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First time poster! First off, much love and thanks to all of you. This site has been my refuge so many times as I learn to handle my changed life! I’ll try to be brief, but the situation is complicated. Dad was living with his wife in another state, until both the VA and their ALF contacted me with concerns about their fighting. He had been sent several times to the VA in-patient pysch ward, he believes she did it vindictively, and decided to come live with me. The VA evaluated him as having dementia but able to make decisions and encouraged him to live with me.


During the first month, they fought through phone calls and she would falsely recall what he said. Finally he told her he didn't want to speak with her any more. His wife started leaving 5-6 messages every day with threats so I blocked her phone and told her daughter her mom could call us on a family member's phone if they supervised her. She hasn't done that and Dad hasn't asked to speak with her until today, when she mailed a rambling letter begging him to go back. He seemed okay at first until suddenly he seemed very afraid of being sent back to the psych ward, which he blames her for. (which is partly true, but not the whole story).Then he told me he wanted to call her and accuse her and her daughter of a whole bunch of things that aren't true, just his dementia talking. I slow-walked him by telling him I'd have her DIL help her call us. My question - I know he's going to forget about calling by tomorrow. Is it okay if I just let him forget and not help him call? He can't work a phone by himself, and I'm afraid of the can of worms he'd open by calling.

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You have done the right thing, by blocking contact between them. They are not good for each other.

Do not make the call, it will just upset him.

I know others here may disagree, but I think you also need to scan his mail before giving it to him. It may not be 'legal' but it is to protect him from an unstable influence.
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Reply to Tothill
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Yes, its OK to let him forget. Hopefully as time goes on he will forget her. Out of site out of mind. I would, though, see a lawyer to find out how to protect his assets.
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Reply to JoAnn29
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When dealing with dementia, remember to do whatever it takes to keep your dad as calm and happy as possible. Even when it means lying or coming up with fabrications to support what you're trying to accomplish. I agree with scanning his mail also. What is the point in allowing him to get agitated only to have to figure out how to calm him down afterward? An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, right?

Wishing you all the best moving forward.
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Reply to lealonnie1
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In my opinion yes, it's perfectly alright to let him forget and not help him call her. I do hope that you have Power of Attorney for your father.
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Reply to NYDaughterInLaw
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Yes you can let him forget this and anything else that will cause undue stress.
Have you thought about the long term?
Is he any % "disabled" according to the VA? If so look into getting as much help as you can and if he qualifies for one of the VA facilities I would get him on a waiting list as soon as possible. You can always decline if they call and ask to be put back on the list.
He will get more and more difficult and with your situation you may have your hands full with your special needs child you don't need to be splitting your energy between the two.
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Reply to Grandma1954
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I wouldn’t bring up calling her to him. Just go with the flow. Why open that can of worms? It would only create havoc and he doesn’t need that in his life. Nor do you. You sound like a lovely daughter.

Welcome to the forum. There are wonderful people on this site who have dealt with many issues concerning the elderly.
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Reply to NeedHelpWithMom
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This is not something that can be fixed with rational thinking and negotiation.  He is sick and that's not going anywhere.  I think your suggestion of not encouraging contact and just letting him forget is the least disruptive approach for all involved.

Take care.
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Reply to Jamesj
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I think you should let it pass and let him forget. If you are comfortable with him staying with you, that's probably best. JMO and good luck to you.
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Reply to Samsung137
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Yes. I would say, if he doesn't remember he wanted to call - don't do it. I can't see anything good coming out of it.

Your dad's wife sounds like she is mentally off-balance too - talk about a can of worms!! And you don't need the added stress. Caregiving is stressful enough.

What a wonderful daughter you are to be taking care of Dad.
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Reply to RayLinStephens
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Mom had dementia and was verbally combative with my Dad to the point that he could not go visit her in the nursing home. He discovered that she was better when he didn't go there. She would yell for him but when he did visit before, she would accuse him of wild things we all knew he didn't do and he had a hard time with listening to the bashing. He had always catered to Mom and ran and did things for her as long as I can remember so it was painful to see her doing him that way and he would put his head on his cane sitting beside her bed at the nursing home but only be able to stay about 15 minutes. That was all he could take. He finally stopped going. His health was in decline too so it was a strain for him to even make the 12 minute trip to the nursing home. So sad. But, we did explain why she was behaving this way (dementia) and he finally understood it. My response, for what it is worth, is to just leave them separated. With dementia, it just isn't worth it for either of them nor for you. No real good can come from them talking at this point. She didn't ask about him after about 2 months after he stopped coming there either and said she had 2 husbands ...LOL. No, she only had him but she even named the "second husband". Just keep them separated and roll with it. Dementia is a mean thing. The whole family has to adjust their thinking and reactions and do what's best for the dementia patient. Good luck to you.
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Reply to elaineSC
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NeedHelpWithMom Dec 13, 2019
Honestly, that was the best decision, for them to separate. I heard someone I value greatly once say, “Sometimes the kindest thing that you can do for someone is to just leave them alone.” Oh so true!
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