My mother in law (64) with moderate dementia and is getting really argumentative lately about everything!

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She is being super bossy with caregivers, refusing to eat, going into periodic crying spells and just having temper tantrums. Her psychiatrist said that she believes she metabolizes her meds fast but won't increase anything or change much. We are having issues at her senior daycare now because of her behavior. She has just become such a handful. Any advise is appreciated.

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A psychologist is the doctor who listens and can't dose meds.
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JoAnn29, you are probably picturing a psychiatrist performing talk therapy. Doesn't happen. Psychiatrist's are medication managers. When I see mine the nurse first goes through a check list and asks open-ended questions (that a caregiver could probably answer), she highlights changes, etc., the doc briefly reviews the nurses notes and see me for about 10 minutes, to decide whether to renew all prescriptions or make changes.

My husband, with Lewy Body Dementia, saw a psychiatrist specializing in sleep disorders for years. When the dementia manifested itself the psychiatrist referred him to a behavioral neurologist who specialized in dementia, and LBD in particular. The two doctors consulted sometimes on medications.

A psychiatrist can be an important part of the dementia care team.
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My mom started acting this way back in Feb. Her doctor could not get her meds right and at one point we were up 72 hours straight. I agreed with everything she said with a smile on my face. (Dementia patients read you by the look on your face!) I would keep low key stuff on tv or soothing music. I eventually had to put her in behavior healthcare for 4 weeks so they could get medicine right. It was a good program. Maybe your doc could recommend something like that!
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I really appreciate all of your responses. I have learned a lot. One thing was to look for triggers. I think I detected a couple just by sitting back and thinking.
I do get my respite. She goes to daycare during the day and most days really seems to enjoy it. She is just getting comfortable with them now to start showing her frustration and being bossy. They didn't expect it although I warned them in advance months ago. She does see a neurologist and she recommended that we keep with the same psychiatrist. She doesn't go for counseling because she obviously doesn't have much to say that makes sense but she goes for medication management. I know the disease will progress but I was hoping that there are options in medications to help her moods. We made the promiss that we will take care of her until she no longer knows who anybody is. Best of luck to the rest of you that are in my same shoes. It's a tough, really tough job but I will make it through this. I am not really a support group kind of person but I may just join one.
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My father had dementia. I'm also a nurse and have worked with the elderly for years. Too many choices cause huge problems, two at the most are manageable. That includes dressing, eating, time of shower or bath (now or in an hour) Touch often helps, objects from jobs or hobbies are helpful & soothing. Piano, typewriter, fabric, yarn, a board with different locks or shapes to work with, gardening even if it's in a planter in the house, animal visits, stuffed animals. My husband works on his computer for hours every day.
Don't argue-you can't win and it just upsets both of you. Yes the sun does come up in the west!
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When my friend became uncooperative in letting people clean her up when she soiled herself with her incontinence, I was told she needed to go to a geri-psych ward in a near-by hospital to find an anti-pscyhotic medication that would calm her down without doping her up. I tried 3 different hospitals before I found one with an opening. They were so skilled in handling her. I visited her several times the 3 1/2 weeks it took to find the right medication and dosage and she was happy and well-cared for whenever I saw her. I would research your nearby hospitals to see if they have anything like this. I am hoping it is becoming common-place with the increasing number of elderly dementia patients out there. Once she was "agreeable" again, I brought her back to her memory care apartment and husband where she was able to stay until she passed on. The advice I was given was good and I was surprised on how well it worked. Good luck!
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Joann29, Psychiatrists understand how to medicate the behavioral manifestations of dementia- the agitation, anxiety, depression and the like.
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sadforkathy2016: Her doctor needs to be made aware of this stat!
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My Grandma gets fussy with her caregiver. She's been to psychiatrists, takes Wellbutrin, been diagnosed with everything from schizophrenia to manic depression. The caregiver threatens to quit when my Grandma belittles her, sometimes walks out the door. Then my Grandma calls her to apologize. My Grandma is 88, very opinionated, gives money away to Jamaicans by mail, and doesn't mind offending people. I found myself hiding from her when I visited. She holds back a lot of her insults for my sake, but not the caregiver. That's my only proof she can still control herself.. The caregiver told me she hides from my Grandma... My MIL, who's 69 and doesn't believe in mental health problems; acts like a spoiled brat, humiliates others in public, and belittles others with health or psychiatric problems, despite having these issues herself.. She acts perfect in front of strangers, and turns cruel to those closest to her.. I told her to stop it since it was apparent she could go back and forth with her bad mood based on who she was with.. Her response was to call her entire family, and church members where I attend to lie about me, saying I made her cry. She also says I've made up accusations, and just want to hurt her... I was crying and having a nervous breakdown when I confronted her cruel behavior. I was on my 20th year of dealing with her two faced ways.. . How she stays blind to the pain of others is mysterious... She can't see how mean she is... My Grandma seems to even back down when we ask her to be nice, but my MIL, who's younger, acts entitled to her bitterness... Is this mental illness or just a mean person? My Grandma says sorry for being mean, but MIL doesn't.. I'm not sure if these are symptoms of some form of dementia, depression, or just plain bitterness from not getting her dream life. That's all she talks about.. She's always the victim.. Is this what you Mother in law does? To cope,find a hiding place, or you'll get real angry at those you care for. Pray for patience, stay outside, or in separate rooms.. Stop allowing yourself to hear what she says when the tantrum starts. The Drs and psychotherapy are ok, but they only feed that constant need, and that need won't stop til death. She must find a way to cope with her anger without intervention.. She may feel robbed by life, cheated out of happiness.. Walk away, but don't leave. Is she into family history? Are there subjects that calm her, and others that upset her? I find my Grandma and MIL love the family history stuff. It makes them feel needed and important when I ask them about their childhoods, parents, etc. That was the only time I saw my MIL cry was when she spoke of her childhood.. They start telling stories, some good, some bad, but they can relive these traumas through more mature eyes, and take the sting out of the memories. It gets hard to humor them when they play the prune, but you never know when someone won't be around... I lost my Mom and Dad already. Both under 60 years old... I hope things get better for you and your MILs dementia...
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This is really young for Dementia. And with what ur describing, it's not moderate.
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