Dad's lucidity is disconcerting

Discussion in 'Middle - later stages of dementia' started by Love&Hope, Dec 1, 2019 at 8:20 AM.

  1. Love&Hope

    Love&Hope Registered User

    Jun 24, 2019
    My dad has been in a nursing home for nearly six months now. It started off as a temp stay, and has turned permanent. Dad keeps saying that his "contract" is coming to an end soon and that we have to get ready to move him out of there. He used to have frequent delusional thoughts, but those seem to have dissipated now that he's on meds. Most of the time, he is rather lucid and calm, but sometimes he gets really frustrated and mad at us for putting him there. He leaves numerous messages on my phone, and on my mom's phone as well, which is overwhelming for us. The last message he left was really troubling to me. He mentioned that we had stripped him of everything, and the message went on for more than 5 minutes. Everything he said was true, and I feel that I may have precipitated things to the extent of causing emotional harm to my father. One year ago I had to sell my parents' home (which they had put up for sale themselves, out of their own choice). Since they were unable to handle the real estate agent, nor the actual emptying of the house, I took it upon myself to do it all. My mom has metastatic cancer, so she wouldn't have been able to handle it either. I basically hired someone to take away all of their things, keeping only a few things they had asked me to bring back to their very tiny new apartment. My dad remembers all of this. His MRI clearly shows that he's got mixed dementia, but his lucidity is troubling to me. It makes everything unbearable, for him and for us. I sometimes wish that he would completely lose his mind and stop hurting so much. Any advice or words of comfort? I really need it right now. I've posted messages in this forum before, and the volunteer moderators have always been supportive and very helpful to me. Thank you so much.
  2. Louise7

    Louise7 Registered User

    Mar 25, 2016
    You have nothing to blame yourself for. You have done what many of us have had to do, sell our parent's home, and you have clearly been supportive of both your mom and your dad. One piece of advice I would give is in relation to the phone calls. Has your dad been left with a mobile phone or are the staff facilitating his calls? If he has his own phone then could it perhaps develop a 'fault' and need to be taken away for repairs? If the staff are providing him with access to a phone then could you discuss this with them and ask them not to? It's clear that the calls are distressing to you as well as your dad so removing the ability for him to make calls will help you both. Others will hopefully be able to provide other suggestions to help you with this difficult situation.
  3. Grannie G

    Grannie G Volunteer Moderator

    Apr 3, 2006
    Hello @Love&Hope

    This stage of dementia can be very painful for the carers. My husband used to accuse me of taking away all his independence which was very upsetting so I have some idea how you are feeling.

    I felt this way about my mother. She went into residential care much earlier in her dementia than my husband because she was living alone and at risk.

    I understand your father was not living alone but your seriously ill mother was surely not well enough to manage your father`s dementia.

    All I can say is if their home was still available, would it be sensible or responsible to take your father back to where he was six months ago. He has a progressive illness and today is the best he will ever be. All you can do is sit tight and hope the anxieties he has will soon ease.
  4. canary

    canary Registered User

    Feb 25, 2014
    South coast
    People with dementia do have lucid times when they remember things that have happened, but they do not generally last long - and remembering what has happened doesnt necessarily mean that he could cope at home and it doesnt sound to me as though his wife would be able to look after him. Does he understand this, or does his think he would be able to do everything if he came home? He remembers that you moved him, but does he remember why? You had to get rid of a lot of his (and his wifes) possessions, but does he remember the circumstances surrounding this?

    My OH can remember a lot of "facts", but cannot remember why they happened, or the circumstances surrounding them, so he makes them into a narrative that isnt right - its a twisted truth - but if you are feeling guilty it can seem like the actual truth. I suspect that this is what is happening here. I also agree with ditching the phone. Giving them a phone seems like a loving comforting thing to do, but in reality it is simply constantly reminding them of home and all the things that they have lost.

    I am sure that what you have done is for the best. Your dad will need looking after to keep him safe and your mum will not be well enough to do this. Knock that guilt monster off your shoulder and remind yourself that the main reason that your dad appears so much better is because his needs are now being met.
  5. charlie10

    charlie10 Registered User

    Dec 20, 2018
    One of the (many!) worst things about this disease is that the pwd can dip in and out of 'normal' and 'confused'....not only confusing the carer but it also somehow seems worse when they object to something during the lucid period, because it can make you feel as if you've just ridden rough shod over their independence, rather than their bad periods when you know you're doing something to keep them safe/happy (sorry, sounds a bit garbled, haven't woken up properly) My FiL is like this, we are constantly second guessing ourselves and the guilt fairy doesn't take the hint. Just remember what they used to tell parents....."you don't have to perfect, just good enough".....that certainly helped me thro the teenage years of guilt!

    You're doing a great job, don't let anyone (including yourself) tell you otherwise
  6. Love&Hope

    Love&Hope Registered User

    Jun 24, 2019
    Thank you so much. Every little bit of comfort helps. These are truly trying times for me.
  7. Love&Hope

    Love&Hope Registered User

    Jun 24, 2019
    I suppose he is only remembering "part of the picture". thank you for your message.
  8. Love&Hope

    Love&Hope Registered User

    Jun 24, 2019
    14're wouldn't be sensible to take my father back home. Thank you for your support.
  9. Love&Hope

    Love&Hope Registered User

    Jun 24, 2019
    I went to see my dad yesterday. He was really depressed. He told me he had been feeling terrible because the phone wasn't working and he couldn't get through to us... BTW the phone works perfectly fine, but I just can't pick it up every time he calls. I followed your advice and took the phone away from him... I told him it needed repairing. Hopefully it'll relieve some of his (and our) anxiety. Thank you for your advice.

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