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We are having problems with outings. My Dad has Alzheimer's + Afib and his diagnosis seems to place him on the high side of moderate to low side of advanced. Somedays he is really good, some days not. Eves are much harder and we know that is normal. Usually days are not so bad so we schedule outings early in the day. Today he had a Dr. apt and the Dr. wants to add a med that can be risky, so he wanted the POA and family to weigh the pro's and con's, well dad was very angry after. He thought he should have been allowed to make that choice then and there himself. He screamed at the caregiver about being treated like a baby all the way home and he slammed the door on his finger, sending him to the ER to have it cauterized to stop the bleeding. This is not the first time he has melted down due to an outing. Sometimes it's in the middle of store. It can happen mid trip to after he gets home. We are trying desperately to keep him in his home as long as we can but these kinds of behaviors are making it increasingly hard. He can afford good care, but he wants to be home so we are trying. Is this typical, and if it is why? Is his brain more taxed and more tired? How can we help minimize the impact on him and US..... :(

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Mickilyn, reading your responses I just want to tell you that you are doing a stellar job with this difficult situation.

Getting smacked in the head with the reality of these situations is no fun and it takes a bit to find your equilibrium and you are doing fantastic.

Keep up the great work!
Great big warm hug!
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i quite honestly don't consider a trip to the MD very much of an "outing", particularly if the decision whether to add a dangerous medication to my meds is discussed in front of me without my input. I am afraid I might have slammed a few heads in the door rather than a finger (attempt at humor is lame, agreed, but I don't see any way this was OK. I am truly sorry someone got hurt, of course.)
If he is no longer capable of making his own decisions about medications it is rather sad he was left sitting like a bump on the proverbial log while others discussed whether or not he should have a dangerous drug added, particularly one that is considered dangerous. I am not surprised he feels he is being treated as a child. It is very difficult to have all power, dignity, choice and options removed in this manner and be discussed as though you are an infant. It is demoralizing.
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MickiLyn Mar 25, 2021
Well to him, leaving the house at all is an outing and losing that freedom and ability to drive was/is devastating, so we try our best to get him out as we can safely because we can't fix that loss of freedom any other way. Please understand, this medication decision coming thing was not known in advance but the result of the exam at that appointment. It was not discussed without him at all, nor without his input or to his exclusion in any way! Simply the Cardio told him he wanted him to discuss and the pros/cons with his family/POA before he finalizing a prescription because it was a big decision and not to be taken lightly. He has pretty poor mobility as of his Hospital stay that got us to this point of needing care, and falls are a real risk. Now that part about his mobility was not said out loud so please don't jump me, but it is a serious choice to take blood thinners while no longer having good mobility. Dad simply had a very extreme reaction to not being able to make his own choice right then and there. I was here, on the forum, because I wanted to know if that is normal because a month ago I didn't know, some of us are new to all this and don't have that MCI phase where we get to learn at a nice pace but rather it slaps us in the face fast and hard with no experience. I was trying to understand how this went so wrong for something that was so easily resolved in a short call to just talk. I get where the Dr. was coming from in terms of safety concerns and I am guessing liability, I do agree it could have been much better handled and we did feel blind sided by the Dr. but more so by Dad's reaction. We had NO idea that was going to unfold that way. Dementia care is certainly not for the faint of heart, I have learned that much! BUT we can suport each other as caregivers, and especially new ones need some compassion too, because it is so HARD! We were and still are learning cues to understand and try to predict how he will respond to things. He has all these emotions still but he often simply can't process them very well anymore. I am coming to terms with that. We are letting him make as many choices as we can safely, but medical professionals do seem to be requiring input from us. So can he competently make his own choices? I don't know, on big stuff probably not.... We still are including him as best we can and letting him believe he has the final say because he deserves that dignity, This situation, again, was not something I could have predicted.
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Imho, it's not up to him on what medication could be added as he has a broken brain.
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The best thing for him is to let him stay in his own home with Caregivers.

Include him in the discussions from now on.
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MickiLyn Mar 25, 2021
He always is, and actually it can backfire. We have learned the last month (thanks to his social worker) that we start by testing how he seems on a topic and include as much as we can up to the point where it starts to seem upsetting, then we must deescalate it by just agreeing with him. Then we follow professional advice to the best of our ability even if he doesn't like it. We are learning when and where we must apply "therapeutic lies" which is a lot like white lies. This has helped him VERY much in case anyone else comes looking. He is now much happier. He feels he has a say, and he does to the point we can do what he wants safely. Obviously much of what he wants we can't do safely. The best example I can give is let him drive, so we have set goals for him to work towards to be able to get reassessed to drive with his OT. Now the odds he could ever reach that is slim to none but he is happy because he has hope.
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My wife gets very angry if she is not included in any decisions. I have built a great relationship with all of her regular Drs. and most in the ER. They are very good at taking me aside to discuss any necessary changes. The nurses keep her buy for the few minutes that the Dr. needs to cover any new info and changes. This has helped completely stop any outbursts at DR. APPTS.
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Your father may just not be able to handle two places in one outing. He can't last through a doctor's appointment and a trip to the store. Next time the store will have to wait for another day. My 90+ year old father had a laundry list of places he wanted me to take him. The problem is I am not retired so I do not have unlimited time for running him places that aren't utterly necessary. I made the mistake of planning a full day of errands with him to get everything done at once. Big mistake. He could have handled two places but 4-5 was way out of his abilities. He didn't enjoy the day and I was super frustrated.
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MickiLyn Mar 25, 2021
We have learned since I asked to keep outings short. He enjoys most of them very much but tires quickly. They never were real long but we can now gage better by how he slept the night before and by his morning mood if we can do an hour vs 2 hrs... So it's looking much better now. Adjusting and understanding what it's like for him, that has been the hardest part for all of us.
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For simpler discussions and decisions, having dad included and allowing him to voice his opinion might be okay, but for the instance described:
"Today he had a Dr. apt and the Dr. wants to add a med that can be risky, so he wanted the POA and family to weigh the pro's and con's, well dad was very angry after. He thought he should have been allowed to make that choice then and there himself."
It might be better to have the discussion between the doctor and the POA/family first. He may think it's his decision only, but when there is a risk involved, he likely doesn't have the capacity to really understand. IF the POA/family get all the information and discuss it first, then decide it might be worth the risk, THEN include dad in making the decision for himself. If, on the other hand, the POA/family feel the risk is too great, then don't mention it to him.

As for the other "meltdowns", perhaps a very low dose anti-anxiety given a little before the planned outing might be in order. I'm not a fan of medications, but sometimes they can help. They used one with mom during her initial move into MC, lowest dose, just to take the "edge" off. Sometime later, due to a UTI, she had serious sun-downing in the later afternoon/early evening. She was totally off the rails! Usually she was quiet and calm, liked to sit and read the paper, magazines, sales flyers (the best!) They had to use the anti-anxiety along with the antibiotic. She wasn't doped up, but she wasn't a raving lunatic either! I wasn't there for the first 1-2 weeks, so never saw the effects then, but I DID observe her during the UTI treatment. Worked first time, every time, within about 15 min and it didn't need to be weaned off. So, it could be Rxed "as needed" and only used prior to any "outings."

The suggestion to keep the shopping trips to the absolute minimum, picking up the rest later, ordering online for pickup or delivery, sounds like a good idea. It could be over-stimulation, kind of like some kids will get when there is too much going on. Going out for a drive, a walk, coffee, etc, can help alleviate his "need" to get out. Socialization can be helpful, but it can also be too much for them to handle, so keep the trips as short as possible - just enough to satisfy his need to be out, but not enough to "wind" him up!

In some ways it IS like dealing with a child. He doesn't need to be treated like or talked to like a child, but be aware of his limitations and act accordingly. If it's time to go home and he's resisting, offer some kind of "reward" that's waiting for him, a favorite snack or activity, to entice him to change his mind.
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Maybe if this happens again and he is having a "good" day you can tell him that doctor wanted you to do your homework and explain it to him so he could understand the pros and cons of new meds and make a decision. MIL didn't want us to tell doctor everything that was going on with her, her answer was "everything was fine" no it was not. Many things were discussed with him before he went into examination room to see her, dh stayed with her while I needed to use the bathroom 😙. This way he knew what was up yet she was able to "save face" and appeared to be perfectly fine. Same with her hospice team, we did not discuss mental decline in front of her, gave her the illusion of independence and avoided embarrassing her about what was actually going on, ie had a tia while sitting in her recliner, her answer was she was sweating so bad she sweated right thru her clothes and the blanket I had covering the chair. That was her story and I was sticking to it, same for her bed, told me I didn't need to change her sheets, it was just sweat my answer was I wasn't going to make her sleep in sweaty sheets. I'm sure she knew something wasn't quite right but was not able to admit it to herself yet. Is he given choices as far as meals and snacks? This may also help him seem more in control of his day to day life.
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As for shopping trips, if he really wants to go, I suggest small mom and pop shops. Let him make some choices ie: “Do you want chicken soup this week or vegetable?” “Do you like the paper towels with the flowers or the fruit?” Keep the trip short and sweet and do the rest of the shopping alone or online. The longer you are in the store, the more likely a meltdown.
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I found with my dad (who had late stage Alzheimer’s) it made a difference if I asked him what he thought. He may not have understood what the doctor was asking or what his answer should be, but he didn’t want to be invisible. His answer to me would usually be “I’m not sure, what do you think?” It gave him a sense that he had a tiny bit of control of what was being done to him. I did this even after he was declared incompetent.

People need to think their input matters when it comes to ownership of their own bodies. Unfortunately a lot of medical providers forget this and speak only to the family member and don’t address the patient.

It’s frustrating to lose control and a dementia patient watches their abilities slowly disappear and now when decisions are being made about their bodies, they are having even their voice taken away.
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Since he seems better early in the day, that would be the time to talk with him about the medicine dr wants to try. Include him, now, in that conversation. He needs to be part of the process ---- if ---- he can. He was 'with it' enough during the dr appointment to understand he was excluded in the decision. So now maybe have a member of the family discuss it with him.

There is something about dementia that allows a person to have it quite together at certain times. They can be totally separated from reality and yet when an ambulance worker or dr talks with them, they can surprise the heck out of you - so much clarity. That's why when there's been a big event at home and you call for help, they are refused transport - they answer questions that they couldn't have answered for you just 20 minutes prior, they say they don't want to get in the ambulance and want to stay home.

Getting out and about can create some confusion and is frustrating. They are looking around as they ride in the car and can't quite remember the grocery store that has been on a particular corner for years, they get confused about where a road goes even though they've been on that road 1000 times. So many things they see, they are trying to sort out and just can't quite do it. You might discuss this recent event with the doctor so he understands there are still times of clarity. Maybe next time, have the doctor talk to him while others listen - then doctor could suggest, this is what I'd like to do so why don't all of you go home and discuss it. It might help if he doesn't feel excluded and knows he's being excluded.

It may be he reaches a point where going out is just not possible because it's too much confusion. If he can't get video dr care to minimize travel, then you'd have to think about going to a facility or just letting in-home health providers do what they can for him from the house. They get orders from drs and can do nearly anything that is done in the drs office - test for UTI, bloodwork and other lab work. Relay info to the doctor to make changes in meds, etc.
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as much as it would be an issue, stop taking him out around others that way IF he throws a fit, its inside the car but make sure the doors are locked so he can't just open it whenever. what kind of med? is it for anxiety? wishing you luck.
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MickiLyn Mar 25, 2021
The med was a blood thinner. We were not with him and the concern was possible falls. I think the Dr felt it would possibly be a liability to just put him on it based on his recent medical record. So I get it, and we were not able to be there. We do this from several hours away, and go as really needed. He had a full say, he just needed to get home and call us so we could go over the pro's and cons. I mean blood thinners for those who are not stable on their feet due to dementia issues is kind of a big deal, so I get the Dr's take but maybe he could have helped us by saying "I need to research the best med option for you and I'll get back to you in a couple days". Then he could of sent a message in the charts and WE could of had the talk with dad. When he got home it was quite literally a 10-15 minute discussion and a catch 22, or a six of one half dozen of the other scenario. He made the final call, his body his choice but we told him we were going to call the next mornign to get his final answer and he had to be reminded what it was about but made the same choice twice. So then we simply sent a message to the nurse to ok it. Sometimes I don't think medical people who have not done this know what they might be setting us up for when we leave. Ugh
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People with dementia have minds that are slowly declining. They can have good and bad days, but their underlying condition will not get better. Sometimes this manifests in illogical and even violent behavior. I've seen people with dementia hit and bite. I think it is sometimes because of frustration of not being able to communicate well. Your father also indicated that his anger came from being "treated like a child." I think the doctor did the right thing to talk to the POA, but perhaps it should have been done privately. Ask the doctor not to mention things that will require decisions in front of your father until he has talked to the POA.
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MickiLyn Mar 25, 2021
100% looking back a month later and learning as I go I agree with you!
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Many states now have doctors or nurse practitioners (my Mom has NP) that will come to the house for the elderly, home bound. Then there's one medical person to deal with. When we were taking Mom to doctor's appointments (4 doctors), they almost always talked to me. I found this so degrading for her.I would point to Mom and say, "ask Mom". If She felt she needed help to respond,
she would ask me. [Note, Mom does not have Alzheimers].
Could his store outings just be for a few things and have the rest delivered? Or could everything be ordered on line and placed in the trunk? So he could go for the ride and help unpack?
A weekly ride for an ice cream might be a good treat.
Best wishes.
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MickiLyn Mar 25, 2021
I do a grocery order once a week and it's picked up by a family member. Usually who is staying with him. At first Dad went every time, it was his "outing" and he'd get a lark and pick out a few choices of his own by sight, on top of whatever list we did together. We now only include him in the store trip if he is having a good day. I think that actually has helped the acting out because he doesn't want to miss out on that but I am not for sure.

He has in home care. OT, PT, RN each rotate in and out. His PCP will do online appointments if he doesn't need soemthing physically looked at closely. The cardio could not do that, they were trying to determine if he had A fib and he sure enough did! A fib led to blood thinner and there was the problem ;) Thank you for you kind reply, it was helpful!
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Seems he felt excluded - as in not present or allowed into the discussion - which can be irritating, frustrating, and disrespectful. That probably prompted the meltdown. It would be better for family and caregivers to remind others to include your loved one in conversations - even if he will not be making the final decision.

If you find he is having more meltdowns, he is probably not able to follow the conversation or understand what is required of him. Consistent routines and environments will help him know what to expect and not end up "surprised" with frustrating circumstances. On days that you expect to be more trying, it might be helpful to a prescribed anti-anxiety medication available to help him relax and not get anxious, frustrated, or angry.
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MickiLyn Mar 25, 2021
He was included, he just didn't want to have to discuss it with family/POA as suggested by the Dr before he would finalize a prescription. He just has a bad reaction, I guess. Since this we have learned to better spot cues, not perfectly by any means and we also know his sleep is key. The poorer the sleep the more extreme his reactions seem to be and so that helps us to factor what to expect some too. This was not soemthing anyone had educated us on. We are learning ;) They did try Seroquel but it was not very helpful and had some side effects for him. Melatonin and better sleep quality combined with not involving him as much with very upsetting stuff seems to be helping much more. We just have to watch and test waters closely for what might be upsetting.
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Mickilyn, I am sorry that your dad is behaving so violently when he is frustrated.

I can tell you from personal experience that everyone, well mostly, wants to be able to speak for themselves. Including our loved ones with Alzheimer's or dementia symptoms. So you really have to help them be included.

I take a dear friend to her appointments and I find that her doctors will speak over her to me and I think that could be your challenge. I found that if I look at my friend while the doctor is speaking it encourages the doctor to talk to her, it is her health after all. Then I will ask her if she has any questions about what was just said, then she feels safe enough to engage, even if it doesn't make any sense to anyone in the room but her.

With my dad, who liked to showtime, I had to sit slightly behind him so I could shake my head if he was getting to creative with his reality. I mean we are here to get treatment for something going on, you don't want to let them believe that the reality is different than it is. This would encourage his doctors to ask the questions in a different manner and then I would step in and say what I had seen if he was determined to stick to his story.

I know that this adds time to every appointment and it can be frustrating for you and the doctors but, quite frankly, I think that the patient is the only one that matters in these situations.

Please encourage everyone that is taking your dad to doctors appointments to let him speak for himself as much as possible. He will feel better about it and so will you.

I can't imagine how frustrating it is for people that come in and out of reality. Then to feel like you no longer have anything to say about your own health on top of everything else that you have no control or say so over, it must drive some people mad.

Learning to discuss his choices where he lives can help all of you feel less stress. Even if you never give him the medication because you deem it to risky, would it be better to have him angry or give him a dose of vitamin c daily as the new medication? Placebo effects are real and it can't hurt him.

Just my thoughts on dealing with doctor appointments and our elders. It has helped me and my loved ones. I hope you find something that helps.
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MickiLyn Mar 25, 2021
I am learning this one, we all are. I had to go stay with him a few days to do a couple important appointments and this time we were more prepared. We are still quite new to all this, and we still don't fully understand everything but we are doing our best and getting better. He is happier, we are happier. It's still reallllllyyy hard and often exhausting but we are getting better at figuring it all out and working around what we think should be vs what is and we can't control. He had to ask obvious memory Q's in both and I found ways to que off to the Dr's both times without home noticing when his answers were way off but they couldn't know without my input. A out of his eye sight wink, a finger hand behind his head with 5 fingers instead of 2 for how many years since etc.. Anything he was even in the realm of close on I shook my head yes to so I could show him I was supporting what he was saying. Things went much better. He still gets upset to have to do the questions at all with them but at least now we have a game plan, we know to let them know ahead of time what might be coming. It helps, maybe anyone who comes along after will see there is some hope :) I have learned first and foremost there is no point in unnecessarily upsetting him and we avoid as much upset as we can. that requires a lot of balancing as we go, we have to think quick.
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Your father may be at a point where it's no longer safe and possible for one caregiver alone to take him out. His outing may now have to involve his hired caregiver with you or another family member to handle if a situation arises.
His socialization outings (not doctor's appointments) may have to change now. Like him not going to do his own shopping. Stores can be overwhelming for people with Alzheimer's/dementia. So, maybe socialization like going out for a coffee with his caregiver or you can be a possibility.
Look into sending him to adult day care a couple days a week. He would be getting activity and socialization in an environment that has staff who can handle a meltdown if one happens. Many adult day care facilities also offer trips to a store and other kinds of social events. This might be a good idea for him.
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If he wants to be part of the shopping experience, there are many grocery stores that take orders online, he can do the shopping (with assistance of course) on the computer or on an iPad and have them delivered or just drive to a pick up point at the store and they bring the groceries out (Walmart for example). He can have the joy of unpacking the groceries and putting them away in the cupboards or pantry. We have had success with Tele-Med except trying to explain what is going on to our 91-yr-old mom can be daunting for us!
Keep slogging along, while it doesn't get any better, at least you are trying to meet the new challenges and that will keep YOUR brain healthier (at least that's what I am telling myself!)
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MickiLyn Mar 25, 2021
We do this! It works great, but he still wants to go in and pick out a few things. We have started to watch more for ques it's not a good day and then we say we are very tired so we will just do pick up and come right back and take you for little stuff later. That can still mean a fit but at least it's a smaller less scary fit at home and we can walk away and let him pout vs being stuck in a car with him melting down. He has caught on he has to calm down to get to go the next day. He has all these emotions still but he just can't process them. I am learning ;)
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We went through this with my FIL. His dementia is now solidly moderate. He was noticeably in mild for 3+ years. He had catastrophic reactions more during mild than now, perhaps because we stopped outings unless absolutely necessary.

We stopped taking him to family gatherings pre-COVID because it was so stressful for him. We realized that part of the stress for him was anticipating outings! He worked himself up before he even got out the door that any little hiccup threw him into a tailspin.

As for your dad begging to go to the store once a week, try a therapeutic fib e.g. "Sorry, dad, this week I need to get your groceries delivered". It is unhelpful to think of stopping outings as giving up on him. In fact, it's the opposite once you accept that keeping him in his routine is what is best for him.
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MickiLyn Mar 25, 2021
You get it! Thank you for that reply! I am learning exactly these kinds of tactics to keep everyone happier and safer too.
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I’m sorry you’re having to go through this. Sounds like a tough day for everyone involved!
I’m wondering: for people with what was formerly known as Aspergers, outings can also be difficult. Many have found that using earphones (with or without soothing music playing), and tinted glasses while both inside and out can be helpful.
While I realize your Dad has been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, not Aspergers (totally different), I wonder if these things might still be helpful in cutting down the stimulation and therefore stress (for all involved) that evolves during these outings?
Of course, 97yearoldmom’s joke about the anxiety med might not be a bad idea either 😄
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MickiLyn Mar 25, 2021
We have since made NO talking in the car a rule. We got an Elvis greatest hits cd and this DOES help! So right on with that idea! I might try headphones too!
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It sounds from what you’ve said, that you may be expecting “typical”. With his diagnosis, Dad no longer has “typical”.

His brain doesn’t function like the brain he had 6 months ago, and in addition, because he has dementia, it also doesn’t function with any kind of reasonable, regular, predictable pattern. Sometimes people with dementia can become terrified by the realization that they’re not able to figure out things they used to be able to do.

”High side of moderate” and “low side of advanced” are very broad generalizations, but even they don’t necessarily mean that anything he does or says can be expected to relate to whatever he’s done in the past, or how or why he’s going to do them.

You’ve associated these more difficult situations with being out in the community, but you don’t have anything but a hunch that that’s the case. As your description reads, it sounds as though he had left the doctor’s office before he lost control.


Sometimes, large places, like stores or malls, feel more uncomfortable to people with neurological issues.

If he’s been diagnosed by a geriatric specialist, you might be able to get some help there. There might be a very mild medication that could help him take the edge off his outbursts.

He’s lucky to have you.
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Yes, it probably is stress and fatigue; your father then has no (or fewer) social filters helping him restrain his emotional reactions to anything that irritates him.

Does he or would he agree to sit in a wheelchair when he's required to be out-and-about for any length of time?

I also award zero points to that doctor for not placing your father at the centre of his own decision-making circle. Yes, formal consent has to be given by your father's proxy or MPOA if your father no longer has mental capacity; but this is his health and as a matter of courtesy his voice and his status should be respected. I'm not surprised that the doctor's lack of consideration triggered angry behaviour.
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how old is dad? if he is older than 84,,,, tell doctor no added risks are necessary, let dad be in peace and relaxed as much as possible... perhaps.... keep him happy, comfy etc... don't need to add extra meds to an 84 year old.. don't know how old he is,,, didn't see that anywhere...
by the way.... everyone...wants to be home :(

some say its a metaphor.
and its hard to move anyone now cuz of covid...
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MickiLyn Mar 25, 2021
He is almost 80.
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How long does vaccines need to be effective? 6 months dad.... maybe sooner, time will tell...... go for a drive? yes, we can go for a drive, but that's about it... 2 miles, dad... how was the drive/?
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tell doc that dad needs video conferencing since covid... since covid is still a high issue, dad cannot go on the routine outings to store etc...
he can choose and tell you what he needs at store..
doctor can schedule his appointments online unless something unusual is occurring to him physically.
other than that, make sure he has his favorite music, food, movies etc.
do not take him on outings...
if he asks why can't he go out... tell him,,, ... Dad it stresses you out too much,,, doctor says take a couple weeks off to re-evaluate your stress hormones. ????
OR:; doctor says covid is too much of a high risk,,,, best to stay in place.... home...
has he been vaccinated yet for covid? If not, tell him he has to wait for the vaccines to take effect...
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MickiLyn Mar 25, 2021
Unfortunately this particular appointment was to determine if he had A fib, which his primary felt he heard. The Cardio did confirm that. I don't think they could hear his heart over a computer monitor. BUT I do like taht idea when it can be applied.
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Your dad may have aspirations of outings that he isn’t able to actually handle when he gets out. Perhaps just a ride would be more pleasant for him.

Ask his doctor about a light anxiety tablet to take when going out. I joke that I give my aunt half and I take the other half and we have a nicer time. Since she seldom goes out it’s not a daily pill. Just as needed.

Do try to include your dad in all discussions with his doctor. Most of us want to be treated with respect and doctors sometimes are very aware of the clock but will generally follow your lead. If you include dad in the conversation, they are more inclined to do so as well.

Once he gets upset, he may not know how to get his emotions back in check. Suggest a treat or other simple activity that might distract him from his upset.

That sounds so awful about his finger. For all of you.

Try watching some Teepa Snow videos on YouTube if you haven’t already checked her out. You might find them helpful.
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ToniTired Feb 14, 2021
Just watched one of Teepa Snows videos. OMG what great knowledge. I was thinking of sending them to my kids and grandkids in case I ever have dementia. Everyone should learn from this knowledgeable person. I am beyond impressed. Thank you.
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Whoa--this is a new one.

Does dad HAVE to make 'outings' beyond Dr visits, which are probably necessary for him to do in 'person' despite COVID.

If he gives you no clues as to when and why he's going to lose it, then taking him out would be fraught with stress and even embarrassment.

Yesterday sounded like an awful day---I know when taking mother to the ER for her frequent UTI's, she can get really crabby and loud in her complaining, but she can still be talked off the wall, so to speak. Sounds like with your dad, it's a new experience every time you take him out--and for whomever has his, that must be taxing.

Personally--if his wishes are to remain home, then keep him HOME and forget about 'outings'. You probably feel better about taking him out, but sometimes, elderly folks really do not want to go anywhere. Literally.

My mom is 91 and has not had her COVID vaccine. I was on her yesterday--she should have had BOTH of the shots by now. She hemmed and hawed as to why she hadn't pushed her CG (my brother) into getting this scheduled and done. (He's an EMT and has had both a long time ago.) I said "You WILL NOT be allowed back into your beloved Sr Center until 2 weeks past your 2nd shot--you LIVE for your 2 days a week at the center--what's going on here??"

Digging deeper into this I realized she DOES NOT want to go back to the Center. She's had a very bad year (haven't we all??) and she doesn't look very good--and she's gone downhill a lot, mentally and physically and she won't be the belle of the ball anymore. Truthfully---the activities at the Center are beyond her ability to enjoy and she knows it. Staving off the vaccine is all that's keeping her from returning and I wouldn't be surprised if she manages to never get it and always have a reason to NOT get it.

Sounds like your dad really doesn't have the mental capability to handle the stress of a change in environment well. If he is happy at home, let him stay home. Find things to do at home that he enjoys. I told mom she didn't have to ever leave her apartment again if she didn't want to and nobody would try to make her, but please get the vaccine for those of us who visit her, if she won't get it for herself.

You said 'he can afford good care, but wants to be home, so we are trying...' if you are hauling him around on outings, you're not making him happy. And yes, making something as simple as a change in location from home to a local restaurant can cause a lot of stress for people whose minds are already stressed with just trying to think.

When I am having a 'bad day' just going to the store is daunting.
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MickiLyn Feb 10, 2021
The "outing"was a cardiologist apt and he begs to go to the store once a week so he does want to but you may be right he might not be able to handle it once he is out. I wish I understood better, but the truth is I don't. That is why I ask if others have had this... If we can't handle his DR pats to the point where it ends in a broken bone and 5 stitches, just out of the ER in the last hour or so, then maybe he needs a legit pro all the time vs us family taking turns as caregiver. It's just hard to fathom giving up on him now of all times. If he goes into a home he won't even be allowed visitors.
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My experience with my Mom, who has moderate dementia, is that any change in routine brings on anxiety and what are called “catastrophic reactions”. These are huge reactions to any kind of challenging situation.
Your situation today may be similar.
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Midkid58 Feb 10, 2021
CXmoody beat me to the thought of not 'catastrophizing' events. My kids say that to me all the time.

Having heard all 5 of them say this to me makes me think I do indeed tend to do this at times.
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