How to manage diplomacy and dementia? - AgingCare.com

How to manage diplomacy and dementia?

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I must admit that I have always been a straight-to-the-point kind of gal, so the ongoing saga with Dementia and my Dad has been quite the challenge. Though I've progressed over the years, sometimes I find myself wanting to scream at the top of my lungs... So, the ALF called me and said that they found blood in my Dad's underwear, and it appears to be coming from his "prized possession". We agreed that I would take him to Urgent Care and have him tested for a UTI. WHY DID THEY TELL DAD?!?!? I get an erratic call from him stating that the ALF staff is lying and that He didn't do anything to make himself bleed "down there." He wanted to know why everyone was accusing him of making himself bleed. NOTHING I said could calm him down. He even went further to say... I looked in those jockey shorts, I didn't see any blood. NEWSFLASH: DAD IS LEGALLY BLIND!!!!! He can't see much!!!!!! So after about a 1/2 hour of trying to convince him that it's nothing to worry about along with his yelling, profanity and crying because "Everyone was accusing him of doing something wrong", I snapped. I know it's bad, but GOODNESS!!!! I said chances are that he probably wouldn't be able to see the blood if it's only a little, and I could come by and take a look at the underwear to see if anything is there. Of course, that made me part of the "conspiracy"... I swear sometimes I never know if it's Dementia or Dad. He's been a miserable grump most of his life... VERY mean, and he would say these type of things LONG before he was diagnosed. It's infuriating. I asked if he was maybe scared about what they were saying... not that he would admit it... So this episode ending with him screaming so loud that the staff came to his room. This happens A LOT, and I often wonder if they think I'm the big, bad daughter that gets him worked up. I don't even want to deal with this tonight, but no one else will do it. I WAS having a good day... Oh well...

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Thanks everyone. I did speak with the AL staff and asked if they would just call me directly about an issue and I would just take Dad to Urgent Care on my own.

I'm finding that the Assisted Living staff isn't as well versed in dementia care as I'd like, but our local MC facilities are... depressing. If I can keep Dad where he is (despite the cost) as long as possible, that would be best.

I toured a few MC places with Dad and he even said they look like "old folks homes". I had to agree.

and I should know better than to try to reason with Dad or even get upset. After the tenth repetition or so and my "Everything's all right" response not working, I get agitated more because I don't want him to get worked up.

By the way, it wasn't a UTI. Dad insists on dressing himself, and he put his underwear on backwards. It was most likely rectal bleeding because he forgets if he's pooped sometimes and actually tries to manually get things going back there which causes tears

This is soooo sad. My Dad was a proud, stubborn, military man. He's declining before my eyes... going to the restroom to "fix my face" now...
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I wonder if it would be helpful to just assume that your dad's struggling and that anything can hit him the wrong way. Plus, he could have a UTI and that's making him a little loopy.

Also trying to convince, explain or get him on board is probably not going to end up working the way you want, so, state something that he may want to hear and end the call. I found that a conversation of me trying to get through is not going to end any differently, whether it last 2 minutes or 20 minutes.

I also learned what makes my LO happy and calms her. I rarely steer away from my recipe, because I know it works. She likes it when I tell her that I've already taken care of it. It's all been straightened out and we are going to celebrate with treats. No matter what it is, this normally works for her and she gets so relieved, hugs and thanks me and everything is okay. I'd do some trial and error to see if you can find a special answer for your dad. With the memory being poor, they aren't likely to recall that it's ever been said before.

Also, I'm not sure what level of dementia your dad has, but, some ALF's don't have the staff trained in the care and managing of dementia patients like MC's do. I found that the regular AL that my cousin was at initially, had staff who had unfair expectations of my cousin. She needed staff who could anticipate how she might react and to handle her accordingly.

The staff may have asked your dad, What did you do? And he thought they were accusing him. Dementia patients often feel that they have done something wrong. I guess it's because they are so confused and people talk to them funny.

Maybe, he'll feel better after he gets treatment, assuming it's a UTI.
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Tinyblu, dementia is an interesting journey, isn't it?   Just when we think we have everything under control, something new pops up.... [sigh].

Sounds like your Dad, because of his dementia, was over thinking what is being said and what is going on.   And that for some reason he felt he did something wrong.

What is the Assisted Living house rules when it comes to an illness or injury?   From the sound of things, it looks like they do tell the patient.   Makes you wonder why, especially if the patient would tend to panic or get upset.   So check with the ALF after the dust settles to see what would be the best approach should there be another Urgent Care type situation.
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