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I am the main caregiver for dad (mom is in a NH) and as he sees me continually (my family lives here with him) he confuses me for mom and vents incredible amounts of anger and bile toward me.

My elder sister, who he defies, thinks this is funny. Yeah. Real funny. It's hurtful and he is gleeful when he sees me cry. So I do my best to keep a stone face and not let him know he's hurt me.

THe only way I have of dealing with this is walking away from him when the foul language starts. Does anyone else have this problem?

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kthln3, It sounds like it is time for Dad to move to a memory care unit. Your children should not have to witness his behavior. Move out of there if you can afford to and let the other sister deal with him. In the mean time, walk out as soon as it starts, do not reply to him, just go go go. GO
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Are you having a bad day today, MaggieMarshall? If I wanted an answer such as the one you gave me I could have simply called my sister, who spends her time yelling at me for all that I don't do. I was simply looking for a calm reply from someone, not a rant. Next time you want to rant how about ranting at a family member instead of a stranger who is just confused, frightened, overwhelmed and in need of a reassurance from someone travelling the same path. Your hostility rings right through and you can have it right back. I have enough hostility in my life.
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My first reaction is pity for your poor mother for all the abuse she suffered. Whatever you do do not let him go to the same N/H as your mother She does not deserve to be subjected to a relighting of her past abuse in her final years.
You have been given good advice with good intentions so think carefully about your next step and there has to be one
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I'm sorry to hear you have to go through that. It is typical dementia behavior. If you can't get out of the situation, your best bet is to simply say "Dad, if you can't be nice, I don't have to listen to you" and then ignore him and leave the room. He will hate being ignored and if you do this repeatedly, it may sink in. My mother treated her dau-in-law this way (who was her caregiver); at first I tried to argue with mom whenever she'd go off on a rant about her DIL - after a while I just looked away and ignored her and what she was saying and her rant would peter out. After a few weeks of this, whenever she would start a rant, she'd stop after only a sentence or two when she realized I was not paying attention to her. I know it is hard on you, but please try not to take what he is saying personally. Try to view it like a toddler having a tantrum - since you can't spank him {grin}, ignore him. Take care!
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On another discussion group Iris L. commented: "are running yourself ragged trying to rationalize the irrational."
Conversing with a LO who has Alzheimers is often like talking with your cat. Acknowledge, respond, be affectionate, develop boundless patience. Forget about rational responses. Show respect, your therapeutic fictional reponses are allowed {they may not work}. Try to accept the mind is damaqed by Alzheimer's Disease. Forget about rational responses. We can run ourselve ragged trying to rationalize the irrational behaviors Easy to say, impossible to live with.
~DLMifm

try to accept the mind is damaged by Alzheimer's Disease. Forget about rational responses. we can run ourselves ragged trying to rationalize the irrational behaviors
Easy to say, impossible to live with .."Take a BREAK often | You get to start over"
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As I re-read what I said, I still don't get it. I thought my reply would remind you that he's NOT in his right mind. And that you SHOULDN'T give his rants a second thought. Guess I missed the mark.
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K, does your Dad have dementia? This is such an evil disease. It robs our loved ones of their most basic feelings of affection towards the ones they love best . I can only say, be comforted by the fact that it's the disease and not your beloved dad who is talking here.
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Anger in dementia patients is very normal, and unfortunately, you (or your mother) is the target. I think anyone who has worked/lived with someone like your father will tell you this. Pstegman is right: this behavior is detrimental to your whole family, dementia or not. But the primary thing is that you must remove yourself from the situation immediately when it starts. Never reward bad behavior. And anger back just doesn't cut it. My MIL lives in isolation, albeit I am around to take care of her, and she wants for nothing. But I can take her negativity only in little bits. It is hurtful to her children so they only come around under controlled circumstances (like in a public place when I am there to run interference so she won't verbally attack them). Coping with dementia changes all the rules. Take a deep breath and know that you are doing the right thing by your dad.
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Kthin3, just my guess but did Dad behave this way before he became ill? I grew up with parents who argued, bickered and just were not nice to each other or me and my brother. Is some of the hurt you feel coming from your dad's past behavior?

If not then you do have to realize he is not himself.

Your sister is insensitive to your feeling as well. What is that about? I see many little things that indicate to me previous dysfunction in the family. These things don't disappear because someone gets sick. They often get worse.

I wish you peace in this situation.
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I'm sorry you're going through such a dreadful situation. Being shouted at and villified must be horrible, and having your sister laugh when it happens makes a nightmarish experience worse.

Laughing it off and making faces at your sister is not a helpful response, in fact it's insulting to you and the very real pain you're experiencing. The commenter who told you that really should think about how she'd feel if someone responded to her plea for advice in such a superior fashion. Fortunately, most of the people here are compassionate.

If you and your family are living with your father, you should move out if you can. Let your sister deal with him and see how she likes it. Moving him to a nursing home would be a good idea, although probably not the one your mother is in, for obvious reasons.

Good luck.
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