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After 1 1/2 years not being able to bring my father to our house (COVID) we brought him over yesterday to visit and go out to dinner. He repeats the same questions over and over again about his life, his house out of state, the reason why he was brought to leave near me, the events that occurred prior to moving here. Yet remembers that last year my husband and I wanted to paint the shed and actually noticed that we did paint it this year. 🤪. It confuses me and makes me question the cognitive diagnosis and my decision following the diagnosis. How do you reconcile these events? Does it happen with your LOs?

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Yep. With my dad, he has both dementia and is severely hard of hearing, so I often wondered if he just heard something wrong. Sometimes he SHOCKS me with what he can remember... not just remembering long term or medium term or recent stuff... sometimes he remembers the most remarkable things, that anyone else wouldn't remember For example, I once briefly mention someone he never met (complaining about her) and he still brings it up, remembering the details. Or he'll remember a long list of things that he needs me to do... Obviously he had to work at thinking of the list and memorizing it for the next time he sees me.... and he'll usually rattle it all off not stopping (as I would) to say "and there was something else"... He also changes his ability to speak and communicate clearly from day to day, even hour to hour. Sometimes it's nonsense and other times he can tell a whole story or converse normally with fairly sophisticated words (not kid-talk).
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SusanHeart Jun 14, 2021
Thank is amazing and disconcerting at the same time. Thank you for the illuminating words Marydys
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I feel your pain. Yesterday we visited with my 94 year old mother with moderately advanced dementia who lives in a nearby Memory Care Assisted Living place. One minute she was quite lucid, telling me my cousin was moving, then interjected the story with nonsensical tidbits about how her ex husband was remodeling her house so she'd get a fortune for it. Then I was telling her to move back in her wheelchair bc she tends to teeter on the edge of her seat, and no matter what I said, she insisted I was telling her to move the chair instead of her body. She was lost and I finally gave up trying to get my message across to her. It's quite like jumping down the rabbit hole when trying to converse with a person suffering from one of the dreadful dementias, I often say.

Dementia doesn't progress at a steady rate.....it flip flops all over the place without rhyme or reason. Frustration abounds for everyone. Don't question your father's diagnosis......just how you are responding to it. My DH is constantly telling me to "Let it go" when it comes to my mother and what she says. I sometimes have a hard time doing that bc I want to clarify things, which makes no sense when dementia is involved. Clarify WHAT, exactly? As soon as something is clarified, the exact same question will be asked, rendering the clarification useless anyway!!! Go with the flow, is my DHs point. Stop trying to apply normal to something totally abnormal....that is the key! Once a demented person gets something stuck in their head, you can't chop it out of there with a chisel! For instance, there's a new club chair in the sitting area outside of mom's room in the Memory Care. She constantly says she wants it.....she would like to have it in her room bc one of the caregivers put it there so she can take it for herself! She asks my DH to drag it into her room where it wouldn't fit anyway! 😥 We go thru this exact discussion every single time we go over there to visit!

Anyway, wishing you the ability to roll with the punches better than I can. One day at a time, right? Good luck.
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SusanHeart Jun 14, 2021
Thank you sometimes I question my sanity when around my dad. I am sorry for the trials and tribulations we all have to go through while navigating this area. Yes my husband tells me the same thing and knowing I am anal retentive he just tells me not to try to fix something impossible to fix.
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His memory is in a loop and he may not recall the outing in the long run. You brought him home to make new memories. So how is it working out for you? Eventually you will see that it becomes more trouble than it is worth.
This occurred with both my mom and MIL. Family decided that we would only take them to our homes if there was a way that we could enjoy it. We started with much shorter visits, then mini parties at their facilities.
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Susan, you have to remember that your dad is a man. That means painting something registers way more in his universe than taking a shower. It's a guy thing.

I walked in your shoes. I seriously questioned my own mind when dealing with my dad in his dementia. I learned that I had to let everything go and be what I could for him. Otherwise I was feeling really imbalanced because of what he could and couldn't remember. It could be crazy making.

I found that doing enrichment activities with him and letting his caregivers deal with the ADLs was a relief for me and helped me. If I thought he needed a shower,I told his caregivers, not him. Saved many arguments for certain.

Keep enjoying your time with this man called dad that is slowing regressing back to a boy. Have fun with the uniqueness of him and his journey. It is over quicker than you can imagine.
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I agree it is a disease to hate and how the brain works in someone with AD is mind boggling. One day they seem better and a few hours later they're back to their demented behavior.

My MIL had 3 sons (at this time she was still living alone her her house) she called each of them about 15 times each with the same question. These calls could go on and on - Sometimes she'd call 5 minutes after getting the answer 5 minutes previous. Yet, she was able to carry on a conversation and really didn't seem to be that bad.

For some reason they lose track of the personal hygiene - but is it because they can't remember how to bathe - or they just no longer remember it has to be done. Since dad was on hospice for other reasons, he had a bath aid that came in 2X a week so we didn't have bathing problems.

Enjoy your dad while you have him - soon enough he will move on to other behaviors and he will devolve further into dementia. A time will come when taking him out will get harder and harder or he will be fearful leaving the comfort of his surroundings - which happened to my grandmother. Dad brought her over to the house for Sunday dinner and she was only in the house about 10 minutes - a house she had been in thousands of times over the years - she was fearful and very agitated, dad ended up putting her back in the car and taking her back to her NH. We never again took her off the grounds.

So make the best of the time you have. Learn to visit his alternate world. He will at times no longer learn to visit our world. Most of all keep a sense of humor as there is nothing funny about the disease.

Take care of yourselves.
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The one thing to remember -- always -- is that there is no logic to a broken mind. Seeking logic explanations where there are none is a futile exercise and will only make you crazy.

Just assume that there was a little space available in your dad's mine for the detail about painting the shed, but none for all the other seemingly more important things. Who's to say it was less important to remember the shed than all that other stuff?
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SusanHeart Jun 13, 2021
Thank you for the kind words. It just breaks my heart, and very difficult to accept.
He loves these outings and so far truly enjoys coming to the house, seat on “his” chair and pet pup who places her head on his leg to get petted.

He still loves a good steak and the dinners out.
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The disease WE ALL HATE.

I think of some dementia’s like a plug partially pulled from the socket.

There are times when the circuit is completed, and the light bulb comes on.

Other times, the plug is ever so slightly pulled out of the socket. It looks as though it’s all the way in, and SHOULD be making contact, but the light bulb sputters and flickers and blinks, then goes out.

Hearing impairments in the elderly both mimic and exacerbate forgetfulness and dementia. If he is willing and able to wear hearing amplification devices, he should be doing so.

We all fear our decisions, and most of us would prefer not having to make them. Chances are that your father would not be able to function independently whether his original diagnosis was or was not perfect.

Continue, as you are, to be watchful, but also continue to be cautious about making drastic changes in his lifestyle.

You are a good daughter. I’m quite sure he is grateful for your presence in his life.
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SusanHeart Jun 13, 2021
Thank you very much for the simplification and it does make sense, now all that needs to be done is someone to crack my head, insert acceptance in there. 🤪😜. It is very difficult to accept that this is reality.
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I think you should not bring an elder into your home who suffers from dementia without being thoroughly aware of many of the symptoms. Yes, this is very common. The short term memory doesn't work at all, and the speech often goes in these repetitive loops that can be quite endless in some forms of dementia. The long term memory works best; storage is in different areas of the brain; often the longer back the memories, the more easily retrieved.
You should also be aware that whatever stage this is all at now, there is no "getting better". This will in fact become worse.
You do not tell us whether or not your father is already diagnosed with dementia. If he is not then a thorough exam is in order.
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SusanHeart Jun 13, 2021
I do believe right now he can handle coming out once a month what I cannot reconcile is he remembering that we want to paint the shed but cannot remember to take a shower. The shed was a conversation by passing making chat. Just things from not so long ago he remembers and yet others from the same time frame he does not. It makes me at times question my decisions, and think if he really has Alzheimer’s / dementia. It is strange that it is making me doubt my decisions. Yes he was diagnosed with the disease 2 1/2 years ago but a neuro and by a neuro psychologist.
All I can say is “I hate this disease” 🥺
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