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How do I respond to this?

Discussion in 'I care for a person with dementia' started by Titch79, Aug 11, 2015.

  1. Titch79

    Titch79 Registered User

    Aug 11, 2015
    Hi all,
    This is my first time posting on here and I really hope someone can give me some advice.
    My mum was diagnosed with dementia just over a year ago, initially Dr's thought it was alzheimers but in January this year, following a detailed MRI scan, they changed the diagnosis to frontotemporal dementia.
    Mum lives with my Dad and he is her full time carer. He is doing his best and over the last year has learnt to be much more patient and is doing a good job. Myself and my family live 2 hours away and we see Mum & Dad approx once a month.
    We've noticed over the past 8-9 months that Mum is muttering to herself, not sure she realises she is doing it or maybe she thinks no one can hear her. But she is slagging my Dad off constantly, calling him all the nasty names under the sun, including the words no one likes to hear. I'm finding this difficult to deal with if I'm honest. But then at night time, Mum will thank Dad for looking after her & tell him that she doesn't want to be a nuisance to him. Dad reassures her when this happens and we are now noticing that Mum has started to finally accept her diagnosis, which we feel is a positive step.
    The main reason for my post is that Mum spoke to me tonight when Dad popped out of the room for 2 minutes and said that Dad doesn't like her, she says he's horrible to her. When I asked her what he has done, all she could tell me was its the way he speaks to her sometimes.
    As I was responding, I knew what I was saying was not the right response, but I'm after some advice as to how to deal with this sort of thing. My response was to say that Dad loves her very much and he's doing his best to help her, yes sometimes he gets frustrated because everything that is happening is new and we're all learning to deal with it all.
    In my mind I was screaming at myself not to disregard Mums words (in the same way we parents can disregard things that children say), but it came so out of the blue, I didn't know what else to say.
    Now I know I don't live with my parents so don't see them together 24/7 band I know Dad gets frustrated sometimes as up until quite recently he had no time to himself at all. Mum goes to a day centre 2 days a week now which helps. But Dad is a very gentle man and as naive as this may sound to some, I am confident there is nothing sinister going on between them.
    But how I do I respond to this? Mum has said similar things to me previously so I have a feeling that it will come up again.
    Any advice is greatly appreciated, many thanks
  2. Beate

    Beate Registered User

    May 21, 2014
  3. canary

    canary Registered User

    Feb 25, 2014
    South coast
    The doctors are talking about FTD in my husband and he does exactly the same. Everything is my fault. Behaviour change is one of the main symptoms with FTD and Im afraid the nastiness is typical. My husband also frequently only half hears (or half remembers) what I say and then twists it so that is completely different. Ive started to use distraction and compassionate communication techniques with my husband too and finding it helpful.
  4. Kevinl

    Kevinl Registered User

    Aug 24, 2013
    Hi Titch, welcome to TP
    Like your Dad I'm a man living with a wife who has AZ, she too sits there sometimes calling me names, sometimes when we're in bed and she thinks I'm asleep or when I'm out of a room but can still hear her although she doesn't know it. My kids have unfortunately witnessed it too and I know it shocked and upset them but unlike me they seem to struggle to accept it's the disease talking not my wife/their mother.
    I get accused of saying horrible things but how many times in a day do you have to ask someone not to do something socially unacceptable or downright gross?
    Sorry you're in such a sad situation keep posting.
  5. Spamar

    Spamar Registered User

    Oct 5, 2013
    With most types of dementia, it is the main carer that takes the flak, which annoying and difficult to cope with if you are the main carer.. Personally, I wouldn't read anything sinister into this.
  6. Lilac Blossom

    Lilac Blossom Registered User

    Oct 6, 2014
    Yes, as carer I can agree with the above quote
  7. Time trader

    Time trader Registered User

    Dec 30, 2014
    Have you considered suggesting that they have carers on a daily basis; perhaps two visits a day? This would take the pressure off your dad and support your mum. We did this for our dad. He was quite able to live independantly but was non-compliant with his medication; consequently he was in and out of hospital regularly. Since the carers started, and he has the two visits daily, he is much improved and has not been admitted to hospital. We are able to visit more often than you describe as we live a lot closer but the knowledge that someone else is an immense support to us all. Dad has bilt up a wonderful rapport with his "ladies" as he calls them. They only stay for 30 minutes per visit but the benefits have been great.

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