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  1. #1
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    Unhappy How do you get someone to acknowledge that he has dementia?

    My Father behaves normally most of the time, but often makes wild accusations and gets paranoid about things that he believes have gone missing. He has upset many members of the family by accusing them of bizarre acts, threatening police action, etc.
    We are very concerned as he is caring for his Wife who has been invalided for many years, and he frequently upsets her.
    He won't admit that he has a problem, and instead blames it on everyone else. We have asked the Doctor to assess him but he says he cannot discuss his condition with us unless my Father gives his permission - which he has declined.
    How can we get help for him if he won't admit his problems and won't even discuss it with us?
     

  2. #2
    Hi, unfortunately I think the short answer to this is you can't. But I hope someone can disagree. My Mum has had dementia for over 10 years and still doesn't accept it. I'm not even sure how the diagnosis came about! We phoned and wrote to her GP many times. The more I press any issue the more upset my Mum gets so I have learned to try and keep her happy with what I say to her and then I just have to be shrewd to get what she needs. I make up lots of stories to get her to go to the GP or accept some care. Good luck
     

  3. #3
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    Hi Redbiker, I'm sorry you have this worry.

    It's a good idea to write down all your worries and concerns about your dads behaviour and also how it affects his wife (after all, she is vulnerable too, I assume she relies on your dad for her care)

    You can take or send it to the GP. I know the GP doesn't have to talk to you but he can read what you have written.

    The GP should take notice and engineer a meeting with your dad, even if he uses your dads wife as the excuse.

    At least you will feel as though you've done something to move things forwards.

    Good luck

    Lin x
     

  4. #4
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    hi i am in exactly the same position as you and would like some answers to. i to have have been in touch with my dads doctor who says that we have to get him up there. if you get some answers pleeeease let me no and i will do the same 4 you
     

  5. #5
    Please take ellejay`s advice and see your father`s doctor. It will not be a breach of confidentiality if the doctor listens to you or reads a letter you have written.
    Make sure you express your concerns about your father`s care for his wife and write down all your concerns about your father..

    Sylvia

    Former Carer and Volunteer Moderator .

    I cried because I had no shoes until I met a man who had no feet

    About me
     

  6. #6
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    Hi all,
    I did manage to get my Mum to go to the doctors using emotional blackmail. I am very close to her and said that if she wont do it for herself then can she do it to put my mind at rest. I told her that if she didn't think she had anything to worry about then there would be no problem or diagnosis apart from a neurotic daughter.
    It worked for me, hope this helps
    Fiona
     

  7. #7
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    The short answer is thatyou can't. It's actually fairly rare for someone with dementia to have insight into their condition. For the great majority I'm afraid it come to nothing more that a vague feeling that something might be wrong, if that - "there is nothing wrong with me" is, sadly, the usual response. The disease itself tends to take away the ability to recognise the failings the disease is causing.

    The cause of the accusations is usually memory or delusion related. Either he is putting things away (often in bizarre places), forgetting having done so, then unable to find them - the only rational answer is that "someone" has moved or stolen them. Even though this may make no sense, in that a well person would recognise the more likely explanation is themselves rather than phantom burglars entering locked doors or still less that loved family members are stealing from them, this doesn;t matter. It is a rationalisation, a way of making sense of a world that no longer really does.

    The same result comes from delusions (false beliefs), for example, a delusion of having sums of money that never existed, when they "go missing", again out come the accusations

    The result is often paranoia, they are only reacting as anyone would if they genuinely thought people were stealing from them etc. The beliefs are real, only the events are not.

    A few people may recognise there is a problem, but then go into denial. They are afraid to acknowledge the problem, in the hope it will go away - or because they are aware of what it may mean, or fear going to a doctor for having this confirmed or worse still, being "locked up" or condemned as "mad". Espescially the older generation, who have grim memories of the stigma of mental illness and how such people were treated by being put into institutions.

    As has been said, there is nothing in confidentiality that prevents a doctor from listening, either face to face, or in writing. You should emphasise the risks to your invalid mum (use the term, "vulnerable person")

    Left untreated, paranoia does not go away, it usually gets worse and can spiral out of control - and the person with it may, eventually, decide to take drastic action against his "enemies"
     

  8. #8
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    sorry

    sorry to hear you're in this difficult situation
    It sounds like you are not going to get anywhere with your dad, so may have to try from a different angle. If you are seriously concerned for your stepmother's wellbeing you could write to the social services regarding the situation, as they have a duty to safeguard vulnerable people. You would have to be quite specific about incidences when you suspect she has being emotionally abused and it's not an easy thing to do. But if you really believe your father's mental state is putting her at risk it might be the only thing you can do
    good luck
     

  9. #9
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    Redbiker, I so know what you mean about paranoia, even if just in a small way. My husband is convinced a certain person has done things to 2 boats he owns - no longer using. His daughter, who is in the police, reasons with him, but it's no use. I now try to change the subject or just nod and not say much.

    When my husband first went to the doctor, a few months ago, it was because he had to apply for a new driver's licence. I went too as I had a reason and while in there told him my examples of behaviour I thought was not normal. He told the nurse to take husband back in and do MMSE. That's how this all got under way. He also ordered blood tests. Now, I don't know if this could help you, but my step-daughter and I have power of attorney for personal care (may be different where you live), so when I phoned about these results and the nurse was reluctant to tell me, as soon as I said "power of attorney" there was a complete change of attitude.
     

  10. #10
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    Sorry for duplication - still getting sorted.
     

  11. #11
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    Many thanks for all your helpful advice.

    After writing a long detailed letter to my Dad's Doctor (2nd one) he did agree to see him using an excuse of an over 80's routine check-up. After seeing him and having a long conversation with him he was very reluctant to discuss any of his findings with us.
    The only way round this would be to get my Dad's permission, which he would never agree to as he made it clear to the Doctor that he did not want any of the family to know what they had discussed. I feel sure that he is convinced that we are all trying to make out that he is going mad as we are all after his assets. Whenever he raises any issues, ie, something going missing, he threatens to change his will as he knows what is going on and what we are all up to. Which is definatly not the case. He is so convincing and has possibly even got the Doctor believing that we are all up to no good.

    Thanks for the idea of contacting Social Services that may well be an option.

    Sorry to hear of everyone elses issues and hopefully in time we may all have the help and support that we need.

    Redbiker
     

  12. #12
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    Redbiker,

    Unfortunately, in circumstances like this, it is difficult to help. There are however a couple of things that you could do. In the circumstances, the GP won't be forced to do anything until a crisis arises. What we were advised is not to step in and take care of business but stand back and let the crisis arise - only then will the GP and the other authorities be required to step in and do something. Obviously you wouldn't not step in if it was a life or death situation, but other than that just let things come to a head. Recognise and tell relatives and friends that the police are your friend. Let him phone the police, they know how to deal with people with dementia and not only that they will be obliged to write a report and send it to his GP and SW department about each incident. Our GP said we should even encourage our mother to phone the police - as it is all good evidence to show she needs intervention. It might also be useful if friends or family who see him not coping in looking after your mother or really upsetting her to make a phone call to SW department too.

    I know it sounds like subterfuge but sometimes it is the only way that help can happen. Sure his GP has to respect his wishes and patient confidentiality and that is fine. What is not fine is if the GP then hides behind this and does nothing to resolve the issues and challenges he is facing. So, you've tried the direct route - now change tactics and go the roundabout way - wait for a crisis to happen - then your challenge will be in not telling the GP "I told you so".

    Fiona
     

  13. #13
    Had similar prob with dad years ago.

    In the end, it took a longstanding close friend to come in for coffee and biscuits, paying a casual visit once a week for a couple of months.

    In the end, the friend sought my dads advice as he pretended he had memory problems.

    Dad replied, huff, puff.......my kids keep telling me the same, they don't have a clue.

    A few weeks later over coffee, dads friend said he had been to draw a clock and tell doc who prime minister was etc etc and they had now given him some tablets. He then lied and said he had been back for a test and improved.

    All a bit cloak and dagger, but in our case it worked.

    The only problem doing it this way is if it goes wrong !
    Strive not to be a success, but rather to be of value" Albert Einstein
     

  14. #14
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    A bit of caution

    Could I just suggest a bit of caution when bizzare accusations are made, sometimes there may be some truth, particularly about intruders in the property. We had a strange burglary in which things did not add up, a chance conversation with a locksmith revealed interesting things, I would prefer not to go into details as investigations are not complete but it is possible for an intruder to get into a locked home, the methodology is shockingly simple.

    Some years ago I had an elderly uncle who claimed 2 people entered his home early every morning, cooked a meal and left without speaking to him, he eventually booked himself into a nursing home. His friend did the shopping, the food bill had increased. I am ashamed to say that i didn't persue the matter with vigilence, several years later when looking at photographs taken in his house I realised that things had also gone missing.

    I know exactly what dementia delusions are all about, so do exploiters of the vulnerable, the person might be too afraid of not being believed to report what has happened.
     

  15. #15
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    Unfortunately if someone won't admit they've got a problem there is very little you can do about it. Dad has never admitted there's anything wrong with him and even now he's in a home we think he's still struggling against his illness even though he has no grasp of what's going on around him. We knew he had memory problems years ago but he wouldn't see a doctor about it & when my husband 1st met him he kept on saying that Dad was constantly bluffing to seem 'normal'. We did eventually get him to the doctor but it still didn't help him to face things. In fact the doctor wouldn't give a prognosis directly as she knew he wouldn't accept it. I think her words were "I don't think we need to give a name to this do we"! Good luck with your Dad & I hope things get better for you but from personal experience I don't think you'll ever get acceptance from him as to his condition.
     

 

 

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