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Registered User
Jun 24, 2015
Hi everybody,

My name is Dov and Talking Point is so new to me that I'm a little apprehensive. But here goes. My father-in-law, aged 95, lives alone and physically is in good shape. Several months ago he was diagnosed with Alzheimer's and he has gradually deteriorated mentally since then.

His irrationality centres mainly on 'intruders' getting into his flat and stealing items of clothing or food. When I ask how the intruders can get into his locked and bolted flat, he simply shrugs and says he doesn't know . . . but they DO. At least he is not frightened by the 'intruders.' They are more of a nuisance.

It has now got to the point that I am so stressed, that I can neither relax nor 'enter into his world occasionally' as I have been advised by his mental health visiting nurse. I just want to scream whenever I approach his home and whenever the phone rings at MY home with reports of the latest 'theft.'

Today, I saw my GP who upped my medication (I suffer from periods of depression) and also advised me to try Talking Point.

I am a 68-years-old bloke who feels terribly guilty that I 'hate' my wife's father because his condition has impacted on mine. But it is not his fault -- and that's what kills me. Any advice would be sincerely welcomed.


Volunteer Moderator
Aug 31, 2003
Hi Dov and welcome to TP. Its really good that your GP suggested it. I don't think many have heard if it.


Registered User
May 21, 2014
Hello and welcome to TP.

I realise how annoying irrational behaviour can be. The problem is that he can't participate in your world anymore so you will have to enter his, as the nurse suggested. If you don't want to go mad or too stressed out, just agree and sympathise with what he says then distract. It will make life easier for both of you. Here's an excellent article on compassionate communication: http://forum.alzheimers.org.uk/show...ionate-Communication-with-the-Memory-Impaired


Registered User
Jun 27, 2006
Thinking that people are stealing things is a very common symptom. There you are alone in your flat and you can't find X. It's inconceivable to you that you have put X somewhere safe and can't remember doing so (and safe in this context could mean anywhere, including the rubbish) so therefore, someone must be stealing X.

You're not going to get anywhere with using logic such as how someone could get into his flat I'm afraid. Just consider it a good thing that he isn't accusing you of taking them as yet. Is it possible for you to say something like "That's awful, I'll see what I can do" and change the subject?


Registered User
Jan 25, 2015
Compassionate communication is my life saver from stress. As said already, logic and reason are no longer present. Why do I need to challenge what someone says. Entering their world seems such an easy love lie. Love Rose x


Registered User
Jun 24, 2015
Grateful thanks

Some helpful suggestions here. Thank you all for responding.


Registered User
Aug 24, 2013
Hi Dove, welcome to TP
I think what you're feeling is quite understandable having your life hijacked to look after someone else when you have problems of your own, but you have to think what you'd want people to do for you if it was you in that position.
Have you explored all the options available to take some of the load off you and your wife?
It may be your FIL but it's your wife's Dad you have to expect her too care so don't let it come between you, no one should be expected to chose between a parent and a partner. Sorry I do know what you're saying though.


Registered User
Jun 24, 2015
Thanks for the memantine?

Have any of you guys had any experience of the drug Memantine which is supposed to stabilise the memory of dementia sufferers?
My father-in-law has been on 5mg (half a 10mg tab) for the past two or three weeks and today he has been upped to 10mg. Apparently, he won't graduate to 20mgs because of his age -- he's 95.
I can't say I've seen that much improvement but he does seem to be on a bit of a plateau at the moment. Dare he (or me, selfishly) hope for any lasting improvement?


Registered User
Feb 25, 2014
South coast
Hi Dov.
Drugs given for dementia (aricept, exelon etc) are not intended to improve the memory, but to slow down further decline, although some people on here have noticed that it sometimes makes them more alert and therefore their memory seems a bit better for a while.
When mum was put on her meds the consultant explained that "it will make her remember things a bit better for a bit longer". Before then she was going downhill very quickly, now it is much, much more slowly. Unfortunately there is no way to improve the memory permanently and not everyone responds in the same way.

You might find this factsheet helpful