1. mumof3boys

    mumof3boys New member

    Jun 22, 2019
    I'm at such a loss after going through so much at the moment health wise and having to cope with my father who has vascular dementia, he was diagnosed in 2012. At present he thinks we are constantly 'having a go' at him, an example - his walking stick was next to the settee (it should be at the back door for when he goes outside) and when I asked why he said my sister had moved it. I said I would have a chat to her and suddenly he got mad at me and told me not to, to 'just leave it!' At that point I just knew he was lying, and he was. Rather than admit something he's now blaming others so he 'doesn't get told off'. The thing is, we don't tell him off, we explain why. But he doesn't like keep being told. Today he did something awful in a shop, at the time I just said 'NO' in a loudish voice. He asked me why so again I said 'NO', he started laughing and walked away. Once we got back to the car and we were travelling home I just said, in a calm voice, 'Don't ever do that again when we are out in a shop.' At that point he started screaming at me that I was having another go at him. At which point I said, 'Yes I am, because you shouldn't have done it.' He carried on screaming at me and told me not to keep 'having a go' at him. I said quite calmly, although inside I was crying, 'Ok I won't bother next time, because you obviously think it was right what you did.' He screamed at me that, 'it wasn't right!' So I sat in silence while driving him home because I just didn't know what to do.
    We got back to his house, I put the shopping away, asked if he wanted a brew before I left, and at that point he apologised. I have had enough, I don't know what to do and I don't know how to handle the lies and anger. This is by far not an excuse, but I think you just need to understand a little more. I've basically been poorly constantly with different things since Christmas, so I've missed a lot of special time with him over the last few months, I've been in hospital 3 times since Christmas. So now that I can finally see him on a weekly basis again I've noticed how bad he's become. I'm not sure if it's true but, when you see them a few days a week, I think the illness grows with you and you just go along with it. But because I've missed him loads I can now see how much the disease has taken over. There isn't just myself that looks after him, there's 4 of us. We have all noticed but they don't seem to tell him like I do because they don't want to upset him. I'm not sure if that is right, I think he should be told. Please please please can someone advise or just give me your thoughts? I'm never nasty or raise my voice because I don't want to upset him, but I won't lie to him, if something is wrong I say. Should I? Or should I just grin and bear it? I'm so at breaking point. I've even considered not taking him shopping, maybe get his Carer to go with him?? So I can spend less stressful days with him having quality fun times while we can ‍♀️‍♀️
  2. marionq

    marionq Registered User

    Apr 24, 2013
    If there are certain things which upset you and others can do instead then let them. If there are little irritations which don’t really matter then let them go. If there are actions which are dangerous or offensive then of course speak out.

    It’s all a case as I’ve heard said often on here of choosing your battles. I ask very little of my husband nowadays that we are seven years from his diagnosis. He looks clean and smart and at the moment tanned but there is little in his head worth consulting. So why bother?
  3. Malalie

    Malalie Registered User

    Sep 1, 2016
    Hello Mumof3 and welcome here. Loads of lovely kind and experienced people around to help.

    Have a look at this https://forum.alzheimers.org.uk/threads/compassionate-communication-with-the-memory-impaired.30801/ which suggests a way to help you through the difficult problems that you are facing with your Dad. It goes against everything that you have ever done and it's quite difficult (sometimes impossible...) but it certainly did work for a long time with my MIL. It kept her happier, calmer and less scared I think.

    Dad doesn't need telling that there is a problem -he already knows, but is possibly frightened and unable/ unwilling to understand what is happening to him. The more you point out things that are wrong, the more upset, angry and confused he may become.

    I'm afraid that I became totally sneaky (....whipping dirty clothes out of her bedroom and then returning them clean when she wasn't looking) and able to tell enormous whoppers (......this friend of mine is coming round at lunchtimes for work experience as a caterer - she really NEEDS the experience or she won't get on the course she wants....type of thing) It's appalling I know, but needs must.

    I hope the link helps, and I'm sure that other people will be along to advise and share their experiences. XX
  4. Susan11

    Susan11 Registered User

    Nov 18, 2018

    Sorry but why do you need to ask him these questions ? He has moved his stick . It's not such a big thing. Ask him if he wants you to put it back or put it back later . I agree with Marionq ...pick your battles.
  5. nae sporran

    nae sporran Volunteer Host

    Oct 29, 2014
    Welcome to Dementia Talking Point, @mumof3boys. Sorry you have health problems as well as your father's dementia to deal with. The others have already said the things I would have advised, but I know how hard it can be and sometimes walking away or asking someone else to take him out may be the safer option. My OH has a sitting service where an agency carer takes her out for coffee and cake, it may work for you.
  6. mumof3boys

    mumof3boys New member

    Jun 22, 2019
    It’s funny how we see things because I never for one minute want a battle. It was just a passing comment as to why his stick was where it was, I didn’t mean anything by it. I was just confused as to why it wasn’t where it usually is, nothing more. I feel as though my world has stopped and his has accelerated while Ive been ill, so Im just chatting to him like I used to but obviously I can’t anymore. I’m trying to learn because I so don’t want battles. I need to know how to move forward as I’ve lost 6 months
  7. mumof3boys

    mumof3boys New member

    Jun 22, 2019
    Others did used to do it but they couldn’t cope so they told me I had to do it. I spoke out today but he didn’t like it, it was disgusting what he did. I don't ever want a battle, he just turns things into one. I’ve lost 6 months of both our lives, I now need to catch up to where he is on this horrendous journey, so I can learn what I need to do to make his life just a little bit better.
  8. Susan11

    Susan11 Registered User

    Nov 18, 2018
    I'm sorry if I sounded harsh. I didn't mean to. For your own health you need to let some of these things just pass you by. It's highly likely that he won't remember what you have told him anyway. Best wishes Susan
  9. Across the Pond

    Across the Pond New member

    Jun 22, 2019
    One of the most challenging aspects of dementia is the loss of good judgement. In the example you gave of an incident happening in a public place such as a store you may need to realize that during this phase your Dad may not be able to function appropriately in this setting. Your best bet may be making choices for outings where he has a higher likelihood of success. If this incident had something to do with a bodily function like urination you may find it helpful to understand he may have lost the ability to recognize when he needs to go before it's urgent or may not have known where or how to find the washroom. If you can start to recognize the non-verbal signs he gives it may help.
    Dementia is a lot more than losing your memory. Learning as much as you can about the disease will help you understand what your loved one is going through and as well the frustration and mourning, (yes mourning), that you are experiencing. Being sensitive to this will hopefully help you find moments of joy in your relationship. Life is for living; help yourself and your Dad to find the little joys.
  10. Rach1985

    Rach1985 Registered User

    Jun 9, 2019
    The link that @Malalie gave has helped me a lot with dealing with my dad
    I walk away from so many more situations now. I don’t argue with him, there is no point, when he makes a mistake in my eyes I leave it then when he isn’t looking I rectify it. This morning he forgot to wash his hands after going toilet, I don’t get angry at him, I say something like here you go dad I’ll get out your way so you can wash your hands
    I also agree that you have to be really sneaky and essentially start lying to them. I don’t feel at all guilty for this, it’s for his own good (cleaning his clothes etc) and it’s good for my sanity. The past few weeks of being on here and following advice has just made life easier. We argue less. It’s not that I care any less for him. It’s just simpler. Some of the advice does sound harsh but you have to understand that he isn’t your same dad anymore. His normal now isn’t the same normal as it used to be. Be patient with him and also be kind to yourself. Nobody is perfect at this. I make mistakes still, I made one earlier, correcting him when he called my mum my Nan. It’s not simple but sometimes you just have to leave him be
  11. hillyjay

    hillyjay Registered User

    Jun 14, 2019
    I still make that same mistake of replying to my OH as I used to, to casually asking why something has happened. Sometimes, the reply is what you would expect but at others, he’ll become angry or blame me for having done whatever it was.

    I know that he often recognises he’s made a mistake but he counteracts this with anger or by laying blame on someone or something else. It’s so very hard and while we can try our best to be understanding it’s not always easy in reality, especially when you ‘forget’ and ask a simple question as you always used to do. I’ve found that very gradually you begin to keep quiet though your instincts are to say what you’d normally say. Hard too to predict when ‘something’ might happen when you’re out. Still takes me by surprise.

    It’s when you stop asking ‘normal’ questions or responding ‘normally’ that you begin to realise that you aren’t dealing with the same person as he used to be. Sad though.

    Best wishes to you.

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