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Alzheimer`s Disease/DEMENTIA - 84 YEAR OLD MAN


Is it possible for occasional episodes of dementia to be caused by some trigger? My father, now 84, looks on my brother in law as the son he never had and loves him to bits.  My sister and brother in law emigrated about 15 years ago and my dad has only seen them twice since, once four years ago and again they are currently here. During the first visit my father suddenly told my brother in law that he thought my partner wants to have sex with my mother (an 80 year old great grandmother - they have been very happily married for 60 years). My brother in law ignored it the first time, and nothing further was said, with my father acting normally towards my partner. Now, four years later, my brother in law is back and my father has started the same accusations and will not speak to my partner (who by the way does not know why). All the family know that this is totally preposterous.  My partner treats my mother and father as he would his own parents and is very caring towards them. Could this be some type of dementia caused by my father's fears that he may not see my brother in law again.  He has also acted very withdrawn this entire visit. Thank you.

Hello Rosemary:  I'm very sorry to hear of your father's continuing issues.  I'm sure it's very difficult for your entire family to deal with.  
This is very puzzling to try to figure out.  My first recommendation is that you get him to a neurologist to test to see if he might have some type of dementia.  What he's doing, if it's isolated and he's not acting this way in any other area of his life, doesn't really sound like dementia.  It could be explained by something else going on in his brain--maybe something that could be helped--he really would need to have an exam and likely also a scan of his brain.  When a person has a type of dementia, in the beginning they may show symptoms only occasionally.  You are correct in that a "trigger" of some type could be the start of it.  However, if he has not changed in other ways as far as his cognition, then it really doesn't sound like dementia.  It may be that your partner reminds him of some perceived threat to his marriage from long ago and he's unable to separate that from reality now.  You could try to do a family "intervention" where you all sit down and then ask him point-blank about his feelings.  It's possible with everyone there he may let go of his delusion, but it's also possible he will just become more upset and fixed in his beliefs.  There are no easy answers here Rosemary, but I hope you and your family can get him to see a physician and rule out some of the obvious causes for his delusions about your partner.  I wish you much luck as you try to find some answers.  Cindy

Alzheimer`s Disease

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Cindy Keith, RN, BS, Certified Dementia Practitioner


As a nurse and dementia consultant, I can answer most questions on all types of dementia. If I cannot answer your question, I will attempt to find someone who can. My passion is to help caregivers of people with dementia, which in turn helps all those wonderful elders with dementia live better lives. When caregivers are better educated, they are able to better care for themselves and their loved ones, so education is key to decreased stress levels and healthier, happier families.


I have worked as a nurse in various disciplines of nursing for over 20 years, most of which was with the elderly. I was a health care coordinator in a dementia dedicated assisted living facility for 4 years before I started my own business (M.I.N.D. in Memory Care) as a dementia consultant six years ago. As a dementia consultant, I help families nationwide through phone conference calls as they struggle to care for their loved ones with dementia.

Alzheimer's Foundation of America Geriatric Interest Network Sigma Theta Tau International

Published "Love, Laughter, & Mayhem - Caregiver Survival Manual For Living With A Person With Dementia" which is a collection of stories about people with dementia I have known, loved and worked with. Every story has a lesson to teach and this book gently teaches family caregivers lessons about how to better care for their loved one, as well as themselves during their caregiving journey. Published "Love, Laughter, & Mayhem In Eldercare Facilities: The Master Key For Dementia Training" Created "Bringing Nurturing To Memory Care" staff dementia training video Created Ebook: "Hair Stylist's Helpful Tips For Working With People With Alzheimer's & Other Dementias"

Registered Nurse with Bachelor's degree in Nursing; Certified Dementia Practitioner; Author of 2 books and an ebook

Awards and Honors
Sigma Theta Tau National Honor Society of Nursing

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