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How do you cope with anger or distress

Discussion in 'I care for a person with dementia' started by banger696, Sep 20, 2015.

  1. banger696

    banger696 Registered User

    Sep 17, 2015
    225
    North East
    My mum often gets distressed or angry usually about hallucinations or not recognising me. One CPN told me to lock the doors and disappear for a bit but this doesnt seem to help with the situation.

    She has had a good day but I often get a call from the hospital nurses asking for help because she is distressed and then they put her on the phone and its usually that I havent been to see her or she wants to come home and starts getting angry down the phone. I have seen her she just forgot.
     
  2. janey106

    janey106 Registered User

    Dec 10, 2013
    139
    Hi Banger696, can really empathise with your situation as my Mum (76) is like this frequently but she is still living at home with 81-yr old Dad. The bottom line is to accept it is part of the disease, Mum doesn't know what she is doing, no longer has any recognition that others are affected by it and that what she is probably reflecting is her own 'inner world'. In one of her more lucid moments some time ago my Mum described it as an animal inside her coiling round and getting a grip and snatching parts of her life away ... I think I would find that very frightening too and fear is often the cause for anger. Was Mum a strong/feisty personality beforehand anyway? We were told the diseases tends to bring out the strongest parts of the person's personality.

    Practically, we have learnt to just go along with the hallucinations rather than 'reason' but distract as quickly as possible e.g. Seeing people long gone, just talk about how they first met them, reminisce etc. We get Mum to write down things she needs to tell them or ask them 'when they come back in'. (Strangely she has just started writing in shorthand which she hasn't used for decades). We have photo books but lovely lady I met at a meeting runs a Care Home and she suggested a notebook for Mum with Mums picture on ( one she chooses of herself as it needs to be 'Mum' as she sees herself) and photos of all people in her life now and who/where they are and what they do and a daily entry of what they (Mum) have done/ who they have seen/ what they may want to remember. Final suggestion, does your Mum like music - little while ago I made up a CD of all Mums favourite songs and this seems to calm her down, even just talking about them and the memories attached? I appreciate this needs someone and somewhere to play it.
    When she is angry at not seeing us (like you, we may have just left the house an hour ago), we just say sorry and how busy we are and miss her too and will be along as soon as possible.
    Sorry, didn't mean to go on and not sure how often you are able to see Mum so some of this may be difficult but at least you know you are from alone and at least you know Mum is safe if she has nursing staff around her.
    I'm sure others will be along with other good ideas but I do know we have to keep adapting just like the disease does; just try not to take it personally (big ask I know!)
    Janey :)
     
  3. banger696

    banger696 Registered User

    Sep 17, 2015
    225
    North East
    Thanks Janey, Mums in hospital at the moment and Im trying to get myself ready for her return home as she is just being evaluated. I look after her at home.
     

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