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Hello Im new here and have read a few stories and realized I can relate to alot of this and thought my issue was unique... First let me say I love my grandpa or popaw as ive called him my entire life... and dementia is a cruel joke to play on someone like him... Hes gone from a carefree joking and cutting up kinda guy to someone who only says a few words and uses the bathroom on himself.... My poor grandmother is at her wits end.... Ive moved in with them to help lighten the load and do the things he used to do around the house.... But my question is how can i get him to start using the toilet like a normal person and to start talking to us and stop saying "I dont know" when you ask him something or try and talk to him... And when my grandmother scolds him for going on himself he just laughs at her and we both know he cant help it at all but it still hits you wrong you know... Any help or suggestions please Im at a loss...

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Dementia is a progressive disease. One cannot get better. Instead, they will progressively Forget. He no longer remembers associating the need to go to the restooom means Going to the restroom to use it. He's forgotten it. All he knows is - to let it all out. Just as he forgets words, and short term memories, etc... You can guide him to the restroom like every hour to see if he "needs to go." Or, if he can't walk far anymore, there's always the portable toilet. Eventually, depending how desperate you get, you can buy adult pull-ups.

Conversations...my father likes to tell stories. The stories he used to tell when he was normal, is now different. It keeps changing. He no longer remembers the Real event. If I ask a complicated question, he would say, "I don't know." Because he really doesn't know. You can try it. I ask father multiple question and he doesn't know how to answer. Example, do you want to eat this with this or that with that or this and that (3 choices.) He has a lost look and can't answer. Even with 2 choice questions - he's confused. So, now I keep it simple. "Dad, are you hungry?" I do not ask what does he want to eat because he will sit there and think forever on it. And I don't have time. So, I ask him, "Do you want soup with so and so and vegetable?" He will 99.9 percent say yes.

I have also noticed that if I talk normally (which is fast), he has a lost look. So, I have to talk slowly so that he understands what I'm saying. But don't make it long sentences. Keep it short and simple. I hope this helps you...
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Sorry about your grandpa, and sorrier still for your poor grandma. The 'acting normal' ship has sailed I'm afraid, best to forget that part for your own sanity. If he'll wear diapers, at least that part will take care of itself. As far as talking is concerned, don't know what you expect of him anymore. He'll NEVER be able to carry on a 'normal' conversation again, so don't kill yourself off trying to make him. He just can't do it. If he still has his eyesight, maybe getting out the old photo albums would be something he'd be able to take part in for awhile at least. The oldest memories are the last ones to leave, so that might be an option. If he does start talking about his childhood, better be recording whatever you can too. My mother-in-law does what is called 'confabulation' (real word) where she mixes up things that really happened with stories other people have told her. I hear her tell me stuff that my husband (her son) has done, then she implants that into a real memory that either her own father or her dead husband did. It's kinda funny really. She has a really good sense of humor about her terrible memory, so we laugh a lot. You have lots of good memories about your grandpa and that's wonderful. Because you may have to live off them from now on. Be sure and get your grandma out of the house once in awhile so she can do her own thing too. She's the one that's lost the love of her life. ♥
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