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My dad has had a constant need to clear his throat for years. For whatever reason now it bothers him greatly. It seems to come on at night after dinner which leads me to believe it is food related. I asked his doctor to change his blood pressure med from and ace inhibitor to something else which was done. He was advised to keep a journal listing everything he eats daily and if his cough is worse on a given day. We also advised him to avoid certain foods. Tis all fell on deaf ears and he continues to eat foods he was asked to avoid. He also has acid reflux. I get a daily phone call from him telling me he can't live like this anymore. When I ask him what he ate and is he following the doctors orders he explodes and tells me that isn't the answer. My dad is the most impatient man I have ever known. If something doesn't work immediately he won't continue to use it. He believes there should be a magic elixir that will cure his problem. As I said I get the phone call every day and after we past his temper I ask him what he ate that day. A typical day is coffee and cereal in the morning,salami for lunch,and before dinner horseradish cheese and crackers,cucumbers with wine vinegar,and whatever meat or fish they decide on for that day. A lot of meals have some form of tomato sauce on them. I ask him each day if he will please list what he is eating and he refuses. I told him today if he chooses to follow this path I can't help him. He says because he feels the need to clear his throat all the time he can't sleep. He forgets that he sleeps in his chair after dinner for about three hours before going to bed. Consequently I think his sleep patterns are a mess and he ends up sleeping during the day. I am at my wits end. My stress levels are off the chart.

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Im not sure we can say that someone with dementia is willfully ignoring advice.

Who is preparing his meals?
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" it can't be fixed dad. This is just the way it is".
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We can't help someone who doesn't want to be helped and we certainly shouldn't be working harder on helping someone get well when they themselves won't participate in their own healthcare.

You said your stress levels are off the chart. Because you can't make someone do something they don't want to do! Give it up. Just let it go and feel the stress drift out of your body.
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It was suggested he take three tums a half hour before eating dinner. He is balking at that as well because he didn't think it helped immediately. He doesn't grasp the whole acid reflux thing and doesn't want to stop eating the things he wants. I would agree he is showing some signs of dementia.
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Jim, may I ask if your Dad is coughing after he eats anything? If yes, then it sounds like some food is going down the wind pipe. He would need physical therapy to help with that.

I also have acid reflux but never felt the need to clear my throat, but have had the need to get a TUMS real quick. Tomatoes, as much as I love them, are not my friend. Caffeine isn't good, either, but I can understand how important it is to have coffee in the morning. Such diets can be difficult. Have your Dad try TUMS after eating. They are also a good source of calcium. Of course, ask his doctor first.
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Jim, your dad has dementia. His brain is broken. He no longer sees the big picture. If he's always been impatient and not prone to following a sensible diet, believe me, he ain't starting now!

In your shoes, i would get Dad to a geriatric psychiatrist and get him some meds for agitation and perhaps depression. I'd let him eat as he pleases.
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