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My father's personality has been changing over the last 5 years. He has had 3 surgeries in the past 3 years, and developed hospital psychosis after each one.
My parents also moved from the small town where they had lived their entire lives to live in the town where I live to be nearer for assistance if needed. He has always been very protective and loving to my mother during their marriage, but he's becoming completely argumentative and unreasonable with her. It is dawning on us that there is something going on here, most likely dementia related. It is highly doubtful that he would agree to seek medical attention, and he is of such a character of being "the man" and always right, stubborn, and unwilling to consider other's opinions, that we are reluctant to even broach the subject with him. My mother is devastated, as he has always gone overboard to take care of her. She is having difficulty recognizing that he is not deliberately trying to hurt her feelings; that he is ill and not himself. She is learning how to cope with him and how to go along with him for the most part when possible. With this particular situation, however, she does not know how to respond when he accuses her of infidelity, but dissolves into tears. We cannot think of any way to humor him out of this particular mindset!

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Yes, common problem I am dealing with my dads' dimentia, he acusses my 78 year old mom of having an affair, keeps stalking her at night stays up all night obsessed, I have taken him to doctor watch out for him getting violent that is the next stage according to my doctor.
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This is how a relative of mine got her very stubborn father-in-law to a doctor: He was told that the doctor wanted him along with his wife when she had an appointment for some condition. Two younger family members also sat in on the appointment. Of course, the doctor knew of this scheme in advance and played his role well. Now the family has medical documentation that the man has dementia. This, of course, is not a solution, but with this documentation, they at least have a starting point.
If you decide to do something like this, make sure that you pick a doctor who works with cognitive decline in the elderly. In this case, the doctor was a neurologist who has a reputation of working well with geriatric patients.
Be sure to take a written list of observations about your father's behavior to the appointment (including dates and circumstances surrounding the behavior) and somehow get the list to the doctor without your father's knowledge. Perhaps the doctor might ask you to take the list to his office a few days prior to the appointment.
On the day of the appointment, take a copy for yourself because it is easy to get distracted when in a situation like this, and the copy will help you keep your focus. You may need to slip it inside a magazine that you hold.
This certainly is a hurtful situation for you and your mother, and I go along with JessieBelle's thought that your mom [and you too] could use a big group hug from the agingcare.com participants.
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PS: No more surgeries for your dad if they can at all be avoided. If not, tell the anesthesiologist about the post-anesthesia delirium and ask him to choose anesthetics based on that.
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This sounds like post-anesthesia delirium:
nursingcenter/lnc/CEArticle?an=01271211-201007000-00011&Journal_ID=682710&Issue_ID=1035856
http://ether.stanford.edu/Ortho/Agitation%20and%20Delirium%20What%20Do%20I%20Do.pdf

From working with my own father, who had this, Pomegranite juice and the tincture of time are helpful. Sadly, your mom may be accused of...whatever, during this period. It can take up to a year for recovery to take place or your father might not recover - there's really no way to know. We are 8 months out and my father is doing better, but still not 100% back to normal. Yet, I remain optimistic as he has shown significant strides in recovering his normal mental capacity over the past 8 months.

I would explain this problem to your mother, tell her not to discuss, explain or try to disagree with your father. His brain is malfunctioning and bringing forth that which he is most afraid of, not a legitimate issue. Your mother needs to stay strong and wait this out. There is still hope your dad will get better.
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carebear, I feel so bad for your mother. Even when we know that something is being caused by a disease, it still hurts to hear it. I know she is heartbroken by the change in your father. What I hope is that it is a phase that he won't remain in for long. The change in his personality from being loving to being difficult and accusing does say that something is going on with his brain. He has put together a false reality and it will be hard to get him to shake it without help. I do hope that you can get him to go to a doctor. If he should need to go to the ER for any reason, see if you can get them to hold him for a geriatric psych evaluation. This is easier said than done, but it is something to try.

Are there any men in your life that he might listen to. Sometimes older gentlemen will listen to men better than women. One of your brothers or his brothers may be able to talk him into going to a doctor. People may realize that something is wrong, but not really want to know anything concrete and don't want other people to think anything is wrong. As long as no one knows anything for sure, they can act like the problem doesn't really exist. But you know it does. Please let us know how it is going. If you let your mother know you were on the group, tell her we are sending her a big group hug. We know she is a good and faithful wife.
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I haven't dealt with this personally but I've read variations of this situation here on this forum. If I were tech-savvy enough I could put up some links for you. Maybe someone else can do that.

Your dad definitely needs to be evaluated. I would agree with you that it's related to dementia. But how to get him to the Dr.? Can you and your mom devise a scheme where she tells him that the Dr.'s office called and it's time for his checkup and blood work? Then write a note for the Dr. detailing your dad's behavior. Someone will have to go with him to the Dr. in order to get this note to the Dr.

If he is evaluated and if it is found that he is in the beginning (or middle or whatever) stage of dementia perhaps the Dr. can prescribe an anti-anxiety medication for him. Maybe that will help.

I'm sure your mom is devastated, not to mention hurt, angry, scared, and confused. Even if your dad is ill that doesn't make his accusations hurt any less. If your dad has dementia it will do no good to talk to him about this. His tirades are not rational therefore you cannot speak to him rationally.

When he makes his accusations can you advise your mom to just go into another room? She doesn't need to respond, she doesn't need to justify his accusations with a response dementia or no dementia.

And you've come to the right place. There are so many great people here and there is such vast experience among the people here. I'm sorry I can't share any personal experience in this area with you but I did want to reach out.
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