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My dad have really short memory and he talks to himself all of the time loudly as if hes talking to someone else but lately when he looks in the mirror he think its some else, I tried to convince him by taking picture of him and tell him that its just a mirror and your looking at your self, but he says he is a wizard or ghost and that that explains how he can look like him.

This problem is creating a lot of family fighting since he gets mad why we let some one we don't know live in our house. he some time accuse him for stealing things, when its just him forgetting where he left his stuff. He is really lonely since we all have school and job to do while hes at home alone, I think this is the reason for this I try to send some time with him but that isn't fixing the problem, my dad and my mom fight a lot and they don't sleep together now everyone sleep in their on. Hes going through really rough time, and I wondering how I can convince him that its just a mirror?!

Sorry if have spelling mistakes I am just 16 years old and English isn't my native language.

I hope there is solution for this!

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You are amazing and so is your English. I'm so glad that you asked this question.

When someone with Alzheimer's gets to a certain stage they no longer remember themselves as they are. They feel younger - with time even like a teenager or a child, so they don’t recognize that “old person” in the mirror. That's also why they don't remember a spouse - they may remember the person they married as a young person and this person is no longer young (even though your dad is likely not that old, either).

Mirrors show them strangers. Often they think it's an intruder. Since the family is trying to be logical and assure him that he's looking at himself, he's making up excuses. Unfortunately, he can no longer be logical. Your family may want to read this article:
https://www.agingcare.com/articles/validation-therapy-for-dementia-166707.htm

I would also suggest that they look Agingcare.com over carefully for more help. For your sake and your family's go to the Alzheimer's Association website www.alz.org and learn all about Alzheimer's disease. They also offer a lot of support. There is a teen support group on that site and also on the Alzheimer's Foundation of America site at www.Alzfdn.org.

The Alzheimer's Foundation's brain tour at http://www.alz.org/alzheimers_disease_4719.asp?_ga=1.187594664.1832356634.1400765255 will give you and your parents a very graphic idea of what is happening to your dad. It can be looked at in several languages.

Education is essential to handle someone with Alzheimer's disease. Your dad can't help what is happening. His brain is being eaten up by this disease. It's heart breaking and will put you all through many trials. Please keep in touch and let us know how you are doing.
Carol
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Hi Wheels, my mom was diagnosed with dementia. When growing up, we had chickens and dogs and cats. As kids, we used to get a kick out of my brothers (naughty boys!) would trick the animals. They would get a mirror and show it to the animals. They see themselves in the mirror and become aggressive towards their image. It was soooo funny.

Then, when I was age 23, mom was diagnosed with dementia. We went thru the stages by hit-and-run. We didn't have a computer where we can learn what mom had. She went thru the accusation stage. The anger stage. The refusal to take her pills stage (found it between the sofa cushions or under the sofa) to help with the violence stage.

It never failed. When we would take mom to the bathroom to shower her, and I forget to open the medicine cabinet mirror, she would see herself. And go from calm mom to aggressive, very angry (and scary!) looking mother. Her Face Literally changed. It was .... scary. Because I wasn't familiar with dementia, I thought that when mom's face changed like that, that she was being possessed by our deceased ancient scary ancestor's spirit.

A person who is going down the road of senility- loses their logical minds. Their brain cells synapses are all messed up and sending the wrong signals. They look in the mirror. A logical person would look and Know that is themselves. A person who has dementia or going senile - looks in the mirror and sees a Stranger. You cannot reason with them because their synapses in the brain is all messed up.

It's like how I sometimes Read the numbers 489235 but I then write down 498235. Or I read the words 'Cat's tail' but in my mind, I say 'coattail'. You know what I mean? My eyes and my brain sometimes miss each other. But an older person's brain is not just a 'sometimes' miss. It's a permanent dying process of their brain. And their memory is going to get worse and worse.

So, accept that mirrors are no longer Safe to leave uncovered. I say 'safe' because as they progress in their dementia, they may become violent. I don't want your father to see himself, see a stranger there, and attack the mirror. He might break the mirror and hurt himself. Yes, cover the mirrors.

Also, as a heads up, if pictures or paintings of people start to irritate him -like the mirrors irritate him - then start covering those pictures. Or put it away for now. It's really best to read up on Alzheimer so that you know what to expect. I'm still learning....
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Right or Wrong - I went with her moods. My mother passed from old age actually, no illnesses and wasn't on medication. However, her brain declined giving her dementia before passing at 96 years young. It seemed to confuse her if I corrected her logically. So when she asked if her parents were home, while laying in bed at night, I'd sometimes say "NO, they're out dancing" and she accepted that. If she waved at the TV or Mirror as though they could see her, I'd wave with her. When she got angry - which made me giggle - I'd ask her if she knew how much I loved her. Sometimes that worked and sometimes not. If the doll I bought her was heard crying in the other room by her, I'd go get it and hold on to it while we watched TV together. I wanted to validate 'her' reality and it seemed to calm her and no harm was done.
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Dear Wheels, booklovr was right on. The best thing to do is to take down, turn around , or cover any mirrors or glass that his image can be reflected in. Best to do this a little at a time when he is not in the room you are removing something from. I the case of a smallish mirror, try replacing it with a picture.
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I like the concept of "validating reality." I'm going to try to implement that in my own situation.
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Putting yourself into his reality is excellent advice but also to reduce his confusion, removing the mirrors or covering them is best. Cover the bathroom mirrors so they rest of you can still use them when needed but decorative mirror you can remove and replace something in its spot.

There is no way to convince him of your reality. Using anti anxiety medication can help to reduce these episodes.
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In the scope of everything, let him believe there is a stranger in the mirror, right now it's not going to hurt anything.
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When someone begins hallucinating and/or imagining that obstacles are real, and is in dementia, there is no way that you're going to convince him that his delusions aren't real. It's physically impossible because of changes in the brain and persistence will only frustrate and/or aggravate everyone.

The key is to recognize these limitations and deflect, move past, or redirect them to something more positive.

Either remove the mirrors, or cover them. Or even tell him you're going to have a heart to heart talk with the mirror person and tell him/her to go away. Then cover the mirror, or put up a photo of a peaceful mountain scene or something inaminate but beautiful.
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Thank you for answering. I found out that hes in critical condition it took us a while to explain to him that hes our father. and about leaving him believe that there is stranger in the mirror cause a lot or problems such as, fighting with my mother why we give the stranger food and says that shes cares about the stranger more then her husband, even though she was outside when that happened ( maybe he was hallucinating ) some times he threat the he will kick her out and some times he goes into really disparate condition and start threatening that he will break stuff because we don't help him tell her not to do that ( giving food to strange ) but we can't cause hes not real person and there is much more!

Is there a way we can help him believe that its just a mirror, if not we will have to block all the mirrors in the house.

Thank you for reading!
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