My Father has dementia and all he wants to do is watch movies. What should I do?

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He gets mean if he doesn't like movie and we don't change it. He starts the movie and about 1/2 hour into it he tells me it's lousy or boring. One night he yelled and cussed at me because he didn't like the movie choice. I changed the movie but as soon as he gets in the door he wants a movie. It's almost OCD. I don't know what to do. He just did this at my sister's house on Sunday for the first time so she is seeing it too. Any suggestions?

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My father who also has dementia really goes for the violent films... loves the violence and then he has this awful aggressive energy.
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GardenArtist is right on.. He can't follow the movies or shows you like so his response is "this is stupid"... Get him his own tv..
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I just remembered that there may be a programmable option from your cable service to run recorded programs. If you could record a variety of programs he might like, do that, and teach him to move ahead or around the selections, he could experiment at will until he found something he liked.

I'm wondering also if he becomes annoyed with the program because he's not able to follow it, b/c it might be too complex or confusing and he becomes irritated with his inability to understand it.

Is there any theme you can find to the programs he does enjoy?

For that reason, I would avoid complex thrillers or sci-fi.
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Terry, I think sometimes watching tv is just an escape; it's not as if the process of watching it is educational, and there really aren't that many educational or quality channels available.

There's a reason why the term "couch potato" was coined, and why it becomes habit forming for people of any age.

Although I'm certainly no expert, I really do think that the "zone out" effect of tv is one of the reason older folks watch it - especially as Jessie mentioned that some of the programs create a very fictionalized, idealized (but unrealistic) interpretation of what life could be like.

It's an escape into a different reality.

RBrown, if there's any way that your father could be taught to use a DVD, try that option. You could get him DVDs of his favorite shows and he could change them at will. I believe libraries also have DVDs on loan.

Perhaps writing out the instructions, step by step, and going through them with him would help, but sometimes instructions for electronic gadgets aren't intuitive and are too difficult for elders (and sometimes "youngers" as well) to understand and follow.

However, I wouldn't under any circumstances tolerate verbal abuse. When he starts that, quietly explain that it's not appropriate behavior and leave the room, the house, and just get away. Let him think for awhile about his behavior.

You'll need to stop this verbally abusive behavior now or it may just get worse, much worse.

Good luck; I hope you find success in the solutions suggested.
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I would let him watch movies - you can buy DVD movies used - usually only watched once or twice on Amazon - I found a local store that also sells used cheap you could get him a bunch. Since he does have dementia - he may like watching movies he has seen before. My LO is way more content with an old western he has seen before than trying to follow something new. Like some of the others mentioned, his own TV in a different room would give him the control he wants and you the freedom to watch what you want. Dealing with dementia is hard but I have found it easier to try to work to a solution for issues rather than to get frustrated and trying to reason with a dementia patient is like beating your head against the wall, no help and it hurts. I would not however let him cuss and yell at you for any reason - at that point - like a toddler you must just calmly tell him that behavior is unacceptable and walk out of the room - as his dementia progresses he will get more frustrated at things and at you - so try to curb this behavior as much as you can. Good luck.
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Is that a symptom of dementia? My dad has been watching tv and luttle else for ten years or more. Little interest in anything else. It does seem very OCD. At first, we let him and said hey! He worked hard all his life, let him do what he wants. But now, he can barely do anything at all, he can't move he can barely walk and still is only interested in watching TV all day long. he can't walk from not moving for years and years and years and now it is really affecting the quality of his life and still he only wants to watch TV. even when we have driven from Arizona to Oregon and stayed in hotels along the way we have to hurry up each day and get to the next hotel so we can sit there and stare at the TV until bed time.
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If he wants to watch movies then let him. If you have another room I would get a seond tv. As one earlier poster said get him headphones. I wont allow mum to watch violent movies. We have a whole rack of dvds that are appropriate for her and she is quite happy to watch them over and over
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Does he like PUZZLES? GET HIM A NICE BIG JIGSAW PUZZLLE.. HE MAY LIKE THAT AND TALKING AT THE SAME TIME.
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Make sure the remote has a sleep timer on it. From 30 minute up to 10 minutes. Head phones s only he hears it. and do you have a dvd player? buy 6 of his favorite movies and put them on. Take him for a walk. Unplug the tv and tell him he will need to listen to the radio or read...Put a GFI with timer on it betweem tv and the plug outlet.
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My mom is like this. The TV is her territory. If something is on that she doesn't want to watch, she'll talk about how terrible the show is. One night I was watching Big Bang and she talked and talked about how bad it was. I couldn't hear anything being said on the show, so I gave up and let her watch what she wanted. She was happy after that. TV is something she enjoys. It was her TV and I had definitely put my big foot in her territory. :)

When I first got here over 5 years ago, Andy Griffith ran all day long on TV, it seems. She would watch it all day. Reruns didn't bother her. Then it was Bill Cosby. For the past 2-3 years it has been The Waltons, interrupted by a bit of Little House. She'll watch the same shows over and over. I think she finds comfort in the familiarity. I think she also likes the family closeness of the shows - something she doesn't have in her own life.

She has lately entered a new stage and doesn't watch TV as much. I don't know what is happening and certainly dread finding out. But I know what is going to happen will happen, so I take it a day at a time.
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