How do you handle the emotional light switch,

Discussion in 'I care for a person with dementia' started by Bear44, Oct 10, 2015.

  1. Bear44

    Bear44 Registered User

    Sep 28, 2015
    I would love some advice on how to handle the emotional swings that comes with dementia.

    One second my father is happy the next is angry and yelling at me.

    I try my best to ignore it and blame the disease, but it still hurts my feelings.
  2. underwood

    underwood Registered User

    Oct 9, 2015
    Hi Bear

    My advice (as a newby who on one question has been castigated several times as not knowing - so take my advice with a pinch of salt)

    But in my humble opinion, looking out for several dementia friends, go for it!

    I too have 2 friends like your father 75 and 83 both male and a 93 year old female. (Female - me)

    What do I do? exactly as it appears what you're not supposed to do. I say ****** it! I have found when my friends get annoyed/upset, it is invariably because they are muddled/annoyed that they can't remember etc. I told them to say ****** it!

    So your Dad gets angry? Well, and I may well be shouted down. But I have found with the older generation, the old fashioned swear words help them enourmously. So you say to your father. 'Don't bloody take it out of me you bloody miserable B...... (said with a smile) absolutely stops them in their tracks.! then you need to make the conversation as you are the only one who knows your father.

    Mine absolutely adore me, They can't swear to anyone else, but love me because they can get it off their chests. My adopted Granny 93 when she is in one hell of a muddle gets a modern swear word!!!! muddle stops, she bursts out laughing can't remember what was upsetting her and muddle sorted!

    That's my 3. Not very PC, no doubt my method will be shouted down. but whilst I have 3 whom I'm in regular contact with. 2 closer to home absolutely love getting it off their chests!!!!

    Sometimes I am finding its those old 'naughty' words which really help the frustration!
  3. jenniferpa

    jenniferpa Volunteer Moderator

    Jun 27, 2006
    Yes it does. It's extremely hurtful particularly when you are being blamed for something that is not your fault. And yes, you know it's the dementia but words do hurt. All I can suggest is, if you really can't take it (and you don't have to) is say as calmly as you can: I will not be spoken to in this way, and then leave. Two things might occur then: the person in question can understand that this isn't acceptable and doesn't do it or they forget they have even said these things. Either way, you haven't had to listen. And that's the point: you don't have to stay around to hear these hurtful words.
  4. Bessieb

    Bessieb Registered User

    Jun 2, 2014
    I am dealing with the same thing Bear44. One moment my Father is telling me how grateful he is for everything we do for him and the next moment he is shouting at me through frustration. My Mother (who also has AD) is telling me how much she likes her CH one minute and how much she hates it another.
    It is hurtful and troubling as it makes you question your own decisions and it's awful to see your loved ones angry and upset.

    I'm still learning how to deal with it - and not always successful. If my parents are on a 'good day' I'm trying to stay longer at the visits and enjoy my time with them. If they are on a 'bad day' Im keeping the visits shorts, let the phone go to answerphone and try not to reply or respond to the questions or accusations (that bit is hard!!). I try to focus on the fact that it is not their fault and things will pass. Hard though!

    I hope you find a way of coping with it. But I can completely empathise with you.
  5. Bod

    Bod Registered User

    Aug 30, 2013
    #5 Bod, Oct 10, 2015
    Last edited: Oct 10, 2015
    Wonderful, Wonderful!!
    That's the best I've heard, I shall certainly remember, and try it!
    It makes full sense, distraction and humour, got to work!


    This needs pinning as good and useful advice.
  6. Mrsbusy

    Mrsbusy Registered User

    Aug 15, 2015
    I think practically everyone on TP has been there done that and going back for more. It seems some days you can take it other days you can't. Probably like the person with the disease.

    I know everyone has their limits, carer and sufferer alike. But I also know how hard it is to keep being the person that is getting it in the neck, especially annoying when it's something you get shouted at , that you had no influence on. My Dad will snap over silly things and throw whatever he has on the floor like a child. He used to be the most patient person in my life but not anymore. But now I shout back!

    Sometimes I do think older people in general believe they've earnt the right to say whatever they like whether it hurts or offends, the sort who used to push their way to the front of the bus queue when I was a kid even if they weren't at the front to start with! I have come to the conclusion that most of the older generation do become more self centred as they get older, and it increases with age to the point now that I think my Dad sees me as his skivvy now and taxi driver and little else, not his daughter he adored. But although I still adore him I too feel very hurt most days by his attitude and his lack of gratitude for the time I give him as I have so many other things to juggle in my life, and he won't accept anyone else to help.
  7. sleepless

    sleepless Registered User

    Feb 19, 2010
    The Sweet North
    Wouldn't work for any of my family, I'm glad to say.
  8. Cat27

    Cat27 Volunteer Moderator

    Feb 27, 2015
    My dad is the same & I really struggle with it. He has tantrums like a 3 year old & he throws stuff.

    I try to leave the room to make him a drink or do a job. I very rarely shout back & I never swear at him.
    It leaves me emotionally drained as I never know what I'm going to encounter each time I enter the room.
  9. Bear44

    Bear44 Registered User

    Sep 28, 2015
    Lol. Love it.

    My dad was a truck driver for 40 years so cussing is natural to him.

    He was so mean the other day, just kept getting really angry at everything and after about 3 hours I lost it. I said you need to quit being an a**hole all I'm trying to do is help you then I walked out of the room and went to the kitchen. 2 minutes later he came in the kitchen and apologized. I felt bad but I'm running myself ragged trying to take care of him plus my 3 young boys.

    I'm getting better at ignoring it, but I'm only human.
  10. Bear44

    Bear44 Registered User

    Sep 28, 2015

    I usually just walk out of the room and find something else to do cleaning, laundry etc.

    He actually called me last night and broke down, he hates that he needs me to do everything for him. I told him you took care of me and now I'm taking care of you.
  11. Bear44

    Bear44 Registered User

    Sep 28, 2015
    It seems that he is easier to deal with in the morning and early afternoon. It seems that as the day goes on the meaner he gets.

    Is this normal?
  12. Bear44

    Bear44 Registered User

    Sep 28, 2015
    Yes, that's how I feel!

    My dad has always had a temper and so do I, so you can imagine how hard it is to bite my tongue. [emoji16] [emoji6]

    He says whatever he wants to without thinking of how hurtful his words are.

    I too feel like I'm his personal assistant, doing everything for him with no appreciation. I know deep down he does but a simple thank you goes a long way
  13. Bear44

    Bear44 Registered User

    Sep 28, 2015

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