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Problems everyday - wants to go home

Eowyn

Registered User
Jul 27, 2019
26
Hello all. I have at last figured out how to start a new thread, rather than just adding to an old one!

Dad has really deteriorated since the lockdown, and I can’t decide if it’s coincidence or what. He’s also 5 weeks into a home treatment plan with the mc, which at first seemed all very positive, but now it seems like it’s not achieving anything apart from confusion about the number of people crowding the house. He seems to hear the things they say, then churns them up and twists them, then reports them as fact. An example of this is when they last came they explained how they’re there to help him live well at home etc. After they had gone and he began sundowning he told us they wanted him to leave because the house is too big for him and that they told him the sofas don’t belong to him.

This confusion (and rage) is now a daily occurrence, and last night was especially challenging. His medication didn’t calm him, instead it seemed to fuel him, as he charged around the house packing up all of his newspapers in bags and loading them into his old van. This episode continued for hours until eventually he gradually emerged through the fog around 9pm. My uncle (by marriage, and old school friend) came over and sat with him and listened patiently to his confused ramblings, while my mum sat in the other room utterly bemused and desperate.

We are at a loss. The GP has ruled out a UTI and no tablet review has been discussed. We are bounced between the mc and the gp with our queries, and nothing seems to move on without us having to chase. It’s exhausting and we don’t know what to do.

No amount of compassionate communication seems to work when he’s in his phases, so every day is a desperate race to the end where sleep is the only respite.
 

canary

Registered User
Feb 25, 2014
12,594
South coast
Hi @Eowyn , Im sorry you are having such a bad time.
He seems to hear the things they say, then churns them up and twists them, then reports them as fact.
This is a thing called confabulation and is a classic symptom of dementia.
Your dad cant remember what happened properly and only has little fragments left, so the subconscious brain takes these little fragments and adds in a whole lot of other things - old memories, things taken out of context, conversations, stuff from TV etc, all mixed up, stretched and with a good dollop of hopes/fears/imagination to produce a sort of false memory that seems to him like the real thing. That is why he insists that it is the truth.

Im assuming that mc=memory clinic. Do they know how confused and anxious your dad is becoming? The GP doesnt usually deal with drugs for dementia, that is usually done by the memory clinic, so its important that they know as there is different medication and if one thing doesnt work they can try something else. You cant stop the confabulations, but medication should be able to help with him not worrying too much about them.

When he comes out with stuff that you know is false its no use trying to persuade him that he is wrong - as you have discovered - and will probably just make him angry. The best thing is to enter his world and reassure him from his point of view, or just make neutral noises and keep saying "I'll sort it out" so that he knows that you are on his side.
Sundowning is so difficult.