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My Father has Dementia


Registered User
Jan 17, 2015
My Father was diagnosed with Dementia several years ago but didn't seem to get particularly worse for a long time. 6 months ago he and my Mother went on holiday to visit family and she took ill while they were away which seemed to really upset him much more than it should have. When they got home again he was very confused and just didn't seem able to settle. We approached his GP and had a chat with him but nothing was done. Just before Xmas he began to be more and more confused and in a very short space of time has got so much worse. He now denies totally that the place they live is his home and rings me several times in a day to ask me to go and take him home. No matter how much we try to reassure him and tell him that this has been his home for the past 35 years he will not accept it. He is always restless, doesn't sleep well and is verbally abusive to my Mum and anyone else who comes to see him. Yesterday he rang me and asked me to go to his house and remove a strange woman who had broken in and would not leave. Puzzled I went over and found that the "stranger" was my Mum. While I was there she went into the bedroom and got changed and came back in after about 10 minutes and he accepted it was her but talked on and on about the stranger who had broken in. We just don't know where to turn. I am an only child and we have a very small family around. My husband is disabled and my son has educational special needs so, while I help Mum as much as I can, I am limited to what I can do without neglecting other responsibilities. My Dad is 82 years old and my Mum is 81 so she is finding life very difficult. Any ideas for ways to help would be very much appreciated :)


Registered User
Dec 1, 2014
If the GP won't help (although I suggest you try again, and be more insistent that your dad - and your mum, for that matter - need help, and that he is vulnerable and at risk because of his confusion), call Social Services to get your dad assessed and so that you can access the support that you and he need. In the meantime, your local Age UK and Alzheimer's group may be able to help and to talk you through what should happen from here.

Good luck.


Volunteer Moderator
Jul 14, 2006
Hello and welcome to TP.

I have been exactely where you are and know how difficult it is to manage and deal with these behaviours.

As Joggy has advised, get social services to assess your Dad for the help he needs and from that should come an assessment for your Mum as a carer, for what there is to help her in her caring role. If it is not offered then ask. Unfortunately if we don't ask and keep asking we don't get.

Keep using the forum, we have between us a great deal of knowledge and can offer lots of advice and support and somewhere for you to come when things are difficult. There is always someone ready to listen.

Take care,



Registered User
Jan 17, 2015
Thank you for your comments and support. I have contacted Social Services and they say that they will arrange for an assessment ASAP but in the meantime I will just chase them up at every given opportunity. The GP they use is awful and I have tried to get them to change for ages with no success but, again, I will just pester them until some support is forthcoming. I don't have a choice really as it has quickly come to crisis point and things just can not go an as they have been :eek::confused::(
About wanting to go home...

Would he buy into a white lie that he's just staying there for a while? That depends on his background. When Dad's confused, he's ok with the notion that he's staying in his club or a hotel. The staff, who wear uniforms with logos on can be mistaken equally well for nurses or hotel staff.

It won't work for everyone, but even if it's that he's used to going on holiday and staying in a hotel or B&B, it might work. Alternatively he might buy into the idea that he's staying with a friend or relative.

It may be that you could sort of imply that his wife is his host/housekeeper/distant relative/friend or whatever you find he'll accept.

When Dad's been at his worst, during delirious and confused episodes, I've managed to slot into what I call the universal female role. I've known him call me Mum and he has asked after me often enough about me in the third person (e.g. where is Petrina) to be sure that sometimes he thinks I'm his wife.

But Dad's very accepting of people who appear to be nurses, cleaners, housekeepers etc., so if your father is ok with that, maybe your mother could keep something like a tabard with a logo on it that she can slip on when he's worried who she is. I know it sounds awful, but whilst I once had this horribly pi notion that I'd never lie to Dad, people here helped me to see that sometimes it's for the best and when I had a crisis over it recently, they reminded me again. What matters is to soothe the distress.

You'd like him to recognise your mother as his wife. If he can't do that, at least experiment over how you can make her seem vaguely familiar or less threatening.


Registered User
Jan 17, 2015
It could certainly be worth trying, thank you for the suggestion. It's very hard to know what to try to make things appear a little better and to keep both Mum and Dad safe and secure but I am open to all ideas and will try anything that seems as though it could work :) Thanks again

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