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My father has dementia and my mother passed away 6 years ago. He is 94 and lives in my home. He suddenly showed up at my bedroom door at night confused thinking I was his wife. I actually had to lock my door. My first response was to tell him he’s confused and that I was his daughter and he needed to go back to bed. He was very annoyed that my husband was there. This morning he doesn’t recall the incident but it actually scared me.

My father is 91 yrs old. When he first started making advances towards me, I was shocked. My mother is 84 and living, how could he be doing this. I started thinking about my sister's, my granddaughter, nieces, etc. Fortunately for me I spoke to my brother and he took me to the Alzheimer's Association to speak to someone. This is more common that people realize.
Dad mistook me for my younger Mom. He didn't believe that he was married to that older women living with him. How could he be when he was 29 or sometimes he thought he was 39.
I didn't have the heart to tell Mom and break her heart. She was already having a hard time understanding this disease.
I spoke to him endlessly about who he was and who I was and all the others who came around.
Sometimes he understood and sometimes he didn't but what he did understand was that the behavior had to stop.
I never bring my husband when I stay over at their house because it made matters worse. I never put on my night clothes like I live there and sleep crossways in the bed. I don't close the door because I want to hear him get up. If he wanders into my room, I get up and take him back to his room. Sometimes I'll sit in a rocker that's in his room and wait till he's asleep then go back to bed.
I had to make a few changes: not sitting so close, walking away when the conversation was not appropriate, or just when he wasn't understanding. At first it was difficult but after a while I could manage. I even made a joke about it after the fact: I always called my Dad "Daddy". Never changed since I was a kid. I told my husband "When I call him Daddy, I think he thinks He's my Sugar Daddy".
It's not the easiest thing to go through. The stress can be unbelievable and lots of people don't talk about it.
Stand your ground! Romantically speaking he'll feel rejected and may say something once in a while but the behavior will lessen.

Dad's life is almost over and weak but last night he grabbed my hand and kissed it. "Maybe I'm the one who got away" but I'm here holding his hand and telling him I love him. At the end, that's all that matters..
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Reply to SometimesStrong
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My mil thought her son was her husband and I was the other woman who ruined her marriage years ago. It got scary bad. We had to place her till she was in a later stage and bed bound. We brought her back to our home for her last two years while she was on hospice. During this phase I was her mom and she worshiped me.
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Reply to Lisa9la
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My father died in August, 2018. This is my first father's day without him.
You, too, will have a first father's day without yours. It's coming. And when it comes, you're never prepared.

This is my first post since his death.

He had Alzheimer's, too. I moved in with my parents to be their caregiver the summer of 2016. My mother has dementia too. For several months, they each complained of this "strange man or unknown woman" in their bedroom. I handled it by saying:
"this woman lives here too. Sometimes she's looking for someone to be with to feel safe. That's why I'm here too. You're safe and your loved. Come with me and we'll find you a comfortable place to sleep."

You'll have to find your own way. But, while you do, try not to respond in a way that comes from normalcy. Your dad and my mom and everyone else with any form of dementia will never be normal. Your response should always come from a place of love. There is so much literature and information out there, including this wonderful site. But, you will have to find your own way. If you are the caregiver of your father, you have a responsibility to be kind and always remember, his life is not easy, no longer familiar, scary, but it is his life. He is NOT a patient. He has Alzheimer's and is living with this terrible disease. He is a man. He is your father. He wants, craves dignity and love. Find a way, to keep that front and center. Find help, relief for yourself. But know this- you will soon have no father on father's day.

I miss my father so much. If I could have another day/hour with him even with Alzheimer's, I would.

I have two tender memories to share.
1. One afternoon, maybe a year into the disease, he asked me, "so tell me about your father." Momentarily, I was taken aback. When I gained my composure, I spent a minute or two describing my father, to my father.
"Well, my dad is a military man- air force. He flew airplanes and was in some very difficult times, but he came home. He can build anything, and he loves his wife more than anyone in the world." He smiled- he knew for a minute that I was talking about him.
2. Much later, he used to hit me when I tried to help him up to go to the bathroom. I was scolding him - "don't hit me, I'm just trying to help you walk". Then he started to fall. I caught him, held on to him and we kept walking. He told me "don't let me fall". I said, "I won't let you fall, even if you hit me, I'll never let you get hurt." He said, "i know that". When we got to the bathroom and I got him on the toilet, I sat down beside him to wait, he said, "I'm proud of you." I said, "thank you! Do you know me as your daughter?" He said, "I do, and I'm really proud of you." I'm crying now, as I write this. He died 1 month later.

Be well, be kind, care for yourself, too. But, love him now, while he's here. My very best to you!

Thank you, for this opportunity for me to share.
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TekkieChikk Jun 17, 2019
Absolutely beautiful tribute to your father. I hope that if I'm ever in that position with my dad, I handle it with as much grace and love as you showed yours.
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With patience and understanding.

My DH, almost 97, would get amorous with me and then felt guilty that he was cheating on his wife, still me.

They do the best they can with 'broken brains' and it takes patience and understanding to gently try to get them back on track. My DH had decided that only one of my housedresses was me, he didn't know who the other ones were. One time he asked me where is Linda, another time he asked me why Linda couldn't come to the doctor with him. I learned to just sit/stand quietly until he could focus on me and then recognition would register in his eyes.

And I prayed a lot for patience and guidance; it helped me.
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Reply to RayLinStephens
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I think it's pretty common with Alzheimer's. I had a neighbor whose wife had Alzheimer's and sometimes she would tell him to leave before her husband came home or when it was time for bed she'd tell him she wasn't going to bed with him because he wasn't her husband. You just have to take it one day at a time.
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Johnny13 Jun 17, 2019
I had similar situations with my wife who has Alzheimers too.
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I think it is common that people with Alzheimers have their failing brains taking them back to the past. They might not recognize their spouse because they are remembering their young spouse, not this old person. Or if their adult child resembles the spouse who is dead, they think that is the "missing" spouse. I can imagine it is creepy. If he suddenly did it, might want to have him checked for a UTI. Whenever there is new behavior, I always try that first. He may be up wandering at night that you are not aware of; so maybe locking his door is a better idea or using an alarm that would let you know he is up walking around. While this in itself is not uncommon, it may be an indicator of other "new" developments as the dementia progresses.
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Reply to dogparkmomma
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My 82-year-year-old mother looks at the framed family photos we keep in the living room as reference points for her and rewrites her story constantly. She's decided that her husband (our father) is her father because he looks so old in the picture of the two of them taken 28 years ago days before he died (he was 62). My older brother has become her brother, and she doesn't have one. She doesn't remember being married at all, or any of our childhoods. Lock your door, and be thankful he still remembers your mom. When he's lucid, make sure he talks to your husband and you together and sees you as a couple. Have your husband and father repeat your name a lot.
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Reply to SFdaughter
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My Dad thought I was his wife too and tried to seduce me in his room at the nursing home. EWWWW Freaked me out so badly I refused to be alone with him again. But we have to remember they are sick and not themselves at all not to mention terribly confused.
Just be gentle and learn to smile a lot and nod your head to almost anything they say.
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Reply to Debrajoy
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His mind sees you as his wife when she was your current age. More than likely, you look similar. Just remind him who you are and put him back to bed. If he wanders at night, the house needs to be more secure...maybe alarm on his bed if he gets up.
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Reply to my2cents
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I have been struggling with this for a while now. My mom passed about 9 years ago, but to my dad, I am her. Delusions are delusions. We can try to redirect, but that doesn’t take away the “ick” factor for us.
I love my dad wholeheartedly, but the intimate advances are a bit much for me. I find myself “side hugging” the guy I used to have no problem wrapping my arms around. The father-daughter relationship has completely changed. I catch myself being more cautious of “giving the wrong impression” to him than showing the true love for him I have as his daughter. It’s a cruel disease we deal with. For both.
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