I haven't been at this very long... I think it's like taking a child to the doc office to get their shots... No is not an option for them. But it's easier... You can pick them up and the law supports you.

I like 2 statements I began using...

"At least you can pretend"... (You like me)

"Because you are my father and I love you."
(Equivalent to "because I told you so" to a child)

Any other statements you find helpful that I could add to my list?

Find Care & Housing
Always make a STATEMENT when you want some action-

“Time to shower, dad. Give me your laundry and I’ll wash it while you shower”


”Are you ready to shower Dad? Do you want to take a nice shower now?”

If you ASK, there’s a 50/50 chance that the answer will be “no!” SO DON’T ASK!
Helpful Answer (18)
Reply to AnnReid
againx100 Nov 17, 2022
Exactly! Nicely tell. I tell my mom's caregivers they need to be assertive.
Having to "re-learn" how to engage with our LO is one of the early and difficult challenges of dementia. Here's something that helped me:

Rules for engaging our loved ones with dementia:

1) Agree, do not argue

2) Divert, do not attempt to reason

3) Distract, do not shame

4) Reassure, do not lecture

5) Reminisce, do not ask “Do you remember…?”

6) Repeat, do not say “I told you”

7) Do what they can do, don’t say “you can’t”

8) Ask or inform politely, do not demand ("It's time to take your shower")

9) Encourage, do not condescend

10) Reinforce, never force

The overall goals should be to:

1) keep them as calm and peaceful as possible 
     (because they are less and less able to bring themselves to this state on their own)

2) keep them physically protected in their environment and from predatory people

3) keep them nourished with healthy foods that they will accept without fighting or forcing

4) keep them in as good a health condition as is possible, that their financial resources will allow and within their desires as expressed in a Living Will (aka Advance Healthcare Directive) 

5) keep them pain-free as possible and within their desires as expressed in a Living Will (aka Advance Healthcare Directive)

The caregiving arrangement needs to work for both the receiver and the giver. If it is onerous to the caregiver, then the arrangement is NOT working. Alternative types of care must be considered to avoid caregiver burnout.
Helpful Answer (16)
Reply to Geaton777
rjcmills Oct 31, 2022
Geaton777 - I like your answers. Would you like to give me some advice. My Mother who is now in a Memory Care unit is calling several times a day asking me to bring her car so she can go to the store and bank (I now only take one call a day). Obviously she can't leave. I feel as if all that ever comes out of my mouth is NO, I am sorry I can't do that. The one time I just said OK, she some how remembered and called me the next day to say "you lied like a dog". I tried diverting, explaining, and all the tricks. But she is super focused on "getting out of there" and her car. It's been one year in a NH until escape and 2 weeks in a new Memory care unit.
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Towards the end, he was going through a phase where I believe he thought he was still working as a program manager, like 40 years ago:

My dad: "They (the other people in the house) tore up my notes!"
Me: (conspiratorially, leaning towards him) "Don't worry--we fooled them! I saved a copy on my computer". (of course I hadn't...and he didn't remember what was on the list the he probably never had anyway).

My dad starting to stand up to leave the room: "We need to get everyone in a meeting now!"
Me: "They all went to lunch. We'll do it as soon as they are back."
(He sat back down, saying "Okay".)

My dad (in the hospital): Motioning that he wanted the hand mitts off!
Me: "If I take them off, they will make me leave" (they were on to keep him from pulling out intravenous anti-biotics for an infection he got from punching a wall during a bad episode of sundowners).

I have to add this, even though it is terribly off topic. It wasn't funny at the time, but it was so "my dad" (who use to be able to fix everything):
I went to see him one day when he was still living at home and he had a jigsaw (the tool, not a puzzle) sitting on the floor in front of him (luckily it had no blade in it). I asked him "What are you going to use that for?" (jigsaws are exclusively for cutting). He told me "I need to put some screws in the wall". I told him, "You can't use a jigsaw for that!" He said (in a very self-assured manner): "You can if you know what you are doing".
Helpful Answer (16)
Reply to michelle7728
PatsyN Nov 7, 2022
You've gotta laugh or you'll go crazy. 😻
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A good answer can be “I don’t know.” That’s all. Topic averted. They accept it sometimes.
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Reply to Fawnby
lkdrymom Nov 6, 2022
I used to use “I don’t know what to tell you” and that seemed to work with my father.
This will certainly not work in all cases and is probably a form of distraction but I find complimenting her helps. If I need her to do something, I tell her that she is so good at it, better than I am. Her response if usually “I am?”.,,and then she proceeds to do what I want. I guess we all need a little ego boost.
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Reply to Msblcb

All answers are good. Ann's answer is a pet peeve of mine when dealing with Hospital and AL staff. They always ask.

Now I know there are laws that you can't force a resident to do what they don't want to but...those suffering from Dementia become like toddlers and when asked "do you want to get a shower?" the answer will probably be NO. I always said "time for a shower Mom" and she went. I never gave my children a choice, why give my mother who can no longer think for herself. Same goes for Dr appts. Never told my Mom we were going. Just got her dressed and in the car. If she asked, I told her.
Helpful Answer (10)
Reply to JoAnn29

My dad asked about his cell phone, and wanted to go to the bank. For the longest time, I told him his cell phone is broken, and for money, I told him they buy him everything he wants, and if they don't I can buy it for him.

Finally one day he said, well can you fix it? and I had to find another excuse. I can't tell you how guilty I felt not giving him his cell phone, but he would have been calling people all night every night or calling 911 to "get out of there"...when he could even remember how to use the phone. I saw him 3-4 times a week, but of course he didn't remember that. Right before I took him to the home he had called his friends 35 times in one day (during the day).

I never was happy fibbing to him, but I did see that my fibs usually made him happier than hearing the truth ("you can't leave"..."you'd be calling everyone all night", etc.), so I got better at it.
Helpful Answer (10)
Reply to michelle7728
DrBenshir Nov 8, 2022
Could you let him have a cell phone but take out the SIM card? Or an old phone with no service? Make sure it won't still work to dial 911. Another alternative, telling him the cell signal is too poor in the building for the phone to work properly. What about a cell phone with no battery?
I used things like "Your bath is ready, nice and warm. Better hurry before it gets cold" when a question was going to be answered with a no. But for some things, I would give my mom a choice: "Do you want to eat this while it's hot, or wait until it's cold?" instead of "Dinner's ready", or "Would you rather wear tan, green, or pink slacks today?", instead of "Let's get you dressed". She did like to feel she had some control.
Helpful Answer (7)
Reply to ArtistDaughter
Psyclinz Nov 7, 2022
Yes, giving choices, just as you have suggested, has been a good strategy for our 3 seniors with dementia - and to deal with those awkward questions of “where’s your mother (or their deceased spouse) we would say, “oh, they’re staying over with *sibling, they’ll be back next week”. And using LOTS of distraction- we printed and laminated lots of old family photos - we used these so often when they were perseverating about something. We’d bypass the perseveration and just pull out the photo folder and say “Dad tell me about this one”, or, “that holiday looks like it was so much fun” to distract engage him. Worked really well for us, for years 🥹💛
“ Everything/task/insert-situation-here, has been pre-arranged”

( This has worked well with my mom )

” I don’t know but I’m sure we’ll find out/hear from so-and-so soon”

( The above usually for questions about deceased dad’s phone number or location, but works for other tough questions too )
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Reply to Madisoncuckoo7

There is no reasoning with a person that has dementia and many times re-directing and distracting does not work. Like when some senior gets fixated on something and gets themselves in a dementia loop where they're repeating the same thing or asking the same question over and over.
The way to handle that is to answer once or twice then totally ignore the the question or topic. Don't answer or engage.
AnnReid is right. You don't ask a person with dementia. You tell them what they're doing and when.
I was caregiver to clients in the home for almost 25 years. I will tell you from experience that the caregiver has to be in control at all times. Don't tolerate any kind of abusive behavior.
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Reply to BurntCaregiver

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