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He says, "what is wrong with me?" "I am lost" Do I spend the same amount of time with him (every night for supper after work) or less time? When I don't go one night the next night he is so disoriented? Who can I talk to about the stages and what I should or shouldn't do with my dad? He is in assisted living now for two weeks.

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Does your father understand that he has a disease that interferes with his thinking? When he says "What's wrong with me?" how do you address that fear and concern?

My husband knew he had dementia. When he was frightened or exasperated at having done something dumb, I'd say, "You have a wonderful mind. You have always been smart. Because of disease that wonderful smart brain isn't always working its best now. But there will always be people around to help you remember important things and to keep you safe."

My mother has expressed some concern that she can't remember things like whether she has had lunch, or how she gets her hair done. I've told her that isn't important. She is in a good, caring, safe place, and there are lots of people to remember for her. Someone will always come and take her for her hair appointments. Someone will always see that she gets her meals.

I never argue that their memory isn't failing or that they don't have impairments. They know better than that. I always try to reassure them that they are safe and will be taken care of.
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Encourage him to get involved in the activities at the ALF, visit less and he will connect to his fellow residents faster. When he is gloomy, redirect the conversation, ask him what he did today, who he sat with, what is going on tomorrow. Keep it positive.
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How is his health other than the dementia? Is he on medication that could be causing him to be disoriented? You might review his medication with the AL staff and check with his doctor. See what the AL staff say about it.

Check to see if he is engaging in any activities at the AL. Does he watch tv, talk to anyone there? It could be that his condition is just progressing. When that happens, the visits will not prevent it. From my experience with my LO, the state of mind can be up one day and down the next. I never know what to expect so I expect anything. Eventually, I learned that m visits would not keep her happy. Now, I still visit at least twice per week, and more often if she's ill or injured, but I now understand that she has no memory of my visits. She never recalls if I was there the day before or not. Maybe your dad isn't there yet, but it could happen.

I may visit and my LO be in the bed, refusing to get up and seemingly out of it, but the next visit, she's smiling and having a nice time in the family room.

I would focus on spending good quality time with him when you are there, but not going every day, unless there is some reason to do that. Two weeks is still early on. My LO became comfortable pretty early on, but it still takes awhile for them to feel at home there. You might see an improvement once that happens.

You might also see if your dad might need an antidepressant. It really perked up my LO. Now she's rather obstinate though. I guess it's a trade off.
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Middledaughter2, I basically had to restrict my visits to two times a week. Any more than that, and my mother would not have adjusted to her new surroundings. I vary the times and days just to check on her and the staff. My mom's dementia is now progressing to the point where she cannot carry on a conversation. She will be 97 in November, so hers has been age-related decline; but it is still devastating. Some days she is sharp and show-times real well, other days she is confused and lost. It is a very cruel disease.
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