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Dementia and infections


Registered User
Jan 18, 2018

I'm my Grandad's live-in carer. If I'm not at work, I do what needs doing. 5 mornings a week, we have a carer, the other 2, he goes to day care and either myself or my Mum (his daughter) get him ready. Mondays we shower and dress him, Wednesdays, we send him in his 'dirty' clothes and they hoist him into a bath, giving him a complete set of clean clothes.

He's just got over a double infection (Chest due to COPD and Urine, due to a Suprapubic Catheter) During which he was slightly grumpy, nothing unusual for an 83 year old that used to be very active.

Over the last week, in which we've found that the chest infection is back, he has been a nightmare! He wouldn't do anything for anyone! He raised his fist to my little (6'5 25st) brother and we had calls from day care and the care agency to say they couldn't do what they needed to do because he was so horrid to them.

He is now on another dose of antibiotics but still 'I don't have to do what you say' attitude. I eventually persuaded him to go to bed at 4am tuesday morning. My alarm went off at 5.

Any magical ideas how to deal with it? My Mum's heading for a nervous breakdown! I'm also suffering due to lack of sleep....


Registered User
Jul 23, 2017
N Ireland
It may just take time for the meds to clear the infection and hopefully the behavior will return to normal soon after that.

Some useful hints on how to communicate effectively with, and possibly reduce agitation in, a person with dementia are contained in a great thread that can be located by this link https://forum.alzheimers.org.uk/threads/compassionate-communication-with-the-memory-impaired.30801/

Other than that you may get some value out of the AS Factsheet that can be located by following this link https://www.alzheimers.org.uk/sites/default/files/migrate/downloads/changes_in_behaviour.pdf

nae sporran

Volunteer Host
Oct 29, 2014
I'm sorry you are having such a hard time Bryan. Another thought occurred to me regarding your mum. Are you self funding or LA funded for care ? You and your mum need a few days respite and I would ask social services for support on that if they fund the current care package.
My OH had a lot of troubles earlier in the year with UTIs and a chest infection, so when it all settled down I escaped for a couple of days while the care agency stepped up visits. It would do you and your mum a lot of good if you could manage some respite when your grandad is settled.


Registered User
Jul 9, 2018
Do you have access to Admiral Nurses - they support the carers rather than the PWD? I found them a great help and support.


Registered User
May 18, 2014
Mum has had two infections and she was irritable and bad tempered, did not want to do anything so I only did what was absolutely necessary and that was mainly food, drink and changing incontinence products, although she did go off her food she was drinking ok. I did not even try to change her clothes and left everything well alone. After a few days when anti biotics kicked in, her mood improved. Any chance you could try this.


Registered User
Feb 18, 2015
Yes, I agree with what has been said, it is a know fact that any infection can make the dementia worse, I have seen it with mum and her UTIs. Once the antibiotics were in her system a couple of days later, she was a bit better. It can be hard to get them to take the medication, but you just have to persevere.