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Monday, April 28, 2008 Daughter of Demented Dad, Community Member, asks

Q: Dad has beginning Alzheimers, and is getting paranoid and sexually agressive towards mom. Help?

My dad, 84, can fool some people that he is fine, but in private he's getting violent, paranoid and thinks about sex more and more.  He won't go to the doctor because he thinks he's fine, everyone else has a problem.  Mom is afraid and embarassed.  Is there anything us kids, or mom, can do?  He's not "bad" enought to put in a home and we can't force him to go to the doctor.  He wouldn't believe it if the doc told him he needed help, anyway.

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Answers (12)
Carol Bradley Bursack, Health Guide
4/29/08 2:50pm

That sexual aggression is hard to take. Your dad may be thinking he's a young man again, and wants that kind of sexual relationship. I've had people tell me that their dad acts that way toward a once beloved daughter-in-law and/or all women he meets. This can get to be really awful.


The "fooling people" reminds me of my mother. I was a "bad daughter" for putting her in a nursing home "too soon." She would meet people and she'd be charming and wonderful. The had no idea that, by the next day, she wouldn't even remember they had come to visit. I heard so often, "are you sure your mom belongs here?" The people at the nursing home (and I) knew it was the only safe place for her.


You'll need help of some kind soon. Getting your dad to a doctor is going to be a challenge, though. You many have to drum up some other reason for him to go - say his blood pressure or something. Then, a doctor may be able to take over and help you.


Take care. You've got a bumpy road ahead. Check back often. We're with you.


Sue, Community Member
4/28/08 10:00pm

Hello and thanks for your question.  I believe the first thing you must do is to get him properly diagnosed.  You say he won't go to the doctor - has he been seen at all?  Just thinking that without a medical evaluation you will not know for sure if it is Alzheimer's or dementia.  Check with his general medical doctor to see what he or she thinks is the best course of action wth you dad.


In the meantime, you should talk to someone through a local support group or one of the national organizations' local chapters to find the help you need.  Turn to our Caregiver Center for the contact info and other material it should be helpful. 


All the best, sue

desperate daughter, Community Member
2/15/10 4:04am

my father is exhibiting memory loss but sporadically. he says sometimes a dark cloud covers him, i assume thats depression but he my mum says his temper can be quite intimidating sometimes and other times he is a loving husband. he cannot remember things he has done when he is in a temper (mostly shouting but very agitated) and apologises profusely afterwards. mum has seen him take off his jumper and his socks and fold them up in front of him and stare at them and seemly "talk" to someone that isnt there. It seems as though i am battling two parents as mum is in denial and she is too frightened to do anything against his will and at the end of the day i have to to home and leave her on her own with him. he simply will not see a doctor. we cannot speak to the doctor without his permission and "tricking" him will result in him getting up and walking out. i feel so desperate. my mum is living on her nerves but i cannot see any way round it without waiting for another "episode" and getting my mum to call an ambulance. until then it seems as though he is a ticking time bomb. i keep a diary of his habits but i do not live nearby and mum tends to cover up the cracks which are beginning to show more frequently. people have to me it could be dementia or the onset of alzheimers but he has such a range of different disorders that my head is spinning. how can i get past 2 parents mum will not see the doctor without dad knowing and i dont know where to turn. if we bring the gp to the home he will throw them out and all hell will break loose and my mum will be shouted at. please help!!!



Florence, Community Member
4/18/11 10:20pm

I feel so bad for you because my husband exhibited the same symtoms, mostly aggressive behaviour.      I phoned my Alzheimer's counselor when I thought he was going to hit me and wanted me to leave...(he didn't know me), and she called the ambulance.     They had him in the hospital and gave him medication, and within a couple of weeks, he was calmed down and not too aggressive.    He received a bed in a nice long-term care facility, and I visit him every day and its a good situation.    I'm not worried that he will get aggressive, and its so nice having the help and support....He has adjusted very well, and has his own room, entertainment and for me, its been a load off of my shoulders.

Please get some counsellors to help you, and get professional advice.    He does not know what he is doing, and you need to step in.....

I was in denial also, because I didn't understand the disease, so my children took over and helped with the transition from home, hospital and long-term care.    

My husband has adjusted, and I am much more of a help because I'm not in denial anymore.

NC, Community Member
4/29/08 5:53pm

My father-in-law has advanced Alzhiemer's. Back in 2004/2005/2006, he did show some sexual aggression. Even now at times he  wants to hit on girls, young or old. Now he knows he may not be able to marry again but we don't know for sure what he is tbinking. The first time was when he forget we were the guests in the house and he came in when I was taking a shower. (I locked the old bathroom later on. Now he moved downstairs and we use the one upstairs to avoid more contact like this.)

He was embarrassed. Sometimes he does make some remark. e.g., he would tell the  caregiver who is 20 that "will you come sleep with me?"  We just know that it is the disease that makes him so. I even noticed once in 2005 that he bought Viagra (not sure how the doctor allowed it...) and I threw it out after he lost memory of this lady who he was dating in 2005 (My late mom-ln-law died in Oct. 2004.)


What we do is just ignore him or try not to cause the situations. e.g., I try to stay away when I am not dressed very well. I didn't let him touch my waist belt when one time he wanted to. The home care nurse told him the truth that she could not marry him. Instead she calls him a lot (as part of her job demand.)


If it is so bad, your father needs to be alone or your Mom needs to be in a different room to protect herself. I hate to say this, but it is 2-way street at this point, he is sick but we have to protect ourselves also. But so far my father-in-law is "rational" on this. Not sure about later.  He is taking namenda and exelon.

If you father is not diagosed properly, please find professional heath care people for help. In our case, the professionals are able to calm him down.




Mary Poole, Community Member
9/ 4/08 7:59pm

I agree with all the other respondants. If you can't get him to a doctor, talk to the doctor about prescribing an antidepressant that will decrease his libido and may also help with the paranoia, he may have concurrent depression which is common in the earlier stages, and frequently overlooked Also the disinhibition is often associated with frontal lobe dementia

Deerefly2U, Community Member
9/ 5/08 5:17pm

Aw, c'mom, count yer blessings!

He walks? He talks? He feeds himself? He's continent? And he's like a lot of us healthy manly MEN who are wanting intimacy at age 84?

Where in heck has your Mom been for the past 10 years?

There are Mom's out there who'd love a "sexually aggressive" mate,

so what's with your's?

Maybe your Mom needs to give him a hug and start necking with him,  as they must have once done - or you wouldn't be on here whining !

Maybe your Mom could buy him a porn flick on DVD and offer to watch it with him?

Your Mom's gone frigid ?

He wore the pants,  so she's refusing to remove her panties?

Maybe you could send him the gift of a paid-for call girl once a month?

Maybe you could pray to Jesus and ask Him to send your Dad that "Woman at the Well"?

No one in your family attends a church? Pastors make home visits. Ask !

We call ourselves "problem-solvers"? but we don't forgive a MAN we used to love when we know he's now older, a little sick, and just a little wanting?

Forgive your old man. Ask your Mom to forgive him too.

Ask her to make up with him, smile at him, touch him instead of waiting for him to reach out in frustration, or strike out in anger brought on by dementia  illness.

Get him busy and occupied - in his woodshop, on his tractor, in his garden, under his pick-up truck, canvassing neighbors on behalf of Sarah Palin and old McChipmonk or whatever he is, or what the heck , for Obama  and "change" ,  or loose change, or whatever he wants to change. 

I'll betcha your Dad is ready for change!

His doctor got him Viagra? Gee, let's all buy stock in Pfizer, like that doctor !

Ask at your local Good Food Store - there are  herbal teas better and cheaper than Viagra and without all the aggressive side effects, and also herbal teas that will help him cool off, calm down, and even sleep 10 hours a day.

Lastly, start searching for a caregiver who's also a nymphomaniac , such a wonderful cook and housekeeper your Mom will love her too, and make sure your Dad falls in love with her photo first.

I'll be praying for your Dad - It's a selfish prayer too; I'm in the same boat he is.

If you find twin sister caregivers that are nymphos, please share one with me!




MN8, Community Member
9/ 5/08 6:41pm

I agree that it's very important to get your father to a doctor, but not just any doctor.  This is a very challenging situation, and MANY well-meaning doctors have no idea how to handle it.  So the first task is to find the right doctor: a geriatrician, a geriatric psychiatrist, a geriatric center at a good hospital; someone who is thoroughly versed and experienced with the various forms of dementia.  Once you've found that rare individual, meet with her/him and strategize on how to get your father in to see him/her.  Do whatever you need to to "trick" your father into going.  The goal is not to convince your father there's something wrong with him, but to get as clear an idea as possible what is causing this change in behavior and what can be done to mitigate it.  The right doctor will be able to at least rule some things out, and come up with a likely diagnosis and treatment plan, and will be able to work with you to come up with a way to implement the treatment.  Don't expect your father to even be part of the discussion.  From what you've said, he's not just unwilling to see there's anything "wrong", he incapable of understanding his situation.  Trying to "get through to him" will not work.  In fact, it will almost surely make things more difficult.  You and your mother (and mostly you, probably) must work with the doctor to find a way forward.


Good luck!  And do contact your local chapter of the Alzheimer's Association.  They have many valuable resources.  You'll need all the help and support you can get.

Reenie, Community Member
9/ 5/08 7:56pm

Sounds like your dad has sexual disinhibition.  My dad who has mid-stage AD experienced the same thing and at first my mom was mortified to speak about it with either my sister or I but she finally talked to us about it; and ultimately our doctor.  Thankfully, my father is very cooperative and goes to the doctor often enough and was prescribed some medication to help him.  There will likely be strategies you will need to employ i.e. medication, distractions, possibly even going to a daycare center (which thankfully we introduced to my father a year and a 1/2 ago)and he was very resistant at first, but he actually loves it now.  The point is; he's kept busy all day there and when he comes home is quite tired.  but as the others have said; it's IMPERATIVE you get him properly diagnosed and get the proper meds for him; sometimes it's trial and error and it may take awhile and yes, you'll have to lie to him to get him there; but what does that matter, it's not like he's going to remember, right?? Use that to your advantage.  good luck; and I'm rooting for you; and emphathize.  Good luck; Maureen

Judith Story, Community Member
9/ 7/08 9:41pm

Tell your mother to make an appointment with the doctor for herself. Then she should ask your father to go with her incase the doctor has some bad news for her or she might have to take some test. Once they are both in the doctors office she can ask the doctor to check her husband out too since they are both there. It wouldn't hurt if she called the doctor's office and told the nurse the situation and what she planned to doand to please relay this information to the doctor.

Caregivertodad, Community Member
9/15/08 4:28pm
Getting your father to see a doctor to be diagnosed may be impossible without professional assistance. My father was like yours, able to put on a good front in public but really far more advanced witht he disease than he would let on. I live in another state and it was only after state elder care officials called me to say they had put my dad in temporary guardianship for erratic behavior...did I learn of his disease. I think you and your mom need to see your local social services in your county. You might also have to enlist the help of the police in getting him to a hospital to be diagnosed. Typically they keep the person there for 7-14 days under observation and examination by psychs and neurologists. They will also likely do a CT scan of his brain. I am told that most people, even when violent, will go peacefully with a policeman. I moved my father here and I have been through the gamut of him with the violence and paranoia. Trust will get worse. He needs medications. Reply
Carol Bradley Bursack, Health Guide
2/15/10 8:26am

It nearly always takes a third party to get someone like this to have the medical attention they need. If a good friend or religious leader can't help, try social services. I'd say the police are the last resort and may not be able to do anything unless there is actual violence, but you can check. If your mom is in danger, she may need to leave. The loss of sexual inhibition isn't unusual with dementia, but he could have a different type of mental illness. His paranoia could make him dangerous, as well.


Many people have been through this. We are with you in our hearts. Please check back when you can.


Carol J, Community Member
6/27/10 8:47pm

We are currently experiencing this with my dad.   My mom has AD so badly that she can not consent.   After finding her on the floor one morning, I took her off to the ER, to get her out of the house.   My dad has no memory of any of this.  We got him to the DR by claiming that I was going to get more info on mom.  Took him to a geriatric psychologist.   Unknown if this has helped since my mom hasn't been home since.  Still in a nursing home. 


We're just at the beginning of this journey.   My only added advice to everyone in this situation, which I've already done....if there are any guns in the house, get them out now.    I had a friend come take them.  He's storing them for me.   I haven't even mentioned by my dad that I've done it.  


Better to be safe, than sorry.

Christine Kennard, Health Pro
6/28/10 7:18am

Yes better safe than sorry. Guns and dementia is not a good mix.


Thankyou for your input. It is so important for other caregivers to hear how to deal with difficult and sensitive issues such as sexual disinhibition and firearms. It can be hard to make some decisions when people do not recognise they have a problem.


Thanks again



Carol Bradley Bursack, Health Guide
6/28/10 10:09am

A third party can often help when family can't do anything. It's an awful fix to be in. Is there a good family friend or faith community leader who could talk to him and get him to see a doctor for, say, his blood pressure or something? You could write the doctor a letter ahead of time telling him or her about your concerns. Then, in the doctor's hands, he may be more willing, especially if he knows there are drugs that can help ward off worse symptoms.


Your mother needs something to be done (as you already see). Bless you for being so caring and helpful.


Please try a third party. If that gentler approach doesn't work, you may have to call in Social Services for your mother's protection.



JoAnn, Community Member
8/11/10 7:09pm

I think my Dad has the beginning of Alzhimer as well. When I bring up going to the doctor my Father and my Bi polar brother who lives with him, and is disable start yelling at me to the point where I have to leave. This is a hard situation Im going for conseling,but any advice would be great. JoAnn

Carol Bradley Bursack, Health Guide
8/12/10 9:10am

Hi JoAnn,

I am so glad you are going to counseling - a very wise move. Remember that you aren't alone with this situation. It's actually (sadly) quite common.


A third party is generally the trump card with family dynamics. If you can't think of a family friend who could approach your dad and brother (your brother likely doesn't want anything to "change"), maybe you counselor has someone to recommend.


Your local Alzheimer's Association can be a big help here. I'd contact them, as well.


Blessings, JoAnn. We are with you for moral support.


JoAnn, Community Member
8/12/10 1:03pm

Carol, Thank-you for your support and blessings, Please keep in touch. JoAnn 

Carol Bradley Bursack, Health Guide
8/12/10 1:09pm

You, too, JoAnn.


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By Daughter of Demented Dad, Community Member— Last Modified: 03/29/14, First Published: 04/28/08