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My dad is in an AL MC. He goes into these obsessive compulsive bouts and does not let it go, until he finds something else to obsess about, ideas? Suggestions? Anything reasonable I am willing to try. Examples: about 3 - 4 months ago it was jeans. He is outgrowing his jeans and needed new ones, we bought him (no exaggeration here a total of 14 different pairs of jeans all of them had to be returned because he wanted 36 x 30 jeans (current size which are too tight). Then it was drivers license (canceled by Dr in another stated). Now he is calling my attorney because he must change his will. He has a will signed by him and mom prior to her death 5 years ago. After my mom’s death we did go to an attorney and drafted a new will which was never signed, then his health declined and now he is unable to change, my attorney called me today saying my father called her office 4 times today. The point is does anyone else deal with these hyper focused situations and how do you deal with it?


Any ideas are welcomed

I agree with Barbrooklyn. You need to consult a geriatric psychiatric psychiatrist OCD isn’t just something that can e talked through. It is a brain issue and as such, a physical issue that requires a physical intervention in the form of medication.
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Reply to KathleenQ
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Yeah, last summer I went through a lot of that with my mom. Underwear instead of jeans. She told everyone she had too much money and was giving half of it away. Distracting didn't work, she kept coming back to it.
I finally sat down with her and talked about what she wanted to do with her money. What charities did she want to help and why. We discussed how much she was paying her caregivers and how the cost of living had gone up - you can't feed a family of 5 on $25.00 a week anymore. We talked a lot, and I arranged to make some reasonable donations to a couple of charities. When she felt like I had really listened to her and was doing as she wanted, she stopped bringing it up. I think a lot of my mom's obsessing was feeling like people weren't taking her seriously.
I did take her financial advisor's number off her phone and hid her phone books just in case, but we got her pretty well trained to ask me to implement everything she wanted to do.
And now my mom's dementia has progressed so we don't have that problem any more.
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Reply to Cynthiasdaughtr
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Imho, this was the epitome of my mother, e.g. before I had to leave my home and state and move in with her in another state where she was adamant about living alone, she would require a ride to her doctor/specialist. She would call a relative incessantly within a 24 hour period several different times. She never let the potential driver/relative a chance to check their schedule.
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Reply to Llamalover47
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My mom’s nurse put my mom on a small dose of Risperdal and after 4 days the loops stopped. She swore there were worms in her food & that everyone was stealing from her. For a person w brain issues (my son has a TBI so I was familiar with this MED) it helps them stop perseverating (on repeat) & helps them be more flexible. Dementia is a brain issue. God bless you for your patience. As for the phone calls, block your attorney number from his phone or better yet, take the phone away. We did and she doesn’t ask for it but when she did, we just changed the subject. The ole “pick your battles” ❤️
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Reply to Mipollito
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Welcome to Dementia World.
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Reply to Ricky6
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Not an easy situation. I believe many of us 'here' on this site experience these issues or variations. It depends on the brain chemistry and how that 'plays out' in behavior (no disrespect intended here). Everyone is a bit different in how they behave -
* Keep him preoccupied / attention diverted to something that will hold his interest (i.e., magazine specializing in art, antiques, fishing ???) -
* Do NOT engage in buying 14 pair of jeans. Get what he needs and stop. You are buying into dementia behavior. You need to take control of the situation.
* Sometimes you need to ignore or change subject immediately. "We'll talk later, I'm doing the laundry now... "
* If possible, change MD phone # - if Dad won't be able to get the correct one elsewhere (give him the phone # of the weather or something where there is a recording.
* Get him a new phone and program it.
* Seems like an attorney will need to determine, along with MD input, what is legal and what can be done.
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Reply to TouchMatters
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Have you tried therapeutic lies?

Get the size of clothing that will fit, elastic is your friend and change the size tags or just cut them out completely. You can buy some at the thrift store at 1st to establish the perfect size with wiggle room.

Oh dad, do you not remember that you took care of that new will last week with myself and your attorney? I would tell the attorney to have his receptionist tell your dad that the attorney is unavailable and you deal with dad. Those phone calls can get expensive.

I found that some things are just better when you tell them what they want to hear, regardless of the reality. Calming their concerns is what is important.

Best of luck finding the right words to help with the current fixation.
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Reply to Isthisrealyreal
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I guess this is a "normal" part of dementia because my husband does there same. I've been advised to go along with him. If he wants to call a lawyer about his will, tell him the lawyer is out of town this week but you'll call him next week. If it comes up again, do the same kind of thing. My husband insisted I hire an accountant to do his taxes even though they had been done and sent out by our son-in-law. There was no point in explaining to him again and again because it just came up again and again until I said I'd call him tomorrow.
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Reply to helpme99
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The hardest thing we (my mother and I) deal with, concerning my dad, are his obsessions. We finally accepted that he will always obsess about something so we try and steer him to obsessions which are manageable for us. We can only steer him in the brief moments when he lets go of one obsession and those moments are rare. So acceptance is quite helpful.
Also after struggling with his obsessions for a long time we asked his doctor for help. He was prescribed Prozac and it helped bring the urgency and insistence down a notch. Maybe that would help your dad. I know what you are going through, it’s a tedious ride, just hang in there!
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Reply to IamAmy
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Focus on calming activities that steer away from the obsessions.

Turn on soft music - favorite songs, songs from his youth and your youth, happy times of his life. See if you can get him to sing along.

Watching golf on TV is very relaxing. What kids of shows did he like best? You could also put in a “happy” old movie. My dad liked the Lawrence Welk television show, so I bought the complete DVD collection, and putting on that show would soothe his nerves. Avoid the news if it makes him anxious.

As far as the jeans, most are scratchy and uncomfortable. Bring some ultra soft sweatpants. Make sure they are soft on the inside too. If he really loves jeans, just bring 2 pairs that fit so he isn’t so overwhelmed. Leave them both. Trying on more than ten pairs is exhausting for anyone, frustrating and even physically painful if he’s gained weight and they are tight.

When conversation reverts to obsessive topics, redirect. Make a list of conversation topics that make his eyes sparkle. Even with a fading memory, long ago childhood memories might still be vibrant. You may want to know everything about his childhood someday and you won’t be able to ask. what was his first job? What is his advice for a happy life? What funny stories can he tell you about his childhood? If this frustrates him, tell him fun stories from your childhood where he was your hero.

Dont forget to hug him, tell him you love him and how important he is to you.

Ask him for advice. Keep his memory and brain as active as possible.

Play simple games or work puzzles if he is able and engaged. These are both calming and therapeutic.
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Reply to ACaringDaughter
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Yes, this is something that will continue to happen. The best you can do is to try to refocus his attention from the obsession to other topics of conversation and other activities.
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Reply to Taarna
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If he still has his own phone, take it away and tell him you’ll return it as soon as you can get it repaired.

Buy clothes in the size that will fit him, and tell him that the size tags were incorrectly marked and you got a nice discount.

It sounds as though there’s some kind of anxiety operating at some level.

Has he been seen by a geriatric behaviorist? A specialist might be able to zero in on management tools, including specific medications or combinations of medications, possibly more precisely than a GP. A psychiatrist made a world of difference in my LO’s life.
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Reply to AnnReid
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SusanHeart May 14, 2021
Did these medications made you LO more sleepy? That is a concern I have he is already sleepy because he does not sleep well at night (sleep with TV on all night, cannot turn it off or he throws a fit) and does not use cpap machine so really poor sleep. I am concerned that that more medication will make him even more sleepy and disoriented.
what medication is you LO on that is working?
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Againx100,

The combination of meds ISN’T working. We are in a pickle!

I am currently waiting for the 6 weeks to pass to ask for another change.

Gaaaaaah!
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Reply to cxmoody
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I use humor. I answer her question about 10 times and then I come up with obviously really silly answers to her question. I typically get the question or the idea brought up two or three more times and each time I have a new even sillier answer. She gets distracted by my answers and that gets her on a different train of thought.
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Reply to MaddieMae
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I am so sorry that you are going through this right now, my mother obsessed over things for about 2 years, everything from her hands feeling sticky to calling me literally 50/60 times a day. The problem for her was that she didn't remember calling me over and over again....or that she had already washed her hands 20 times and unfortunately it's part of the disease that will eventually run its course. The only thing that helped slightly was to get my moms mind on something else, talk about a relative from the past, her years in high school, etc. It changed her focus and she would forget what she was obsessing over. Now that my mom is less communicative, I long for those days that she knew how to dial a phone and tell me the same thing over & over. 😢 I know it's frustrating but it will pass.
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Reply to Tldarke
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We have the exact set of issues with my mother, who is in Memory Care. She has moderate dementia.

The geriatric psychiatrist, nor her GP, have found a good medicine combo that works, so far.

NOTHING distracts her, for more than 5 minutes. She has LOVELY caregivers, nurses, Hospice/Palliative Care Aides, all who do their best to try, though.

Best wishes.
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Reply to cxmoody
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againx100 May 11, 2021
I know it would be different for everyone, but just curious what combo of meds is working for these issues for your mom?
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You need a consult with a Geriatric Psychiatrist. Meds might help if re-direction doesn't.

Have you watched Teepa Snow's videos on dealing with dementia patients? You might pick up some good pointers there.
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Reply to BarbBrooklyn
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SusanHeart May 11, 2021
I have watched Teepa's videos multiple times as I search for answers to new challenges my dad tosses our way. Dad finds something new and different quite often; when we find the answer or solution to the behavior he comes up with something new. This hyper focus is proving to be a challenge, he cannot be redirected and it lasts for weeks on the same narrow focused subject.
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