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My father, 91, is more than likely has dementia. we have doctors appt next week. I am wondering if a small video via camera would help the doctor determine what is going on when he is having one of his episodes of confusion, wandering or ranting about being in prison, needing to get out of here or whatever? I also wonder IF and this is a "big IF", when my father is having a good day, would it benefit him to see what is happening in this video to help convince him that my mom can no longer care for him properly or deal with the stress? I don't want to cause any more issues but thought it might help him understand the possibility of needing to go into memory care. He has more bad days than good and its wearing thin on my mom and frankly I feel bad that I can't relieve her more than I do but I also have a life and can't afford to quit my job and won't.

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Thank you for the last post. What a good way to share the current stage.
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I searched to see if this has been discussed before and I was glad to see it. My mother has a habit of pushing in on her arm and causing bruises I think because of arthritis, in searching for this on the website I found that this is common. My brother who is an RN and POA of my mother suggested I video tape her doing this. Of course, I can't seem to grab the video camera in time to get it on tape. So, I thought it would be a good idea to sit Mom down and do an interview with her to see how her memory is at this time. I have been taking care of Mom for over a year and a half. I fill her day with old TV shows, music, interaction with the grand-daughter once a week. Take her grocery shopping, rides in the car, etc. to fill her day but don't really have a conversation with her as it is impossible for that to happen, on her end, for quite some time, although I do ask questions about her past from time to time. I sat her down starting with questions about the names of her children, of which she could only remember 2 of them (my brothers, not me). I asked her name, she only remembered her first name. She did remember what college she graduated from, although not the year. She remembered she was a music teacher. She could not look at the clock and tell me the time. I just asked her questions off the top of my head. She stuttered and got locked on "thirty five," most of the answers had thirty five in them. She remembered she had been married but could not remember either of her husbands names. I asked her to sing a few songs, she couldn't remember the words but she could hum the tunes. I got to sad as I uploaded the video of her and viewed it on DVD. Although we had changed the topic at the end of the video, she ended with humming Amazing Grace as she hid her face with her hand. So, I thought I would play it for her as she ate her breakfast the next day to see how she would react placing a camera on her to record that as well. Most of her reactions were of how bad she thought she looked, her wrinkles and hair. She responded a few times saying "she" as if that was someone else. She once said that that person was not her. I stopped the DVD and asked her once again what her last name was, she still could not remember. I asked about her husband's names, she could not remember. When the DVD was over (roughly 20 minutes long) I asked her what bothered her the most about seeing the video, her looks or what she was saying. She stated what she looked like bothered her the most. If she had her mind, although she was always concerned about her looks, always put together and looked the best she could, my Mom would have been extremely embarrassed about what she said. I suggest to everyone, video tape your loved one once in a while to see just where she really is in these stages, it opened my eyes. I also video taped her doing her middle of the night wondering using just a flashlight to light the way as not to disturb her in case she was sleep walking, when I asked her why she was up at 4AM, opening the door, turning lights on and off, etc. she stated she was scared. I plan on giving copies to my brothers as they have no idea what I go through or what stage Mom's mind is.
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I keep thanking for the answers. I have learned so much from this site and gave the site to my brother who only seems to visit once in a while (he lives 1/2 hour away from parents), but I don't think he totally sees all the stuff that happens. You can tell someone but until they see/experience it for themselves they have no idea. thanks again everyone
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I'm all for the video. My mother lived here for 19 months, and the last 6 of those months she was showing signs of sundowners. She would act fine at the Dr's (who has since diagnosed her with dementia), but would be out of her tree here in the evenings. Also, she would call family members who believed her to be in her right mind. It was like she had an auditory focus with the phone. She moved to assisted living in April and one of the mistakes I've made is letting her keep her cell phone. She will have issues when she can't sleep, and call here at all hours. (The director of nursing told me to not answer my phone in the middle of the night for her, and if there was a problem, that the call would be from their office). Mom will say things like, "My clock and watch won't work because the phone is unplugged". Also, she had an eye Dr. appointment that I was taking her to. I was picking her up at 7:45 a.m. I had wrote it on her calendar, called her the evening before, etc. She started calling me at 3 am, thinking I was picking her up at 3:15, a.m. She left me 3 other messages on my phone that night. One was 8 minutes long. (8 minutes may not seem like a long time, but it seems like an eternity when she goes on and on about nothing.) I let her listen to one of those messages, she claims that she doesn't remember leaving any of them. So for the Dr., I think a video would be fine. Even the best Doctor isn't with their patient everyday and night. I agree with an above post. It will never be put on YouTube. I would even show it to a close family member too if you feel they need to see the decline. I let my 20 year old daughter listen to my mom's messages...sadly, they made her tear up. She hadn't heard all the wild talk. The assisted living facility where my mother is, is just 1 mile from here, so I'm over there about 4 times per week. (I still try to drop her cat off with her for the day, but we recently had an episode where she called me in the afternoon saying, "Sweetie is here"...I had dropped her off about 5 hours before.) My hubby thinks that will be the end of the cat trips if I have to chase that cat around that facility...uuggghhh!! Everyday is something new, but like you...I see that there are more bad days than good ones. Sorry to babble for so long..I should write a book about those 19 months that mom was here. I do think the video would be a great idea for the Dr.'s involved. It will help to make a quicker diagnosis.
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I highly recommend video. I had to do that with my mother, so that the doctors could see how abusive she was. A word of warning, however: my mother claimed that it wasn't her on the tape, so trying to get them to realize their decline will probably not happen.
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Maybe make it a point when you're video taping to say to him "Hi dad you're on camera"... This way it'll be known that he 'knows' that he's on camera (for privacy issues)... It couldn't hurt... (you could start out your tape by telling him you're going to do a video of the house... flowers... etc. so he thinks it's a 'normal' tape)
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thanks for the answers, a bran scan might not work since my dad "hates" ALL doctors anyhow and cause the hospital a SOB place. And yes definitely it would be for doctors eyes only and would be deleted after totally done. I might just ask the doctor if she wants to see the video or not, if not, will be deleted. And I would never suggest she seem them while my dad was present.
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I think a video is a good idea, but only for the doc. I took pictures of some of the collecting/hoarding going on with my husband. Shock-a-doc is not a bad idea, it gives a more complete picture.
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Sorry to disagree, but I think having it on tape would be quite helpful. Obviously he cannot see his behavior himself in that moment or he wouldn't act like that. It may just enable the Dr to prescribe more accurately. Not like you are going to put it on Youtube or FB.
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Demand a brain scan thats the only way they listenesd to me! A video is not right! You shouldnt have to go this far? a good doc will listen to you and do the proper exams.
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I understand thats why I asked, I wouldn't hide camera but hold it for just a short while. But I am afraid when we talk to the doctor they won't believe me cause when he is having a good day, other than repeating something, you wouldn't know he had a problem, other than him shuffling his feet when he walks. And even though we tell him(on a good day) that he was yelling for me at 2 am the previous day and I live down the road, he just laughs cause he doesn't believe it. So I wouldn't do anything to cause him more harm, just getting ideas if anyone else had thought of this or did it as proof for a professional. thanks again for your input.......all is taken graciously.
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Videotaping someone without their knowledge isn't a good idea. Your father has a reasonable expectation of privacy in his home. Hiding a camera and taping him having an episode would be an invasion of privacy, and would only make him angry.
The sad truth is, you can't convince a person of dementia of anything that they don't want to believe, Your father could say that isn't him, or accuse you of doing something to him to make him act that way. Rationality isn't going to happen with someone with dementia.
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