Follow
Share

My mother has always been a manipulator, verbally, mentally and sometimes physically abusive to me, my two sisters and my dad. She will take any situation and make it about her no matter what it is. Well she was tested a year ago for dementia and was found to have the starting of it, now a year latter and she’s been hospitalized 3 times in the last 6 months I thought it was getting worse. They tested her again and found that her scores had actually gone up by two points. So I guess my question is has anyone else had something similar happen with their parent? My thought is that she’s acting worse to get more attention on her. She doesn’t like it if my dad doesn’t spend all his time and energy on her. It’s frustrating trying to figure out if she really has a problem or is it just her acting out again?

Find Care & Housing
Anyone else think that elderly persons who have some memory loss but who are getting along fine in their homes can end up suffering severe consequences of being labeled "demented" or "Alzheimers" the first time they get an infection like a UTI or pneumonia , or both, that lands them in hospital and takes multiple antibiotics because it takes so long to get the culture (probably doesn't take as long for the doctor's mother). Being very old and presenting with confusion and a fall or pneumonia or a UTI will result in getting labeled 'dementia'. That can even result in a prescription for memory medicines, which have common side effects of "confusion and dizziness". If someone is not there with the elderly person the entire time, and even then, the staff tend to presume dementia, whereas they'd not likely do so for someone in their 40s. So the elderly patients may end up spending a long time in hospital, getting sicker from acquiring bacteria spread within the hospital, requiring multiple antibiotics, and may go home weak and tired and confused, and then fall from dizziness. Back to hospital. It becomes a cycle. Dehydration seems to lead to UTIs and UTIs seem to lead to dementia diagnosis in the elderly (because UTI causes extreme confusion and delusions), and the cultures take so long that the bug is not treated quickly and other bugs invade. The infection caused by these hospital-acquired bugs can do worse damage than the UTI, affecting the brain (encephalitis), and it will take months to recover from the sickness and depression. I am now convinced that hydration is the key to avoiding this cycle and maybe even the key to slowing dementia. Try to avoid hospitals and keep up with regular doctor and make sure the doctor will be present and involved in your relative's hospitalization , if absolutely needed.
Helpful Answer (1)
Reply to HardRight
Report

I feel like my mid 70's mom is starting on this path... sometimes she is just like she has always been, and in an instant is is seething mad at the pharmacist for making her wait for 2 hours (when in reality it was only 10 min). If i mention anything about her being a little confused or questioning what she is saying then "I'm crazy and I should never ever mention it again" she is adamant that she does not have dementia like her father.
When she gets mad at things it is not just a little irritated, she goes from fine to really really angry in seconds! that is not like her at all,she has always been the enabler that would never blow up at a situation...not now! its scary how mad she gets.
I asked her dr about it and they are going to evaluate on her next visit, i'm worried that if my mom found out that i called her Dr she would be fuming mad at me. Her next appt is in a couple of weeks, i'm hoping for some guidance from the Dr. The past 9 months have been very hard on my dad.
Helpful Answer (0)
Reply to SRalpaca
Report

Difficult people are ——difficult. Regardless of dementia diagnosis.
Read the book “Being Mortal” by Atul Gawande.
It will help you and your dad and maybe even your mom.
It’s not about difficult people but it will help to shift your focus.
As always the more information given with your question, the more tailored the answers.
Read a bit about Dementia of Lewy Bodies. It does come and go as I understand it. Also if your mom had a UTI or had recently had anesthesia before her testing a year ago, she might have tested worse than recently. There are probably many reasons why she could have different results but that’s two that come to mind.
Behavior problems such as bipolar can get worse is my experience if not treated. Part of that treatment is setting boundaries regardless of dementia. I’m not saying your mom is bipolar. Im saying that ignoring any behavior that infringes on others will generally escalate until someone is forced to take action. This should happen sooner not later for the well being of all concerned.
Helpful Answer (0)
Reply to 97yroldmom
Report

Not knowing is almost worse than a definitive diagnosis. My husband had a stroke 15 years ago that left him with aphasia, which is the ability to form thoughts but not speak them and be understood. In addition, his father and mother both had dementia and Dad had Parkinson’s as well. Every time my husband says something I can’t understand, I think “Uh-oh”. Then he’s fine.

There is no reason your mom should change if acting the way she has all her life has always gotten her what she wants. If she suspects you’re about to put the whoa on her acting out, she’ll ramp it up. My mom’s Drama Queen act went into high gear when she went into a nursing home even though she was in the early stages. Can you change her? Nope. Can you change Dad? Most likely not. And, you’ll only make yourself look bad if you try to come between them. He’s a big boy and he could have left. However, having said that, I would absolutely not tolerate ANY physical abuse. If she ramps THAT up, I’d definitely call her doc. That is not acceptable and never should have been.
Helpful Answer (2)
Reply to Ahmijoy
Report

What led to your mother being tested for dementia one year ago?
What has caused her to be hospitalised three times in six months? - that's quite a lot, and it's hard to imagine it wouldn't be relevant to how she's behaving.
How old is she?
What test was done, by whom, and what were her scores then and now?

I'm sorry to ask so many questions, but without understanding the picture better it's hard for people to say whether they've experienced anything similar.
Helpful Answer (2)
Reply to Countrymouse
Report

Yes, my dad. He hasn’t had tests to detect dementia but he sometimes acts like he does have early stage. My mom’s dementia is at least at the moderate stage so I’ve kind of learned what to look for.

He trusts my daughter the most so she’s watching him. He’ll relax with her. So we’re still not sure and I suspect he’s always been narcissistic. It IS ALL about him! But mom’s problems might have made him grow up a little at 89 years old.

I bring the worst out in him unfortunately so I’m unsure. It’s nerve wracking.
Helpful Answer (3)
Reply to HolidayEnd
Report