Hello everyone, I have just joined today. It will take me a while to make sure I'm posting the right things in the right places so hope you'll bear with me. Me 82 year old dad has Alzheimer's. He was diagnosed just over 6 years ago. It took about 18 months after dad's GP made a referral for a consultant psychiatrist to come out and see him, and he has never had any scans. He was on one of the well-known Alzheimer's drugs for a few months, but couldn't tolerate it so has been off the drug for about 15 months. In his case the disease has progressed quite slowly - I'd say he's in the middle stages now. He can still do lots for himself like washing, shaving and dressing, and still sometimes takes himself off to the local shops for an hour, but mostly now feels happier when I accompany him. I've notice lately he occasionally mixes me up with someone else and he sometimes forgets he has a granddaughter, which is a new development. I feel I have a double challenge in a way as I also have to look after my mother who is 86. She has no patience with anyone who is sick. She has had a really hard time accepting my dad's illness (in fact I don't think she has yet come to terms with it or ever will!) Their relationship was such that dad did everything for her, and she expected that of him, so now that he can't do those things I have had to take over where he left off. It has been the biggest shock of my mother's life that dad got Alzheimer's. I live about 15 minutes drive away, and I've no brothers or sisters so do everything for them myself as my mother refuses to have a carer on the grounds that they will only be in the house 5 minutes and not do anything! I find that neither dad's or mum's relatives visit now - we have almost been cut off, except for one of dad's brothers who occasionally takes him out on the odd afternoon. My husband won't visit unless he is needed urgently, and my daughter is away at university. I'm sure isolation must be a huge problem for carers and their families as I think a lot of the time people are scared. Also, it is very hard to listen to someone repeating themselves over and over. Both parents have been offered day centres but both refuse to go. My mother isn't very sociable and has no friends, and dad is still aware of his surroundings and says he doesn't want to be with people who are like himself (he looked after an aunt who had Alzheimer's and remembers what it was like when he visited her in hospital). He does get lonely and misses his family, but he wouldn't go to a day centre without my mother. One thing that particularly bothers me is that dad has started taking things from cafes when I take him out. Usually it's just a plastic spoon or straw, but yesterday when my back was turned he took a small milk jug from a coffee shop. When we got outside he proudly showed me what he's done. I told him that if he carried on like that we could get arrested by the police, and he seemed to revel in that idea. I have to remind myself that this is the illness, not my dad, who was an extremely moral person and wouldn't have ever tolerated anyone else behaving like that. I'm not sure how to cope with that, other than not take him out! I feel fortunate compared to so many carers who are giving 24 hour care. I am at my parents on 5 or 6 days a week usually but at least I do come home and get a break. Also, my dad isn't violent, which must be one of the toughest things of all to cope with. Sorry for the long ramblings, but it is good to have found a place to let off steam and share experiences.