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Why does Dad do this?


Registered User
Feb 11, 2016
My dad has started "transferring" things he experiences to third parties.
Today he had to go for a Hospital Appointment.
My sister went in with him and now he is saying it was her who needed to go.
This is just one example.
Does anyone know why this might be happening?


Registered User
May 21, 2014
Because his brain is malfunctioning? A lot of things with dementia make no sense whatsoever. Try not to argue with him about it

Amy in the US

Registered User
Feb 28, 2015
Hi, Susiesoo, and welcome to Talking Point. There's lots of good advice and information and support available here and I hope you feel welcome and find it helpful. You can search past threads or just have a browse around, or come and ask specific questions.

I don't know if you've read any of the information or factsheets on the Alzheimer's Society website, but they have lots of good information about dementia there. A place to get started might be here: https://www.alzheimers.org.uk/site/scripts/documents_info.php?documentID=84

Or here: https://www.alzheimers.org.uk/site/scripts/documents.php?categoryID=200343

Maybe you might have a look round when you have time.

I am sorry I don't know the answer to your question, because I don't understand enough about neurology and the brain and dementia to know quite why things happen. But I can tell you that I have experienced this same thing, with my mother (73, Alzheimer's, no short-term memory). She will sometimes witness or hear about something that happens to another person, and then declare it was her, or that it happened to a friend or relative too, what a coincidence! Sometimes it seems to be her way of becoming comfortable with news, or making sense of something, because often she has limited understanding of what is going on around her. I've also had the experience where she and I and my husband have gone out to lunch or run an errand, and she will tell the care home staff that she ate this or did that, when it was actually me or my husband.

As these types of things don't generally matter, unless they cause her upset or agitation, I just sort of play along and run with it and gloss over things.

So maybe your dad remembers going to the hospital and that your sister was there, but not why they went, so puts together the pieces of information he can recall, with a story/narrative that makes sense to him. Or maybe your dad feels upset if he thinks about being at the hospital, so it's easier for him to "remember" that they went for your sister. It's hard to know.

It can be puzzling and frustrating, though. I do know that feeling!


Registered User
Aug 24, 2013
Because his brain is malfunctioning? A lot of things with dementia make no sense whatsoever. Try not to argue with him about it
Hello Susie, welcome to TP

It's pretty much as Beate says, there's no rhyme or reason for what happens but there are many common traits that crop up quite regularly. Identity confusion is one of the more common ones, I've recently ceased being my wife's husband and become her brother, in fact we're twins apparently:)
Again as Beate says it's best not to argue or even correct them as it won't mean anything and could cause friction in the relationship.
As we say on here "you have to learn to live in their world because they can't learn to live in ours".
Keep posting we're always here to listen.