My father that suffers from dementcia sits in the dark,,, i ask him why do u like sitting in dark? He just tells me i like it... he puts a stick infront of the door every night.... i fear four our safety since we live up stairs,,,i tried throwing the stick away,,, but he fights with me, i feel like I'm living in fear every moment
Sometimes people with dementia sit in darkness because they don't think to turn on a light as the sun goes down. Or they have forgotten how to change the dark to light. You might try not asking about it but just turning lights on, matter-of-factly, and see his reaction. You definitely want enough light in the room to enable him to walk around safely, but that could be achieved with some night lights if he really doesn't want lamps on.
I don't understand about the stick. Is it to bar entrance from the outside? Why does that make you fearful, upstairs? Could you explain this a little more? I think it best to humor those with dementia, but not if it genuinely puts the person or others at risk.
However, I recently had to put my DH on Zoloft because I couldn't handle his stress anymore - it was eating him up. It is an option to calm him down but this has to be decided by his doctor. My doctor was ready 6 months ago but my DH wasn't really depressed then - now he is/was.
What has worked for me is to "humor" him. Again, you can ask your Pastor and Doctor - even Home Health Care can assist you with him. My dad would come up with "crazy ideas" but I learned to allow him his space as long as he wasn't hurting anyone. Sometimes they worked; when they didn't, we came up with new ideas together. I learned that Dad was more willing to listen to me if I would first listen to him.
A very wise lady taught me to "roll my eyes and shrug my shoulders," and I did this daily with Pop. Saved a lot of grief for both of us. When he finally asked me why I was doing it - I said it was my way of allowing him to try to do things his way. He nodded and was happy after that.
I know caregiving can be frustratingly difficult - but I learned to "pick my battles." If your father isn't hurting himself or others, you might have to let go and allow him his delusions. But definitely ask his physician about Zoloft or some other anxiety medicine. My dad lived to 88 and was content in his last few years. My hubby is 95 and the Zoloft has reduced his stressful worrying about what will happen to me when he's gone (I'm 65 myself) - we've been blessed with 32 years together.
Try facing him and you ask first, "good morning. what's the problem today?" I did something similar to my dad and it worked. I also had to point out all his blessings - a lot. Your dad is scared - he has dementia and can't think logically a lot of the time - this is scary for him too.
While you're out asking about Zoloft or something similar, you might also find a local Care-Giver Group. Sometimes it helps just knowing you're not the only one going through this. Ask at your chosen place of worship as they may even have a group set up already.
Turns out my dad wasn't eating because he had no idea what to fix so he just didn't bother. It was time for me to move him in with me but to keep his independence we placed a mobile home in the front yard and he lived there quite happily for better than 3 years. I cooked for him until he was strong enough to make decisions again.
I don't think putting a stick in front of the door should be a problem. My DH, 95, put a bar across ours - if it makes him feel more secure, I don't understand the problem. He's had me "bar the door" for about 6 years now. Lately he worries about no one being able to get inside in an emergency. It's ok. I just told him windows can still be broken if necessary. It satisfied him.
Are you cooking for your Dad or is he fixing his own meals? I ask because recently my DH is not eating. His DIL sent us a "care package" of healthy food supplements like Orgain Organic Shakes and Protein & Greens supplements. He is doing a lot better now and starting to eat again - you might need to do something similar?
I am not a doctor or a nurse, just a wife. His DIL is a nurse and cancer survivor. I figured, what did I have to lose by trying the health foods? So DH now drinks a large portion of his daily nutrition. It's working.