Carer with a temper.

Elisabetta

Registered User
Aug 31, 2004
1
Help and advice please. My husband is a very gentle soul of only 66 and I am 61. He has been suffering from Alzheimer's for six years. The problem is ME not him. I have always been a short tempered person. I now find myself at times loosing my temper completely and being so unkind and on ocassions nearly violent. I know I am wrong, but I am unable to stop myself. Life is not always like this, we usually have a great time together, but when I flip, I really flip. I am sure that I am not the only unpleasant (at times) carer out there.
 

CraigC

Registered User
Mar 21, 2003
6,632
London
Hi Eisabetta and welcome to talking point,

I doubt that there is a carer out there who has not lost their temper at some point (and probably felt terrible guilty about it straight afterwards).

If you are prone to lossing your temper, being a carer is definitely going to expound on this - lack of sleep is just one area that works nasty tricks on the mind.

My only advice would be to get as much help as possible and not to wait until it's too late. I'm not sure on your current situation, but regular breaks and support are really helpful and the sooner that you can check out these options the better. Does you husband attend a day care centre for example, even a day a week could help you have a bit of time to yourself.

I'm not expert on anger/temper management but just guessing that a bit of time to yourself will make it easier. You may find the following factsheet useful:

http://www.alzheimers.org.uk/Caring_for_someone_with_dementia/Coping_with_caring/info_yourself.htm

Hopefully others will pipe up with useful ideas.

Hope that helps
Craig
 

Jude

Registered User
Dec 11, 2003
2,287
66
Tully, Qld, Australia
Dear Elisabetta,

Great to have you on the Forum and welcome!

You are certainly not alone in having suffering from bad temper. I am a fairly mild mannered person, but after 4 sleepless nights and a few bad days, I feel really murderous!! [Then I feel guilty and remorseful as well].

I have found that when I am stressed out, I have to remind myself to be extra careful about snappy remarks or impatience. I play a sort of 'does it REALLY matter game with myself.'

Example, my mother is frightened of open spaces. She trots around the house closing the windows and shutting the curtains. This drives me nuts....! So - I have to get into my game plan. Does it really matter that she does this? I can always open the windows again after she has been into the bedroom, can't I? Positive benefit is that I get extra exercise.

If I get really frustrated, I go into my bedroom and punch pillows. This is a great way of dealing with tension/frustration and I usually end up laughing because it's a pretty funny activity.

Other times, I walk away and go into the garden for a few minutes until I feel calm again.

A few years' ago, I spent 11 months looking after the oldies 24/7 without any care support at all. It was a nightmare and I felt that I was on an emotional treadmill and becoming seriously unstable. I didn't like myself very much at all.

These days, we have carers for my parents several times a week. I am able to talk through my woes with them and also have time to myself. It has made an incredible difference to my health - and to my temper.

Kindest regards,

Jude
 
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Izzy

Volunteer Moderator
Aug 31, 2003
61,837
69
Dundee
Just wanted to say I know how you feel. My husband is still in a fairly mild stage of the disease but there are times that I want to scream. I always end up feeling worse - and guilty afterwards but I think it's only natural - things tend to build up. I seem, however, to be much better tempered with him than with my 87 yr old mother who drives me batty! I think she knows she's doing it though - many a time I've almost destroyed the dinner set!

Izzy
 

Sheila

Registered User
Oct 23, 2003
2,259
West Sussex
Dear Elisabetta, theres not a carer out there who could honestly say they have never got niggled. I know I do/did, a lot. Like Jude I got help in to keep me going and give me space. When it was down to me, I often used to either take mum for a walk to ease things or if she couldn't walk, (mum also had breathing problems) I tucked her up in her wheelchair and we went and fed the ducks down the road. It gave us a focus and eased things. If I couldn't do that, I walked away, even if it was just into another room or the garden. Oh, and pillows, Jude bashes, I scream into mine! Love She. XX
 

snuffyuk

Registered User
Jul 8, 2004
188
Near Bristol
When I had my first born the health visitor would tell me that if it all got to much--
"make sure baby is safe then go out into the garden and scream"
Same now for my mum!
 

Jude

Registered User
Dec 11, 2003
2,287
66
Tully, Qld, Australia
Dear Snuffy,

I'm extremely grateful that we live in such a rural area with no immediateneighbours and without the worry that the police will arrive to see if anyone is being murdered. Screaming is very satisfying, I find.

Jude
 

Norman

Registered User
Oct 9, 2003
4,348
Birmingham Hades
Elisabetta
what I always bear in mind with my wife is that her retentive memory is now zero,so whatever I say to her she will not remember and she will not be hurt by my language or nasty comments.
Only I feel as guilty as hell afterwards.
I take myself off up the garden or to my play room but that doesn't always work because she calls to me all the time or follows me on the pretext of going to the loo.
Rest assured you are not alone
Norman