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It sounds that way from the stories & questions I see. Can the brain be happy then? I see so many people posting with "how can I improve my mom/dad's anger/rage/negativity?" I know this is not a normal part of aging. I also know that dementia patients can start to have behaviors that would be categorized as psychotic if they didn't already have a dementia diagnosis. Is this extreme unhappiness (for lack of a better word) typical as the brain deteriorates?

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twopups, my mother is at home. I've been with her for five years now, so have seen all her moods up close and personal.
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One of my clients, a man, with Alz.... was always happy... he was a sweetie before the illness and remains so to this day... He is now in a Memory Care unit and is one of their favorite clients....The lady I work for now has LBD, and for the most part she is ok.... when she is very tired,like any of us, she gets grumpy.... but she has a great sense of humor, and as long as my voice stays calm, we do great.....
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My sisters and I visit Mom in the nursing home 10 to 12 times a week. We email each other about our visits. We hit all shifts. We also have gotten to know her caregivers there and discuss how she is doing with them. Even without seeing her 24 hours a day, I am pretty confident when I say she is content and generally happy.

My husband died holding my hand in our bedroom. I was with him around the clock for ten years. I can say with confidence that he did not display the "unhappy" behavior talked about in this thread.

I know full well that unhappy behavior exists and is frequent. But whether it is is "most" or "some" or "a few" persons with dementia would be hard to say. I just know it is not "all".
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the answers here all seem to suggest you are referring to a parent in AL or a NH. My question is how do you know they are happy and content if you may only be visiting for " hours" not as a spouse or child with the parent/ spouse at home that sees their demeanor 24/7? My husband, 83, late 6 early 7 stage AZ, is generally still a pretty nice guy, he is just "stuck" like a scratch on an old record, over & over & over, non stop talking, same subject, where's my car, my Mom, my work, my home, on & on. My respite is no sound whatsoever from 7-9 am, while he is still asleep. His sister 85 been in NH two years now, she was parallel with my husband stage wise, but the NH totally wiped out any remaining thoughts, connections she may have still had for awhile had she been taken care of at home. She is in a wheelchair, diapers, drools, babbles nonsense constantly, crawls, knows no one and sleeps on a mat on the floor at night, but for anyone seeing her briefly ( during visiting hours) see her as a sweet content happy gal!
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My husband and I lived with his Lewy Body Dementia for ten years. It was a devastating blow and we both reeled from it. But after the initial shock I think that he was mostly happy. In fact, almost every restaurant meal was "the best I ever had" and a lot of little things tickled him. I don't mean he was never unhappy or discouraged, but no more than we all get from time to time.

My mother has been dealing with dementia for probably six or seven years. She is now in a nursing home. She has a broken hip that did not heal but except for the pain when she has to be moved, she is content. She still jokes and flirts a little and likes her food and enjoys baseball on the tv.

Hubby was always a patient, pleasant person and remained so throughout his dementia journey. Mom is a gentle, pleasant, happy person and dementia hasn't changed that.

I suspect that on this site it seems like most dementia patients get very unhappy because those are the caregivers who are inspired to ask for help. I've never posted that "My husband is so happy about small things in his life. What should I do?" I've never posted, "My very pleasant mother is going along nicely with what the staff suggests for her and is polite to them."

I recall that some of the members of my local support group have had loved ones who were angry and very unhappy and many of them have retained their former personalities. It is really hard to know how common the "unhappy" behavior is and whether it varies depending on the kind of dementia.
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I can only answer for my mother. She is 87 and has Alzh. Dis. for 8 years. She has become the happiest person that I have met. Her mind is confused oh yes, but everything is fine, she is smiling, and she talks about everything being great.
Like I do believe, as I have a few Doctors that are in the field, and studying Dementia and Alzheimer's, not two people are alike. There seems to be more angry upset Dementia patient's. That being said though, there are those who have Alzheimer's who are angry, but my mom is happy about everything. Yes, 90% of what she says is a story, but she is happy.
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I would like to add also, that they are very sensitive to our moods also....again, I am not talking about the narc moms that love to torture their children....also many are not educating themselves on how to deal with certain things..... They do not educate them selves about Alz.... the different kinds of Alz's and how it affects the mind and body of those we take care of..... thank God for this site tho... many questions asked and answered on here...... but each case is different also.... I just try to go to their world, they don't live in our anymore...
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I have worked with many Alz/dementia patients thru the years...the times I noticed the unhappiness the most was due to physical things going on that took forever to find because they could not identify them and help me help them.... I have seen different meds makes them very very aggressive.....I wonder sometimes if, and not counting the folks that were already unhappy most of their lives,if living in a 'parallel universe' as it were, and still having some cognition makes them so irritable... we have no idea how insane it must feel to them..... we have no idea what their thought process is . It is a fascinating question..... I do know that L has calmed down considerably when her daughter took her off Seroquel..... she will grumpy sometimes when she is sleepy, but for the most part she is better now... have seen it come in stages.... it's baffling and so hard to understand their needs sometimes..... I HATE this disease.....
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I wonder if it's kind of a perfect storm of brain change, emotional deregulation, and then huge life changes (like moving to a facility) all at the same time. Mercy!

We haven't ever had this large of a group with dementia before, so maybe it just seems like a bigger thing than before, when ALZ was still uncommon. And when people didn't live as long in the first place.

I have so many questions....
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That is a tough question, sandwich. My mother seems happier now than she did 2-3 years ago, though physically and mentally she has declined. I have known some people with dementia and most seem fairly happy. I don't see them at home in the evening, though. I may get a different idea if I saw what family sees.

My mother went through over two years of being nearly impossible when I came here. Something changed. She lost interest in doing many things and settled in to watch TV all day long. She began sleeping more. I wonder if there is a midpoint in aging or dementia where people are the most unhappy. Then as they get past that point, they start to accept things and become happier. I don't know.
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I'm sure others know much more about this than I do, but I will say that my LO was actually more negative, fearful, hostile, and disagreeable about a year ago. Now that she's in AL, she's gotten better. She's pleasant and tells me she is happy at the ALF. I guess she feels safe there and she says the staff treat her well. I also haven't noticed her temper tantrums that she has had her entire life.

Of course, I have no idea when her attitude will change. I know things will progress, but I have no idea of the time table.

I also see many other residents in the ALF and I haven't noticed any of them, except for one, who demonstrates rage or angry attitude. I'm in the place a lot, so I would think I would have seen something. But, I agree, it seems many people see that with their loved ones who have AD.
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