My father is in a care center & cannot stand or walk on his own, is legally blind & very hard of hearing. He thinks he can live alone. Help!

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He is totally depending on the Care Centers help. He also has a permanent catheter/collection bag hanging on his leg. He thinks he can live alone & thinks everyone has taken his money, all this creates his anger/unhappiness. They all say 'nothing can be done about this ' I don't believe making him a zombie with meds is the answer?? Help!

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Before Vietnam & the draft I was installing a Hemi into a 52 ford, almost completed it (just cutting a driveshaft) but the war stopped that. Hd's & astronomy now. Had a 1000cc midnight Special 1977, a 1978 super glide then the early 1984 fxst (setting in my garage, parked with 542k miles on it, still in great shape'). My primary HD now is a 2006 fxstd (Deuce), I love it!
I've looked at / tried to move Dad closer but in his condition (requiring 24hr nursing care) & the costs is 'Way over our heads $$$'. We'll just have deal with what we have, do phone tag & when I can save up the $ for a trip to see him. Enjoy the 4th!
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Reply to hemmi0684
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Hi Hemmi,
Do you like Hemi engines? They did great in Nascar racing (until they were banned.)

My husbands' "boss" is a Harley Davidson fanatic. He has a beautiful specimen that he rides on a daily basis. He had to travel from Tijuana, (where we live), to the state of Queretaro, Mexico (1000 miles away) just to buy it. They are the only dealer of Harley's in Mexico. He gets it serviced in San Diego, California.
We just bought him a Harley beach towel and logo stainless steel mug for his birthday in 3 weeks and I ordered a plush throw-blanket for the couch with the HD logo for Christmas. Amazon has a lot of HD stuff. You could really drain the bank account, as none of it is cheap.
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I would encourage you to read as much as possible about Alzheimer's/dementia. You tube has good videos about Alzheimer's too (and ways WE can prevent it-or so they say.) It really helps to figure out our loved one's behavior from stage to stage. Each stage has its own personality changes. It's so sad that we can't reason with them as their brain is "broken". They will never be the parent we once had. :(

Plus, they've got other things going on too (chronic illnesses, hard of hearing, poor eyesight, poor mobility, etc.). It sure isn't any fun getting old.

You can offer the staff the suggestions given here but you can't really check up on whether they're doing any of them or not. Is there any way to move dad to a care center in your area? However, if he's getting good care otherwise, it may be very disruptive to change his location. Dementia sufferers don't cope well with change. 

Being sympathetic often helps. "Therapeutic fibs" are often necessary also, to not crush their hopes, but to pacify them for the moment.

Please don't altogether eliminate the use of medicines to help your dad's anxiousness. As others have said, they don't have to "snow" him, just let him be a little more relaxed with his surroundings than he is now. However, I can understand your apprehension in letting them try it out, since you can't monitor his response. Another reason to move him closer to you (?)

God bless you for all you're doing for your dad. He may not respond like he appreciates your help (he can't) but God knows your efforts.
We're here for you.
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Reply to SueC1957
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For all of you who have taken the time to help me & explain your hardships, I wish the best for you & your loved ones. Wish I could help you all thru these hard times, as you all are helping me.
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Reply to hemmi0684
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This is so sad. He is not really living
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Reply to shad250
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Some more heart felt suggestions. Thanks sooon-much! Ya know my email address hd=Harley Davidson (yes I'm one of those) n=and & stars= I'm a amateur astronomer! Not so much of either since Dad got sick.
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Reply to hemmi0684
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"He gets tired / frustrated on the phone after 10 minutes or so" might also be part of the disease along with the fact that your dad's hearing isn't good. Maybe you need to realize that talking to your Dad for 10 minutes is a positive and "Good" phone conversation.

On her "Good Days", my Mom can talk for 15- 20 minutes on the telephone before she no longer makes any sense at all and I have to end the phone conversation or she hangs up. Mom used to CALL ME everyday, but as her disease progresses, she rarely calls me except when she is upset about something. My brother lives 8 hours away and he calls Mom every weekend. After about 15 minutes, Mom would stop talking and my brother could not get her to say anything else. It took us a while to figure out that Mom had either gotten tired or disinterested in the conversation, or more likely, FORGOTTEN that she was talking to someone on the phone and had laid the phone down on the bed or table. :) Since she could not see anyone sitting or standing next to her, she assumes that there is nobody around and puts the phone down. Sometimes she has little or no concept of how the phone works and can't understand who the voice is that she is hearing. So it doesn't make sense to talk to her on the phone on those days.

You have been given some great advice. It isn't easy living so far away from your Father. I think that you have a positive outlook on the disease that is affecting your father and will it may be frustrating at times. Remember all of the good times that you have had with him. God Bless.
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Reply to DeeAnna
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And BTW....I’m a son also. The last man standing.......
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Reply to Windyridge
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There is no agreeable solution to this. Being so far away makes it worse. I’m in the same boat with my dad, 12 hours away and in memory care.

You have to understand that you can no longer reason with him. If it weren’t for the meds my dad gets he would have probably killed someone by now.

You can’t fix this. You do the best you can. And as others have said, fibbing is necessary at this point. My dad will be very nice to me then 5 minutes later tell anyone in earshot how I stole his car and money. Ya just gotta roll with it.

I don’t even try to talk to him on the phone now. Just check in with staff and make the trip when I can. He’s a pretty sweet guy most of the time but he can be a handful.
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Reply to Windyridge
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So glad to hear from you all so soon. I spent a couple hrs on the phone with the care center this morning & come to the conclusion they aren't going to help much? I'm going to start making more calls to Dad (we are 1,700 miles apart), with a real effort to apply all your great suggestions. He gets tired / frustrated on the phone after 10 minutes or so, as his hearing is so poor. The Son trying to help his father... long distance. You ALL have a good weekend.
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Reply to hemmi0684
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It isn't true at all to say that 'nothing can be done about this.'

Though it might be helpful for you to step back and remind yourself that even if you can't work miracles on how your father is feeling, and improving his sense of wellbeing will take patient, painstaking work over some time, no harm as such will come to him from having these feelings. It's sad for you, he is distressed, but there isn't a present risk to him that has to be got rid of.

Neither do you have to reach immediately for meds; though it is worth asking for an assessment to see if they might be helpful. This isn't a matter of lulling him to sleep, it's a question of potentially correcting brain chemistry that has got out of balance and is causing him *inappropriate* anxiety and/or depression - in which case, as with a person of any age, you'd want that treated.

But for the accusations and distortions that are caused by his dementia, there are techniques for redirecting which you can learn. If you Google "dementia village" you will find sites that explain the sorts of approaches and therapy at use in these places. The techniques are not difficult in themselves, but you can't really jot them down in a Top Tips bullet point list, either; and the reason that they aren't (yet, we can hope) standard practice is that they require training and time, resources which are in scant supply in the care industry. It's about engaging with the person in a way that reassures them and lets you connect with them, so that you can gently lead them away from the false beliefs that are frightening and upsetting and angering them.

For example. You will often hear "never contradict what a person says" - and you immediately think "what, he says his daughter is trying to kill him and I'm supposed to agree? How is THAT reassuring?!"

If you say "of course she isn't, she loves you!" he will conclude that you are not listening to him. The fear he is feeling is real, and you're telling him it isn't. You obviously don't understand. This is frustrating, confusing and (to him) false. He can't trust you.

But there are better ways of not contradicting. So, you would say something like "I don't think I know your daughter, do I? What's her name?" You initiate a real conversation, and guide it back towards true memories that he has. Her name is Jane. She's seventeen, and she argues with her mother all the time (she's probably forty-five, married, two children and a job she likes!). Will she be coming to see him soon? Does he have a picture of her?

You know your father best, and what sort of discussion is likely to engage his interest and attention. For his anxieties about what's happened to his money, and why he's being "held" at the care centre; you could start by agreeing that you would be very worried too if you thought your money wasn't safe; but you're pretty sure that his is being looked after correctly. The wanting to go home and manage on his own: you could lean heavily on the old "these nice people are helping you until things get better" routine; but if he has been in the care centre for some time and his understanding of his condition has got worse, that probably won't cut any ice with him. Instead, you'll need to divert him by suggesting that you go somewhere to sit and talk about the plans (to break up his train of thought) and keep hunting around for a happier subject.

Is he clear about who you are? Is he directly accusing you of taking his money?
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