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Hi. I am new to this forum and would just like to share my experiences. I have many questions but not sure where to start. So I will start by explaining my situation. My father was diagnosed with dementia at least 6 years ago. We saw signs long before this. At the time my dad was diagnosed, my mom was going through chemo treatments for colon cancer. We tried to get dad in a nursing home but at that time (6 years ago), the doctors said that unless he agreed to go to a nursing home, we couldn't force him because in their opinion, he still had enough of his mind to make his own choices. As mom's health got worse, she found it harder and harder to care for dad. Eventually in April 2016, dad had to go to the hospital because of a fall. The doctors finally said to mom that the POA is now to take over. At that time, mom was dad's POA. So they kept dad in the hospital until they found a nursing home for him. In September of the that year, Mom passed away and I became POA for Dad. In December 2016, they finally found a nursing home for him. He really hates the nursing home, but I know I cannot look after him. He keeps asking where mom is. So I remind him that she is dead. But one day when he asked where mom, he also asked where his wife is. Through conversation with him I found out that he thinks my mom and his mom are the same person. This seems really strange to me because he knows my name and introduces me to the nurses as his daughter. But for some reason he still can't make the connection between my mom and his mom. He doesn't have a phone in his room and when he wants to call me, he goes to nurses desk. Usually when he calls he asks for mom's phone number or he just tells me he wants out but the staff won't let him. I just don't know how to deal with this. Every time he does this, I feel guilty and have to remind myself that he is in the best place.

Oh, I see it’s your dad. I read a bit more of the thread. The dental folk can make it all sound very scary, infections, you must do this etc. as it turns out my mom had very little time left and it was miserable enough without these dental idiots putting her through even more hell.
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Reply to Windyridge
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Hi Chergal.

Sadly, what you’re going through is pretty typical, very similar to my experience with my folks.

Two points I would like to make:

My mom died just one year ago. Dad has fairly advanced dementia. He will ask about mom and I just say she’s in the hospital or rehab place, and we move on. No sense in making him repeat the grieving process. He’s in memory care now and often mistakes a lady there for mom. We just let it ride.

Teeth. My mom had lots of missing and broken teeth. A local dental mill wanted to pull her 10 or so remaining teeth and send her to get fitted for dentures. This would be major oral surgery. This for an 87 year old women with a multitude of health problems and moderate dementia. As her POA I refused to allow this. Found her old dentist who simply ground off some sharp edges that were bothering her.

this is just my experience, your case may be different and warrant oral surgery but give this some serious consideration before putting her through this.
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Reply to Windyridge
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I’m so sorry for your situation-been there-done that too.

I was told that my dad needed his little stubs of teeth pulled. We did, waited for the swelling to go down, then had dentures made, then a revision. He wouldn’t wear them because they were uncomfortable.
In my opinion, as long as there is no infection (and you know he won’t wear them), I wouldn’t bother with the whole process. (My dad did not have dementia at the time.) It’s a long process and a difficult one to explain and get cooperation from.

I agree, unfortunately, little white lies (therapeutic fibs) are the way to go.

Please educate yourself about dementia/Alzheimer’s. Alz.org is a good start or right here on this board. There is no reasoning with someone with dementia. You must stop trying to make it “better” because it won’t be anymore......a tough pill to swallow. It helps when you’ve accepted the disease and are informed so you can meet it head on.

My best to you and your dad.
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Reply to SueC1957
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About the dentist for your dad..,
There is a poster on Aging Care “Windyridge” who went through this with his mom.
If I remember correctly he did take her to a family dentist who helped him take a conservative approach.
Here is a lengthy thread on the subject.

https://www.agingcare.com/questions/dentist-wants-to-pull-10-teeth-on-my-87-yr-old-demented-mom-436076.htm?orderby=recent
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Reply to 97yroldmom
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I hope he eventually accepts the nursing home. It's very difficult to hear the complaints and pleas. My mom combines people too. I guess it's her way of remembering them. If several people are one she can tell better and more stories. One lady in the assisted living where Mom is worries at 99 that her mom won't be able to find her there. Another had to be moved to memory care because she kept locking people out of "her" house and insisting in not nice ways that everyone inside leave. It's all very sad, but going along with their altered worlds works best for them, unless it impacts their health and well being. I also struggle with not telling my mom the truth about my dad. I try to divert her attention to stories about him and that usually works for a while, then she returns to question, "Where is Papa"?
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Reply to ArtistDaughter
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Hi Chergal - I often see similar questions to yours posted by other members regarding whether to pull teeth for an elderly parent. I, myself, have no experience with it yet, so I can't say one way or the other.

My recommendation is for you to do a search for those threads and read what others have to say about the subject. On the top of the screen, next to your avatar, there is a magnifying glass, click on it, and type in your search key words. If you don't find the answer in reading those threads, you should post a new question.

I'm so sorry for the loss of your mom. It is so hard, both for you and your dad.
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Reply to polarbear
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Chergal Mar 29, 2019
thank you.
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Thank you polarbear and 97yroldmom. It has been a long journey so far. And no ones how much longer it will be. I am thankful to every day. But there are days when I am so frustrated that I don't know how I can keep this up. My mom was my rock and now she is gone. I never expected being a POA would be this difficult. I came across this site by accident. I was trying to find opinions about getting dental work done for my dad. His teeth keep breaking and he has to go to a dental surgeon. I think they want to pull all his teeth but I am not so sure if that is the best idea. I know he won't wear dentures. So my concern is this. Is pulling his teeth going to help or hinder him? Do I want to put him through that much trauma? Is it necessary?
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Welcome to the AC forum. I found this site almost 2 years ago and I am so glad I did. It's a life saver for me. I hope it will be for you, too. Many people who come here have been in or are going through similar situation and understand the struggle, the frustration, and the stress.

You are a good daughter. And your dad is in the best place he could be. So, there is no guilt. You can't turn back the clock or wave a wand to make everything better for him. Please don't feel guilty.

97yroldmom's suggestions on how to answer your dad are good ones. Use them, or make up some of your own. Invent crazy reasons for mom's absence. Be creative and have some fun while you're at it. You might as well, right?
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Reply to polarbear
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Hi and welcome to the forum.
Your primary concern seems to be about dad asking for his mom. As you’ve already discovered his mind is broken and can’t hold onto explanations or things that seem like common sense to me and you. It’s like a short or something in the electrical wiring of the brain. No matter how often you tell him, he isn’t likely to remember the details about mom.
If you aren’t already familiar with her, look up Teepa Snow. She is wonderful at redirecting and has videos on line that are short and effective. When dad asks about mom, tell him she is at work or sick with a cold or running late or whatever sounds like a snippet out of their previous life. “She’s running errands, but she said to tell you to have a good evening. Is your favorite western on tv now? I think it’s time.”
Agree with him or validate him as that will make him feel better and change the subject. Don’t try to persuade him of anything. He can’t follow that. He has one foot in his childhood and sometimes he’s in today. You’ve become like that longed for mom to him.
Its been a long long road for you. You’ve been a good daughter. Come back often and ask all the questions you want. We will try to help.
Hugs
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