My father-in-law, who lives in our guest house, has been showing obvious signs of paranoid dementia for the past several years. It’s becoming quite a problem now, as he got combative with my husband and has yelled at people in public and has become convinced that everyone is trying to rob him. He accuses us of the most random, silly things like stealing some of his spices (not the whole bottle, just taking some out of the bottle), replacing his spaghetti sauce with different sauce, switching his flashlights, etc. He becomes very angry and confrontational about these things, and it’s putting a huge strain on our relationship with him. Especially my husband (his son and only child). He is completely convinced that he is mentally sound and that we are stealing from him and refuses to seek help. We managed to get into a therapist with him, but once she mentioned that she felt like he was having delusions and should get a brain scan, he won’t go back. How do I get him help since he is convinced there isn’t an issue and that his delusions are real? I just don’t know what to do anymore. The therapist helped give us tools on how to deal with him, but I don’t know if I can handle the constant fighting and accusations without getting defensive myself. Help please!

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Hlorenz, has your Dad-in-law been recently tested for an Urinary Tract Infection? Such an infection in an older person will mimic dementia, cause a person to become hostel, and other strange symptoms. If such an infection exist, this can be cleared with antibiotics.

Dad-in-law's primary doctor or even urgent care can run such a test [easy test, just pee in a cup].
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You say on your profile page that you have young children. This is not an ideal situation for them. If this has been happening for several years, they don’t remember their grandfather any other way. And, if he is accusatory, combative and in denial as well as delusional, consider that this situation may not be safe for them either. There is no reverse gear on dementia if your FIL does have it. If he has not been formally diagnosed with dementia, there’s a possibility it may be some other form of mental illness. In any case, he needs to be seen by a doctor, preferably a neurologist. If he refuses, your only option may be to make other living arrangements for him.
Helpful Answer (5)
AlvaDeer Aug 2019
I agree with every word of this. One more option to consider is that you can, either before you decide or when you decide, call EMS and have him taken to hospital. He will be put on a 5150 that will hold him there for 72 hours and he will be evaluated. You will get a lot of info out of this evaluation, and you will be able to call in social services for facility placement. I so agree with Ahmijoy that this isn't a good situation for young children.
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