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My dad thinks neighbours are calling him a pedophile, can't take much more.

(42 Posts)
theclockwinder Mon 13-Jul-20 22:53:29

A small bit of back story, my dad is 62 and was diagnosed with the early onset of Alzheimer's around 6 months ago, which has been fucking heartbreaking for our family. I haven't really unpacked it all because if I do I don't think I'll stop crying. I know what this disease will do to him after working in a dementia/mental health care setting for almost 7 years. My dad has been pretty stable but for the past few weeks he's been super paranoid, and getting worse.

My poor mum's rang me in tears tonight - he's adamant their neighbours have been calling him a pedophile and he's overheard them say that man needs sorting. He's said that they're taking his picture and sending it to people. He's obviously not a pedophile or a bad man, but he's adamant that's what he's heard. And now he's had an argument with my mum because she doesn't believe him and is trying to gently tell him he's being irrational.

I'm fucking heartbroken my dad is going through it. But even more heart broken it's my mum whose dealing with it predominantly. I have a young DS who is 9 months so my time is pretty much all consumed by him. I try to get over as much as possible though. She's never been around dementia and she's finding it really hard. She doesn't know what to say hence telling him he's wrong about the things he's saying.

Not really sure what I'm asking - just need to vent. Feeling so heartbroken about it all. He's 62 for fuck sakes.

OP’s posts: |
thegcatsmother Mon 13-Jul-20 22:56:46

I am sorry, that is so hard. Can your Mum ask the neighbours what was said, and explain what is going on with him?

longtompot Mon 13-Jul-20 22:57:56

I haven't got any advice but that sounds heartbreaking flowers

AntiHop Mon 13-Jul-20 23:00:06

Have you spoken to his gp? Paranoia to that extent is not common with Alzheimer's. This needs further medical investigation.

BudgieHammockBananaSmuggler Mon 13-Jul-20 23:03:26

Is he under the care of a MH team as clearly he needs a bit of support (probably including medication) is this is a new symptom that is persisting.

Feeling that you are being called or accused of being a paedophile is quite a common form of psychosis these days.

I’m sorry, it must be really hard.

Longdistance Mon 13-Jul-20 23:03:34

When my df was diagnosed with vascular dementia they also said he had schizophrenia. He was very paranoid about the neighbours too. Maybe mention this to his gp. My df was given daily medication for it (anti psychosis?). It calmed him down a lot. He got back to his gentle self.
I just remember him accusing the nurses of stealing his chocolates and all sorts.

flowers for you op

Didicat Mon 13-Jul-20 23:04:04

Speak to your gp my grandad goes off the deep end when he has a water infection.

Sharing you pain x

Delbelleber Mon 13-Jul-20 23:07:19

Only thing I can suggest that could possibly help short term is distracting him when he is going through it. Take to the biscuit tin and get him to choose a biscuit, something like that. I know it's a very difficult situation to be in when you are dealing with someone in that state of mind. flowers

MumW Mon 13-Jul-20 23:07:42

My Dad has hallucinations when he's dehydrated or has a urine infection so might be worth asking the gp to check for those.

If he's on medication, could it be a side effect.

Seeing a loved one suffer with dementia is torture. I hope your Mum/Dad get the support they need.


MatildaTheCat Mon 13-Jul-20 23:09:25

Definitely speak to his GP and/or MH team. My DF suffered from vascular dementia and had some very strange and (sadly) long standing delusions which were upsetting but not devastating in the way you describe.

Do also, as suggested above get him checked for infection as sudden psychotic behaviour is really quite common.

Finally, my friend’s DF has Alzheimer’s and just once became adamant that he’d committed a sexual offence but then never mentioned it again.

Best wishes, it’s absolutely heartbreaking.

Onceuponatimethen Mon 13-Jul-20 23:12:36

Oh op I’m really sorry but I do understand. Have also been through this with a family member who would sometimes seem completely with it and then other times accuse his nurse of plotting to smother him with a pillow

mumwon Mon 13-Jul-20 23:15:13

local carers group to help your dm many have sub group for spouses whose partner has dementia - look up local council doctor surgery (website I know it would be so much easier but for the elephant in the room - ie corona) or library

SepticTankYank Mon 13-Jul-20 23:21:30

My grandad has been placed in a home as he can not look after himself. For weeks, he pleaded with my dad to get him out. He believed it was a jail and he was in there because he was accused of beating his wife. He was terrified and adamant he hadn't. He said they were after him and told us tales of how they had behaved. It passed but for those weeks, it was heartbreaking.

Do you have enough help? Please speak to the available agencies. It is too much for family alone to manage.

Mumsnet is here for you in this horrible time. Vent away. brewdaffodilthanks

LonnyVonnyWilsonFrickett Mon 13-Jul-20 23:24:37

Could be a UTI or escalation in the condition. I notice that you're only talking about you and your mum OP - what help are you getting, where's the support from GP/Social Services? If you work in this area you must know that it's the squeaky wheel that gets the oil. You need to fight for support, that's the best way to help your mum.

I'm so sorry you're all going through this. It's probably worth a wee note or chat to the neighbours so they know that your dad might be weird with them and so they know to be compassionate.

Rosspoldarkssaddle Mon 13-Jul-20 23:28:50

Alzheimer's is a bastard.
Many gp surgeries are sending out health visitors to check on patients in the community during the pandemic. He needs bloods and uti tests to rule out infection. He may need an adjustment to his meds which may settle him down. Your mum needs to reach out for help now as this is a long journey of ups and downs. The alzheimers society is excellent and can help support them both. They can also push the gp to have a case meeting about him and take action. Good luck x

ViciousJackdaw Mon 13-Jul-20 23:29:42

An irrational psychotic belief is as real to the person experiencing it as the phone or the laptop you are currently holding in your hand. Simply dismissing these beliefs only serves to agitate the person further.

It might be useful for your DM to get as much detail about these beliefs as she can. She could ask what they are saying, who is saying it, what are they planning to do. This is all good info for the docs. It might help to ask 'What do you want to do about this?'. Sometimes, it can even be helpful to play along with the beliefs - your mother could say 'Right, you stay here and I'm going to tell them they're wrong', then go out and return a little but later and let him think that she's spoken to the culprits, put them straight and that they're very sorry. I know this is basically lying but if it makes your dad feel better then it might be worth doing so. I was a care assistant for many years and often went along with things and pretended I would 'grab that strange man by the scruff of the neck and march him out' whilst another CA distracted the resident with cocoa and a sedative.

The first port of call must be the GP though. Wishing you and your family well.

shinynewapple2020 Mon 13-Jul-20 23:30:59

Does your dad get any specialist support eg through older adults mental health centre? Or is his only support through GP? There is medication which can help with certain types of dementia and in some authorities there will be specialist nurses who can provide help/advice / support. It may be that these are services running at a lower level at present.

Alternatively both Alzheimer's Society and Dementia UK can offer advice even if it's just someone for you mum to chat with who understands.

There is definitely a school of thought that says that you shouldn't contradict the dementia sufferer about their beliefs , but it is so difficult in practice . I know there is a book which explains this but I can't remember what it's called .

There is also information available on the website of one of the charities above about support groups which may be available in your locality eg respite , dementia cafes and carer support groups . Also see what support is available through local authority adult services.

On Mumsnet you should also find a specific topic of 'dementia' under Health, and also a separate Elderly Parents topic where there is a long running support group for posters whose parents have dementia .

Lastly be kind to yourself and whatever happens in future don't feel guilty.

MillicentMartha Mon 13-Jul-20 23:36:25

Your poor mum needs some strategies to deal with your dad’s paranoia. My mum had vascular dementia and was similarly paranoid about the neighbours whispering about her. I learnt not to argue with her about it, just acknowledge it and try to distract her.

62, though? That’s so young, it must be heartbreaking. flowers

shinynewapple2020 Mon 13-Jul-20 23:37:40

Can I add in terms of advice that may be offered on here from individual posters perspective, and you may already be aware of this from your experience at work , but one person's experience of dementia is not going to be the same for everyone .

IfOnlyOurEyesSawSouls Mon 13-Jul-20 23:38:42


I am qualified mental health professional - your advice is unsafe .

I am sure OP knows that it is not in her fathers best interest to advise mum to effectively collude .

The right thing to do is to validate the emotion behind the belief and gently reassure dad that what he is experiencing from the neighbors , you haven't seen for yourself.

Its always about validating the feeling, ie that it must be so distressing/ worrying etc etc and that family will keep him safe .

Earlyrisers0 Mon 13-Jul-20 23:54:49



I am qualified mental health professional - your advice is unsafe .

I am sure OP knows that it is not in her fathers best interest to advise mum to effectively collude .

The right thing to do is to validate the emotion behind the belief and gently reassure dad that what he is experiencing from the neighbors , you haven't seen for yourself.

Its always about validating the feeling, ie that it must be so distressing/ worrying etc etc and that family will keep him safe .

This ^

I'm so sorry your family is going through this OP, it sounds very distressing sad

I would also second the others suggesting he be checked for any UTI's as they can and do make things like this ramp up tenfold.

Sending strength flowers

Wellpeeved Mon 13-Jul-20 23:57:50

This happened with my Dad.
He was convinced money was being taken from his account or from his wallet. Every single night this went on. We would patiently go through the accounts with him and kept a small notebook with his wallet to show exactly what he had spent.
It was heartbreaking seeing him struggle to understand it. He founded and ran two international businesses.
I’m afraid may be time for a step up in medication or it will really wear your Mum down. Mine ended up taking him to the police station to report it one night because she felt she was on the verge of a breakdown with it all.

WheresMyOldLifeGone Mon 13-Jul-20 23:57:57

My grandmother (who brought me up) had early onset dementia in her early 60s, so I appreciate how hard this must be for you all as I loved with/cared for her. I've also worked in dementia care for last 10 years.

Get as much support as possible for your dad and the rest of the family - GP, Alzheimer's society, CPN, family and friends. Look into a carer support group for your mum, in my area they have dementia cafes where the patient can meet up with others with similar conditions to chat, play board games, cards, watch tv etc and the carers can be in another room or visit on a separate day and chat and support each other.

If you think your dad might confront the neighbours it might be a good idea to pre warn them of the potential issue (though I appreciate you have to consider your dad's right to not have the neighbours knowing all about his Alzheimer's.)


PhoenixIsFlying Tue 14-Jul-20 01:09:50

I used to work with people with dementia. The best thing to do is not to tell them they are wrong but just go along with it x

Howaboutanewname Tue 14-Jul-20 01:40:04

And now he's had an argument with my mum because she doesn't believe him and is trying to gently tell him he's being irrational

It is dreadfully hard. I spent a long time probably being quite cruel to my mum, trying to get her to rationalise her behaviour because all I really wanted was my mum. The best course of action is distraction - close the curtains, let’s find your favourite programme/bake your favourite cakes/have a cup of tea. And if that doesn’t work, actually going with the fantasy is more helpful than trying to rationalise it. So telling him he’s safe, at home, the neighbours can’t get him but it’s OK cos you know he’s not what they’re saying and he’d never do that so perhaps they have the wrong end of the stick. Just calm and soothing. Never go against the fantasy because it is very real - my mum got me up at 2am once cos her house had burnt to the ground and she needed somewhere to stay. She was phoning me from inside said house and I ended up more hysterical than her because I couldn’t get her to understand the house wasn’t burnt to the ground because she was bloody sitting in it! There were times I questioned my own sanity, believe me.

Speak with the GP - hallucinations there is medication for and antidepressants can lift low mood which helps enormously.

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