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Hi new here ...... My dad is 87 and in good health mostly. He is blind, and had a recent bout with lung cancer (successfully treated). He takes a low milligram statin and flomax. That is the extent of medications, other than eyedrops. He had a kidney infection recently (I know that can cause issues), but that seems to have cleared up. Last summer was hospitalized for prostate surgery, and suffered extreme delerium from the anesthesia at that time. That is the extent of medical issues. He lives in his own home, and has never had any problems, until the past month. He does have a woman that lives there to assist him with doctor appts etc, but she is not a caregiver, more of a roommate. Lately he says people are trying to break in his house, says he hears them and sees them (yes, he's almost totally blind, not quite but almost). He's called the police multiple times, four last night alone. The police don't believe anything is going on, and my brother and myself don't either. The woman that lives there says she hasn't seen or heard anything, but says that she doesn't want to humiliate him by telling him this, so she just humors him. I feel this is making the issue worse by validating his fears. He hates going to the doctor, and is insulted if we suggest it. I want to get him to the doctor by explaining that there could be medical issues causing his fear etc.... mostly because I believe this to be true. The recent kidney infection bothers me most, as I worry there is an underlying, more serious infection that could be triggering these issues. My father is an intelligent strong willed man - these things happen only overnight. During the day he is fine, other than believing the thing s he has "heard" and "seen" during the night. We had security alarms put on his house, as well as security doors - no one is going to get in - and that has alleviated his fear somewhat, but now says they are trying to remove the windows to get in. I'm at my wits end, I feel his roommate is making things worse (he is sitting up all night and she is sitting with him, even though she hears nothing and knows nothing is wrong). I feel she should be alleviating his fears, by going outside, even taking him out, to see there is nothing there not playing into them.


I know the real answer is to get him to a physician to be evaluated, but that will be no easy task, as I said he is smart and strongwilled. How do I get him to go? And do I insist she stop what she's doing, or am I wrong? I just don't know, neither my brother or I have any experience in this, and don't live particularly close, same general area of the state, but different cities.


I would so appreciate any ideas - I love my dad, but this cannot continue.

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The best way to handle someone who is feeling afraid is to look them in the eye, hold their hand and to take their concerns seriously, regardless whether it is their minds playing tricks or not. Is his roommate trustworthy - would she have anything to gain by manipulating the situation in any way? I'm not suggesting she is, I'm just throwing it out there. How you might get him to the doc is to tell him that the doctor wants to see him ~ and have the nurses call the house to do a follow up appt. Then you accompany him to the visit. The doc needs to know what's happening ahead of time and that you are concerned about his mental state. The fact that it's the doctors office calling to make the appt. and not you will improve your odds. Good luck.
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I've read here many, many times that it's best not to argue or to correct the person when they are hallucinating or experiencing delusions - that it leads to becoming even more agitated. I think that's understandable as what they're experiencing is real to them and someone else denying it could easily make them more paranoid and/or make them wonder if they're loosing their mind - which they might be, in fact - but having that pushed in your face must be terrifying. I don't know - my parents, thankfully didn't have this issue.

However, my father did experience a humdinger of a hallucination when he first got sick and was in rehab. Yep - the common culprit- UTI. It was my first experience with what a UTI can do to the mind of the elderly - I was totally blown away by it. But sure enough - as soon as my dad would start talking a little "off" over the following year, I called his home nurse and arranged for a urinalysis- and it was always a UTI.

While UTIs aren't as common in men as women - my dad had a catheter for a while - given your fathers recent kidney issue - I'm in complete agreement with FreqFlyer- you need to get creative and figure out a way to have his urine tested. Also - does your father wear any type of product for incontinence or have any problems with that? Incontinance can promote more frequent UTIs.

Since you say there are no other cognitive issues, a UTI certainly seems likely. Often infections seem cleared up - at least the symptoms are gone - but there is still a sneaky hidden bacteria biding it's time - working on getting stronger and growing into another full blown infection. Would it help at all to say his doctor called wanting to set a follow-up appointment for the kidney issue?

Good luck to you - I know how frustrating this can be!
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carole93313, sounds like your Dad needs to be checked for an Urinary Tract Infection [UTI] which is very common after having any issues with the kidneys. The paranoia he is experiencing is a symptom of a UTI in an elderly person.

Also being your Dad tends to have more issues in the evening, this could be the start of what is called "sundowning" dementia. My late Dad had that, as he was fine during the day but come 4pm he would become confused.

The roommate is doing the right thing, with such medical issues brewing, humoring the person is best. And trying to distract the person to concentrate on something else if this turns out to be dementia.
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