My client suffers from mild dementia. He is usually kind to me, but when company is present, he is often mean and bossy. He is at time abusive and unreasonable, but I understand clearly that this is part the initial stages of dementia. The thing is that I do enjoy working for him most of the time, but sometimes I think I might need a second opinion. (Incidentally, I am paid by the State of California to provide 37 hours of care per week for this man.)
His endurance with his failing health often astounds me as he is so stubbornly strong as he faithfully follows every doctor order and makes every appointment. He has several serious and life-threatening conditions, yet he is ambulatory (now) and wants to get as much accomplished either through his own efforts, or through me.
He is usually nice to me, though he does ask me to do certain manual labor tasks at times, but I almost always do them in stride. It's as if I am fulfilling the tasks that he once could have completed without any problem. He is frustrated and angry at times but manages to keep those emotions hidden from acquaintances, doctors, nurses, etc., but not so nice to his caregiver, which is hurtful...because I do genuinely care and know how to provide it.
The problem is at its worse when company is visiting him at his apartment. Often he will single me out and make disrespectful comments for the company to hear. Or he'll say things to imply that I'm not doing a good job for him, which is not at all true.
I realize the problem is mine and that his verbal abuse only brings up within me issues that bring to mind previous experiences as a child.
I'm writing to ask for advice from caregivers who have encountered similar situation.