Need Advice About Dementia And My Father Who Is In Denial And Hostile, Please.


Asked by Willcole

Need Advice About Dementia And My Father Who Is In Denial And Hostile, Please.

I know everyone who is, or has been dealing with Alzheimer's have unique and challenging problems, but I need help with a seemingly unique situation (in my mind).

My Father is 78 years old, in perfect physical shape and extremely active. He still jogs 2-3 miles a day, takes tons of supplements, and has not eaten red meat in over 40 years. He has always diagnosed his own medical problems with the help of my Mom, who is extremely learned and up to date on medical information.

My Dad, Mom, and I, own a business together. My Dad has always been the "boss" and it's always been his way, or no way. In the past year his memory and states of confusion have gotten bad. He swears my Mom and I are teaming up against him and hiding business problems from him, but we are not, he just forgets that we discussed them with him. He is extremely agitated and hostile. He says we are making up his memory problems so that we can work around him and make him feel insignificant. It's starting to hurt the business. Lately, he has been answering the phones wrong by pushing wrong buttons, hanging up on people he thought he had put on hold, and dialing wrong numbers. He swears it's the phone system and demanded that I order a new phone system, even though we can't afford it. He is the only one having these problems with the phones. Another problem is his driving. He refuses to let my MOM drive and drives horribly. He still takes customers out in the field and some of them have told me they feared for their lives. Taking away his driver's license would kill him, but I'm afraid he will hurt someone on the road, or kill himself and my Mom. They drive 36 miles round trip to the office everyday.

The biggest problem of all is that he does not have a doctor. He was asked not to come back to his last doctor (who is also my doctor). He yelled at a nurse who was trying to take his blood pressure, he takes his own at home and did not want her to take it. She started crying and complained to the doctor and the manager of the facility. They wrote him and asked him to find another doctor. I talked to them and they agreed to let him back, but he did it again. This all occurred prior to us realizing the dementia, so that doctor did not test him for any problems. Now he does not have a doctor, hates the mention of the word "doctor", and will NOT go to a doctor.

He has no friends left, they have all died, or moved away. He only has me, my Mom, my two sisters, and my brother who barely talks to him. He treats us like we are all still children in our teens, and always has, even before the dementia. (I'm the baby at 40, my other siblings range in age from 49 to 54).He is a very good Father and has always been there for us. When we have had problems he always tried to take over and take care of them. I wish he would not have helped so much, sometimes.

My Mom has started reading about being a caretaker and getting ready for the inevitable. I am trying to run the business with the help of my Mom, when she can, and a great office manager. My Dad still comes in everyday and we try to include him in everything. We give him one simple task and it takes the whole day, including us helping, for him to complete it. We are not being accusatory towards him, but he feels we are.

Sorry for all the rambling, but I guess my biggest questions are; How do we get him diagnosed when he doesn't have a doctor and won't go to a doctor? He gets extremely hostile and combative if we even hint at it. Is there a way of Baker Acting him for treatment? My Mom and Dad live alone about twenty miles from me and my other siblings. She gets yelled at 24/7 by my Dad. Can she call an ambulance and explain the situation and hostility they will face when they arrive? Would there be any service that helps in a situation like this?

Again, I apologize for all the rambling, I just have so much to get off my chest and don't know where to turn. Any help or suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Please, keep in mind that he is the "boss" in his mind and we should all listen to him, not the other way around.

Thank you in advance for any advice.


Hi Willcole,

You may have to call your social services department and explain the issue. They maybe can do a welfare check on your parents. It's often a problem, because at first, well, you know how well they can cover up! But if you explain ahead of time, they maybe can help you. Your mother may be in physical danger, and if that is determined, social services may be able to step in.

This is not how anyone wants to do it, but since he refuses to see any doctor, you need to reach out for other help.

Also, check your state's Web site under aging services. There should be contact information there and maybe someone can direct you to local services that can help.

Take care,


Answered by Carol Bradley Bursack