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He wants to live by himself and doesn't like our answers.


Questions like:


Why can I not wear Levis? (cannot in button pants)


Why can I not wear underwear? (very incontinent.)


Why can I not go to a motel by myself?


And etc. He does not like our answers.

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Abf1202, there's some good advice in the responses here. Be sure to read them all. Two things that I would add are that, one, I have learned to temper my own frustration with the knowledge that "it's the disease speaking." My wife, though she's a god-send with the help she provides with both my parents who have Alzheimer's, does not get this and still takes everything they say and do very personally. This makes it very frustrating for her. Knowing it's just the disease speaking allows me to let the questions and comments flow off me like water on a duck's back; even when it is for the umpteenth time. Get your responses consistent and then just repeat them every time the questions are asked and the comments are made. Don't let it get personal.

Two, in getting my responses down, I have learned about "therapeutic lies." My parents were driving even after their doctor told them (and the DMV) to stop. They did not stop. So I had to get rid of both vehicles. That required some therapeutic lies about the mechanical soundness of the vehicles, and continues to require therapeutic lies every time they ask where their vehicles are.

Now they still think they can still drive and regularly threaten to buy another car even though neither have a driver's license. But they think that they can go to the DMV and get another one. They also frequently threaten to buy a house and move out of the AL and Memory Care facility where they live. They have actually had realtors come to their AL apartment to talk with them. They can afford to purchase both a vehicle and a home. But I can't reason with them. They don't believe that they are unable to pass the driving test and renew their expired licenses. They don't believe that they are unable to care for themselves living alone. So I tell them partial truths, sometimes made up truths, that they can understand and do believe.

For example, I tell them that if they have an accident driving with their diagnosis, they will be sued and lose their sizable estate that pays for their very expensive care. Maybe this is true. I'm not sure. But the response works in the moment. I just have to repeat it when it comes up again the next moment. And sometimes it eventually sticks. When they talk about buying a home and moving out, I tell them that my father's pain management doctor will no longer prescribe the large amount of narcotics for his chronic back pain. This is partially true. He would require the meds to be locked up and only in-home care to dispense them. But it's easier to just say that Dad can't have his medicine if they move out. Mom's response is now frequently, "Ah that's right, Pop's meds are the problem."

I hope that the responses here give you helpful and fruitful ideas to manage your father. Know also that you are not alone, nor are you experiencing anything that others haven't already faced. We're here to help and support.


-S
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Reply to Shlomo
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I have so much to learn still on this - waiting for drs and testing - what are stroke affects vs dementia. I have so much to learn here from you all of it is dementia.
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Reply to Momheal1
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He wants to live by himself  - Sorry Dad there isn't anything available right now.  Where do you want to live? Don't you like it here?

Why can I not wear Levis? - Elastic waist jeans - Dad these are the new style Levis. Don't you like these pants?

Why can I not wear underwear? - These are your underwear (Don't ever refer to them as anything else)

Why can I not go to a motel by myself? - Why do you want to?  It's the busy season and nothing is available.  Where would you eat?

Be creative with your answers, by asking him questions you may understand where the questions are coming from?

And etc. He does not like our answers.
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Reply to EllensOnly
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If you are only repeating the answers every two days consider yourself lucky! I answer the same questions every few minutes. But the way I get through it is to have some very benign, canned answers for the questions and I present them as absolutes. Such as "Why can't I wear Levi's?" Answer "These are your pants. They are easy to get in/out of and wash easily." End of answer. Don't try to reason with him, just state the facts. Keep repeating your answer. Don't even try to convince him that he can't wear Levi's, just let him know what he is wearing. You aren't being rude because he doesn't remember the answer from the last time you said it. Pretty soon you'll be able to run on auto-pilot. If you try to reason with him both of you will be frustrated. It's nicer to just answer with a pleasant statement and then move on.
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Reply to jkm999
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If “he” has been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s/dementia, he cannot remember or even more important make use of “being told“ because his brain is constantly losing its ability to work.

He may also be losing the ability to generate meaningful and/or appropriate questions, so your answers may be frustrating him because what YOU say in answer may not correspond, as he hears it, to what you think HE ASKED.

Is he refusing to wear disposable underwear? Take away his cloth underwear and leave him with only disposables.
Same thing with Jeans- remove all jeans with buttons or zippers, leave him with elastic waist jeans. There are some very nice styles available.

Motel? “Dad I need you here. You promised me you’d.........”.

Arguing will typically result in making you feel worse and having no lasting impact on him. Say what you can that will result in some peace for him and for you.

Your goals ongoing are to keep him as safe and as at peace as you are able to. You may well find that you will begin to notice that he will not like anything you do.
Prepare for that time by considering small doses of soothing medications, researching full time residential care/in-home caregivers, adult daycare.

You are entering a situation in which you will be finding that you must choose the best solution among a group of bad solutions. This is an inevitable aspect of dementia care.

Make your decisions with love and respect for him, and be gentle and take good care of yourselves.
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Reply to AnnReid
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Cupofjoe34 Jul 14, 2020
Thank you. I have been dealing with this for 7 years. Now my gram at 94 broke her back so she ended up living with me. She is still here covid and her house being inhabitable is why shes been here for 10 months. We had no idea she had a broken back we though it was sciatica. It has been (lord help me) total hell. I am her poa and we are just trying to get her home now because she was deemed competent by the hospital and her doc. I am not good at communicating with her and she antagonizes me. Is manipulative a true actress so she gets away with everything and the finger gets pointed at me. I have lost both my parents and I've always been financially taken care of with an allowance even when I worked. Now I'm stuck. I am disabled but not collecting and she gives me my allowance and is how she works me. I'm a puppet. I have on camera her physically slapping and kicking me. No one cares because shes so wonderful to everyone but not me. I am not well. No one will take her so pretty much I have to send her home. And hand the car keys back. I haven't yet because I want to see her drive first. I never thought I'd have to do this and never will I again. I have taken care of all sorts of people with issues and ages. This is hell. Always telling me how to do everything and with no income or disability benefits I am stuck. Yesterday she freaked out because I had to check her taxes and payments etc. She cried out of nowhere saying it's not my business yet as poa her attorney and tax preparer stated I have to make sure it's in order and sent correctly. That was all and it was a whole day of ridiculous things and how she hates life etc. my other half and I finally got it through her head that we were told to do so. Lord. Everything is like this with her. She's been waited on hand and foot. She ignorant of what she's doing to us. I just know I can't do this anymore and I've given up years of my life to get her back to norm. She is lucky to be walking and is in better health than my partner and I. He's also poa. I am so drained. Depressed and now add covid. She's thriving as we are dwindling down to nothing. Any suggestions for me and my other half ... much love. Jo
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