Hi, we're new here.....

neal & lourdes

Registered User
Dec 2, 2006
North Spain
But we are going through the same as everyone else obviously!! Basically I'm writing for myself (Neal). I'm married to a Spanish lady who's mother, 83 years old has been diagnosed with Dementia. She started going down a little about 8 years ago, but in the last 12 months has declined rapidly. We were living in the UK, but we had to come back to Spain to look after her (my wife has no surviving family members here to help) and live with her. I'm here really more as support for her than anything, but I do what I can. We've been here for just over two months now in the same house, and we are beginning to experience not only the forgetfulness and the bad temper, but also "playing the victim", and also story telling. When I say story telling, I'll give you an example. Today, we did have a bit of a barny about the food. We basically do the cooking (when she was on her own, she never used to cook anything at all). She interfered when she shouldn't have, and it all went a bit pear shaped. Now I know that we shoudn't have argued, but we are under so much tension (neither of us are employed, and are desperate to work), hence a mini bomb went off. Once things calmed down, she sat there at the dining table, head down feeling sorry for herself. When we asked her what was wrong, she said that she was leaving because WE had told her we didn't want her in the house. Obviously this left us gobsmacked! THe LAST thing we want is for her to leave whilst she's still semi coherent, so that my wife can enjoy the last few months with her before she goes into a home.

WHat I want to know is, is this sort of story telling normal? Is this going to happen more as time goes on? (By the way, just so you know, she's so damn stubborn that she will NOT under ANY circumstances accept any home help whatsoever...been there, tried it twice......and lost due to not opening the door etc to the helper!!)

Also, what other things can we (not) look forward to? Will she get violent? WIll she sleep more and more during the day? (She already has catnaps in the afternoon whilst sat in her armchair)

Any sort of idea of what's to come would be appreciated so at least we become aware of what's happening.


neal & lourdes

Registered User
Dec 2, 2006
North Spain
Thank You

Many thanks Norman,

We'll read those and come back to you if or when we have more questions and comments.

I guess it's really hard for my wife as her mother has never been openly affectionate towards her, and has never experienced the "true mother/daughter relationship" and now never will, so when the arguments start there is never really a true show of sorryness (hugs, apologies, etc).:eek:


Registered User
Jul 2, 2006
Newport, Gwent
Hi Neal and Lourdes

Just wanted to say hello and welcome.

Normal has already pointed you in the direction of Fact Sheets.

What you are experiencing can, for want of a better word be, "normal". Most of us have been/are going through, exactly what you described, the sad fact is that sufferers can behave very differently from when they were well, and whilst some people are docile and compliant, others can be quite the opposite.

My own mum has acused me and other family members of stealing from her e.g. dentures, rugs, hair rollers etc. She can have a complete hissy fit for no reason, in short, we get acused of all sorts, we have learnt to 'bite our lip', and for the most part, ignore it, and try not to take it personal, sometimes easier said than done. Basically you do the best you can.

It's very hard, sadly when AD takes over there is no logic or reasoning, you will see over the weeks and months to come from reading posts by our other TP friends lots of lip biting, taking refuge in other rooms etc. etc. goes on.

Try to keep strong. Hope you manage to get some work soon.

Best wishes


Registered User
Feb 17, 2006
My mother is also Spanish and sounds just like your wife mum with not being openly affectionate.

I use to feel really confused emotionally when my mother use to react to me like you mother wife , when my mother use to interfere when I was cooking , seeing that my mother also would not cook for herself when I was not around then all of a sudden soon as I was cooking she jump in, yes we also had an explosive row over it, I did not know back then it was all due to the dementia.

Mum would go all-sad and I would feel so guilty, yes my mother cat nap a lot also. I brought my mother back to UK with me, but in Gibraltar, they did give me good medication, that lucky has work for her 5 years on. I am lucky if I get a thank –you. I don’t know if her hugs the affection she show me now is real or not, my mother had a hard life being brought up in Spain with Franco, married my father who was gibraltarian British to escape it made my mother a hard bitter woman , seeing that she never really wanted to come to Uk in the 1st place , but followed my father in the 50s . all very physiological , I have learn over the years caring for my mother.

She even told my ex in the early stages that she wish she never had us , Now she would not admit to that or maybe just that she forgot she said that , but I know the truth , the truth hurts in the moment it is said , but its all in the past and now at lest I undertand my mother more .
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Registered User
Aug 9, 2005
Dear Neal and Lourdes,

Welcome to TP and with it, the tragic world of AD.
After eighteen months with Mum with AD and having become an avid TPer (reading the posts on Talking Point have taught me SOOOO much - I cannot recommend it to you highly enough), I just want to say that every AD journey is different.

It takes time, but after a while you begin to realise that the AD person is not the person they were, nor are they responsible for their behaviour. This doesn't mean it (the behaviour) cannot be infuriating, but it might help you to cope with it.

Try to take the "personal" out of it - to be as objective as you can. (VERY hard to do, I know!!) If you can say to yourself, "poor mother has AD and that is what makes her say these things / do these things, therefore I realise it isn't a criticism of me (or my wife / husband)" you may find it easier to be less reactive.

Many of us find we need to humour the AD patient by agreeing with things that are patently untrue, or by going along with some of the strange ideas that seem to come to AD people.

I find Mum has good days and bad days. My Dad died recently and I've been taking Mum with me (more as a courtesy to her than for any real need) to finalise his estate. She was magnificent on our visit to the Accountant but absolutely "away with the pixies" the day we saw the Estate lawyer. Nothing can be taken for granted.

Childish behavoiur seems very common, as does a lack of empathy. Also my Mum seems to be like most in constantly repeating things, getting information muddled, forgetting recent events entirely (she's still pretty good on the 1930s and 1940s!), and confusing things (and people).

My Grandad used to say "knowledge is never a burden" and I agree with the sentiment. I must say tho' that I wish I did not have to acquire this particular set of knowledge!! (That is, caring for a loved one with dementia.)

I wish you both the strength and the fortitude to continue with the task you have undetaken. Be prepared to ride a rollercoaster of guilt and frustration, illumined with occasional shining insights and joyous occurrences.
Thinking of you both, Nell

neal & lourdes

Registered User
Dec 2, 2006
North Spain
THank you all....

Just wanted to say many thanks for all your support and advice, and whilst we are glad that there others we can turn to, it's a real shame that it has to be due to this sad illness.

It's endearing to know that there is at least good support somewhere!

As a follow on from the arguements last night, finally it all calmed down. I made the suggestion to my wife and mother in law that we had a "group hug", before she went to bed, and I think that really did make a difference, if only for a few minutes. HEr mum actually showed a bit of emotion.

Margarita, I see you know exactly the sort of woman we are talking about......sorry, a little spanish sentence for you....(aunque mi suegra no es una mujer mala, es cabezona, sabes que te quiero decir no?)

After reading the leaflets too, i think that has helped to put some things into perspective, plus all your positive comments etc, well they can only support of course!

One again, many thanks and we'll keep you updated. As to the rest of you, good luck and hope that things don't become too painful.


Registered User
Apr 30, 2006
hi Neal& Lourdes
Do keep posting......you'll get a lot of support here....
I have been a member since April this year when mum moved in with us and I have learned so much about this horrible disease and I've found so much comfort in the fact I'm not alone in all of this
Take care
Love xx