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Dad is 84 this year. I'm wondering if he's got early alzheimers.
He seems to have a few of the symptoms they say are signs. i.e. sleeps a lot, once in a great while doesn't understand a word he should know, some short-term memory problems, getting more incontinent (urine leakage) lately and changes in palette taste.
I asked the VA about it and they suspected he might have a bad urine tract infection. Turns out he does and they told me with older people that an infection can cause problems with consciousness levels. i.e. waking up from a dream and thinking it really happened.
The problem I'm having at the moment is his mind fabricated this memory that he has a new girlfriend he met at UF Shands eye clinic where they're treating his eye problems. Supposedly a nurse that works there. Claims that she's visited our home and I've met her, claims she called the other morning and when I checked his phone the last calls was 3 days before.
He seems to be mad at me for it. I guess he's mad because either he thinks I'm trying to sabotage his 'relationship' or because I don't believe him.
He can still use logic to a degree but when I try to explain what is probably happening to him he get's irritated/mad.
His generation seems to equate dementia with crazy and can't or won't understand it's physical.

How can I deal with this?
Do they ever have a stretch where they understand what is really happening?

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LunaEros, I'd say try not to dwell on this delusion or dream/fantasy. There is no need to fix it or to show him he is wrong. Don't argue with him, When the treatment is effective this might all go away, and any energy you've spent on it will not have made any difference.
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Well I have been with him the entire time he visits anywhere and he hasn't interacted with anyone to that degree.
I'm not sure where it came from but when he said that I saw her when she was here he told me I exclaimed "mama". And he said her name is Linda which also happens to be my mothers name who passed away in 2002.
The other made up memory that supposedly happened years ago that didn't was also tied to the subject of my mother so it's starting to make me think these are weird dreams that are transferring to his awakened mind as real.

I hope you're right Eyerishlass. I just started him on the antibiotics tonight. I sure hope his fixation eases off.
It's just hard when he seems to be mad at me for it.
Maybe I should give him the phone number of that floor of the clinic where she's supposed to be so he can find out for himself this woman doesn't exist.
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Is he responding well to treatment for the UTI? How long ago did the treatment start? The symptoms from UTI in elderly can mimic dementia or mental illness. This clears up when the infection clears up.

It is also possible, of course, that he is in the early stage of some kind of dementia. Whether this girl-friend delusion is caused by the temporary UTI or stems from a more permanent cause, it is best not to try to talk him out of it. You don't have to convince him it is a dream or untrue. As others have said, try to redirect the conversation. "How old were you when you had your very first girlfriend, Dad?" "How did you know that Mother was the woman you wanted to marry?" If he is talking about a girlfriend it shouldn't be too hard to segue into a related topic.

If Dad continues with behavior that suggests the possibility of dementia, an evaluation is in order. But do wait until the UTI is completely cleared up.
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Same happened to my mom with vascular dementia. She really had some wild ideas that made no sense, likely from dreams too. Lewy body dementia can do the same thing with hallucinations and delusions. Reasoning and arguing won't help that much, if they could reason, they could sort out dreams or imaginings from reality too.
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People with dementia certainly have periods of lucidity but this is obviously a dream or story your dad came up with. Arguing with someone who is not rational is a waste of time and as you've discovered it can agitate and irritate the person. Just change the subject when this comes up, redirect your dad's attention to something else. If he keeps on about it keep redirecting. If you need a break step out of the room for a little while (as long as he can stay in a room by himself). It's been my experience that dreams/fantasies/fixations usually have a grain of truth in there somewhere. In your dad's case it's someone he's run into at the eye clinic. That person really exists. The rest is in his mind.

UTI's can cause significant personality changes in an elderly person. See if this fixation doesn't lessen with some antibiotics.
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I just say "Hmmm, really?" and I redirect the conversation to reality. They seem to mix up dreams and reality and can't tell them apart. As long as it is a pleasant memory, fine. If they are fearful memories, call the MD and get some medications. If he is still driving, sabotage the car and have it towed to a safe place. Do not bring it back.
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