My father is 73 years old; he has Parkinson's, Alzheimer's and diabetes. My parents recently moved in with my brother because they couldn't afford to live on their own anymore. My dad is miserable, depressed and has a bad attitude. He is also delusional. He starts fights with my brother and mother for no reason. He wants to move out of the house and get a job. My dad doesn't realize that he can no longer work and that he doesn't have money. Every time we ask him what he plans on doing, he says I don't know. I'm going to get a job. My question is: What can my brother and I do to help him? He won't see a psychiatrist, he refuses to take new medication that might help him with his depression, he won't live in a senior living home. He is mentally abusing my brother and mom. Everyday we're concerned that he is going to leave the house and get lost. What can we do? We have talked to him hundreds of times, and we've tried explaining to him that he can no longer work. My brother and mom try to ignore him when he starts arguing with them but there's only so much they can handle. He keeps asking for his keys, credit cards and ID. What can we do? He lives in Las Vegas.

This question has been closed for answers. Ask a New Question.
"We have talked to him hundreds of times, and we've tried explaining to him that he can no longer work."

The smart thing to do is to stop repeating over and over again a behavior that doesn't work, and try a different approach. Talking to him another hundred times isn't going to change anything. Explaining until you are hoarse isn't going to change things.

Emphasize that he worked long and well and that now he is retired. He deserves it! Downplay that he can no longer be employed. It is just a matter of he collects SS now and it helps support the household. He's retired and you are proud of his working life.

Why can't he have his ID? Keys -- to the house and perhaps to his old suitcase, etc., but not to the car? Some cash?

I sat down with my husband and we talked about "identity theft" and the reason he shouldn't carry his credit cards. But he had his medical insurance cards, his ID, and various membership cards. And he always had some cash -- not enough to get in trouble, but enough to buy an ice-cream cone for us or pay for his haircut. Dementia steals a lot of dignity from a person. Don't make it worse than it has to be!

Learn all you can about dementia, and about Parkinson's combined with dementia. Learn how to deal with hallucinations (hint -- don't argue about them). Learn about depression and anxiety.

One excellent place to start is with Teepa Snow Videos.
Helpful Answer (3)

Babalou is on the right track. He is beyond arguing with or wasting time explaining and trying to reason. You have to be tricky, use diversion and one way or the other do what has to be done. And starting reading and learning about dementia. I could never get my Dad to go to the doctor if Mom and I didn't trick him into it. And the same trick works most every time cause he forgets by the next day or so.
Helpful Answer (3)

I agree with the advice above about learning as much as dementia as possible. Much of your anxiety perhaps stems from unrealistic expectations. Patients with his condition are not likely to be open to explanations and cooperative with logical suggestions. It may be that your family has to readjust their expectations of how dad will behave in the family. Patients with his conditions are often uncooperative and difficult. Having him act the way you think he should is probably not realistic. Learning more about these conditions can give you ideas on how to redirect him and motivate him. It's often trial and error, before you are able to get the patient to go along with your wishes for their own welfare, but it may never get easy.

Granted, medication is a good option and it could help him feel more comfortable. I would figure a way to get those into him. It sounds like it's past the time that he is making good decisions for his health. Discussions with his doctor about treating him for delusions and other symptoms would be a good start.

It is often exhausting to provide 24/7 care for a patient with these conditions. That's why facilities often are a family's only option, especially those like Memory Care Units. You might check them out, so you will know what is available.
Helpful Answer (2)

FF is right in that you're dealing with a provider losing his pride and sense of being the person responsible for the family.

If he wants a job, can someone in the family offer to help take him to and from volunteer opportunities? Delivering Meals on Wheels? Packing food at a food co-op? Helping with the animals at a local animal shelter?

Unpack and sort donated stuff at Salvation Army?

Call United Way helpline at 211 and ask for information on charities that need volunteers to work (not to make harassing calls as some of them do).

I would give him his ID though; if he ever does get lost, it will help authorities bring him home. I would also get a medic alert pendant, although I suspect he won't want to wear it.
Maybe there's something he can do at a local senior center.

It would help restore his sense of self esteem.
Helpful Answer (2)

You don't ask him if he wants to see a psychiatrist. You take him to lunch and stop by a doctor's office for an appointment for mom afterwards , or you tell him there's a requirement by Obamacare to see this doctor once a year. Or whatever it takes to get him in for proper meds for depresdion, delusion and Parkinson's. It does have to be a psychiatrist; is the doctor who is following his Parkinson's aware of his behavior? Your brother needs to document what they are all seeing day to day so the doctor has a sense of what is going on.

How is mom doing? Is she the primary caregiver? You need to make sure she's not getting worn down by all this.

You should ALL be watching Teepa Snow videos to learn how to handle him in a compassionate and appropriate way. It seems to me that "asking him what he's going to do" is more in line with what you'd ask a rebellious teenager than a person with dementia.
Helpful Answer (5)

See if mom and son will look for ways dad can help along side them. At first. And then maybe he'll get interested and work at something alone. Might be weeding a small garden bed. Or peeling potatoes. Or helping paint an old chair out in the yard. Or make a birdhouse.

Is there a senior center offering activities and programs? Maybe mom could join him. Maybe he'd get interested in something there. Can he play cards? They do lots of that at the centers. Fun! Could he do large piece jigsaw puzzles?

Does mom drive? Could they do outings? Lunch? Zoo? Movie?

Could he help with chores? Put photographs in albums? Take some simple classes? Bird carving? Does he have a dog? Take charge of the laundry?

He's bored. To tears. His problem is not unique. Look for creative interests he can be introduced to. Research on the Internet. I wish you good luck. And I sincerely hope your dad finds something to occupy his body and mind.
Helpful Answer (1)

Can you find a way to get his medication into his food? Sounds like that may be worth a try! Who doesnt like chocolate pudding? Might be good for all involved if you can get a handle on his crappy attitude. Better living through chemistry.

How about a hobby? Can he still read or listen to books on CD's? Would it help to take him to a park to feed the squirrels? (Do you have squirrels in sin city?)
Does Clark County have any type of community senior center where he can go for bingo or crafts?

Good luck to you!
Helpful Answer (1)

kingadvice17, every man feels he needs to be the head of his family, be able to provide shelter and food on the table, and if he can't then he feels he has failed. Of course he will be angry at life and take it out on others.

Now, let's throw into the mix Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, and diabetes. You Mom and brother now have much more on their plate in regard to their husband/Dad.

Maybe Dad would feel better if he could keep himself busy, somehow, depending on the stage of Alzheimer's. Are there chores around the house that he use to enjoy doing and maybe he can still do... and when he gets those chores done, praise him for a job well done.... that you all are glad he's there otherwise the work wouldn't get done, etc. Yes, I realize memory issues can throw a damper on chores, but it might be worth trying.

At 73 chances are your Dad had used a computer at one point or another. Is he able to still do so? Ask him questions that he can Google and look up the answers. Hey, Dad, how many times has the NY Yankees or Mets made it to the World Series? Or whatever he's interested in. Does he care about politics? Lot of interesting stuff happening for the 2016 run for the White House.
Helpful Answer (1)

This question has been closed for answers. Ask a New Question.
Subscribe to
Our Newsletter