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My 82yo father has always had a reputation as being very knowledgable and would never hesitate correcting people, for which he also had reputation. As he has hit his 80's his memory has faded, so as he corrects you he is very often wrong. The frequency has also increased to the point where having a normal conversation with his is a challenge and unpleasant. He spends 4 out of 7 days a week at our home and his relationship with me and especially my wife has become strained. We are his prime and only caregivers. I need to contain the issue before relationships are damaged. All advice welcome on how best to manage the situation

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My 95 year old mother has dementia. She is sure she is fine. She is hyper, nothing is ever her fault, and she never quits talking. She can ask the same question 10 times in 2 minutes - not exaggerating! I am sole caregiver (1 brother who doesn't know if she is even still with us) I am ready to cry after 5 -10 calls to ask the same thing she just asked. My son has told me I need to just agree with her. That is so hard to do. You expect to be able to reason with your parent, after all, they raised you that way. I am trying to go along with her, but it can get us in trouble sometimes. She wants to drive, we say no. Every day I hear that so many times. So if anyone has a way to help us let go of our former reality and just stay for the ride, let us know. Some times I think if Mom would just "shut up" (no malice intended) her incorrect facts of life wouldn't be so in my face. So Valeraine, I feel your pain. Will pray we both can adapt to our new situations more easily.
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I've tried reasoning with my 89 yrs old mother too, nothing helps. So I just get angry with her and walk out of the room. The venting does me so much good and I really don't care anymore how she feels. I leave her alone as much as possible and that's how I cope!!! I'm only required to feed her, cloth her, make sure she is comfortable, has a roof over her head, get her to her doctors and that's IT!!!!!
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my aunt just came to live with me...she is 95...we have always been extremely close..she has no children..her husband died 50 years ago and she never remarried...she has spent all those Thanksgivings and Christmases since he passed with me... when she got colon cancer I was there for every doc's appointment and her surgery and her follow-up appointments...she is very hard of hearing so about 15 years ago I took her to get hearing aids..she could hear perfectly but refused to wear them saying they got on her nerves or they were too loud although she had been shown how to cut the volume up and down so she has chosen to live in silence for the last 15 plus years missing out on conversation and interaction with friends and family...when we sit down and look at tv she wants to know what they are saying..I have to translate..so I went to best buy and got her ear phones the wireless kind..she said they were too loud and she didnt want to be bothered with them on her head and ears..she is my mom's sister...there are 6 of them..some passed now...they were/are "Know it alls"....they like to be in charge..I got a taste of this when this aunt would come stay with me in the summers and I was in charge of her meds..all instructions and labels told me what to do ..sent with her by the assisted living facility..but she argued about how many..and what color and what she took at night vs. morning...I lived in the next state...and visited her state quite often..always coming to see her and doing her hair..and bringing everything she needed like powder..denture tablets etc.. my uncle that put himself in charge of her finances never bothered to send her anything..and she did without...to make a long story short she began to run out of money after 8 years in assisted living at over 3,000.00 per month and he got cancer...so she is with me now...she was a defiant child..and she wore the pants in her marriage..its called spoiled and getting your way your whole life...she agreed to come live with me..in fact very enthusiastic about it...she has not had a "shower" in over 8 years even before she went to assisted living she only took a "bird bath" I finally got her to take a shower 2 days ago because she was going to the dr....she doesnt want to change her clothes or pj's....she doesnt want to wash her hands after using the restroom..even when I cheerfully say ok you are going to eat now lets wash your hands...it causes an argument..she claims she didnt touch anything when wiping...she has no concept of germs...the facility she was in let her skip meals..and had her over-medicated with ambien..xanax..paxil and another downer drug...now she is alert...not halucinating anymore and her strength is better...I give her balanced meals...and got her off all that medication with the consent of her new doctor..I know there are going to be suggestions after this post and I pretty much know what they will be..but I need to vent how I feel...I help her bathe...dress...wash all her laundry...get up between 4 and 5 am every morning so she can go to the bathroom..I do this to keep her from falling and getting hurt as she has already broken her arm a few months ago in assisted living...I help her to the bathroom everytime she has to go..assist her in pulling her pants up and down..and when she wants to skip those baths for 4 days at the time that can get pretty smelly...I love her ...but I cant help but feel that I dont deserve for her to argue with me and be so defiant about a simple thing like a bath or washing her hands...I am very good to her and a good caretaker..I had my mom for almost 9 years we had very little problems during those years...her sister..my aunt wants to sleep all day and stay up all night and I cant rest upstairs for worrying about her falling ....I know I cant expect her to change much..but couldnt she at least realize that she can repay me by just cooperating with me...she tells me all the time how much I do for her...she thanks me and tells me she appreciates all I do..but I would just like for her to give me a break...and let me run things smoothly for the both of us...you know sometimes people use age as an excuse when they were that way all along just exaggerated now...I hope I never take anyone for granted and make their life miserable...especially the ones I love..somehow it doesnt seem fair...
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My mom has rewritten history with her fading memory, but that's the least of it. Here's how my visit goes: I'm sitting at the breakfast table. Mom walks in wearing mismatched clothes and I tell her how nice she looks. Mom: This top doesn't match. I'm throwing it out. Me: Okay, whatever you want to do. Mom: I don't care. I have enough to deal with, with HER (meaning her daughter-in-law she can't stand who is not even present and who only tries to help her. Me: Let's have a nice, peaceful morning, okay? Mom: Oh shut up. I'll bet the happiest day for you and your brother will be the day they lower me into the ground. This, after driving 1100 miles through storms and accidents the entire way so we can spend the holidays together. No matter how much I resolve to not buy into her arguments and constant antagonism she tries to draw me in. It's tough but my husband being there as comic relief helps a lot. Having someone neutral is a blessing, especially if your parent likes him or her. It defuses the family tension.
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Smile and nod.
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I have my father here and he is the same way. He is always right. We have learned to pretty much just be quiet and say, ok dad. You know your dad. Thatbis the way Otis. If dad had all his mind he would be himself, and always telling me that I was wrong anyway. Lol. I love him, I just bite my tongue.
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As someone who is very dear to me would say....."it is what it is". I have learned that to argue is to get me nowhere but in a state of frustration and anger. I watch what I say around my mil when I get that way with her because she will not hesitate to correct me....such as saying good instead of well......Sometimes when she is in one of her moods she will argue any point....if we say the moon is green, she will say it's blue....you get my drift. Christina, my dear, you nailed it again. Don't argue, don't try to correct Dad even if he is wrong...because you will not win. Dad is in some stage of dementia....there is no "normal" conversation. There may still be times when it's possible to have a lucid conversation, then the next day not......it happens as the brain ages and dies. You can already see what is happening by saying your relationship has become strained. Just say okay and walk away. You and Dad will have a better relationship and you will be able to look back on this time in your life and the end of Dad's with love and fondness instead of anger and frustration. When you start to feel the anger, please come here and let it all out...we are here to listen to you because the majority of us are going through those same feelings.

Good luck to you in this journey,
Jam
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Hey, SS. Been missing you!
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Maybe we have the same Dad..!
Just agree with him. Give it up...If you know you're right, that has to be enough. As you continue to do this, it gets easier and you'll find you really don't care about correcting him. It relieved a lot of pressure in my houshold and he's happier too!

Peace out,

- SS
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Although I have answered this topic once, I wanted to add something about my father that this topic reminded about. I was the last of his children to marry and leave home. After about two months, he very gruffly told me that he missed me because I would argue current events with him and not take it personally. He did the same thing with my son, who was 17, until Dad became very ill. I think one of the things I miss about Dad is the political arguments.Perhaps he just liked being mentally alert and aware which may be what many of our parents are fearful of losing. Although I am only 55, I have started realizing that people do discriminate against those of us who are becoming older. I truly respect people who are considered elderly although they can be very frustrating. Most of what they need is just our time and love.
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woodka, Has your mother always been this way or has this just come with her declining health? She just might be beyond the level of care you can provide and needs to be in a nursing home where she will be safe, cared for and out of your hair. As a husband myself, I can only imagine how angry this must make him feel seeing you so verbally abused by your mom who sounds like she's an expert at emotional blackmail through fear, obligation and guilt, otherwise known as F.O.G. The key that I'm hearing is she knows how to push your buttons. Well, she must have put them in there. To diffuse those buttons cannot come by self-help books or intellectual knowledge alone, but needs the help of a trained therapist. Declining parent issues have a way of bringing our own family of origin issues to the surface as I have learned all too well. Good luck. Keep coming back and letting us know how you are doing. Feel free to vent all you want for as long and as much as you want for this is a very safe place to vent.
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I agree with Verlaine. This is just something you will have to go through and make the best of it. I think you cannot argue with him, which will make it worse. Just go along as much as you can, change the subject, interject a question on a different subject which will switch his mind. I do this sometimes with my mother, who is in a continual paranoia over the nursing home staff wanting to kill me or harm me in some way. There is no convincing her otherwise, so I just try to appear that I am one up on them and watching them instead of them watching me! By all means, don't take his arguments personally. Just go with the flow. And find humor in it. It IS there. Keep a journal. I have four on Mama since going to the nursing home, one for each year she has been there. Godspeed to you.
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The above answers are great -what ever works or you will drive yourself crazy and hopefully you will be able to vent the gross out thread has help everyone so much it was started over a year ago and has more than 13430 responses the group get help from each other and some laughs along the way-this is Maxine-there is a story behind that name but will not bore you we laugh we cry we stand up for each other we vent we bitch we get gross if need be we are there for each other most are caregivers some like me post caregiver it is better than booze-wait a min better than xanax almost as good as a good night's sleep though most do not remember what that was like-people from all over the country and Italy-so someone is always awake and will be glad to listen and respond. Try us you will like us.
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I notice with my Mom that her mood follows ours (my husband's and mine). If we get frustrated with her "quirks", she becomes frustrated and whiny. When we are in a lighthearted mood; she is as well. We try so hard to agree with her and laugh alot (not always successful but getting better at it). We know the atmosphere of the household is up to us. There is no more trying to reason with her ... she's just different now.
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All of the above!!! Just agree with him, all it does when we argue with our elders is cause them anxiety and stress. When Ruth says it's raining and it's not, I just say it sure is, wonder when it will stop. I have used this term many times, I have to go to her world, she doesn't live in mine anymore. It may be an adjustment, but as Dr. Phil would say, " do you want to be right or get along"
I t is an adjustment for him to be there. Be supportive of your wife and the changes she is going thru giving up her privacy, ect. Keep posting, we are here for the good and the not so good... hugs across the miles
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My parents have always been "right" not matter what the issue. I have finally stopped arguing with my mother because I am the one who becomes stressed and she enjoys the argument. As she becomes older, I think it also means a great deal to her self-confidence to feel that she is correct. She is frightened by becoming older and I will be in the same place one day, I imagine. I also try to introduce topics where she has a great deal of accurate knowledge that she can share. I share your frustration, however! Hang in there.
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What you are really saying is, he is the same now, as he always was! Only now, just agree with him on everything. Just a nod and 'um hmm' will do. It will make it a lot easier on all of you.
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I am in a simular situation its my mother 85 she lives with me and my husband always correcting me, yet she is not safe to be allowed to cook and when I'm trying to prepare a meal she moves everything tells me what to do it really angers me she certainly knows how to push all my buttons life it no fun around her its hard to just too agree, if she was of sound mind you wouldnt allow so what makes the difference now
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You also might remember that if your dad still had his brain, he'd probably be right anyhow.
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I agree, forget trying to be logical with him and tell him he's wrong, won't happen. Just like Christina said, say 'is that right..' 'no kidding' 'how about that' That way you're not admitting he's right, just placating him so he'll move on to something else. I know it's frustrating, but don't make it bigger then it is. It'll drive you crazy.
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Verlaine,
This is the key: You must "bite the bullet". Now, and going forward, there is no more arguing points, negotiating, or trying to prove you are as smart as he is.
You can say, "Yes, you're right, Dad", "Thank you for that"--whatever will assuage him and keep him from further agitation. He is changing, you must adapt.
When you neutralize the situation, the angst diffuses. Your "normal conversations" are a different normal now. Align with your wife and have an agreement that you will try this, and perhaps the calmer atmosphere will nurture a "new relationship" with your Father. You see the deterioration of his mind; knowing that will generate a compassionate response from you.
He knows, too, even if he will not admit it, that he is winding down, and that is SCARY to them. Enjoy your time together. Blessings;) Christina
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