Mom accuses Dad of having an affair. He is exhausted. What can we do to help? - AgingCare.com

Mom accuses Dad of having an affair. He is exhausted. What can we do to help?

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My parents are 91. Mom was just put in a full care facility. She has been bed ridden for over a year due to a stroke. She also has alzheimers, but she still recognizes people and some days her memory is very good. Dad paid for 24/7 private care for her for the last year, but the unpredictability of the care providers and his physical exhaustion motivated the move. The facility where she is also gets her into a wheel chair every day. The caregivers at home couldn't do that.Dad's mind is sharp, but he is losing weight- He probably weighs about 130... and has been dealing with infections, blood pressure, etc. She is controlling him by "acting out" in the facility- so he feels he needs to be there all the time. The man is exhausted. Even when brothers/sisters are there with mom, he feels he needs to be there. Two questions: 1. What can be done to calm my mother down without completely knocking her out? 2. How can we help Dad to set some boundaries so that he can live out the rest of his life?
They have been married for 71 years. There are likely some unresolved issues between them-caused by mom- that she is in complete denial of and won't even discuss with him. HELP!!!

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How does your dad know that his wife is acting out at the facility? I would ensure that the staff is not calling him with this information. If there is an emergency, they can call you and not distress him. At his age, he doesn't need that kind of distress.

I agree that I would discuss a medication or her that would treat her anxiety. She seems to be unhappy and her delusions are causing her undue distress. There are meds for those things that would not drug her up, but keep her even.

I would also ask dad's doctor about an anti-anxiety med for him. Not, Xanax, but a daily med like Cymbalta that can really lift the mood and keep fears and insecurities at bay. It worked great for my loved one. It's not just for dementia patients.

I don't think you can convince your dad to stay away from the NH. It's too invested and I think it would be a waste of time, but perhaps, if he thinks she is doing just fine, he can limit his visits when he sees she is calm and content.
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One idea for approaching your dad is that he needs to take care of himself so that he's there for your mom for the long-term. If he wears out and winds up in the hospital (or worse), then he's left your mom on her own. Maybe that idea might work to get him to set better limits to take care of himself. Your parents have been living their way for a long time, so your ability to change either of them (particularly with dementia) is very small.

Another idea is that people of your parents' generation (and mine) will often listen to doctors when they won't listen to their kids. So have your dad's doctor prescribe how much time off he needs to take and have him be very stern with your dad about it. Maybe he'll listen to that.

Good luck and please come back and let us know how things are going.
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Babalou is right. Try not to get drawn into dementia drama, a daily challenge for me, as well. I try to stay upbeat and distract them with their favorite tidbits of news and not respond to their negativity or silly talk, as I call it. I hope this is just a bad phase and your dad can have a more pleasant visiting schedule soon. Keep us posted.
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First , take a deep breath.You sound like a responsible person and your parents are lucky they have you speaking up for them even if they are unable to really appreciate how lucky they are for having you in their corner.Sounds like you have your mom where she needs to be.Take care of your dad.So what if there are unresolved marriage issues, after 71 years I would be surprised if there weren't any.If your mom has altzheimer's,you will not be able to reason with her, that part of her brain is damaged and it won't get better.She needs to be in a controlled managed environment.A visit by a geriatrician would be a good idea.I feel bad for your dad.Has he been screened for dementia.? Wow! 71 yrs with the same woman, that is his whole life.Your dad emotionally may not be at a place where he can set boundaries.Have a geriatrician or geriatric psychiatrist see your dad,not that I think he has dementia but he is under a lot of stress, his way of living for the last 71 yrs has suddenly changed.You have a lot of pressure on you with both parents at a crossroads at the same time, don't forget to take care of yourself,if you can't take care of yourself how can you watch out for your parents?Mom is in a safe place, concentrate on dad.Please keep us posted on how you are doing. This is a great place to come to vent the days frustrations to other people that are going thru the same things you are. You are not alone.Please keep asking questions. and remember just take a deep breath, it will be all okay.
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So, have you talked to her doctor about her delusions? Is she on antidepressants and or antianxiety meds? If you have access to a geriatric psychiatrist, that's who should be seeing mom.

There is no sense in their "talking about y heir isdues" if mom has dementia. She can't reason any more. A skilled doctor can titrate her meds so she's not knocked out.
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