How did you handle strange behaviours?

Discussion in 'I care for a person with dementia' started by myss, Oct 9, 2018.

  1. myss

    myss Registered User

    Jan 14, 2018
    255
    So we are used to most of the behaviours that my Dad has shown over the years and we've seen more signs of deterioration over the last 1-2 years such as incontinence and mistaking certain things/areas for the toilet. Another one has progressed recently - twice so far - temper. I use the word 'progressed' instead of being a new one because I think it's an upgrade from a behaviour he had before.

    My brother tried to get him in the bath. He's been hesitant about bathing before and then the next minute he's fine about it. Today he got so argumentative and angry that it really took my brother's breath. Dad was insisting my brother was some government official with wrong intentions (yeah I know!) and that's why Dad was being so stubborn.
    When my brother decided to stop pushing the idea of bathing and offered him his dressing gown to put on, my Dad snatched it from him with a fury that he said if his face had been close by, he would have suffered something like a punch.

    My brother called me afterwards and we talked it out. We both know that 'it's' not my Dad acting like that, it's the dementia. We know when my Dad is tired and/or hungry he can occasionally act like it's WW3 but today felt different to my brother.
    I'm not sure why I'm posting this - I've not even written the thread title as I type!! I'm guessing some things make more sense when put in writing. I also would like to hear your tales when something similar happened with you and how you dealt with it so that I can send the link to this thread to my brother as I've told him about TP and that there are others going through same or similar situation. So if you don't mind can you let me know what did you do to resolve a similar situation? What would you advise? Is there anything my brother could have done so that the situation did not arise?

    Thank you for reading so far.;);)
     
  2. KathrynAnne

    KathrynAnne Registered User

    Jun 6, 2018
    259
    Female
    South Yorkshire
    I would only attempt getting your Dad to bathe when he seems happy to do so. I aim to get my Mum showered twice a week. I know it’s not ideal but I think it’s just about enough. If she’s really against the idea I leave it till another day. There is just no point in trying to force her as it just ends up going from bad to worse. When she’s tired she seems to get more confused. She sometimes can’t understand what the toilet is for and looks at me aghast when I tell her to take her trousers down and sit on it. When I get that reaction I just leave it and suggest a cup of tea instead. The aggression usually comes when Mum is tired, confused and can’t understand what’s happening so the best thing to do is stop whatever is causing the distress and try and reassure and relax.
     
  3. Duggies-girl

    Duggies-girl Registered User

    Sep 6, 2017
    1,312
    Hi @myss perhaps your dad would be more amenable to a good wash, could it be that he is worried about getting into a bath. I have noticed that my dad has stopped using his shower but he does still have a good wash. I don't mind as he seems clean enough and I don't have to worry about him slipping in the shower.
     
  4. marionq

    marionq Registered User

    Apr 24, 2013
    5,314
    Female
    Scotland
    My husband has a shower every morning but occasionally he will stand rooted to the spot refusing to take his pyjamas off. If I insist we will end up having an argument so I try to back down. There seems no reason for this behaviour so I can only assume it is part of his illness.
     
  5. Amethyst59

    Amethyst59 Registered User

    Jul 3, 2017
    5,726
    Female
    Kent
    I have found it helps to agree with what is being said. It must be so frightening and frustrating to have your ‘reality’ questioned. So if a government official is insisting on a shower...agree that it is a horrible situation, and no one would like that. If your brother was alone, he could try leaving the room briefly, remove (or put on) a jumper to change his appearance...and come in all bright and breezy as if he’s just arrived. ‘Hi, Dad, all ok? A government official...how horrible...etc etc. Would you like me to shower you instead, or do you want to have a wash today?’ I know it sounds crazy, but it does work. It seems to be the change in attitude and tone of voice makes the difference.
     
  6. Gingercatlady

    Gingercatlady Registered User

    Aug 7, 2017
    39
    Hello,

    I think the ideas already posted are all good, My mum is scared of the bath now as she says she recently slipped down and fell over in the bath, as far as we know this has not happened recently so we are thinking that it's maybe a very old memory.

    My mum also doesn't like the shower and screams about water on her face, etc. Like duggies-girl my mum has a good strip wash by herself still, so I'm letting her do that, she did that as a child so it's a generational thing I think.
     
  7. myss

    myss Registered User

    Jan 14, 2018
    255
    Hi Duggie-girl. It was a good wash was what he was going to get! That's what he used to and preferred. It wasn't so much the type of wash he may or may not wanted, it was how he gave his dislike to the idea.
     
  8. myss

    myss Registered User

    Jan 14, 2018
    255
    The bit in bold is what I assumed to, I was just a bit surprised by the reaction he gave to my brother.
     
  9. myss

    myss Registered User

    Jan 14, 2018
    255
    That's an interesting alternative to use if this happens again, thank you :)
     
  10. myss

    myss Registered User

    Jan 14, 2018
    255
    Hi Gingercatlady. My Dad unfortunately now requires at least supervision when he washes, if not something to wash him. He used to have a thing about 'catching his death through cold' as he used to mistake the cold water for the hot. We've got him over that, now this! He's better today, so I'm hoping it was an one-off.
     
  11. Ray96

    Ray96 Registered User

    Sep 29, 2018
    46
    It would seen that aggression is part of the dementia for some of our loved ones. My mum has refused a shower now for close to 5 months, she has a fear of water, spilling it, drinking it, anything to do with water.

    Carers now come in at 11.30am and 6.30pm to strip wash and change her, 2 are required as she gets upset when they wash her. She is aggressive and non compliant with me now 95% of the time, actually its more like 100% this week so far, her character just chops and changes all day long but its mainly negative, I have cared for her on my own for 4 1/2 years but its like she does not want me around any more. Very sad.
     
  12. marionq

    marionq Registered User

    Apr 24, 2013
    5,314
    Female
    Scotland
    Just recently someone posted a link to the stages of dementia where it was mentioned this confusion about water temperatures. This was an eye opener for me as I have been puzzling for months over my husband's inability to use taps at the sink or shower head to regulate hot and cold. He fills the sink with boiling water which he then can't use but can't put his hand in to release the plunger. He seemed to be reverting to the old idea of running the tap until the hot comes or running the hot tap until you release all the hot and the water turns cooler - I know, makes no sense. Our taps are clearly marked with red for hot and blue for cold but it makes no difference. I have to be present 100% of the time when water is involved.
     
  13. Ray96

    Ray96 Registered User

    Sep 29, 2018
    46
    Well today my mum is a lot calmer and is even smiling, has had Ensure and another protein shake that I make after a difficult start when she was refusing her medication again and not wanting the carers to wash and change her, but it goes to show that these mood swings are never ending.

    I have also noticed that its like a pendulum with mum, on the whole its 2 good days, 3 bad, then 3 good and a rollercoaster in between. She is definitely happier though when clean and sitting up, also she is worse when she feels the need to go to the toilet and is constipated and probably de-hydrated too.
     
  14. KathrynAnne

    KathrynAnne Registered User

    Jun 6, 2018
    259
    Female
    South Yorkshire
    Constipation is a real issue with my Mum. It is the first thing I think about when she starts getting aggressive. Getting her to actually go to the toilet is then the next problem o_O:rolleyes:
     
  15. karaokePete

    karaokePete Volunteer Host

    Jul 23, 2017
    4,311
    Male
  16. myss

    myss Registered User

    Jan 14, 2018
    255
    My dad too was a lot calmer today. It helped that it was just told that to change out his bedclothers today, he would have to take a bath instead of asking him if he's ready to get in the bath. He took today's request as it was routine and just complied, so perhaps it's starting to be a rollercoaster of behaviour/moods/etc for him too.

    Oh and by the way @karaokePete that was interesting read of that factsheet, thanks.
     
  17. Megp

    Megp Registered User

    Jan 31, 2016
    2
    We had a bath chair fitted so that mam could just sit down and get swung into the bath and my mam's morning carer had been trying to get her to have a bath for quite some time but mam was refusing. I arranged with the carer that I would join her one morning and we would both try to get mam in the bath. Mam was still in bed when I arrived and had just got up and made her way to the bathroom when the carer arrived. We both made an effort and I was saying to her "let's get this vest off and I'll run some nice warm water in the bath". She started losing her temper and turned on me, telling me to get out, go away and go to hell. I had never seen behaviour like that from her, there was so much venom in her eyes. She has always been a peaceful, quiet person. I had to walk away as I was so upset. The carer told me shortly afterwards that what I had just witnessed was calm to what she had seen from mam. A couple of the carers have since managed to get mam in the bath, lots of bubbles, and mam said she enjoyed it, but that was more than 2 months ago. When I ask her why she doesn't want to go in the bath she replies that the water is too wet!!!! She does let the carers give her a full body wash on most days which, I suppose, is acceptable but it is so frustrating not to be able to get to the bottom of her problem of having a bath. You are definitely not alone in this. I have since been on an "Understanding Dementia" course which I found very helpful. Part of it taught me that if there was a confrontational situation, the best thing to do is walk away for a few minutes then return as if nothing had happened. Difficult I know.
     
  18. myss

    myss Registered User

    Jan 14, 2018
    255
    Oh Megp I wish I give you a hug. We know the dementia changes the behaviour of the usually nice person we've known for many years and yes it's probably best to avoid confrontation, but we still can't help feeling that hurt, especially when there's anger with it too.

    I hope, with some reflection, you're feeling better today.
     

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