RSS Feed Print
Angry father w/dementia fixated on car keys
Posted: Friday, November 29, 2019 2:44 PM
Joined: 11/29/2019
Posts: 1

My 82 year old father was recently diagnosed with an unspecified dementia. My mother, brother & sister and I are trying to deal with the situation.  There is also high likely hood he is dealing with PTSD due to an abusive childhood.  We are having two major issues right now, we took the car keys and lovingly explained why but he is absolutely fixated on them and is getting very angry (we are all scheming against him).  He was also told by his doctor that he cannot drive.  We are also having horrible sundowners issues.  He has tried to leave multiple times and threatened his own safety several times.  We are trying to keep him active during the day, but nothing seems to be helping.  I'm sure these are common issues to most cases, but so far the information we have been provided and the things we are trying do not seem to help in the least.  My brother, sister and I all work full-time so the sleeping on the couch to prevent "escape" becoming horrible. I guess I am looking for some wisdom/experience to handle this.  Thank you!
Posted: Friday, November 29, 2019 3:35 PM
Joined: 5/16/2017
Posts: 580

Disable the car + possibly give him some car keys that do not belong the the car in question.  Also, if the car does not need to be with other family members, removing it from the home may help.

You can look into possible medications to help his agitation + sundowners symptoms. If he becomes out of control, he should be treated by an ER + transferred to a geriatric psych unit for assessment + treatment.   If he threatens his own life or others, this is a valid reason to call + have him taken in for treatment

Rescue mom
Posted: Saturday, November 30, 2019 9:50 AM
Joined: 10/12/2018
Posts: 1493

I don’t think serious threats to his own life or others, is usual, nor acceptable, in the years I’ve dealt with Alzheimer’s and dementia. 

That’s a signal to call in some serious, major help, from docs and/or police, who often deal with that. In my state, a person who’s a threat to himself or others is often taken immediately to a psych facility for help—for which families are almost always grateful because ,,,he’s dangerous and not rational.

There are too many news reports of caregivers and others being badly hurt or worse, by a raging LO with dementia. The person with dementia cannot think clearly, their brain is broken. But that situation can escalate fast.

In the last week, there was local news of a murder-suicde because of a person with dementia.

 Plus a case where a man known by neighbors for angry threatening dementia attacked and injured a stranger in the street. At least in jail (they’re not letting him out easy) he can’t hurt other innocent people and is likely to get some help. 

As for car, disable it, give keys to a friend. Best to drive it away somewhere, he may be able to fix it. Out of sight often means they forget it faster.

But also, call the Alzheimer’s Association 800 number and ask for a counselor. I just read the last part, it woulda like you may need much more/different help. The AA counselors can help you explore possibilities.

Posted: Saturday, November 30, 2019 11:38 PM
Joined: 10/15/2019
Posts: 3

I am dealing with a very similar situation with my 82yr old Dad. Police and Adult Protective Services were also involved. He thinks I am the reason he can’t drive and I am frequently looking for “lost keys” . I appreciated seeing that I’m not Alone.
× Close Menu