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My father, who is 82 years old, has recently, over the last two weeks become extremely paranoid, accusing my mum who is 81 years old of having a man in the house at all times of the night. He’s saying he comes in a car, flashes his lights to tell her he’s here, climbs in through her bedroom window, opened especially at all times of the night for him, he comes in the house by using the key in the key safe, comes in through the patio doors, opened again especially by my mum. His accusations are so vivid, he believe them and I don’t know why! He is literally tearing the family apart.

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Sarah, this is the very same thing that my 93 year old mom is going through. She believes that my brother’s wife is having an affair with our sister’s husband. My mom feels bad for her son that he is going through this situation. In fact, I just visited her today and she was telling me how horrible my sister-in-law and my brother-in-law are for having this affair. This is not real. No matter what I tell her. I know everyone counsels not to argue with them since it does no good. However, for me it is a cultural thing to tell her that this is not happening. She says other things that she believes are happening and my sister tells her no that is not happening. At times, I feel that her reasoning comes because she will say well if this is not happening then I pray that God takes away these thoughts. She has a lot of faith in God and is a prayer warrior. It is painful for me to see that my mom has this disease “dementia”. I will be honest with you all I hate this disease. My mom had a rough life growing up. She is 93 years old and if you would see her people are amazed that she has hardly any wrinkles. We can carry on a conversation, but then it goes back to these stories. They are mostly all related to men and of a sexual nature. She had two marriages that were not the best and she saw a lot of “stuff” in her youth and growing into adulthood. Men are no good in her eyes. I love her so much. And oh how I wish that she would have been spared from this horrible disease. I am sorry that I wrote so much. Thank you everyone. Sarah, you are not alone. I pray a lot and it helps.
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" oh, Dad, I'm so sorry that you believe someone his coming into the house! Let's check the lock together right now".
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Sarahyoung please start watching Teepa Snow videos on Youtube about dementia. Your dad can't help what he's saying - he has some medical condition that is making his delusions very real to him. So please don't yell at him or tell him he's wrong or crazy because his brain isn't working right and he's not going to believe you. He's likely to become more agitated. Until you get a diagnosis, you need to try to calm the situation down, as hard as that is. I know this is very difficult for all of you - just remember your dad's brain is broken right now and he can't help what he believes. Please come back and let us know what happens tomorrow - we care and we learn from each other.
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Thank you all. My dad is on various medications for depression, sleeping tablets and thyroid tablets. He is disabled and in a wheelchair due to having some discs removed in his neck/back about 7 years ago. He’s had a UTI and has had antibiotics for this, but things have got worse over the last few weeks, his paranoia/imagination has become very vivid. He believes someone climbs through my mums bedroom window at all hours of the night, that when no-one answers or takes some time to answer at the other end of the telephone that’s its ‘them’ ringing for my mum. He first started the accusations around 6 months ago, but up until a few weeks ago, he never mentioned it. I rang his GP last week who was going to arrange a mental health assessment and I’ve rung the out of hours GP tonight, but as it’s Saturday night they were very busy and couldn’t come out tonight, so are coming in the morning. As I said this is affecting us all, I just want and do should and scream at my dad because his allegations are madness and untrue, my head is literally about to burst. I’m beginning to think he has early signs of dimentia or something. Google helped tonight with the paranoia definition and everything in that, the fixation, the jealousy, believing things that aren’t true, fit everything with my dad!!!! I just hope the doctor can help or I’ll be being taken away with the men in white coats along with my mum for having a nervous breakdown!!!!
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The UTI possibility should be high on the list. You can get test strips at the pharmacy. Does he show any signs of dementia? This is one of dementia's symptoms. He should be evaluated by a neurologist
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Dear Sarah,

I know it can be scary to see such a dramatic change in your dad's behaviour. I wonder if he has been taking new meds that might be affecting him. Or if he has vascular dementia or diabetes that is not being well managed. Please talk to the doctor and hopefully they can help.
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Oh, how very, very distressing, for the entire family!

You don't mention your dad's health. Paranoia is a very common feature of dementia, for example. Has he been diagnosed with that? Does he show other signs of that?

A urinary tract infection (UTI) can also cause dementia-like symptoms in the elderly.

I urge you to have a thorough checkup for Dad, and if you can't get an appoint for that very soon, I suggest an urgent-care visit to check for a uti, and then get the checkup as soon as possible.
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Have you spoken to his doctor?

He may have a urinary tract infection. In older folks, the ONLY symptoms they sometimes cause are psychiatric ones. Not all doctors know this. Get him tested, today if possible.

Is there a possibility that he's had a stroke which sometimes brings on vascular dementia?

Are there any other behavioral changes? Make a list.

Call his doctor TODAY. A sudden change in mental status can be a medical emergency. You want his doc to have this info immediately.

If he doesn't have a doctor, you might want to consider taking him to the ER. Remember the phrase "sudden change in mental status".
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