1. sue h

    sue h Registered User

    Jan 2, 2004
    28
    Maidstone, Kent
    Dear All.
    Sorry I haven't posted on here for a while but things have been a little bit hectic. I had a hysterectomy in October and I'm just starting to get back to normal. Feel a lot better than I did last year anyway.
    Thats the positive side of things. My Dad finally got a diagnosis in October, (he had his CT scan in June!). He has vascular dementia and we've been told that they can only really give him aspirin to help to prevent strokes. My Mum has had a couple of really bad weeks with him. The Wednesday before Christmas he was frantic to leave the house, going home as usual. I'm the only person that my Mum can call and I was at a carol service. It resulted in my Dad phoning the police and saying that he was being kept against his will and then he put the phone down. They phoned back and were very understanding and said they can only help if he gets out and needs to be found. All their details are on the police computer now just in case. They told my Mum to phone the emergency doctor which she did,the doctor wouldn't come out but said she ought to have some medication for Dad especially over the holiday period. He faxed their GP who got in touch the next day and prescribed a higher dose of the anti depressant that my already Dad takes. This Sunday I got an SOS from Mum, well I've never seen my Dad so angry. He managed to break the back door handle off completely, he was so determined to get out. He said he was going to punch my husbands ******* head in. First time I've ever heard him use the 'f' word. Mum let him out the door and I followed, he got to the road and said he hadn't got any money so back indoors we went. He turned on me and kicked me twice. Not sure how me and Mum kept so calm but eventually it worked (2 hours later) and ended with everyone in tears. Hugs all round. It really shocked my husband and he was scared that I was going to get hurt. Same old questions afterwards, who can help in a crisis etc. and there just isn't any answers.
    Not sure what 2005 will bring.
    Love to all
    Sue
     
  2. Brucie

    Brucie Registered User

    Jan 31, 2004
    12,413
    near London
    Hello Sue

    Not much I can say other than the usual two key things:

    1. it is not Dad but the dementia
    2. keep on taking things a day at a time

    Do you know what caused his exteme anger? Sounds a bit like sundowning from your description. Did it happen after lunchtime?

    This WILL pass but it sounds as if you need to have an assessment made of his needs, and to have his medication regime checked.

    Best wishes
     
  3. connie

    connie Registered User

    Mar 7, 2004
    9,519
    Frinton-on-Sea
    Oh Sue, how I feel for you. Hopefully it will pass, Dementia itself does not bring about aggression, it is usually frustration and as Bruce says, can be 'sundowning'.
    You must be very prous that you and Mum kept your calm, not easy, but essential.
    Keep posting, it does help. Glad to hear you are on the recovery road after you hysterectomy. Keep smiling, Connie
     
  4. freefairy

    freefairy Registered User

    Nov 2, 2004
    31
    Colchester
    Hello Sue

    Sorry to hear of your dad lashing out, my dad has started doing this to my mum also, i was visiting the other day, they were waiting for the carer to get him washed and dressed for the day when he decided it was time to go for a walk, we tried to reason with him that going out in the cold in his pj's wasn't a good idea, i went to make a coffee for him and mum tried to distract him with looking for something to watch on the tv, but he stood up (he's not very steady on his feet any more) took the remote control out of mums hand, threw it to the floor and tried to lash out at her.
    This has happened a few times. I'm very worried about mum as she's under 5" and weighs under 7 stone!!! (if only she'd look after herself more!!!)
    If dad knew what he was doing he'd be mortified, but unfortunately this is what this horrid disease does to our loved ones.
    As for answers, the only thing i can offer is that mum and dad are soon to be getting a help line installed into their home, and in times of need there is someone only a call away.

    Sorry to be of little help.

    Sheryl x
     
  5. sue h

    sue h Registered User

    Jan 2, 2004
    28
    Maidstone, Kent
    Thank you for your replies.
    Yes it is sundowning, these episodes always start at around teatime. Dad begins to get confused directly it starts to get dark. After Sundays outburst he kept apologising and was sorry if he upset anyone. Although also he said that he forgave us for upsetting him! He didn't know why he got so angry and obviously couldn't remember what he'd said.
    I did suggest a lifeline for Mum last year but she wasn't keen on having one. I left it that she'd let me know if she changed her mind. I think they're a really good idea.
    It is such a worry when both parents are elderly, Dad is 80 (he thought he was 60 on Sunday), and Mum is 78, it's so frustrating when there is little that you can do to make things right apart from being supportive.
    I'm hoping that things will be calm for a while to give Mum a break but these outbursts are getting more frequent. Natural progression of the disease I suppose. Dad first showed signs of dementia over 5 years ago.
    Thanks again for listening
    Love Sue
     
  6. freefairy

    freefairy Registered User

    Nov 2, 2004
    31
    Colchester
    Hello Sue

    It might be worth mentioning lifeline to your mum again, my mum isn't that keen on it but i explained to mum my friend has it for her mum 'just in case' and you could tell her how much more relaxed you'd feel if she has it installed. Mum was worried that if she called anyone, they would come in and stay the night or try to take over, which obviously they only come and help where and when needed.

    I said to mum that i'd feel much happier if they had it installed. Mum called at 9.30pm one saturday evening recently as dad had literally fallen through the back door!!! luckily he got away with a minor scrape to his head but it is something that none of us could have predicted and with help only a phone call away would be such a god send, especially if i had been out for the evening, what would she have done.
    The dificulty came when i had to get my son and daughter out of bed, (they are 7 and 11), to go and check on them and patch up the door. My dad is 66 and has been diagnosed for arround 5 years now, mum is 64 and is partially sighted.

    Life line can't come quick enough for me, i won't feel like i am on 24/7 call out ....... don't get me wrong, i'm not complaining about being there for my parents but to have another pair of hands available would be such a weight off my shoulders.

    Remind your mum that life line is available, You never know, she might accept it.

    Good Luck
    Sheryl x
     
  7. connie

    connie Registered User

    Mar 7, 2004
    9,519
    Frinton-on-Sea
    Lifeline

    Hi, please explain 'lifeline' for me. Sounds as if it is something I should know about for the future. Thanks, Connie.
     
  8. Chesca

    Chesca Guest

    Connie, they sell it at Oddbins. Comes in 70cl bottles and 104 proof, buy 7 get six free! Or is that another Lifeline? I'm always missing the bus!
    Chesca x
     
  9. freefairy

    freefairy Registered User

    Nov 2, 2004
    31
    Colchester
    Hi Connie

    Lifeline is a telephone system installed into your home where there is help at the other end if needed 24/7
    Either a necklace or bracelet with an emergency button is worn, when pressed it automatically calls for help, and if needed someone will come out and assist you.

    I'm not sure if lifeline is available all over the country so you'd probably need to do a search on the internet to find out, i put a search for lifeline telephone and found many sites to look through. Failing that your social worker (if you have one) should be able to give you information on lifeline near you.

    Hope this helps

    Sheryl x
     
  10. freefairy

    freefairy Registered User

    Nov 2, 2004
    31
    Colchester
    Chesca

    My lifeline is usually in my fridge cooling nicely------ nothing like a nice glass (ahem bottle) of wine to slip down the throat at the end of a stressful week hey

    Last nights went down a treat with the local chineese takeaway YUM!

    I wonder what weight wathcers will say this week? he he

    Sheryl x
     
  11. sue h

    sue h Registered User

    Jan 2, 2004
    28
    Maidstone, Kent
    My Mum also has a lifeline. It's a bottle of sherry in her pantry. I never thought she'd be a secret drinker!!
     
  12. Chris

    Chris Registered User

    May 20, 2003
    243
    Hello Sue

    Cant help feeling there must be things to try with this Sundowning thing - did a Search & someone suggested turning on all the lights well before dusk to help lessen disorientation.

    Other suggestions are on
    http://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/bhcv2/bhcarticles.nsf/pages/Dementia_and_sundowning?OpenDocument

    Some research has been done on using bright light therapy and the conclusion was that it looks promising - not enough done yet to say more. There are no side effects whatsoever with using these 'bright' lights (I think they mimic daylight) and they do work to ease SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder - where people feel depressed in winter when days are short).

    Here are some references - if anyone is interesed I will try to get them & report back. (Have more time now !).

    Bright light therapy and melatonin in motor restless behaviour in dementia. PM. Haffmanns, RC. Sival, SA. Lucius, Int J Geriatr Psychiatry, 2001, vol. 16, pp. 106--110

    A randomized control trial of bright light therapy for agitated behaviours in dementia patients residing in long-term care. C. Lyketsos, LL. Veiel, A. Baker, C. Steele, Int J Geriatr Psychiatry, 1999, vol. 14, pp. 520--525

    The effects of light therapy on mini-mental state examination scores in demented patients. A. Graf, C. Wallner, V. Schubert, Biol Psychiatry, 2001, vol. 50, pp. 725--727

    I remember one Christmas Day Mum & Dad were at our house & towards mid evening when everyone a bit tired etc someone wanted to watch a video with the lights well down (so picture on TV was better) - in our old cottage it was really quite dark - I knew instinctively how Mum was feeling but couldnt do anything about it - families !! anyhow - Mum suddely stood up and so out of character, got angry & said she was BORED & going home & if Dad wasnt coming she'd walk )only 20 miles !!! There was no warning of this except I could feel she wasnt happy. I think she was bored as couldnt follow the TV & in the subdued light she wasnt sure where she was - the anger was out of frustration .

    They got ready to leave & Mum was OK then - but Dad was really upset. I was amazed later in the week when I went to see them - Mum apologised to me - I really didnt think she would remember the incident as coujldnt remeber what shed done weekend before or day before etc - it must have upset her so much - she'd never apologised to me before - because she'd never needed to ! On Christmas Day I felt terrible as if it was my fualt - but a case of "You cant please all the people all of the time" - I just kept thnking most of hte day had been fine & it was only a result of the illness.

    From then on, having explained (& seen & heard) the disasterous effect of being in the semi dark - the family were OK about not turing the lights down from then on.
     
  13. Kerry-Jane

    Kerry-Jane Registered User

    Feb 9, 2004
    25
    Surrey
    Hi Everyone

    Just a quick update on the SAD lights. My mum was suffering severe Sundowning in early December - roaming around the house, trying to leave, lashing out and finally curling up and freezing for hours. I looked into SAD boxes and found a company that is prepared to rent you a box as a trial, you can then buy them or send them back, whatever you prefer. We have now bought the smaller box and over Christmas we did believe we noticed a small effect - whilst we had small incidents of aggitation they were no where near as bad - but then that could be wishful thinking. We are keeping on with it and will let you know if things significantly improve. If anyone is interested I can let you have the name of the light company - I got their details from the Alzheimer's Helpline.
     

Share This Page

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.