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Why won't dad talk to us?

Dad will talk to our family dog but not to us. Is this normal?
Status: Open    Sep 17, 2014 - 01:38 AM

Dementia, Relationships

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Nov 05, 2015 - 11:22 AM

You don't mention the level of advancement with dementia that your father has, so it's a little hard to determine what is "normal". However, a dementia sufferers behavior is what is normal for them and no one else. While it may be difficult, the best thing you can do is to accept it and move on. You may even try talking to the dog with him! Trying to prevent conversations with the dog will likely create tension and upset your father. Instead, focus on the fact that your father is still in your life. You may notice that if he is surrounded by others that are in a good mood, happy, etc., his attitude will mimic this. Strive to create this type of enviornment.

Nov 05, 2015 - 11:35 AM

While I'm not a medical professional, I have seen many seniors with dementia including my own father. What I've learned is that there is no "normal" and your dad may even change from day to day or hour to hour. When visiting, maybe just sit quietly while watching television or playing with the dog. Over time, without any expectations or stress, he may open up. Or, just talk without expecting any answers, sharing what's going on in your family.

I know my father would get very confused and couldn't remember if his parents were alive (they passed 35 years ago), or where his wife was (they divorced 20 years ago). The next day he'd be sharp as a tack. When he knew he wasn't thinking right, he'd be quiet. I think he was trying to not share his confusion with me. He'd go through anger bits, brainstorming bits, quiet bits, talkative bits, etc. Just know that it seems to be all in the range of "normal."

Best wishes, and enjoy the time you have left with him, regardless of whether he speaks to you or not. My father passed in May of this year.
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