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Dad trying to go to work - advice?

My Dad has dementia but thinks he is fine, he keeps trying to leave the house every morning saying he is going to work. When I try to tell him that he has been retired for the last 10 years he gets angry.
Status: Open    May 18, 2015 - 12:11 AM

Dementia, Caregiving, Caregiving

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May 23, 2015 - 04:32 PM

Distractions worked well with my dad. Can you give your dad a purpose? Perhaps building a garden bed and remind him at breakfast the chores for the day...laying newspapers, piling the straw and earth, mulching, planting...

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May 31, 2015 - 01:55 PM

Your Dad's reality is different than the one the rest of us live in. Facts and logic that seem obvious to us are just not going to register with him.

Distraction is the best way I've seen to stop an unwanted or dangerous behaivior. When he is headed for the door, remind him that he "hasn't eaten breakfast yet" and have him sit down at the table. Bring him a small cup of juice or coffee, and maybe a newspaper. He will forget about leaving. Here's another one, tell him he has forgotten his briefcase/toolbox/sales charts (something job related) and have him wait by the TV while you "go fetch it for him". Or ask him "Could you please help me with this task/chore before you go?" and kind of set him off on that mission. Or even as simple as "No, it's Saturday. You don't have to go in today. You have the day off."

Besides upsetting him, arguing does not re-establish the facts. And if it does snap him back to our reality, it will only painfully remind him that he is losing his mind. Arguing will not teach him and tomorrow he will not remember anyway.

Making up these distractions is not lying. It is doing him a kindness. Don't get hung up on truthfulness, because it is all relative. His truth is different than the one that the rest of us live in. It's ok.

Source: watching staff in the nursing home deal with dementia residents

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