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Going crazy. He goes though the house closing the doors. He changes the thermostat or turns off the AC. When I'm out in the garden in the evening, he locks me out of the house. Thank god he can hear and let's me back in. I plan to hide a key outside. Sometimes I start to tell him something, than think why, he won't remember it. I get so lonely even though I'm never alone.

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My brother-in-law is 91 years old and his memory is really bad. He will repeat over and over the same question, or tell about something that occurred in the past. Is this considered dementia?. He will not let me take him to see a doctor.
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I'm in the exact same scenario as you are with my dad; he has every single behavior you mentioned. I completely understand where you are coming from!

Try this: I double lock the front and back doors when I am home and always post a handwritten sign that says: "Dad! The door is double locked & has already been checked! You don't have to worry!, Love, kthln3" I was happily surprised to find that IT WORKS! Can't hurt to try.

And yes, hiding a key outside is essential. I've done that as well as (2) always remembering to slip an extra housekey in my pocket whenever I go outdoors to garden, etc. Have extra housekeys made, hide one outside; maybe leave one with a trusted neighbor? Both my next door and across-the-street neighbors know the situation here and have housekeys.

It is hard as nails to remain calm as a caregiver & that is why this site is so essential. It has helped calm me many, many times and alleviated much of my loneliness as well. This is often an unbearably lonely experience, caregiving! So keep reading here, posting here and remember: you have many people who are travelling the same path. I feel your pain. I wish you strength and serenity.
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Re the key. I'm a firm believer of a Realtor box -- it's a combo lock that goes over the doorknob. Put a house key in there, so you can get in yourself -- can let a neighbor go in or let in police or paramedics. You can change the combo any time you'd like and you don't have to depend on a neighbor being home to get into the house.

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Are there locks on any doors like the bathroom or bedroom? Safety may justify disabling such locks. The outside key is a good idea. Make sure a trustworthy neighbor knows where you hide the key in case of emergency for you or your father. Keeping a cell phone in your pocket may also be of help if you get locked out or need assistance.
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Of course you're lonely. In a way you are alone. Your dad isn't in the same reality as you are, he's off in his own.

Definitely hide a key outside and your thermostat company may be able to put a protective guard around the thermostat to keep your dad from changing it. Open up the little door and see what company installed it. Or put a sign on it that says, "DON'T TOUCH!!!!!"

Do you get any time to yourself? Are you able to get out of the house? Is your dad able to get out of the house? Do you have any assistance in caring for him?

I understand how frustrating it is to deal with someone with dementia day in and day out. It goes way beyond having patience. We can't expect our elderly loved ones who have dementia to live in our world anymore so we have to go into their world in order to deal with them. It's very challenging.
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I hear ya! My dad (94yrsold) keeps asking if the doors are locked and continually gets up and checks them, we figure that is the only exercise he gets...yes, you do need to hide a key outside! Hang in there!
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