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Just this week dad's dementia got a whole lot weirder. He is sometimes totally OK and making sense (mostly), but then an hour later, he isn't recognizing things, is choosing weird nouns for things that don't fit (like pointing to a walker and saying "dog")... and this afternoon I found him out of bed having stripped himself naked. All of this happened just today!


He is on his way to memory care but currently in inpatient hospice. The good news is that rehab did make him stronger and he's eating well... can walk 183 feet, but is still wobbly when he walks....the bad news is he's stronger and now capable of getting out of bed and doing weird stuff.


I'm presuming he's working his way to a change to a new normal when he will stabilize at whatever that is.... or does this bizarre hourly differences become the new normal?

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There will be new normals but they don't necessarily last. Everyone experiences dementia a little differently. You may want to check him for a UTI, as it can definitely and "suddenly" create behavioral changes and it is easy to diagnose and discount.

I think your best strategy is to have no expectations of how it's going to go. I just got back from visiting my 99-yr old aunt with dementia. My cousin (her caregiver) told me the very day I arrived, she started the behavior of screaming "HELP!" really loud and often. On a trip to the bank to take care of some PoA paperwork, someone called the police because she was in the car yelling for help.

I recommend you watch some Teepa Snow videos on YouTube. She explains a lot about dementia, what it is, how it is manifested in people who suffer from it and how to engage better with our LOs. May you gain peace in your heart on this journey.
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marydys May 6, 2021
Thank you
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This seems pretty normal for dementia. There is no rhyme or reason to it. The brain is complicated and a broken brain is totally unpredictable. I guess you just have to accept this roller coaster that his life has become.

Glad that he is on his way to memory care.
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There is no new normal with dementia. Every day ( and hour) is different, and as you say, constantly changing. That's good that he's going to MC both for him and for you, but why is he on hospice? Does he have some other end of life issues? Your description of him doesn't seem like he's hospice qualified.

Although he's going into MC, remember you are still his advocate. You are still caring for him. Even when you visit, you'll witness changes in behavior and not know what to expect. Anticipating a visit with my wife in MC made me quite anxious - I never knew what to expect. Is she having a good day or bad day? Will I find her crawling on the floor or sleeping in someone else's room? Despite how it may sound, her care was excellent. Most of the time the staff took the position that if her behavior wasn't dangerous or disruptive, they wouldn't interfere. So don't be alarmed at your dad's behavior when you visit, as long as you feel he's getting proper care. It's just the nature of the beast called dementia.

You may want to read “When Someone You Know is Living in a Care Community” by Rachael Wonderlin.
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marydys May 6, 2021
Thank you... yes he has other comorbidities and has been in the hospital since late March. He was doing better but suddenly his dementia got worse, they think it's because his body is shutting down and no longer maintaining electrolytes... probably a central nervous system or kidney disorder on top of the TBI injury he's recovering from.
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I would second the previous answer that recommended watching Teepa Snow. I learned more about dementia from watching a few of her videos than from all of the books I read combined.
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Reply to Louise315
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Agreed that every dementia case is different.

Agreed that it could be UTI.

I think that the hallucinations can be treated with medications. My husband hallucinated too before he was put on Seroquel. (There are many other similar drugs out there, but this one works for him.) If you have not done so already, talk to his neurologist who can prescribe a medication for him. As in all meds, it will take some time to kick in. Don’t expect overnight miracles.

Good luck.
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Actually the new normal can be either one. I think if you notice that he is more lucid and himself in the mornings. And then an hour later he is not lucid and as the day goes he gets wierded. I saw this in my own father and other family member. The brain is rested and more himself. In the mornings but after a few hours his brain gets tired and he isn't longer himself. Enjoy the mornings for soon they will be gone.a nap may help but he probably will refuse a nap. Again enjoy the mornings.
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This man is obviously developing dementia - big time - and it will get worse. Decide if you want to put up with this, get a caretaker, or place him. I think it is the on/off dementia (that is how it starts) is hitting him.
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marydys May 8, 2021
Yep, he has really changed very quickly. He goes to Memory care on Monday and is also now on hospice. It's nice when we get a glimpse of his old self and I'm grateful for that
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I see this all the time in my Charge. The tricky part is knowing how and when to just roll with it or gently correct. This is in regards to misnaming things. Example, where are my green pant? Im looking all over for green pants and she tells me the ones she wore yesterday. Oh, her blue jeans. As far as the naked thing goes; again a balancing act. If and when they realize these odd behaviors sometimes they verbally rebuke us because they are embarrassed. That’s been my experience. Honestly I just think “toddler”. Acknowledge the emotion then move to correct the problem. Example would sound something like. I see you’re frustrated. I can help you.... This gentle statement works for my gal and I use it a lot. Good luck and God Bless you!
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Get used to it!
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My dad had vascular dementia. He had good days and bad days. Some days he’d have delusions. Other days he’d seem more normal. He had one time where one side of his face went slack and he drooled and couldn’t talk normally for a few days which must have been a mini stroke. I was told that kind of thing was common for vascular dementia because of what might be going on in his brain where another part could be blocked or bleeding as the disease advanced.
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