My Dad has decided that he's a burden to his family despite reassurance that he's not. How do I manage this behavior?

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He wants to die. He has had serious dementia for about eight years. Is fixated on not being able to drive and have that measure of independence. Has a lot of anger. Physically he is very frail and getting out of the house is a chore.

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Speak to his doctor about adding an antidepressant. Tell doctor about his death wishes and anger. At some point in a terminal patient's psyche I suspect one might recognize when their body is shutting down. Listen to his thoughts and don't try to judge, just comfort him. My best to him...
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How old is your father. I'm a widower of sixty two. After the passing of my wife, we sat down together and discussed the various parameters we should adhere to. The Kids are marvelous and all of them visit daily to discuss pertinent (mostly business matters) I conduct my commercial activities do my own cooking and look after my too large house alone. My mam was widowed at eighty five , she will be 100 on the 4th of July. We have meticulously adhered to her wishes on the level of independence she wishes to mantain. This of course has changed with time. So to sumerise, nobody likes to smothered, be a fly on the wall, and make sure you're actions are for the correct reasons,
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Feeling useless is difficult, my dad and maternal grandmother both dies in the 90s, each was very energetic and hardworking, and both were very bothered by their loss of ability. Dementia can only intensify the problem. Best of luck to you.
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Even better, if there's something they do that they didn't realize was important or helpful, routinely mention how much you appreciate it. If the person tells funny family stories, maybe mention how they really are the family historian and you enjoy their stories and make time to sit and listen to them, once in awhile (they don't have to be correct, by the way).

Another way to look at this: what will you miss when the current person is gone? Do they have a way of making people feel important? Do they hum to songs in a sweet way? Sometimes, the thing that you miss is a thing they need to hear about and be encouraged to do more of.
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Reassurance didn't work with my Mom. I had to find things that made her feel helpful. I had to tell her why they were helpful.

It doesn't have to truly be helpful, just to sound kind of plausible. Here's one example: I print off the MapQuest directions to where I'm going even when I know where I'm going. I tell Mom that I'm only "pretty sure" where the right medical building is, and that's plausible in our huge medical complex (sometimes, it is actually true!). Then, I let her read the directions to me. She doesn't read them right but I thank her for helping me.

She was watching me do laundry and talking about the extra burden she's caused. I asked her to match the socks. She can't really stand, so this was a good task. Later, I have to resort some of them out of her sight, but it's not bad and I remember to thank her, every time.

Or, here's something that truly is helpful: I asked Mom to shout out for me whenever the buzzer sounds on the dryer, as I can't always hear it and this truly has been helpful to me.

The point I'm making isn't that you should do these things. I'm just saying that people sometimes need to have something that makes them feel useful and to hear why it's useful. Sometimes, I come up with something for Mom and she gets a bit surly about it, until I explain why it would have been helpful to me. I tell her she doesn't really have to do it, but she usually does once she hears a little on why I'm asking her to do it.
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I have worked with client's with dementia, and distraction works well because their memory is short span. So try introducing them to other activities that they enjoyed other than driving. Try day care respite centers, they provide activities that involve them in different activities. They can evaluate him and figure what would work best for him. The downside is that it does cost to get them in daycare, so you might want to sit down and talk with them first. Get some professional help. I know it is frustrating! Many elder with dementia do lose their independence and that is devastating to them. It will only get worse, but there are places that can help. I also suggest that you get them medication that will reduce their anxieties and help them to relax. They do need constant interaction and redirection, but there is still hope out there. I am a caregiver, and I do take care of a client with first stage of dementia and her son gives her sedatives and that helps so much. She is fine during the day because she gets out and interacts with other elders, at night she is restless so sleep aid is what he gives her to help her sleep. I hope this helps. Good luck, I know it is hard for a family member. For some reason, elder with dementia tend to take out their frustration more on their love ones, than they do a stranger.
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He just doesn't feel useful...You can fix this by asking for his help.

Gauge what he can easily and safely do and then say something like...It would really help me if you could.

If necessary participate with him so that it can be completed safely but make yourself his "helper".

If he is physically unable ask for his advice and let him "coach" you.

We all need to be needed.

Also be sure to share fun activities with him. Board games or puzzles or just after dinner walks talks.

If he has a hobby, maybe the senior center near you needs activity coordinator so that he can teach others to do what he knows how to do.

The key is to make him feed useful and needed.
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Tough one. One option might be to find an adult day care facility that has some activities that are appropriate for him. Just being with others and getting another outlook can be amazing. I used to work at one and have seen the difference it can make. Of course there are long term facilities with "memory care" programs that are worthwhile but more expensive. As others have mentioned evaluation for his depression would be a good idea. Good luck.
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A different placement for your father might be the healthiest choice for the good of the entire family. I hear from people who've done this that the loved one might kick up quite a fuss at first but then is happier overall once they settle in.

Meanwhile, if he isn't receiving treatment for the depression, ask the doctor for an evaluation with the idea of getting meds to help. This may take some patience waiting for the drugs to take effect and also for experimentation if the first thing tried doesn't work.

Blessings to you and your family for a positive outcome to this trying situation.
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He might perk up in assisted living. They do better when they are surrounded by people their own age. Take him on tour to several ALF's and get the free lunch. A good facility will evaluate him with an on site nurse. They will also sort out the financial end of it, finding aid you thought was unavailable.
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