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My daddy watched my aunt, his sister, go through dementia, & she was really bad. And her children didn't Care for her the way they should have, ( no one wanted her ). Daddy moved her in with us, because he was so sure he could fix her. That's actually when I realized that he was further along with his dementia than I thought. They fussed & fought like 2 little five year old kids.
So, I think in his mind it Scare's him to accept that he is going to go through that. I live with him, & I have been handling his finance's for 8 years now. He's 75, I'm 51, & my 47 yrs old twin brother & sister also live here. I get no help from them, just the opposite actually, ( I'm the prodigal daughter ). Anyway, I watch him reaching in his mind trying to remember a name, or place & he gets agitated because he knows he should remember, but can't. He tries to replace a word, or make one up, & tries to be funny about it. He's a very humorous, positive man, but some of his humour, of late, has been almost in appropriate. In fact his friends have no idea of his dementia, ( he's a biker, a cut up, practical joker ).
I've been just humouring him so far, but he's trying so hard find a common sense & logical explanation for why his mind skip's all the time, ( his word's ), & he can't remember things he should.
Sorry for going all over the place there, but I don't really have anybody to talk to. I am open to suggestions.

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Jingle, good points. It's amazing how much I miss when I'm stressed - the only thing I usually remember is to reach for some chocolate!

Seriously, it can work the other way. I remember one time when we had just come home from an appointment with my sister's oncologist. It was so depressing, impossible to accept and find a way to deal with her frank but dire advice. I was so upset that every little sound seemed ominous.
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Having gone thru this recently myself (my mom is now at a SNF) I'd like to suggest one thing you might be overlooking. A plan. I can read the stress and fear in your words. Faint, but theyre there. You are only 51, you have many years ahead, so please take care of your needs also. I had a wonderful person at the hospital (moms first illness) who put my Mom's name on the waiting list for the Skilled Nursing Facility. We are fortunate to have a good one where I live.
Just the fact that I knew there was help waiting when the time came when I could no longer handle it myself was a huge help. It became overwhelming and took a toll on my own health. I ended up alone in a house with someone who was no longer funny and kind, appreciative or friendly. I hadn't been out to socialize for so long my friends had moved on. It blindsided me when I finally realized I had given up my life for hers. It can become a codependent situation if you're not aware.
You're doing the right thing by asking questions now. Find the organizations or doctors in your area that can help you NOW so that you're prepared LATER. I was also directed about how and when to apply for Medicaid for Mom to help with eventual care bills and such.
Best wishes to you. This site is a wonderful resource, so don't be a stranger. Hugs to you
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GA, I hadn't thought of that. I suppose if you're trained to notice everything around you -- I mean EVERYTHING -- rustles and tiny movements and shadows in the dark and just general weirdness ... ie, something out of place, where it shouldn't be -- would that help? I don't know. Interesting thought tho'.

On another topic entirely (well, I did mention rustle), I once knew someone who had a cat named Rustle (not Russell) ... wanted to name one of my cats that too, but thought it might be a bit too twee. Still makes me snicker/snort though.
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Jingle, I've been wondering if more aggressive exposure to situations like that, and training in dealing with them, would help. I think military people respond better to those kinds of situations b/c they're trained so extensively. Maybe there's some role playing organization or training non military people could take. We did some of that in one in-house seminar at one of my employers, but it wasn't so much the issue of adapting to stress situations as it was co-existing with co-workers.
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GA: Isn't that an awful feeling. Almost makes me want to throw up. But I guess these things are just little glitches in our brains, hopefully never to be repeated.
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Dawn:

Sorry, my last sentence should read "Find ways....",, not "fight ways". That was a serious error, albeit accidental!

Also, unfortunately there's not always a "right thing" to do; we're kind of like explorers in this new illness, finding out way, sometimes with a compass and sometimes not.

Jinglebts, I soooo understand what you wrote. Been there, done that. Was distracted so much one time as I was racing out to take Dad to the hospital for yet another emergency that I got on the freeway and head E instead of N. It was only after driving several miles I realized I wasn't even going in the right direction. I was on autopilot, but it was set to the wrong course.

Did something similar one day when I was headed to the hospital for a post-discharge cardiac therapy meeting for Dad. I'd been on that route repeatedly for the last few weeks, yet somehow I made a wrong turn and got lost. I never figured out how that happened.
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I remember (a hundred years ago) taking a university exam that I thought I would ace, and when I opened the paper, I blanked. We had to answer four out of five questions and I could only answer two. Immediately I left the exam room of course, I recalled the subject matter of he other three and I nearly collapsed.

Another time I was driving to an appt, I knew the way as I'd been there often, and suddenly -- I was lost. Lasted only a few seconds I think, felt like minutes, and I was terrified.

I too had never heard of dementia, and I think you're doing exactly the right thing. Would I want to know I was losing my mind? No. There can be nothing worse.
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Dawnnette you sound like a lovely daughter for your dad. I'm sorry your two siblings aren't more support. I'd recommend you watch Teepa Snow's videos on Youtube about dementia and how to deal with people with it. They're very helpful. Hugs to you. It sounds like you're handling things perfectly.
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Thank you, that makes me feel better. I usually say something like, i hate it when that happens, or i just did the exact same thing the other day. And then i distract him a little, & try to change the subject.
My daddy is my world, & i just want to make sure im doing the right thing
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I think the worst thing that can be done is to focus on the issue, on his attempted explanations, and thus contribute to his anxiety. Comment on how you have experienced similar situations.

Who among us hasn't been confused or overwhelmed at some time when we were much younger but never heard of dementia? I remember my first Econ exam; it was really difficult to just mentally sort out the issues to respond to the essay questions. There was a literal and figurative traffic jam in my head, but it never occurred to me that I might have dementia.

Fight ways to support him, make him feel good about himself, and focus on what he can still enjoy.
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There is no harm in it in fact that is what I have basically been doing I just kind of wanted to make sure that I was doing the right thing I appreciate your input it it really helps thanks
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Your dad may not be able to do what you want him to do. The brain may have changed and the admission, recognition, conversations may not be possible. It's quite common with people who have dementia to have no awareness of it. It's not that they are being stubborn. They actually are not capable of processing it.

I wouldn't torture myself trying to get this to happen. I might enjoy the moments and support dad as he goes through this. If he says he doesn't have dementia, what harm comes from that, as long as he is being kept safe, isn't driving or near firearms, is having his medication administered, is not wandering and is having his finances taken care of?
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I completely agree that is what I have been doing so far I just wish he would talk to my brother and sister about the personal issues like about his mind but he won't I'm the only one that that he will talk to about that and that puts a lot of Burden I've told my brother and sister that I don't know how much longer he's going to be here and they should spend time with him while I can while they can
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Is his behavior causing any harm at this point? If not, I'd be inclined to let him be. Because I only see two other paths. The first is, because of the dementia he may not accept hearing from anyone that his mind is deteriorating and he'll become angry at you or anyone who tries to say that it is. The other is far more upsetting. He accepts being told he is losing his mind - how terrifying would that be? If he's trying to cover at this point he likely realizes something's wrong. Unless he needs medication, more assistance with ADLs etc. he probably can due without someone trying to make him admit his biggest fear out loud. Things will get harder as time goes on. Why not for now, enjoy the funny, biker guy that he is?
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