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I need to get that book for my DH as he navigates his mother's increasing anger and manic episodes.

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.
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IMO, someone suffering from any type of Dementia should be seeing a Neurologist. A PCP knows a little about everything and a lot about nothing. Meaning he should not be determining what meds Mom should receive or what type of Dementia she may have. The Neurologist can determine what type of Dementia Mom may have which is important in knowing what type of meds will work.
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lealonnie1 Sep 19, 2022
In my mother's case, the Neurologist did NOTHING for her, had no useful advice to impart, and no medication changes recommended from what her PCP had prescribed. There is no 'one size fits all' across the board recommendation for all elders when it comes to doctors JoAnn, nor is it always important to determine 'what kind of dementia' an elder has. If/when the symptoms can be kept under control, THAT is the true goal.
Thank you for your responses and suggestions! Her dementia is considered "unspecified" by the doctors. She is pretty clear in thoughts most of the time but the memory is jumbled with different actual events mushing together to create something new...if that makes sense. She was diagnosed with the anxiety/depression a number of years ago and has been on medication. This does help quite a bit. She will shift in moods sometimes at night or if I say I will be back at a certain time but am a half hour later than expected which happens sometimes because I have my own business and my hours shift. She won't talk to me when I get home and gets very sarcastic and even nasty when she does talk to me,. My husband is a God-send and we divide our time so that someone is always home with her. It's just difficult at times dealing with her. I try to be understanding but after a year and a half of this I am worn out.
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lealonnie1 Sep 18, 2022
Mood changes in the late afternoon & into the evening hours is known as "Sundowning" in the dementia/Alzheimer's world, and can also include sleep disorders, wandering, and anxiety/agitation in general. My mother was riddled with Sundowning and it got very bad with the progression of her dementia. Your mother is probably at the moderate stage of her dementia if she's Sundowning, b/c that doesn't usually come around until at least the moderate stage. Read about it here:

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.
You say in your profile that your mother suffers from dementia/Alzheimer's. Know that sudden mood swings go with the territory and it IS emotionally draining to be living with such a situation, with an elder in your home suffering from such a condition. "Promising" her you wouldn't place her in a nursing home or Memory Care ALF is never a realistic thing to promise b/c dementia often reaches a point where in home care becomes impossible to manage! Keep that in mind as you try to manage her care as the dementia progresses; things worsen with time, they never get better.

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:

The “Dont's”
· 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

The Do's
· 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

Language Needs
· 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

Care Needs
· 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.
Helpful Answer (2)
SunnySideUp19 Sep 19, 2022
Thank you so much for the info, I will order that book, I appreciate your input!
Have you spoken to whatever doc is managing her dementia?

Dementia changes brain chemistry. This can cause depression, agitation, anxiety and a host of other issues. Medication can be one solution.
Helpful Answer (2)
SunnySideUp19 Sep 19, 2022
Thank you Barb, that's a good idea about contacting her primary doctor. I keep inclose touch with them about progress reports through the patient portal. I had not thought of getting input from her I just figured it was something I needed to figure out on my own. A client friend referred me to this website and I see there are more options than I knew. I appreciate your input, thank you.
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