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Mom was placed in a nursing home about 3 months ago. The first month was horrible, she fought with staff, called me 20-30 times a day to scream at me, would accuse me of abandoning her when I visited. She hated the home. Despite her incontinence and multiple falls she didn't feel she needed 24-hour care. After the first 4 weeks she suddenly changed, and I do mean suddenly, like a switch was thrown. She didn't call me for nearly 2 days, so when I dropped in to visit to see how she was, she was fine, lying in her bed. She was drowsy and very pleasant, even surprised I had dropped in. She was nice to me and the staff for about 2 weeks, then for another 2-3 weeks she became difficult again, although not as badly as the first time around. Then she went back to being nice again, for a week or so. Now she's back into being difficult. She's returned to calling me 15+ times a day, and to demand I take her out of the nursing home. Has anyone else experienced this with their loved one with dementia? Lucid and angry then drowsy and friendly. My Mom is somewhere in the mid-stage of dementia, if that matters. Alzheimer's and a bit of vascular is what she's been diagnosed with. Thank you for any insight you can offer.

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Yes they definitely can. This was my experience with my foster dad
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Oh yes. Everyone who answered is correct. It depends on the person, the dementia, the time of day, etc. Some behaviors are consistent with all dementia patients, others can be over the top. Whatever happens, remember it is not your fault. You cannot change your mom's condition or do anything to make her happy. You can make sure she gets good care and is safe and you can visit her and love her (when she is receptive). You can't talk her out of anger or anything else. Patients will take out their anger and frustration over their loss of independence in many ways, being stubborn, angry, deliberately doing what they shouldn't and blaming their loved ones.
Mom did all those things. She refused to accept she needed help and was actually caring for herself up until the month before she turned 101. We never knew what mood she would be in, except that it would always be negative.
Then she fell and the downward spiral for the next 5 months was due to her inability to stand or walk or care for herself any more. I think it was mental as well as physical
The best thing you can do is talk to her doctor about getting her medication that will level off her depression and agitation. End of life is hard, and senior depression is awful. It destroys the person and the family. But it can be easier with drugs that level them off and calm them down. We all know we will die some day, I am going to opt for drugs that will ease my fears and sadness and help me to enjoy what time I have left, not to mention leave my family with less bad memories.
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We experienced this type of behavior with my dad. I know that medication is not always the answer & that a medication that works for one person may not work another. Our doctor tried several meds for my dad and finally landed on an Exelon patch. For my father (and myself as a caregiver), the Exelon patch was a lifesaver. Dad almost never has mood swings!! He is pleasant and cooperative!!!
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Marco Polo--Your painful experience highlights several realities that are often missed. Dementia in its various forms is so idiosyncratic that these wildly unpredictable behaviors are all within the range of what MIGHT be expected. The comments regarding UTIs are perceptive--Major mental and physical health issues hinge on this simple issue. Hallucinations are much more complex and often more subtle than our college psych classes led us to expect--She may never SEE disturbing visions, but her perception of reality may be tragically altered in a way that is frightening to her. The helpful comments and experiences that others have shared with you are all meaningful, yet you alone can make the right decisions for this specific situation, . . . and none of your loving decisions may produce any immediate "feel-good" response. What impresses me is that you continue to care. Your deeply held values override the pain that this life moment is inflicting on your whole family. Choose to continue to love, no matter how "tough" that love has to become.
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Your post makes me so sad because I remember when my mother was in facility after she was released from the hospital. She did exactly the same thing. After 3 weeks I could no longer handle all the calls because she would call me at work and home. She called my husband and my sister and reamed them out with the same things she would say to me. I brought her home and she is wonderful now. She is so thankful, appreciative and loving. That boggles my mind that the switch can be flipped and the behavior changes so fast. I couldn't just ignore her calls because there was a phone in her room that said the name of the facility and I felt I needed to answer in case she fell or had a medical emergency. Be strong and remember the bad things that are said are not really her. It's her illness that causes it. God bless you! I will pray for you!
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Yes, my late Mother was hallucinating after she was given morphine. Phew! Some bad stuff there! Seeing bodies on the floor and more!
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I did experience that with many of my clients, as well as with my X, who suffers from Solvent dementia, bio polar disorder & has a brain tumor.....My X could always turn with out any warning.....Last September, he almost killed me....BE CAREFUL!
Your mom is a nursing home....my X was home with me....I am so blessed to be alive now.
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If she has no infections consider a mood stabilizer. It has done wonders for my dad and doesn't sedate him.
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My grandfather has a trigger and that is his great grandson who took advantage of him financially. Everytime he sees the great grandson hos behavior takes a 360 degrees. Only because he thinks he needs to protect him. Odd behavior is there reality.
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My granfather does this every few days. It is brain failure and there is nothing we can do other than try to change the subject or tell her you live her and leave. We she calls 20 times a day "like my grandfather does" answer a few times and tell he you will be away from the phone and will talk later. Just don't answer. This has ruined so many of my peaceful days. The home will take care of their needs.
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Like Kathy said, make sure they are checking her for UTI's. They cause mental havoc on the elderly. When she is happy and drowsy has the nursing home given her a sedative? My uncle was up and down in his moods for about 6 months, then he loved the nursing home and the people, until he would get a UTI. My mom is now in one, she has dementia/alzheimers and she has "difficult" days. They tend to cycle. She will be difficult for a few visits then pleasant for several. I try to keep Mom's mind busy when I visit. We look at old photo albums or video chat with the grand kids. It seems to help.
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Be careful on yourself this is not your fault. You do not have to answer the calls from your Mother. If there is a real problem the facility will call you remember. Also always when there is a drastic change check for a UTI... She needs to drink more water and it can be flavored with something she will drink. Is there someone there that can take her outside. Or is there someone you can hire to do that if not everyday every other day. Also talk to her about the times in her life where she was happy. If she is really difficult cut you visit short. You do not have to tell her everything about your life as she will probably become jealous.
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Our mom had vascular and acted just as you described. Her mood could flip on a dime. She was often delusional, but never actively hallucinated.
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