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My 90 year old Father has dementia and lives with me in my house. Our bedrooms are side by side. He gets mixed up and thinks I just got out of his bed, or that it's time for me to go to bed, or that he can treat me like the old chauvinist he's always been. I'm tired of being verbally gentle in telling him that I'm his daughter. I'm tired of his calling me "Honey", "Sweetie", or whatever term of endearment he wants. SOooooo, I quit being the sweet and patient daughter. I've started telling him he doesn't have to like me and I don't care. I'm here to pay the bills, buy the food, cook and clean and that I don't like any of his terms of endearment. He can call me by my name or by daughter… and I will correct him if he doesn't. I actually am feeling better correcting him instead of tolerating his inappropriate words and behavior. I guess I'm wondering if anyone has personally dealt with this and how?

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There were a few times when my dad mistaken me for mom. I was very quick to correct it. I’m willing to do lots of things but not that. I grew up in a very dysfunctional life. I have my limits and one of it was that. To ‘go with the flow ‘ would make me Voluntarily pretend to be what I could not prevent as a child when an adult does something inappropriate to you. {{shudder}} I’d rather correct him repeatedly until I’m blue on the face. One family member refused to babysit him because she just couldn’t handle his sexual comments. He tried several times to make sexual comments to me but I had always been firm about that, too. After he passed away, I found out that he continued the sexual comments to other family members who babysat him. No one told me while he was alive. We each have our limit and need to decide what we will do if that line is crossed. I was like you. I just kept correcting him when he thought I was my mom. I go with the flow when he thinks I’m a stranger or like towards the end, his mother.
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I loved what you had to share, and it fits the boot. Yes, it is rather creepy when he goes that direction verbally, or physically. You hit the nail on the head when you said he might like to be acknowledged as the "Ladies Man". He primps in the mirror more than most women, and is a handsome 90 year old with a full head of hair:)

I don't mind being accused of stealing his car, or checkbook, or that his parents are alive….whatever else he comes up with. I know how to deflect what he's focusing on toward something easy…. like food, or clothes. I keep pictures up of family and let him know the light is always on if they want to visit.

He's actually gotten better with not calling me "Honey" unless I leave for more than 2 hours. When I leave him for even a short time, he will tell whoever that I'm his wife. I have one male friend that will give me a few hours relief now and then. He gets Sooo verbally inappropriate with what he talks about with him. At least he doesn't go down that dirty mouth man thing with me, where talking about women parts is only the beginning.

When I return, in my rare departures, I let him know that I'm his daughter and he lives with me and we like to fish and grow things. We LOVE chocolate, and cake… ha ha.

When I need to correct him about the wife/gf stuff, he gets a bit put out, that's when I go to "I don't care", which I don't say to him. Within 5 minutes he forgets the situation. He's only tried to come to my bed once…. and I corrected it very quickly. Firmness, when it comes to sexually inappropriate words or behavior, has been working well for both of us, or so I believe.
I don't allow him to kiss me for any reason, not even good night…. and he remembers. On occasion I will hug him…. but I don't really like it.

Thanks again for sharing. I will take your words to heart.
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Mendad, I can see how disturbing this might be for you even knowing what you know about dementia. If it helps you as his caregiver to correct him, do so. In our caregiving roles, we have to do things with our fathers that as daughters we never dreamed of doing- bathing, toileting, etc. That is difficult enough, but to have your father mistake you for his wife or girlfriend brings an element to all these intimate ministrations that would be hard to get past. You are still a daughter and female after all even though life has put you both in this upside down situation. If you can lovingly, but firmly correct him, and he is not too upset by it, do so. I would. This is a stage that may pass in any event.
I never experienced this with my father. The thing that bothered me at times is when he would tell me “Yes, ma’am”, in response to a question. He had other professional caregivers and I guess was used to saying that to them, but it was disturbing to me. I would tell him, “I’m your daughter, you don’t have to ma’am me. Just call me by my name”. I had to do this a lot, but he always complied. I just wanted to maintain the father-daughter relationship and not be confused with his caregivers.
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Earlier on in my mom's journey with Alzheimer's/dementia, we did deal with a similar situation. My mom confused my husband as her husband. She became confused and agitated if he showed me any affection... Like kissing me goodbye. As the others have started, you can't reason with their reality. So yes, we just would "go with the flow." My husband didn't show affection to me in front of my mom. When she said "bye sweetie," he told her goodbye and kissed the top of her head. Over time, this dissipated. We both still care for her. She now call me "mama". I don't try to convince her that I am her daughter, not her mother either. Again, we just go with the flow.
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It would be kind of creepy to have your father call you honey, wouldn't it?

In general it is a good idea to go with the flow, go along to get along, do not argue about or try to reason with delusions. But there are situations where that just doesn't make sense. A very common delusion is that the caregiver spouse is having affairs. How could you go along with that? I was very fortunate that my husband never had that delusion. But he did accuse me of stealing his money, stealing his car, and holding him captive against his will. He told the neighbors and tried to call the sheriff. I was not about to go along with those accusations, but I didn't argue with him, either. "Well dear, I know that I did not deliberately take your money, but I could have made a mistake. Or the bank could have. Would you like to go through our last couple of bank statements and see if you can spot the problem?"

I think it is important to acknowledge the feelings (which are very real) without falsely claiming guilt. And to try to offer a solution. Perfect solution? No -- that word doesn't belong in a discussion about dementia. But usually better than anger, I hope.

Can you think of how to apply this to your dad's disturbing behavior? Maybe something along the lines of "You were quite the ladies' man, weren't you? I am not one of your sweethearts, but you sure had a few over the years. No wonder. You have such an appealing smile! Do you remember who your very first girlfriend was?" Or, "I'm not Betty but I'd sure like to hear about her. Was she blond like me?"

I haven't dealt with your dad's specific delusions, but I think I'd do my best to acknowledge where he's at and move in a neutral direction.

You feel better after you've corrected him. That is worth something. How does he seem to feel? Does he stop using the terms of endearment? For how long? If what you are doing now works well for both of you, I don't suppose there is any need to change it.

Good luck!
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Hi, Mendad89. I haven't had your experience but I just wanted to add that I can totally imagine how uncomfortable and off-putting it must be. Especially since you are working so hard to take care of him and he's had sexist attitudes toward women in the past. Annoying!

I think you are totally justified calmly correcting him (even though he can't really understand), if just for your own sanity while you are caring for him. That's what I would imagine myself doing in your shoes. Hope you get some breaks from this very stressful kind of caregiving. Best wishes to you!
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Mendad, we are just trying to help you here. A broken brain is a broken brain. It doesn't matter what the subject matter is the issue. Sorry we aren't giving you the answers you want.
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Mendad I don't really see it matters what he calls you as long as he is not also physically acting as though you are his girlfriend.
I am glad you have educated yourself about demenia so find it hard to understand what advice you are seeking.
If you feel you can no longer tolerate taking care of your Dad then it is time to make other arrangements for his care.
It is not possible to change the behavior of someone with dementia. No amount of reasoning will alter his behavior. The only solution is to remove you or him from the situation whether you like this advice or not.
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Mendad, it doesn't matter what the subject matter. Your Dad is unable to sort things out.  Sorry but I assumed since you were trying to correct Dad that you weren't familiar with the disease itself.  Just trying to help.

Everyone here on the forum has dealt with age related issues. My Dad toward the end of his life thought it was the 1940's. You learn to go with the flow, not do any corrections.
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I don't correct all his errors, just the ones that have to do with his thinking I'm something other than his daughter. I do understand about altimers-dementia.
You are willing to give me advice that I already know, and thank you, but have you dealt with this directly, in your home?
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Mendad, please note that your Dad has Alzheimer's/dementia which means his thought process is broken. He cannot be blamed for what he says or what he does. It comes with the territory. By trying to correct Dad with his errors, you are only going to upset him even more.

Please, please, please learn about Alzheimer's/dementia so that you will get a better understanding on what is going on.

Click on this link for more information https://www.agingcare.com/alzheimers-dementia
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