1. Allypally52

    Allypally52 Registered User

    Mar 11, 2014
    78
    I regularly read this forum and have been encouraged and inspired by people's stories as well as tearful for some of the sadness that is inevitably expressed on TP.
    My dad at 96 has dementia but has only recently succumbed to it making his life tricky. His short term memory is very very poor (but not non existent) and he becomes extremely muddled and confused over both mental processes (eg bank accounts) and practical things (eg doing things in the right order) But he is still absolutely in the real world regarding relationships, current affairs and so on, although often at the mercy of getting muddled or confused. So he never thinks I'm his wife and not his daughter, but he does remember things from the past, like houses he lived in when he was young, and thinks I've lived there too. So it does feel a bit as though we're in an in-between place where he can't manage his life except when he can, if you see what I mean! The decline is very slow, for which I am thankful.
    The one thing which does upset me more than anything is that he's changing from being a humble, self effacing man who always put others first, into someone who is full of his own importance and a bit grandiose. For example, over the years he has written his life memoirs, including his WW2 experiences. They're not badly written and are a lovely thing to have as a family and to hand on to our children. They would also be of interest perhaps to local history groups (for his childhood account as a young boy growing up between the wars) and maybe similarly for his war memories, where he does have a tale to tell, but no more than many many others. So I've tracked down some places where we could perhaps send various accounts, some might even publish them on a website. BUT Dad wants a book published and dismisses anything less quite rudely! Of course, his writings just aren't good enough or 'different' enough as I did send them to a publisher just to say I'd done something really, and they were very sweet but said 'no thanks'.
    Also he makes comments about other people's lives comparing them unfavourably to his in terms of what they've achieved, so on hearing that some WW2 Colonel had died, all Dad could say was that said Colonel had only been in 2 campaigns, whereas he had been in 3.
    I don't know why it upsets me so much, but it does! I know there's no point in telling him how egotistical he sounds as it's not really dad. Just wondered if this scenario rings any bells?
    I also know there may come a day when dad has no capacity to be like this because the dementia has advanced and that may be a million times worse.
     
  2. Witzend

    Witzend Registered User

    Aug 29, 2007
    4,289
    SW London
    Becoming self centred does often go with dementia, I think. People do sometimes (or often) become quite unable to appreciate anyone's needs or wishes, or troubles or feelings, but their own.

    If your dad really does insist on a 'proper book' there are, or used to be, so called 'vanity publishers' who will publish anything, however 'unpublishable' for a fee, usually quite fat. Not sure I've seen any for a while, but used to see ads on the lines of, 'Authors! We will publish your book - any subject considered.'
    They used to catch the sadly naive, often people who had been turned down by several bona fide publishers (i.e. the ones who pay the author, rather than the other way around)
    Maybe these have died the death now that anyone can put their e-book out there for all to see.
     
  3. florabunda

    florabunda Registered User

    Nov 13, 2014
    24
    It sounds like your father is at a very similar stage to my mum. She too likes to boast of achievements that she never really achieved. She has also become quite vain, and it upsets her to see "an ugly old woman" in the mirror. Recently she has had a photo of herself aged 21 framed, so that she can look at that instead! She says that is how she wants to be remembered.
    I think this behaviour has a lot to do with fear of death, and a need to prove that one's life has made a mark on this earth. I have noticed that other people, not with dementia, who are close to dying, want to get their papers in order or re-write their will (for example).
    Having dementia is scary. Your dad needs reassurance that he is still competent (even if he isn't!), and that he was an important person (even if he was not all that important, I'm sure he is as far as you are concerned). Try taking his memoirs to a printer? They might be able to produce a bound copy that looks acceptable.
     
  4. RedLou

    RedLou Registered User

    Jul 30, 2014
    1,162
    Is this vascular dementia? Mirrors my father to a tee. Self-centred, thinks museums want his father's (bog standard) world war one medals. etc. Thinks his own regimental museum wants him to present his recollections and will organise a big formal ceremony to express their thanks. Also, my father's ability to appear in the real world but also be incapable is absolutely similar and driving me, and his doctors, to distraction. Stay strong - you're not alone. x
     
  5. Allypally52

    Allypally52 Registered User

    Mar 11, 2014
    78
    Hi witzend - dad did send away a while ago, to a firm he saw advertised in the Sunday papers who I suspect are similar to the people you describe, although having checked them out they did seem quite creditable. Mind you, nowhere did they quote any potential cost so I'm sure it would be A LOT! Also they said you would have to meet up to discuss lay-out, cover style and so on. Dad wouldn't have a clue! Now we try to prevent him seeing their regular mailings. I do find myself feeling guilty for thwarting any progress but have decided our sanity is as important as his vanity (that rhymes!!!) The irony is he often hints that I could do more to help but I can't for the simple reason my time is spent on caring for him, which he doesn't seem to realise!
     
  6. Allypally52

    Allypally52 Registered User

    Mar 11, 2014
    78
    I'm sorry about your mum, piph, but it does make me feel slightly better that it's not just my dad! He was regional bank manager in his working life and the other day tried to ring their head office PR department about something because they would know who he was. He retired over 30 years ago! Luckily the office was closed due to snow preventing staff getting in and I was so relieved, mainly as I hate seeing him make a bit of a fool of himself (although he wouldn't realise).
     
  7. Allypally52

    Allypally52 Registered User

    Mar 11, 2014
    78
    #7 Allypally52, Jan 26, 2015
    Last edited: Jan 26, 2015
    Hi Redlou - because this only began fairly recently and dad is 96 and has lots of physical things wrong with him, we've not had a formal diagnosis as there didn't seem any point, although Dad's GP is aware - but having read up about dementia I've always wondered if it's vascular dementia as dad had a stroke about 10 years ago and several TIA's since then. He also seems to plateau and not get worse for a while, then suddenly take a dip. Gosh, yes - your description of your father could almost be my Dad!!
    This afternoon he's been showing me (for the umpteenth time) his own obituary for the papers which he's written himself, apart from where you put 'date of death'. It doesn't blow his own trumpet too much, like saying anything emotive about bravery or suchlike, but it is a list of his accomplishments and I've been instructed not to leave anything out!
    It's so comforting to know I'm not alone. Neither are you!!!
     
  8. fredsnail

    fredsnail Registered User

    Dec 21, 2008
    649
    We self published Grandad's war time memories as a book.

    Obviously I can't advertise here but we've done hard back copies and paper back copies and didn't cost too much - I did the work in Word and uploaded it to a website and then you pay for your book - paperback was about £6 + postage for 400 pages, hardback was about £18.

    If anyone wants any further details please pm me.
     
  9. Allypally52

    Allypally52 Registered User

    Mar 11, 2014
    78
    fredsnail - that sounds tempting! despite my grumbles I would love to make dad happy, so will pm you at some point (and hope next thing isn't wanting me to contact Steven Speilberg about a film!)
     
  10. Lawson58

    Lawson58 Registered User

    If there is anyone in your family who is computer savvy, they could cobble together something using desktop publishing. There are lots of programs around and most PCs these days have some form or other of one already installed. I have a friend who makes the most beautiful Christmas cards one hers.

    Coudl be an inexpensive solution.
     
  11. Allypally52

    Allypally52 Registered User

    Mar 11, 2014
    78
    Another good idea....... I have spent many hours with the pages and pages Dad has written scanning them onto my computer and then 'editing' them as he repeats himself a lot, then printing onto A4 and I bought a display book with plastic wallets thinking I'd present it to Dad eventually and it would look like a book, but something more 'pro' would be much better so thanks for the idea!!
     
  12. Allypally52

    Allypally52 Registered User

    Mar 11, 2014
    78
     
  13. Owly

    Owly Registered User

    Jun 6, 2011
    538
    So don't roll that boulder uphill again, leave it as it is because it looks "right" to Dad, that way. It's often best to enter into their imperfect world and live there with them...:)

    I think you can also self-publish on Amazon, so a kindle book could be created?
     
  14. Allypally52

    Allypally52 Registered User

    Mar 11, 2014
    78
    That's what I'm going to do, makes perfect sense - I can always do 2 'books', one that's legible and one for dad to do whatever he likes with. Problem is that although he wants to cram his stuff in one day, he then grumbles about it the next because 'all these papers' are preventing him from reading it, as if I've done it! Par for the dementia course!!!
     
  15. RedLou

    RedLou Registered User

    Jul 30, 2014
    1,162
    Ally, think you may just have to accept that there's nothing you can do to make him happy. No matter what I do for my father there's always something wrong/something to moan about. My poor brother flew over (from the US!) and took him out on Xmas day - Dad's first outing from the hospital in 7 months. Did he look around him? Did he say thank you? Oh no. Just a moan about the cobbles and the wheelchair...
     

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