring it up with his doctor.

My mom experiences a choir, or someone singing "church songs" outside her window fairly often. They don't really distress her, so we just acknowledge that she heard them and we move on from there.
My 90 year old Mom is a blast with some of her stories and comments to me-but not to one other sister who challenges her every word and upsets my Mother by being so freaked out by it.Try not to be so afraid.It reminds me of my own son at a very young age.He would tell me stories before bedtime about a wonderful man who comes to talk to him at night. Would any Mother be so upset by this coming from a child? I think my sister is terrified of her own mortality.Lighten up.That's life!
I agree with jeannegibbs in that their "truth IS their truth". You could never convince my MIL that their weren't people looking in the window at her, you could never convince my grandmother that there wasn't a fire outside her door or that my mother wasn't stealing all her money, or my mother that people were not inside the house in the middle of the night. It didn't happen in the daytime, just evening and night. Called Sundowners. No one will get any sleep if #1 they are not medicated correctly or 2, they are allowed to pace in a safe environment. My mom's facility is set up where she could pace in the middle of the night if she wanted to and no one cared. She would go back to bed for a little bit and get back up and walk the halls. All in all it just comes down to safety.....his and YOURs. Barring that, just a suggestion here, get a phone that doesn't work but he can use to "call the police". When he tells you it doesn't work you can simply say you will look into it and try to fix it. They do this at my mom's facility and it actually works when the patients demand to use the phone. Heck, some even go ahead and talk and it calms them down. Good luck and God Bless

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