advise desperatly needed

diane l

Registered User
Oct 5, 2006
hello I'm Diane and I'm new to all this. My mum has recently been diagnosed with early alzheimers- she is 79 she lives with my dad who is 88 almost blind and has kidney problems. I am an only one. She has always been so fiesty and in control but she has had a total personality transplant!! I got a phone call this morning at 2.15 she was in a terrible state I drove like a maniac to their house where she informed me my dad - who wouldnt hurt a fly had tried to strangle her and beaten her up!!! when I suggested she may have had a nightmare she went beserk. I have just got back home now after getting them both to go back to bed and will be going back shortly but I just dont know what to do - she is killing my dad and I hate her for that but I feel so guilty about feeling like that as I know she is ill but some of the things she is saying is so awful. Please can someone give me some advise on what to do or say I just feel so alone and useless my husband is very good but he feels inadequate coz he doesnt know what to say


Registered User
Jan 31, 2004
near London
Hi Diane
sorry to hear your story.

If Mum has been disgnosed then is there any care plan put in place? Is she on any medication? Do they get any help at home?

While it is important knowing what things to say to try not to make things worse, or to make them better if possible, that in itself is not enough, especially if imaginings/hallucinations/dreams etc are causing difficulty.

Try to begin to see the world from her viewpoint. If she believed she was in danger, then, daft though it may seem to you, she will have felt endangered and frantic about it.

Main advice at present - learn as much as you can from other carers here, and take things slowly, day at a time.


Registered User
Mar 12, 2005
West Sussex

First, don't hate your Mum, she is ill, no less ill than your Dad, and none of this is her fault, the things she is saying, she believes are true so must be feeling very frightened.

Is she on any medication at all? Whatever the case, you need to contact her GP urgently to let them know what happened last night, if she is aggressive with your Dad she could harm him.......not her fault or his, just part of this awful illness sometimes. I know it must be harder when you are the only child, but some of us with siblings get no support from them, you are not alone.



Registered User
Sep 29, 2006
hi dianne

i know exactly what you mean, my father has also been aggressive too, i often feel guilty too, you are not alone, it is so hard as you are the only one as well. but there are quite a few of us for dad, and we dont always agree which can cause further problems, so now i do my thing with dad not what the others want, so sometimes it is harder with more siblings. i had no support either cos they did not understand how i feel, hence the fact i now use TP. i hope you find support here

Eve G.

Who diagnosed her? Does she have a good doctor, a geriatric psychiatrist? It could be she either needs meds or is on the wrong meds. That sudden a change sounds odd. Has she had an MRI?


Registered User
Oct 4, 2006
Hi Diane,
I know how hard it is for you and you obviously need some support. Go and have a word with your parents GP and explain the situation and also get in touch with your local Alzheimer's group you will be given a support worker who will give you a lot of help and advice.
If it had not been for my support worker I think I would have cracked up.
She used to come and chat to myself and mum and sometimes we would manage a chat on our own and more often than not I would have a good cry and she would make me see that mum wasn't aware of a lot of things that were happening and it was all part of the illness.
Don't feel guilty about anything it is not your fault. I felt very guilty in the early stages but now I understand things a lot better.
Take care. Varbell

Dave W

Registered User
Jul 3, 2005
Hope this helps

Hi Diane,

like you, I'm an only child of a sufferer (my Mum has a mixed AS/VaD diagnosis). Although Mum lived alone, we had a similar stage about 18 months ago, where she would act aggresively or bizarrely, which - on gentle digging through conversation - would reveal she'd thought something very scary or strange had happened. Delusions - or hallucinations - are one of the common symptoms, although they seem to be a phase that passes in some cases. In terms of how to react at the time, as one of the factsheets says, I'd suggest not trying to disagree: what is happening is very real to your Mum, even if it's complete fiction to everyone else. Disagreeing with her won't help, as it's only likely to make her angry or afraid (even if she can't tell she's imaging it, you'd be suggesting she is, and she'd then be afraid as to why this is the case). You don't say here, but many people with dementia don't accept or understand their own condition, which underlines why disagreeing with them doesn't tend to achieve anything.

Secondly, yes - talk to her GP. You don't mention whether she has a social worker, or a Community Psychiatric Nurse (CPN). If delusions or hallucinations are becoming more frequent, a low dose of an anti-psychotic medication can be helpful - not just in reducing the frequency or intensity of episodes, but also in making her less anxious. More practically, this might also make life easier for your Dad and make caring for her less of a struggle for him.

Good luck, and keep us all posted.