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Mom was diagnosed with vascular dementia a little over a year ago. She is 77, my Dad is 79. My mom has always been a very strong personality, I mean strong!


Over the last year she is increasingly becoming aggressive and angry. She makes up stories and believes them to be gospel especially about drugs. She curses my Dad out over every little thing until he backs down and leaves her alone.


She barely eats, like say, she eats 2 eggs for breakfast she'll go sometimes til the next evening before she takes a few more bites of food. And she flat out refuses to take her dementia medication, I mean she will get so aggressive and angry we end up backing down for fear she'll stroke out.


She wakes up in the morning in or around the middle of stage 4 and every hour she slides, by dark she is in the middle of stage 5 if not near the end of that stage.


Does anyone in here have a LO that is this hard to deal with?


No matter how we've tried to talk to her about her meds she gets so irate that we fear she will seriously stroke out, we tried calmly talking, being a little assertive, ignoring it for a few days... nothing works. If you ask her if she took her pills she will tell you yes, if you check you quickly see she is lying. Then the next day the pills go missing, takes us days to find them. Dad even tried waking her at 5am (since she is calmer than a cucumber in those hours) and she was taking them with no problem, 4 days later she took them from him and threw them screaming she doesn't want them anymore. That was the last time she took them.


We took her to a neurologist and she walked out and refused to go back in. We are at a loss at this point. She is so hard to deal with or talk to it makes it incredibly difficult to get her to do anything.


Here is an example on what we deal with: she is telling us a made up story that never happened... she will ask us for a name or place, if you say you don't remember she gets angrier than a badger, if you make up whatever it is she asked you she gets incredibly angry and starts to curse you out, if you ignore it like you didn't hear her she starts calling you names and belittles you.


If we do get her to take her medicine for a few days in a row (which hasn't happened in about 6 months, up above) she is good... calm, not mean, she eats, can hold a conversation, more willing to do what she needs to do, and even takes her evening pill on her own!!


We are at an absolute loss on how to get her to take her medicine and eat. Those 11 steps from Alzheimer's to get them to take their meds would never ever fly with Mom, literally, she is meaner than a badger on a good day.


Thought about crushing pill and putting in food, again 2 problems with that, 1) she barely eats and 2) she feed her dogs her food.


The family Doctor, the only one she agrees to see, tells us every 3 months at her check up, that we need to get her to take the medicine... we know this, he knows this, everyone knows this but, HOW do we do it, is the question. Any and all suggestions would be greatly appreciated, especially from those that deal with the same aggressive rattlesnake.

She is going through stages of dementia and this will get worse before her condition means she becomes more peaceful and compliant - assuming it isn't that the violence just gets worse. Its a horrible situation and one never knows quite how it will develop, just that the person is not the person you knew, nor the person they would want to be. Start looking for a home for her, and move her when you find the one you are happy will provide the care you want for her - sounds harsh but this will not improve and much though she is loved that is something that has to be accepted and dealt with in a way that cares for her and retains sanity, safety and better memories for everyone else. I really wish you well at this very hard time.
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Jerzeevibes94 Apr 26, 2019
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I agree. You cannot, nor should you try to make someone with dementia eat or take their meds because in the end you cannot make them. Take off the stress. Provide a variety of food and let her choose what or if she will eat. Be generous with treat foods. Saying to someone with dementia that eating this or taking that medicine will keep you alive means nothing and if there is any amount of reasoning left in their brain may make them decline medications. Think about it, would you want to take anything that would prolong dementia, the living hell ?
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My mother has vascular dementia and delusions and is a narcissist. I get your drift lol! ( last dr appointment she told the dr the dr was , stupid, full of sh***, accused me of stealing etc in the span of maybe 10 mins lol.
With delusions you need to change the subject. If she thinks the meds are bad you aren’t going to change her mind. Is she like this with any medication? Why doesn’t she eat? Is she just not hungry?

its a tough tough tough thing to deal with. I wonder if she would take them from a health care aid. My mom is sweet as pie to the ALS staff. It’s just family she’s mean to lol.
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I'm not sure who is your mother's DPOA and Healthcare POA, but, perhaps they should explore professional care. Who is caring for her in the home? Some people are very resistant to care and it may not be feasible to manage their care in the home or with family members. It sounds like the family is tapped out of ideas. Are you having other issues with her such as bathing, toileting, changing, etc? Sometimes, people who have dementia cooperate better with non-family members. Also, this could be a phase and she may come through eventually.

Also, with her condition, it may be that she should not have the ability to feed the dog. Her and food in one area and the dog elsewhere, until her food is eaten. The person who is sick and brain damaged can't run the show indefinitely.
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Jannner Apr 27, 2019
Lol my mother has a cat who is dying from kidney failure. ( vet says since she isn’t in pain, keep her alive to keep my mom from freaking out) The ALF won’t take care of pets so we pay for a pet sitter to come everyday. Not only has my mother still insisted on giving the cat human food that totally messes her up but started taking the cat’s fish oil lol. All the while of course insisting no one but her knows what they are doing. Aren’t delusions grand lol?!
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jerzee, I have one of these but she lives alone. I just want to pitch in that your father deserves to live better than this! which I know you know. I spent my life stepping on eggshells with my mother, but I challenge her more now. A couple weeks ago while she was resisting meds or food or something once again, I said very loud and clear – Let me ask you a question, how do you think you’re doing? Because you’re not doing well you’re not managing this at all and it would pay you to get a little more humble and pay attention to what others who care for you think. I know you don’t welcome a confrontation but she’s combative anyway. So it’s just a thought: practice your tactic and your words on your own, and be ready for a time (and there further times) that you escalate the conversation and keep your backbone. She gets with it or she will be hospitalized for dehydration and malnutrition. Because she will. So ask her which she prefers, compliance at home or being given these things by nurses while she lies in a bed. I say to mom, I wouldn’t have it this way and I’m not the one that made it this way, I’m just telling you how it is. I honestly do think it’s okay to be clear about her choices, and let her choose. Maybe you being the ‘bad guy’ more often will help your dad.
It only occurred to me recently to let mom know that a nursing home is one of her choices, she could be very comfortable living like that, and ought to consider it. But I call it the hospital because I think that goes down easier.
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Jerzeevibes94 Apr 26, 2019
Thank you!
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My husband had vascular dementia, and one time accused the guy painting our house of stealing his meds, another time the pharmacist short-changed him. Kept insisting he could drive, but had visual problems that caused him to be unable to judge distances. I left taking his meds and eating up to him. Eventually he had a major stroke and died in hospice within 3 weeks as he could not swallow. We both had agreed to no gastric feeding tube. I really do not believe you should make people eat if they don't want to. Sometimes that is the only way they have of getting out of a miserable situation--their lives.
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My dad has vascular dementia. When you say her "dementia meds" several of us have asked you what medications that is. There is no medication specific for vascular dementia. Perhaps you are talking about an anti anxiety agent or a antidepressant?? Sadly you truly cannot reason with someone with dementia. We keep hitting brick walls when we think we can. It sounds like you have a damned if you do and damned if you don’t kind of situation.
They often think they are right and we are wrong or just trying to be argumentative.
Her behavior is pretty upsetting for you I know. I do wonder if you’ve had her checked for a UTI because it can make the dementia much worse.
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Daughter1954 Apr 27, 2019
Such a good response.

I have learned that we have to live in their reality, not try to impose our reality on theirs. Not that I have the patience to do that all the time.

Yes, undiagnosed UTIs can result in frightening and verbally abusive behavior and things you never, ever saw your loved one do or say. And, undiagnosed serious UTI can also kill. Unfortunately, most people do not understand that it can take 48 hours at least for the urine test to go through all the lab protocols to find out if there is a UTI. So, you go to the doctor, or the ER, and they take urine, and you go home.....with no meds.....not even a light, preventative anti-biotic.....please realize this....then you have to chase them down to find out if there is, actually, a UTI. Yup....you have to do it. And, with the elderly, they will rarely give antibiotics "just in case" because tolerance levels can escalate easily making them almost immune to the generally prescribed antibiotics. Then, let's say there is UTI, and the meds are for 7-10 days....and you want to know if it has resolved itself. Guess what? Nobody will re-test the urine until 5-10 days after the last day of taking the antibiotics. Sorry......just reporting my experience. Several experiences.

Also, if your LO has dementia, or is stubborn, then it can be impossible to get him/her to pee in the cup. You're going to have to insist on a straight catheter, and do not be shy about demanding that. Please.

Generally, maybe this can help.

I don't want to do or say anything that may not be within the rules of this forum,

But there is a book, "The 36-Hour Day" that was recommended to me by several health care providers about 3 years' ago. The authors are Nancy L. Mace and Peter V. Rabins. It's in paperback. You don't have to read front to back. Use the index. There is a reason that it is viewed as almost the bible for families caring for dementia, Alzheimer's and memory loss...and I don't mean "bible" religiously. It is not a religious book. It is not meant to replace personal interactions with others having the same issues. It's just a great resource. Please read it at your local library or buy it.
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I found that there comes a point in the stages of dementia that unfortunately this not taking meds and not eating is just a part of the dementia. My mother was in the hospital 2x October 2018, she went down hill rapidly after the second stay. I share this not to upset anyone but she never recovered. She either refused to eat or barely ate a couple of bites, this did instigate her hospital stays. In the end I worked with the memory care facility and put her on hospice care. By December 19th she was gone. Encourage them to eat/ drink and take meds but my experience was this was the latter stages of dementia. I pray this is not your case. Dementia is ugly, wishing you peace in this journey.
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Zdarov Apr 27, 2019
Bless your mom and you, wjared, that had to be very hard. I’ve thought about this too, their lack of desire is natural as well.
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We went thru something similar with MIL a couple of months ago. We found out that part of her not eating was straight out a control issue. She was tired on FIL telling her she needed to eat. Things got pretty bad between them. We ended up moving her from AL with him Into MC. It was hard on HIM about she was relieved. She was threatening violence against him. In her defense, he was micromanaging everything she did. Once he was not there to do that, she became more willing to eat and take her meds because he was not the one telling her to do so. They are BOTH a much happier and much more relaxed. He doesn’t feel he has to “take care of her” and she doesn’t feel like he’s forcing her to do things.
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I want to recommend a book for you-it is short, but it helped us a lot. https://www.google.com/search?q=when+reasoning+no+longer+works&ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF-8&hl=en-us&client=safari#imgrc=2OFEHDDTo3YOWM:
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