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Dad doesn't recognise mum


Registered User
Jul 11, 2015
Hi all
New to the forum & looking for some advice.

My 76yr old dad was diagnosed with mixed dementia (AZ & vas) a couple of months ago. His decline has been rapid since Christmas - my mum persuaded him to see the GP in Feb, and following tests and scans, he finally saw the consultant in May who prescribed Mematine.

For the last couple of months, dad thinks he is living in a strange house (he's lived there 40+years), claims that his wife is missing and that the woman at the house (my mum & his wife) is someone employed to look after him. When we try to tell him the truth, he gets very agitated. However about 3 days ago he started to accuse her of stealing (she was dusting). She got very upset & left the house, ringing me to come and talk to him. Later that evening she had to lock herself in the bathroom as he tried to evict her from the house; again I had to go there to calm him down. And again tonight, mum called to get me to speak to him to tell him that she was allowed to stay in the house. He is also having delusions about people breaking into the house and a week or so ago came into my mum's bedroom holding a knife (although didn't threaten her).

My mum is at the end of her tether and so low, and I'm worried about her safety. But I just don't know what to do or who to speak to, although I've encouraged her to speak to the consultant about the increase in his delusions in relation to the drugs.

So I have a load of questions that maybe you guys will have some ideas about...
Could the increase in delusions be a progression of the disease or a side effect of the drugs?
Is there any point trying to tell dad that mum is his wife? Will he ever accept it?
At what point do we think about putting him into care? Physically, my dad is getting a bit frail and can't cook or shop for himself, but otherwise he has no caring needs.
Should we contact social care and what could they do to help?
If dad refuses to stay in the house with mum and refuses to leave, how do we get him sectioned?

Any suggestions would be gratefully received.


Registered User
Aug 28, 2014
I think uou need to see your gp urgently as your mum 8s not safe. Your dad has his own version of reality and reasoning eith him wont change that.


Registered User
Feb 25, 2014
South coast
Wow, you and your mum have been dropped into the deep end havent you?

Im sorry to say that not recognising your own home, not recognising your own family, thinking people are breaking in and accusing people of stealing are really, really common symptoms of dementia. My mum went through all of them. Your dads aggression comes from the confusion and fear that he is feeling. Mum was never prescribed mematine, so I dont know much about it, but I gather that it is usually prescribed to reduce paranoia. Im sure someone who knows more about it will be on.

Have you heard about Compassionate Communication? I wonder if it will help to re-assure him? http://forum.alzheimers.org.uk/show...ionate-Communication-with-the-Memory-Impaired

I also think you should get in contact with the memory clinic and ask them for advice. They may decide to change his meds.


Registered User
Jul 11, 2015
Thanks both for responding.
I'm going over to my parents today and will make sure that mum rings the consultant (GP is fairly useless!) to advise of the changes in dad's behaviour. We have also got a lady from Alzheimer's Society coming on Wednesday, so I'll ask her for advice on what else to do.
I'm also going to print of the compassionate communication thing for my mum, and encourage her to stop trying to persuade dad that she is his wife as I think that initiates a lot of the distress. Fingers crossed it will make all the difference.

Laura Lou

Registered User
Jul 26, 2015
What an excellent post

Thank you for this information I have printed for my mother in law, It may help fingers crossed as at present she does all the things she should not.