I could use some advice please. - Memory Health: Al...

Memory Health: Alzheimer's Support Group

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I could use some advice please.


Hello, I am new here. I care for my elderly parents as a live in, 24/7. I have for about 18 months. Mom is an invalid but has a very clear sharp mind. We are at our wits end about what to do to care for My Father who has altzheimer's, is totally physically fit with no other health problems except he has lost his mind. He is convinced he is omnipotent and the world has gone crazy. He thinks it is 1945 and he is a boy of 13.

Several big issues: He refuses to stop driving. His short term memory is less than five minutes unless it has to do with something on his mind. There are no other people on Earth who deserve respect or consideration unless it is advice from a man, can be any man, about something he cannot figure out, which is most everything.

There is plenty more, but these are the most difficult.

16 Replies

Do whatever you have to do to keep your father from driving. If he is not a safe driver report to your state department of motor vehicles. I'm not making light of your situation, but 1945 was a good year. WW II was over, and I was a girl of 14. I hope you can get some help with your caregiving and live your own life.

Siouxrt in reply to jaykay777

He will not permit "strangers", and by strangers that includes me his daughter of 61 years and the housekeeper they have had here for 12.

We tried to take his keys but he made life so miserable that Mom decided it was best to give them back. He is a retired pilot so can probably do driving on autopilot.

He has always rejected any social interactions and now is completely antisocial.

Mom is too informed to be left alone for more than an hour or so at a time and it it too stressful for her to try to watch him alone.

Thank you for answering.


Welcome to the community. Let us know the town & state or province you live in - this will help us direct you to local resources. All the best.

My Parents are in Flower Mound, Texas 75022

ChristianElliottAdministrator in reply to Siouxrt

Start here: alz.org/greaterdallas/in_my...

The greater Dallas Alz.org chapter will most likely have case managers that can provide resources and some guidelines for your situation. I agree with other comments that removing the car option is top of the list.

Start with with phone number listed on the above link. All the best.

Hi, my heart goes out to you as I read your post. It could be me writing, it is so similar to what I am experiencing with my husband. Our diagnose is new too, just a month ago, but we started noticing changes about a year ago. Then all of a sudden, in just a few months, it progressed so rapidly. That is what scared me the most. I couldn't believe how quickly it developed. Of course as I look back I can see that there were many red flags, I just didn't want to admit it. I thought it was just Bill being Bill. Like you said, he is in complete denial, and thinks we are all making it up and that he is just fine. We did have to take the keys away for a few weeks until he adjusted to the meds, but he actually seems to be driving a little bit better than before now. They say the meds will not stop the progression, just slow it down. In some ways he seems to have mellowed and is pretty easy-going, but at times when we must usurp his authority or question an unwise decision he becomes angry. At those times, he, also like your father, will only listen to our sons. They seem to be able to calm him down more than anyone else. I am new at this too, but am learning how to redirect his attention to something more pleasant. My thoughts and prayers are with you. Just hold on to the good times, talk about the good things in his life, and try to find some humor in the bad times. Above all, remember how hard this must be on him. He knows something is wrong, just doesn't understand what. Talking to others who are going through the same thing has helped. Take care and God bless. Joyce

Siouxrt in reply to jasmith49

My Father was diagnosed with dementia 15 years ago. Over the years that particular Dr. has said he is only person who does not notice and won't. While the progression has been slow, it has accumulated in severity. He has very few good days anymore. He just constantly repeats the same responses even if totally inappropriate. Conversation is gone as he can no longer process anything from outside his own brain. He just starts a story speaks it all the way through, then goes on to the next. Frequently he starts the same pattern over within in five minutes.

I agree he needs to not drive. Sell the car hide you keys. If you need to enlist a man to convince him not to drive. Whatever is necessary.

I hope my sisters do the same for me if I get to that point. I was diagnosed 3 weeks ago with early onset.

Siouxrt in reply to Mpeterson53

So sorry to hear that.

We went through this with my father-in-law. My mother-in-law first took the keys. Then they had a small single garage and she put a padlock on it and told him she lost the key. He would spend hours tinkering with that lock trying to get it open. Another suggestion is the have someone you can trust come over and disable the car - I don't know what that involves but it could be simple. My father-in-law knew something was wrong but didn't know what and he would go to the doctor and come home feeling better since he was never truthful with the doctor and my mother-in-law was afraid to say anything. It's a very difficult situation. But you need to have some free time to yourself so try to find some help. And if at all possible, try to keep your sense of humor. I know it's such a devastating disease but if you can find something to laugh at, do it.

Siouxrt in reply to pkpayne

He would just call someone over to fix it and pay out the nose. The smoke alarm failed and he refused to let me fix it. He called someone when he could not do it and they happily replaced it for 400.00 dollars.

Would it be possible for you to arrange for the person he would possibly call say that it couldn't be fixed? I agree with everyone else - he should not be driving. Not just for himself but for others safety as well. I can only imagine what you are going through. It's really too much for one person to bear and all of this has rested on your shoulders. I hope you can find some help locally and can get away from all the turmoil periodically. You need to do that for yourself.

Siouxrt in reply to pkpayne

Thank you so much. While that is a great concept, he would just go buy a new one. I checked with the Department of Public Safety and they cannot do much until it is Orderd by a Dr or he has an infraction. We have asked both to help and this is the response we got. Mom and I live in terror every time he sneaks out.we have tried every way in the world to reason with him and he listens to no person. He is always right and everyone else is wrong, even og it is the entire planet. He has always had that issue. We call it the pilot God syndrome.

The thought occurred to me that that might happen - that he would just go out and buy another one. You and your mother have a real dilemma on your hands with him. I know my father-in-law wouldn't listen to anyone either. I wish I had some other suggestion for you but it sounds like you have about exhausted everything that I have thought of. Let your mind be at peace with the thought that you and your mother have done everything that you can possibly do. I'm praying that things will work out for him and you and your mother. I live in Texas too - a little south of Houston. Again, my prayers are with you. Have you tried contacting an Alzheimer's organization near you? I don't know of any but someone on the list might.

This sounds all too familiar. My mother was at this stage about five years ago. The worst part by far was during the so called moderate stage. Loved one did not want to sleep for a few months. She went to hospital for a week or two and was immediately placed on anti-psychotics. We have never used them at home. One of the worst memories was the time she wanted to go on a trip by herself. We could not convince her to stay home. It all ended happily, though if I had to do it again I would have made sure the front door lock did not work-could have also hidden the door behind a drape.

One idea that might be of help that you might want to consider talking to your doctor about is a new product that is emerging. The idea is that you quadruple dose Aricept combined with another medication that removes the side effects. This product is still in trials though all the medications are now on the market. This way your father would be quite a bit sharper now and at the same time when the time were to come that even this did not help then you simply remove these drugs for a while. His cognitive ability would then crash. However, you would then have avoided the very difficult and dangerous moderate stage. You could then reintroduce the combo gradually to aim for the highest level of functioning below the moderate phase of dementia. This plan is the best that I have been able to think of that could have made my mother's transition to severe AD easier.

Now that she has arrived at very severe AD caregiving is much easier.

Siouxrt in reply to Alzcarer

Humm, I will talk to his Dr about this.

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