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Drastic personality change..

Discussion in 'Middle - later stages of dementia' started by francesg, Jul 12, 2015.

  1. francesg

    francesg Registered User

    Jul 12, 2015
    2
    Hi, I'm new to this site and would be most grateful for advice and help. My mum has had dementia for 3years now and her personality is changing beyond recognition, which we except. She is in a care home locally now to my sister and I. She is becoming more and more over familiar with men, hugging, calling them handsome, stroking their arm or leg, upsetting wives or girlfriends along the way. Whilst the care home is for dementia I think they are becoming a bit exasperated with her and so are some of the other residents. Mum also has a thing about going round closing windows and will go into other peoples rooms to do this, upsetting some of them as she is so insistant. She made a diabetic lady a cup of tea the other day with sugar in it! I'm not sure what we can do to help mum and the care home, Any advice? Many thanks F.
     
  2. JayGun

    JayGun Registered User

    Jun 24, 2013
    291
    Hello lovely, :)

    You would have thought that the care home would understand that these behaviours are symptoms of her disease wouldn't you? Is it Fronto temporal dementia? My friend's dad has that and everybody understands that that's why he's a bit inappropriate.

    The care home need to up their game in my opinion. Maybe they need to be better at explaining to people that it's her disease doing these things and maybe supervise her better and keep her busy? She might be a bit bored perhaps?

    It doesn't sound to me as if she's doing anything terribly wrong, or even very unusual for a dementia patient.
     
  3. Kevinl

    Kevinl Registered User

    Aug 24, 2013
    4,776
    Salford
    Hi francesg, welcome to TP.
    I would have thought the care home would have strategies for dealing with this as it's quite a common symptom, I would suggest you discus it with them.
    I think part of the issue is that you as a woman (I guess) mention the "wives and girlfriends" objecting and although this is not good if it was your dad in this position then phrases like "sexually inappropriate behaviour" would crop up.
    If she's not a problem to the rest of the residents then really anyone who's visiting should be able to understand the situation and see it for what it is, as I say if it was your dad the "dirty old man" syndrome would kick in and that's a lot harder to deal with. I've been the "victim" of sexually inappropriate behaviour from ladies with dementia but it doesn't bother me a bit I can see it for what it is just someone looking for affection in a fairly impersonal place.
    As for the windows they should be under the control of the staff, even it they're limited opening ones then there should still be a lock.
    My mother when she lived with us used to turn off all the electric sockets like the boiler in the middle of winter and the washing machine halfway through a cycle (I never spotted it and opened the washing machine door and flooded the kitchen) again it's in the nature of the disease and the care home should have strategies to deal with it.
    K
     
  4. jaymor

    jaymor Volunteer Moderator

    Jul 14, 2006
    12,556
    Female
    England
    Your Mum is displaying some of the normal behaviour that occurs with someone with a diagnosis of dementia. In a care home for dementia it should be understood by visitors and staff.

    If visitors are getting bothered by it then it is up to the staff to distract your Mum and give her something to do, fold towels, wash up, dry up, a walk in the garden or make a drink. A spoonful of sugar in a cup of tea is not life threatening to a diabetic and really a staff member should have been on hand whilst she was making the tea.

    Yes it can be annoying as can many many more of the behaviours displayed by someone living with dementia but it is as it is and a dementia care home should be able to manage.

    Has a member of staff spoken to you about this or are you just worrying because you see it and think they are getting annoyed?
     
  5. francesg

    francesg Registered User

    Jul 12, 2015
    2
    Hi all, many thanks for your words of wisdom. In response to Jaymor it was the care home who bought it to our attention. They called my sister out of work last week to pick up mum from a function they had taken her too as she was behaving inappropriately and they wanted her taking back to the home - they had no one to do this - as I type I can see how this is sounding!

    When we went to see mum at the weekend they explained why they had called as my sister. She explained that had she been in a meeting or out of the country mum would not have been collected as I was at least 2hours away at a meeting that day. It was then that they bought all these other bits to our attention and advised that as mum had been with them a year now it would be time for an annual review.

    We chose this home as they seemed to do so much with the residents, we also pay a higher rate as she has Alzheimer's as we appreciate the extra care required. F
     
  6. jaymor

    jaymor Volunteer Moderator

    Jul 14, 2006
    12,556
    Female
    England

    But is what they are doing of benefit to those they care for and are they getting in right? Taking residents out is great but they have to be prepared for a problem and be able to deal with the problem. We all know how unpredictable someone with dementia can be so that eventuality should be covered. They cannot be paid, and paid extra, to look after someone and then expect someone else to bail them out of a position they got into because of lack of organisation.

    Your Mum is not displaying a behaviour that is not common in dementia and the care home should not be calling itself a dementia home if they are finding it a problem. Yes tell you by all means, I think we all like to know what is happening but it should be just information and not passed on as a problem or inconvenience to the home. It is their job to deal with it, they are paid to do so.

    Sadly it may be a case of finding a new home but this is unfair on your Mum, they really should be doing the job they are paid for.
     
  7. canary

    canary Registered User

    Feb 25, 2014
    10,783
    Female
    South coast
    My initial reaction to this was - is this a dementia care home, or a general care home with people other than those with dementia as well? So often general care homes say they accept people with dementia, but as soon as there is any behaviour outside their comfort zone (though normal for dementia) they start objecting.

    The annual review could be enlightening. Ask them how they propose to manage the problems, given that they are normal symptoms of dementia, but I suspect that you may have to find another care home. When you are looking for a CH/NH it is a good idea to ask them what problems/conditions they would not be able to deal with. Mum is now in a dedicated dementia unit where she will be able to spend the rest of her life. They deal in end of life care and the only thing they cant deal with is persistent. extreme violence that cant be swayed or distracted.
     
  8. mrbeamer

    mrbeamer Registered User

    Feb 4, 2015
    7
    The Care Home

    I agree with all the comments here, you need to speak to the management and point out that you are paying for staff who CAN deal with these matters, they are typical of dementia patients. YES, the staff should distract her and visitors should be made to understand. At the Care Home my mother is in, there are a couple of ladies who make a nuisance of themselves and the care staff take them, gently, to a chair and settle them down, it works.
    Your care home is 100% responsible for helping paying clients so do not be afraid to speak to them raising your concerns.
     
  9. mrbeamer

    mrbeamer Registered User

    Feb 4, 2015
    7
    Care Quality Commission

    Care Quality Commission
    (google search)

    Check out care homes
     

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