Dad lives with me now five years. It is very tense most of the time. He has always been a story teller. Not the kind where you sit down and listen, the kind where he seems to be the expert in everything. As a kid I admired him with the stories. As I grew up I figured most of them were factually inflated. My brother seemed to get the same trait. I too had it until I realized how it appeared to others. Lately the stories have become grander. I am hearing things I never heard in my life about family etc. My brothers stories have made family get up and walk out of the room they have been so big.

I can't talk around him as everything I say he has a bigger and better one to top my subject. My wife has purposely set up topics at dinner to see how big it can go or how a topic can be told about something not correct. I call it the Cliff Clavin times (from Cheers), knows something about everything.

It is just getting frustrating where I have become totally silent during meals as to not set off a grand topic.

The latest was he brought up his father was trapped in a mine for 10 days and the boss died with him. You would have thought I would have heard that in over 50 years in the family. My grandfather was not a miner, my mom's family was. "That is why he didn't like tight spaces". Yes my grandfather picked some coal but not as a miner when he was young. At dinner he is telling us how he used to walk through fields of sauerkraut, while we were having dinner with sauerkraut and the people who bought it was a certain name. Funny, the can of sauerkraut had the same of the company name that I had on the counter before dinner. I didn't think sauerkraut grew in fields. Then at the same time he is telling me how he and other kids were asked to pick potatoes during school and got out of school to do that and make money. My dad grew up in the mining area, potatoes were not prevalent in the area.

If he hears something going on in the house or the neighborhood everyone in the family hears about it. I dont let him know about things going on with my kids as he will blab to everyone in the family will know and it will be grander than what it seems.

I know as time goes on the stories get larger but it seems they are bigger than ever. As a kid the stories of my family were quite interesting, I know most were inflated but generally that is family lore. Is this normal? He watches TV about 14 hours a day. I am starting to think he is living what he sees on TV.

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Thanks, dinner time is usually pretty quiet due to what ever we say he has a comment on it or laughs at anything said. This is nothing new. I grew up with it. It is just now getting annoying. I know he is bored but it was his choice not to plan for retirement. No savings or plan to live on his own. His plan was to live with us...... He doesn't like to be alone. If no one is home he goes out.
Thanks for the ideas, will continue to track them.
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TG, I think you'd better keep a journal and do some watchful waiting for a couple of months.

This picking up on cues around him is a bit odd. But the difficulty for you is that it's going to be incredibly difficult to discern whether it's your increasing irritation or his increasing loopiness that is making him seem worse.

So figure out some sort of rudimentary scoring system (how repetitive, how improbable, how apparently prompted by cues like the sauerkraut label) and keep tally of your father's narratives. It IS something to monitor, definitely.
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Does this mostly happen at meal times, when there is an audience? You could try some rules, for example one I read about where each person in the family had to talk for five minutes in turn with a timer running. That family's rule was about getting the kids to express themselves. It could also limit the time that your father raves on. The other thing you could consider is some reason for him to eat separately. After five years, and no end in sight, this is a real pain in the neck.
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Usually when someone feels the need to make up grand stories (aka telling fibs) about things that may or may not have happened, it’s a sign of low self-esteem. They have to make themselves look important and knowledgeable in other people’s eyes and this is the only way they can think of to do it. The thing that would bother me about it is Dad’s blabbing your personal life to everyone who will listen, so keeping your own counsel about this and only discussing things when he’s not around is the best way to handle that.

My mother had dementia and she also “made up” stories, but in her mind, they really happened. A lot of her stories were shocking to me, and I will always wonder which were true. If Dad hasn’t been evaluated for dementia, or cognitive decline, he probably should be.

Try not to take Dad’s braggadocio so seriously, to the point where it’s causing so much stress. You know he’s like this. Just take what he says with a grain of salt, or even, as your wife does, make a game of “Can you top this?” out of it.
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