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Paranoia and Anger
Posted: Monday, April 29, 2019 3:12 PM
Joined: 11/30/2018
Posts: 5

My dad was just diagnosed with ES, but we've known it for a while. My mom died in January 2019 after a 16 year battle with dementia. Since then, Dad has gone down hill very quickly. He has become paranoid, thinking that my siblings and I are all out to get his money. He thinks we're making up medical issues and getting doctors to go along so we can put him in a home and take everything he has. 

Today, he even accused us of letting the air out of one of his tires. He said we did it to "mess with my head and make me think I'm crazy." (Note: I try not to let him drive, but sometimes he leaves before I can stop him. He refuses to give up his keys. He is still drives well enough, but I worry that he will forget how to get back home.) 

He got angry at me just now and threw an onion on the floor. He cut into said onion and it had black all around the outer rings. I told him not to use it, to get another onion. He said he would just cut off the black part. I said, no, because the black is all through it, cutting off the blackest part isn't going to get rid of all of the bad part. He threw the onion on the floor and yelled at me to leave him alone. My sister stepped in and assured him that the black onion was not safe to eat and gave him a different one. He said, "I'm sorry I'm not perfect like 'someone'," and walked out of the kitchen. 

He's always been the angry sort, but never anything remotely this bad. How do you handle this type of thing? I'm completely at a loss. 

Posted: Monday, April 29, 2019 6:57 PM
Joined: 4/1/2014
Posts: 4852

I am not saying you are doing anything wrong and I don;t know how you are talking to him, but I had to change the way I communicated with my mother so that I made her look "normal" at all times or she would get upset-usually not at me-but at herself and that hurt me as much as if she was made a me. This may not have worked for you, but if it was me and my mother-I would say-"wow-how did that onion get that black? Groceries these day are selling old vegetable to people. Let's see if there is a good one in the bunch. " I never used the words-"don't, stop it, you can't"- because that just made my mother defensive.  Good luck

Posted: Monday, April 29, 2019 7:37 PM
Joined: 11/30/2018
Posts: 5

Thanks for the advice. I probably should be more careful about how I speak to him. He and I have always butted heads, so it's not going to be easy. But I'm going to do my best. Thank you!
Posted: Monday, April 29, 2019 8:55 PM
Joined: 4/29/2019
Posts: 1

I've been having similar issues with my mother getting upset when we tried to "correct" her.  She would become angry and defensive and not believe us anyways, and has also always been difficult and angry!  I've been trying to use distraction techniques, and change my interaction with her.  But it is so hard to change years of behavior and interaction with a complicated mother. What I am trying to do now is to always speak calmly, and if she demands while on the phone with  me that she can't stay where she lives, I tell her that we will talk about tomorrow when I visit her.  She always says okay and many times she forgets the next day, or if not, then I can easily talk her out of it in person.  If I have to, I enlist the staff of the MC unit where she lives.  It's a learning experience for sure and I have as many failed communications with her as I do successful ones.  I just read a wonderful book that talks about how to communicate with dementia patients.  It's called "Meet Me where I Am" by Mary Ann Drummond.  It opened my eyes about my ineffective communication technique with my mother.  By the way, I am new to this forum and find it very helpful to see what other people are going through with this devastating disease.
Posted: Monday, April 29, 2019 9:26 PM
Joined: 11/30/2018
Posts: 5

I'm sorry you're experiencing similar issues. Thank you for the book referral. I'm going to look for it tomorrow. Sending love and support your way as you deal with this horrible disease.
Posted: Wednesday, May 1, 2019 7:36 PM
Joined: 3/28/2019
Posts: 13

I purchased a SpyTec gl300 GPS tracking device from Amazon that I put in Dad's car, before he stopped driving.  He had been getting lost. If he had gotten lost again, I would have been able to find him.  He never knew the device was there.
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