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So, a continuation of an earlier question... Dad (91, depression, Parkinson's, living in Mass. while I'm in Michigan) has been in a geriatric psych ward for about 10 days following a hospital visit and increasing bouts of hostility and delusions (eg, strangers living in the house). He was started on Exalon and Seraquel last Wed, and there were apparently a couple of good conversations with my stepmom and stepbrother. I was out there this weekend and visited in person, and spent a nice two hours with him and stepmom. By that evening, he had forgotten completely. Have since had three conversations with him (one Sunday, two today) all along the same lines: "When am I getting out? Why aren't you helping me?" He says no one has seen him today, when the charge nurse tells me he was seen by both the psychiatrist and the social worker this morning. The phone calls are not productive for either him or me (not to mention I do have a 9-5 job which I rather need to keep, given that he has only $10K left in his bank account and no other assets besides his home). I know there is more testing to come as they adjust the meds. What do I do? What can I do?

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Blannie: I am not calling at all.
Rainmom: Good heavens--your experience sounds identical to mine. The slight bit of good news, such as it is, is that my brother and I--both not local--appear now to be taking most of the heat, making it just a bit easier for stepmom. Dare I ask--what is the "different strategy" that manifested?
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Adambravo- I know exactly how you feel. I went through it twice - first in early September when my mom went into rehab and then again in November when she was moved into a nursing home. My situation was even as bit trickier because I am local. Sometimes the call started benign enough with "why am I here"? Then moved to "come get me" - sometimes it started with "come get me". Regardless it always turned nasty at the next point which was when I explained I wouldn't be coming to take her home. Mom would scream, have a meltdown, disown me, bully me, told me I'd lost the right to call her "mother", etc. No matter what I'd say the conversation would run in angry circles - usually ending with her hanging up on me. Finally in late November I pretty much lost it and told her I wasn't going to go round and round with her - she was where she needed to be, I was not going to come get her - then I hung up. After that I stop taking her calls and she moved on to a different strategy. I'm not sure telling you this will provide any help to you - but at least you'll know someone else knows how you feel. That - and I can tell you first hand - that while it may not seem like it now, this phase will pass eventually - but the bad news is - it will just be something else. Hang in there!
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Are you calling him? Maybe don't call him for a while, until they have a chance to adjust his meds. Stay in close touch with his medical personnel and step mom and step brother, so that you show you care.

Since your dad isn't in his right mind, it's not doing either of you any good to have him rant at you over and over again. He won't remember five minutes later, but you will and that's not helping you. This is tough stuff for all of us and you've got it particularly rough. I'm sorry you have to go through this.
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Thanks for your thoughts so far. The six or seven conversations I have had have been exactly the same. Staying positive and redirecting the comments doesn't seem to work. Yes, the frustration is the expectations of the conversation--the ongoing 'disowning', 'you're not helping me after all I did for you', 'you're not my son'. It's not helping me and it's not helping him, because he always sounds angrier at the end of the conversation than at the beginning.
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I wonder if you are close to hanging up just due to frustration. Is the frustration due to your expectations of the conversation? I wonder if you lowered your expectations, you might not be so discouraged. With mental decline, there are limitations. Plus, your dad is 91. I'd take that into consideration. A person with his condition often may not recall what happened to them 5 minutes ago. I would be shocked if the did recall many things.

You say your dad is in a geriatric psych ward. I would think that they would be able to find a treatment plan for him, but what does the doctor say? I don't know of any way to repair the memory loss.

I think I might hope for the best and call when you feel you are prepared for it. And maybe you can take the lead on the phone call. Stay positive and redirect the comments. He may stop making those comments about leaving eventually.

Know that most family members encounter it, it's not your fault and that he's where he needs to be. People with the conditions that he has often are difficult to treat and happiness may be illusive for them. I'd try to focus on those visits that are positive. Try not to be so hard on yourself.
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adambravo, it is so hard to see one's parents mind slip away. I am watching that with my Dad. There are times where he is still very sharp, and other times his mind is off in the weeds somewhere.

I am currently trying to figure out if it time related, example Dad seems more confused after dinner... lately I call him just before the first setting of dinner at the senior living facility... we chat for a couple of minutes then Dad is ready to head down the hall.

Sometimes I will call Dad and he had totally forgotten that his caregiver was with him all morning. He will say he had no breakfast or lunch... then I would try to tell him yes he did, with no luck. I know, I shouldn't try to correct someone with memory problems.... I need to learn to play along [it worked with my Mom, it was so much easier doing that with her].
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