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So, if you've been following me, things have taken a turn for the worse... Dad (91, Parkinson's, depression, moderate cognitive issues) has been in assisted living since March (after going to the hospital with blood clots), while stepmom (88, cancer) has continued living at home. Dad has become increasingly concerned that stepmom has been having an affair. He passed out after dinner out at a restaurant last week, and went back to the hospital, diagnosed with low blood pressure and irregular heartbeat. Medical issues stabilized, but mental issues increased dramatically. Now says strangers are living in the house, and called the police to report as such. Became increasingly hostile towards staff (and myself, my brother, stepmom, and stepsister), and is now in a geriatric psych ward (the best in Massachusetts, I'm told--and I'm in Michigan) being diagnosed. Most recent conversations involved him disowning me and requesting I never speak to him or see him again. I know it's the dementia talking--but, of course, despite saying, "I'll remember everything and fix my will" he called again today. Should I even talk to him? Don't think he's seen a psychiatrist yet, and wondering if I should wait for his guidance. Fortunately, I have health care proxy and power of attorney. I have told him he is not 100% physically healthy, and he is there under doctor's orders. I reminded him we had the same conversation three hours earlier. Social worker has said they will look at cutting back his antidepressants and adding anti-anxiety meds, and that there will be more tests. What else can/should I do?

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GardenArtist: Thanks for the support. As for myself, sharing my story (and my learnings) helps, and remembering that it's not really Dad speaking helps, too. They started him on exalon (sp?) and seraquel on Wednesday; Stepmom spoke to him yesterday and he seemed in a better mood, so we'll see how things go Saturday.
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Adambravo- first, never assume that the doctors/hospital is doing anything. - huge mistake. You'd think they'd do some basic testing, like for a UTI when considering state of mind - but often they don't. My brother and I were given a full report during my moms rehab stay in August - she score really badly. I asked if they had done urine test and they all looked at me like I had grown a second head. So then they tested - and whatda ya know? UTI. Second - if it helps at all to hear it - I was disowned twice between September and November. Once I was actually told that she wished I was never born. Yea - it's the disease but it still hurts. As hard as it is to hear, try to blow it off. Finally - once my mom was seen by a geriatric psychitrist and put on the right medication she became 1000x easier to deal with. I'm sure you'll experience the same thing with your dad. Hang in there!
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BTW, what are you doing for YOU to help you through this?
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Adam, I am so sorry to read about this development. This journey is getting bumpier for you and your family, isn't it?

I don't really have any suggestions on the evaluation issue but I wouldn't discontinue contact with your father. I doubt if t would change anything one way or the other but it is possible that he would become aware of minimized contact and turn against you even more.

Just remind yourself of the circumstances and how frightening life must be for your father, and provide whatever kind of support you can.

As to what else you can do, I assume you've already alerted other family members? Perhaps you could have a conference call with them, including anyone in direct contact with the doctors, so that the information can be shared, and all the family members are aware of the situation and its progress (yes, I'm thinking positively).

I wish your family well, and much solace and peace as is possible in this situation.
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Freqflyer: I would have assumed the hospital had tested for a UTI, but I will see if I can doublecheck.
Pamstegma: Psych test was done in the hospital, which led to his placement in the psych ward. Don't know if they've done any imaging.
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Don't assume the hospital will pull in a psychiatrist, since the delusions were not part of the admission problems. ASK for the evaluation. For all the nurses know, he has always been like this. They need to hear you say that this is new and bizarre behavior, so they can pull in a Neurologist, do some imaging and then the psych expert if they need to .
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adambravo, had your Dad been tested for an urinary tract infection? A UTI can cause all types of strange things for an elder such as being hostile, seeing things that aren't there, etc. Have that test done ASAP if it wasn't on the doctor's list of things to check.
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To me, the anger and blame and paranoia was the absolute hardest part of dementia to deal with. Hang in there, friend -- this ain't easy.

Generally a stay in a psych ward is to adjust medications in a safe and monitoring setting. Let us all hope that a combination is discovered that keeps Dad comfortable and relieves his stress and that he can return to assisted living.

This is so sad for all concerned. My heart goes out to you all. You are right, of course, that this is the disease and not your Dad's true personality or attitudes.

Unless the medical professionals advise you otherwise, I'd continue talking to him, calmly and reassuringly. Please don't try to remind him that he is repeating himself and that you've had these conversations before. That, too, is part of the disease and he really can't change that.

I'm not sure it is any consolation, but all the behaviors you describe are quite common. It is nothing personal. It is the disease.
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