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Hi just joined as my dad has been diagnosed with Alzheimer's but refuses to accept it

darthdodge

Registered User
Oct 26, 2020
11
Hi, recently as in today my dad has finally been diagnosed, I've know for ages but after a few years managed to get it official. the problem I'm having is how do i get my dad to accept the fact and let me get help rather then being stubborn and saying the memory test wasn't done properly as he couldn't remember the questions? I've tried saying to him that the test was done fine and that was the reason for the test but he is adamant that it was done incorrectly
 

nae sporran

Volunteer Host
Oct 29, 2014
7,220
Bristol

Whisperer

Registered User
Mar 27, 2017
231
Dear @darthdodge

Welcome to this forum. You are on an upward slope learning about Dementia, wish I could say it was easy but it is not. Use this forum for information, advice, help, etc.

Okay your dad has just been diagnosed. There are many steps to consider like Lasting Powers of Attorney, wills, etc. Right now let’s put that to one side, time enough in the near to medium future, coming weeks/months in plain English. Concentrate on the following points right now. The diagnosis has only just been given.

1) Check yourself mentally. You may have expected such a diagnosis, but expecting and getting are two different things. What do you know about Dementia, of which Alzheimers is one specific type? What I am about to say is not meant in a nasty way, but some of your comments suggest your knowledge is at this point limited. Snap we all start there. Please read on with an open mind, try and put normal world logic on hold as you do so. Believe me doing so at this moment will help you. It will do so a lot in the future as matters develop.
2) Please stop trying to convince your dad the tests were done correctly. Dementia does not do logic very well. As your dad’s condition worsens you will most likely find he always believes that he is fine, nothing wrong with me attitude. Most carers are faced with this attitude and you need to work around it. It might be a defence mechanism, against a grim reality. How would you react if you had been given such a diagnosis. Additionally, I do not know where your dad is at with his Dementia, as you believe there has been a problem for some time. He may well have the added condition of Anosognosia. Please do a goggle search. A few years ago another member of this forum introduced this idea to me, a light bulb moment. My mum was not in denial, she just could not comprehend what was happening to her. Denial or Anosognosia, the point is you are seeking your dad to accept something he most likely never will, his diagnosis of Alzheimer’s. Just part of the Dementia journey, which crucially involves the PWD and their support family. This is not all about your dad, but crucially how well those around him also adjust their ideas and beliefs about what should and should not happen. My number one tip would be try and be flexible, patient, accept things as your dad sees them if it will not cause him harm.
3) So on that front ask yourself why try and convince your dad? You have the diagnosis, if your dad never heard the word Alzheimer’s again would that be so bad, compared to constantly annoying him trying to get him to accept reality. You, your family, his support group need to remember the diagnosis, your dad is questionable. White lies, love lies, distraction, etc, will be things you will no doubt have to accept using in future as you try and help your dad. It is hard. If the diagnosis was cancer then everyone gets on page and pulls on the rope including the person with cancer. Dementia is a different ball park.
4) That may sound crazy but if you try and get your Person With Dementia (PWD) to agree with you then hell may freeze quicker. Try and let go of preconceived ideas. The diagnosis is believe me upsetting for you. Take some time to adjust to this new reality yourself. Fundamentally in this moment your dad is the same as yesterday. A diagnosis is a help to you and your family, the GP, etc, some medication should now be possible. Trying to get your dad to buy into it I suggest is questionable if it only upsets him. Remember your dad just had the equal of a number 11 bus drive through his life. He may accept the diagnosis and that the tests were valid a little further down the road, or he may never do so. In the end trying to force him to accept it is for the birds and I would argue just puts strain on your relationship for little good.

Like I said my comments are meant to be helpful and supportive, in no way judgemental. One last piece of advice. Stay on this forum as time passes The people here have seen most things, not read about it in a book but actually lived it. It has helped me deal with my mum’s Dementia, more importantly given me an insight into how to take care of myself as her primary carer. The emotional costs of caring for a loved one who has Dementia are invariably high and accumulate. Make sure you take care of yourself not just your dad. It was once said that wisdom cannot be given it has to be gathered. Well you can gather a lot of wisdom here even if you only read the threads and do not post. Hope my comments have been some use to you. Good luck in the future and hope you post again.
 

Sam51

Registered User
Oct 23, 2020
22
Hi Darthdodge ,
I'm waiting for my mum to get her results and in my mind there is no doubt that she as demensia and as for a while ,we are dreading the results as we know 100% that she won't accept it so like yourself we are very worried about the future ,hopefully we can all get through this together and gave each other ideas to help our parents .
Thanks Whispered I found your words of wisdom helpful .
Hope to speak to you soon .
 

Whisperer

Registered User
Mar 27, 2017
231
Dear @Sam51

When you first join this forum it can feel odd. People you never meet, sharing experiences of a bad condition, but being very open and honest with each other. Think of it as a sort of new family.

As I said on my earlier post a key part of helping a PWD is to recognise the family are starting on a journey as well. Several preconceived ideas may have to be ditched, new knowledge and experience learnt and gathered. Try to remain positive, your loved one does not change overnight just because of a diagnosis. The future will go better if you try and live life through the eyes and thoughts of the PWD. I am not saying you are going to agree with everything they say and do as their illness progresses, that will not be the case. However a lot of emotional upset can be avoided by trying to see how that person experiences the world, so you can best need their needs in a way acceptable to them. The compassionate communication thread is a good place to start. No one gets it fully right all of the time. We are human beings thrown into a caring role where there is little if any guidance from the medical profession. As if by magic we are meant to just mutate into great carers. all we can ever do individually and as families is the best we can.

Belatedly welcome to this forum. Please make use of it if you ever get a situation you are unsure of. I guess that might feel like just about the whole situation at present. I remember when I stumbled on here in 2017 feeling very much like that. Well one small step at a time, read some threads and know the people here are all supportive. It’s a club none of us want to be in, would prefer our loved ones were well, but everyone shares experiences and supports where they can with advice.
 
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darthdodge

Registered User
Oct 26, 2020
11
Any ideas on how to stop him falling asleep at the kitchen table and falling over? which he seems to do on a daily basis as will not sit in armchair or goto bed when tired
 

canary

Registered User
Feb 25, 2014
13,946
South coast
Could you get dinning chairs with arms? - I believe its called a carver. If you took the others away he may accept the new ones quite quickly
 

darthdodge

Registered User
Oct 26, 2020
11
Could you get dinning chairs with arms? - I believe its called a carver. If you took the others away he may accept the new ones quite quickly
that actually sounds like a damn good plan and yep they are called carvers, didn't even think of that and i was in the hospitality industry for over 20 years until this nonsense pandemic hit d'oh