By clicking Talk to a Specialist
for information about our privacy practices.
He tries to reason with her and fix the problem-which--no matter what it is, is not fixable. EVER.
He 'fights' with her all the time and since I will no longer go with him b/c she then she turns all the anger towards ME and trust me, I have done NOTHING to this woman but kowtow to her for 45 years. He LIKED having me as a 'buffer' and didn't care that I'd been offended or downright verbally abused.
I wish I could attest this behavior to dementia, but it's just her. She's definitely less 'social' than she was (COVID scared her half to death and she never left her house after her vaccine)...but she is content to be in her home, alone and never have visitors.
I think, though, that the list that was posted might really help DH in trying to talk 'sense' into his mom. It's pointless. You just have to agree with her all the time and then she's fine. Well, as 'fine' as she can be. I have not spoken to nor seen her in 2 years and have no plans to do so. Dh sees her about every 6-8 weeks for as short a visit as he can get away with.
Sometimes he comes home and lays on the bed with a pillow over his head for a few hours until he can calm down.
It's always difficult dealing with elders who have dementia as their behaviors are erratic. Do read that article I linked you to, and consider buying the full book; it's very helpful. The 36 Hour Day is another great book to have on hand to get quick answers to lots of questions as they crop up. You're best off trying to ignore your mom's nastiness and chalk it off to the disease rather than HER being nasty. They can get quite ugly with what they say: I couldn't believe the horrible things my mother would say to me, what foul statements came out of her mouth, just cut me to the bone. As much as we try not to let their words affect us, and chalk it off to the dementia, it can get very difficult, which is why I was glad my mother lived in Memory Care: I could leave when she started saying horrible things.
I suggest you read this 33 page booklet (which is a free download) which has THE best information ever about managing dementia and what to expect with an elder who's been diagnosed with it.
Understanding the Dementia Experience, by Jennifer Ghent-Fuller
Jennifer is a nurse who worked for many years as an educator and counsellor for people with dementia and their families, as well as others in caring roles. She addresses the emotional and grief issues in the contexts in which they arise for families living with dementia.
The full copy of her book is available here:
Here is a list of useful tips from her e-book I found to be excellent:
· Do not reason and argue
· Do not demand that they reason or problem-solve
· Do not demand that they remember
· Do not demand that they get their facts straight
· Do not correct their ideas or scold them
· Do not reorient them
· Do not think that they are being uncooperative on purpose
· Do not think that they really do remember, but are pretending not to
· Do not use a “bossy” dictatorial attitude in care
· Do not act with impatience
· Enter into their frame of reality, or their 'world'
· Be aware of their mood or state of mind
· Use few words and simple phrases
· OR use no words, just friendly gestures and simple motions
· Do everything slowly
· Approach from the front
· Wait for a slow response
· Constantly reassure them that everything is 'OK'
· Keep people with dementia comfortable 'in the moment' - every moment
· Maximize use of remaining abilities
· Limit TV or radio programs which they may feel are frighteningly real
· Maintain privacy
· Provide a safe physical environment
· Use short words
· Use clear and simple sentences
· Speak slowly and calmly
· Questions should ask for a “yes” or “no” answer
· Talk about one thing at a time
· Talk about concrete things; not abstract ideas
· Use common phrases
· Always say what you are doing
· If they repeat their question, repeat your answer as you did the first time · Give them a longer time to process information
· Wait patiently for a response
· Be accepting of inappropriate answers and nonsense words
· Speak softly, soothingly and gently
· Recognize that receiving personal care feels intrusive
· Reassure with your tone and manner
· Do one thing at a time
· Talk through the care “play-by- play”
· Be aware of your body language and use it to communicate relaxation and reassurance
· Be sincere
· Use a soft, soothing touch
· Be aware of the individual’s unique triggers
· Be aware that a person with dementia may not accurately judge whether a situation is threatening to them
· They may respond to fear, pain or anxiety by defending themselves with what we call “aggression”
· If they become distressed, stop immediately and allow them time to calm down – don’t try to restart the activity right away
You need to change your behaviour to adapt to the dementia because the person with the disease cannot.
Best of luck with a challenging situation.
Dementia changes brain chemistry. This can cause depression, agitation, anxiety and a host of other issues. Medication can be one solution.