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What to say?


New member
Aug 2, 2020
Hi, I’m new to this but looking for some help & advice. My dad is 78 and has Alzheimer’s which is progressing quite quickly.
My mum (his wife of 50 years) is his full time carer and she is starting to struggle as he becomes more & more confused and often agitated. He doesn’t always know who we are but he knows that he knows us. He is no longer capable of making even a sandwich but still eats what he is given, he doesn’t remember to wash or change his clothes but can generally be coaxed into doing these things with some help.
He frequently wants to go home, although we are not sure where home is as he has lived in the same house since 1970. Most times we can defer him to say we will go tomorrow or next week and he accepts this. He asks for his mum (she died 25 years ago) and again generally we can defer or distract him to avoid him becoming agitated.
In the mornings, he is now becoming increasingly agitated about needing to go to work. He obviously retired many years ago and is no longer capable of driving but we are really struggling to distract him with this. I worry that things will either become very aggressive or he will try and get in my mums car and drive? There is a tracker on the car but it just isn’t safe for him or anyone else. Any ideas to stop him while avoiding confrontation?


Registered User
Jul 23, 2017
N Ireland
Hello @HJW, you are welcome here and I hope you find the forum to be a friendly and supportive place.

A lot of what you detail if very familiar to myself(I care for my wife) and is all too common. I hope you have time to take a good look around the site as it is a goldmine for information. When I first joined I read old threads for information but then found the AS Publications list and the page where a post code search can be done to check for support services in ones own area. If you are interested in these, clicking the following links will take you there. Use of the site search facility will take you to a lot of threads about the driving issue as it's been discussed many times.



You will see that there are Factsheets that will help with things like getting care needs assessments, deciding the level of care required and sorting out useful things like Wills, Power of Attorney etc., if any of that hasn't already been done. There is also a Dementia Guide in the list.

Now that you have found us I hope you will keep posting as the membership has vast collective knowledge and experience.

As communicating has become an issue, a few handy tips can be picked from the useful thread that can be reached with this link https://forum.alzheimers.org.uk/threads/compassionate-communication-with-the-memory-impaired.30801/

As a final point, I would suggest discussing things with the GP as there may be help there.


Registered User
May 21, 2018
Hello @HJW. It sounds as though you and your Mum are doing a great job looking after your Dad. Is he on any medication for anxiety? If not, the GP may be able to prescribe something to lessen the agitation (Mirtazapine, for example).

The carers at my mum's care home tend to tell residents who are fretting about going to work that "it's a holiday today, so I thought we'd (insert distraction here) instead". I expect you may have already tried that routine but perhaps worth a go if not.