My dad is confused about where he and Mom are living. Any advice? - AgingCare.com

My dad is confused about where he and Mom are living. Any advice?

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They are still the in the home they have lived in for about 40 years. They had a vacation home down south we had to sell last year. He believes, for some reason, that the home he is in now was moved from one town to another. And that we moved the house without his permission. He thinks we are all lying (4 children and his wife) when we insist that it is the house he built 40 years ago and it’s exactly where he chose to build it way back then. We have tried distraction, having him explain where he thinks it used to be... it is driving both him AND us crazy! We have always been and continue to be a loving family who will do anything for each other. In other words, he would have no reason to think that we are trying to swindle or fool him. Any advice?

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if he and mom are living together alone. make sure mom is doing ok. its a lot for an elderly spouse (not sure of their ages) to be caring for someone with dementia. my mom was taking care of my dad, she did complain a little. but I had no idea what she was really dealing with day to day. I think she didn't complain or explain because she was having her own issues(memory)

if you know he has ALZ then paranoia is part of that. sorry to say ALZ takes a long time to show signs but it will get worse.
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Reply to wally003
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With my Mom the first things to go were being able to reason and processing what was said to her. The reasoing came first. My disabled nephew came to live with her. He has a neurological problem that effects his reasoning. I tried to explain something he shouldn't do and he talked her in to doing it. Really! She believed him before me. Looking back I am sure this was the start of her Dementia. TV, dreams and reality all become one. Mom told me one day that the man wanted to talk to me, she was pointing at the TV. It was Dick VanDyke playing the doctor. I did explain that she was watching TV. She saw a little girl all the time. When I entered the room, "she must have left". Dementia is now their reality.
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Reply to JoAnn29
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I’m comfortable using a “therapeutic fib” whenever the need arises. As long as the fib brings comfort and does no harm, I can live with it. I have spoken to both religious advisors and experts in ethics who support my decision, and they are people who know me and respect my integrity.
SO- when Loved One asks “when we’ll take her home”, we respond “after Steve gets gas in the car” or “as soon as it’s a little cooler” or “well you haven’t eaten dinner yet”, and most of the time peace is restored.
Saddest part of Dear One’s dementia diagnosis is that she is some times MUCH more lucid than others, probably because of short circuiting connections with vascular dementia.
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Reply to AnnReid
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My Mom is in her own house that she has lived in for 55 years. She says it looks like her house sometimes but really isn't. She started saying she wants to go home. She is talking and describing the house she grew up in. The other day my sister came from 4 hours away and we had a nice dinner and were doing the dishes. Our Mom came into the kitchen and stood there and said "This is so amazing! This looks just like my kitchen but it's not even in my house!" Welcome to dementia. Sometimes it's her house but not on the right street and has been moved also. Yep...redirect, change subject, redirect again lol!
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Reply to BootShopGirl
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I am assuming your dad has dementia?

If he has dementia he doesn't need a reason to think that you and your family are trying to swindle or fool him. That's what he thinks, what he knows, because he's unable to reason anymore. And as such, you can no longer reason with him by explaining the house situation to him.

You mentioned distracting him when he begins to talk about the house being moved. I wonder what type of distraction you've tried. When your dad begins talking about the house try offering him a snack. Don't get into a conversation about the house, but the second he brings it up have a tasty snack ready for him. Something he really enjoys. You can also try distracting him by pointing something out in the paper he might enjoy (if he gets the paper). A humorous article or clever story. Have these distractions at the ready before your dad can get going on the house. Another idea is to reminisce with him the minute he brings up the house. Keep a few good family memories in the front of your mind and when he brings up the house say to him, "Hey Dad, do you remember when we......" Use funny memories of past trips or old family jokes.

Trying to explain to your dad that you did not move his house without his permission is a useless exercise and will cause frustration for everyone. This is what he thinks, this is his reality, and any attempt to reason with him will be a waste of time since he is unable to reason.

Distraction/diversion is a lot of work and it's exhausting but effective. Have distractions/diversions at the ready when you need them so your dad doesn't get going on the house. After the first 2 or 3 words out of his mouth regarding the house be there to immediately distract him. A snack, family stories, newspaper articles that are light and humorous. I'm sure you can think of some more distractions to have on hand. I once knew someone with dementia and she loved cards. She was unable to play a card game but she just enjoyed having cards and turning them over. Or perhaps your dad would be interested in a movie on Turner Classic Movies. Or an old Western TV show.

You don't need to convince him that you're not lying because his accusations are not based in reality. They're only in his mind in a jumbled up delusion that will most likely pass. My dad had delusions and instead of trying to reason with him and explain to him that it's not real I comforted him and reassured him that everything was alright. Your dad's delusions are very real to him. Imagine what it would be like if someone were to tell us that a part of our life just wasn't true, that we were imagining it? Not only would it be frustrating but it might be scary as well. So try not to talk him out of these beliefs. Use your diversions and try to keep him from getting agitated.
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