I got it wrong again - tactless or what?!


Registered User
Sep 19, 2007
I should have been taking my husband out of the ward yesterday for an hour or so. He is on a ward for people with depression and I have often heard patients say that they are scared to go off the ward and ward staff have often asked patients if they are frightened. I went onto the ward armed with my husband's coat, hat, gloves etc and immediately he said, 'No - I'm not going out!' So with the staff having modelled what I thought to be the right thing to say, I asked him if he was frightened to go off the ward. 'Yes' he replied and that initiated the most awful barrage of verbal abuse against me. I suspect, unwittingly, I had injured his pride because I have never known him admit he was scared of doing anything. I tried to calm him by saying it would be a practise run for when he came home and he said, in no uncertain terms, that he would never be coming home and certainly not to me. Grief!! All this happened just after lunch. When I visited at teatime he was still very angry with me. Part of me was pleased in a way because it meant that he had remembered he was angry with me. Just the night before I had finished reading 'The Simplicity of Dementia' which has wonderful information about how to preserve a person with dementia's pride and self esteem by carefully formulating questions etc. I got it all wrong and I fell at the first hurdle!! And it's Sunday again. I've gone off Sundays totally.

Love from Sammyb


Registered User
Feb 17, 2006
I got it all wrong and I fell at the first hurdle!!
and to day tomorrow another day and we can still get it wrong , so many book so many different advices that when your in the situation and its happening it all go out the window , I only say this because I have said the wrong think to my mother and it has set her of , even after reading that same book you read. I got the book last year , better reread it

take care and hope today visit go better xx
Last edited:

Grannie G

Volunteer Moderator
Apr 3, 2006
Dear Sammy

Please don`t beat yourself up. It`s all about trial and error and unfortunately we have more in the way of errors than successes.

I`ve found it`s about treading on eggshells, but your eggshells may be totally different from mine.

Maybe next time..................... ???????????????????:confused:

Love xx


Registered User
Aug 29, 2006
SW Scotland
Dear Sammy, don't worry about getting it wrong. I doubt if any of us can say we never got it wrong!:eek:

It's trial and error all the way with this disease, every sufferer is different, so no-ne knows how your loved one will react to any situation -- until you try!

I hope today will be better.:)



Registered User
Nov 28, 2005
Hello Sammy

I have not read the book but did it mention 'not to thrash yourself when getting it wrong'!? With this wretched disease none of us can be sure; we can only try our best. From here it seems to me you are doing your utmost and that has to be RIGHT.

Take care and try to enjoy today - Sunday.
Best wishes


Registered User
Jul 31, 2007
Dear Sammy,
Please do not knock yourself up, I know it is easier said than done but you know your husband better than the Staff. They should never have mentioned to him about being afraid. It registers auto suggestion and makes them confused. With my case worker and a very good friend, with Peter we have always been able to get him to do what we want i.e. a walk out-side, going down to the lounge for a piece of cake and coffee. I know I have written this before but I have been informed by Consultant who is in the Research of A.D. and he was always amazed at the things Peter was able to do in different stages. Reinterating the advice given to me, the Carers are the experts. Just because they are Medical doesnot mean they know. They have not had the training.`Please go by your gut instincts. Even the Staff at the Care Home where Peter is handle Peter by saying Christine would love to see you eat your food etc., and somewhere in his brain that registers and he does it. If he gets angry or does something inapproriate, they say Christine would not like it and he actually apologise and says sorry as clear as anything. So please do not think you have got it wrong, with this illness we all make mistakes and I personally do not think it was your mistake. I wish you all the very best. Christine


Registered User
Jun 27, 2006
I agree with Christine. It's one thing to recognise fear when you see it but another thing entirely to put that idea into someone's head. Not to compare an adult even with dementia to a child, but you wouldn't say to a child (well yes I suppose I am comparing...) "are you frightened?". You might though say, in the abstract, "things can be scary but I'm right here to take care of you". Incidentally, are you saying that most of the people on the ward have depression but NOT dementia? Because if so, mangement of each type of patient should be quite different. Also, depression doen't automatically go hand in hand with fear - lethargy, lack of motivation, maybe, but fear? Anyway, as other have said, it's absolute pointless to beat yourself up over this. If it hadn't had been this it would, depressingly, probably have been something else.

Canadian Joanne

Volunteer Moderator
Apr 8, 2005
Toronto, Canada

I got it all wrong and I fell at the first hurdle
Just like the rest of us. It's so difficult sometimes figuring out the best way to approach someone with AD.

Always remember, what strategy works for one person may not work for another. Plus, what worked yesterday may not work today. The best we can do is try different approaches and hope for the best. I think of all the experts' advice as that - advice. It has a good chance of working but isn't 100%. You know your husband best.

Frankly, the staff asking patients if they are afraid sounds ridiculous to me. What is the point of that? To make patients easier for the staff to "handle"? A diplomatically-worded complaint would be in order, I think.

Try and enjoy your Sunday. Things will become easier for you to deal with, I promise.


Registered User
Sep 19, 2007
Well - the angry spell with me clearly did him some good!! After having a few flat days and being pretty unresponsive and not eating much at all, he has all but eaten them out of house and home today. And it was weigh-in day today and he's put on a bit more weight again this week. So I am feeling a bit better. Thank you to everyone who responded. And yes, he is on a 'depression' ward becuase that is what they thought he had until the SPECT scan result. They are still treating him for depression but he looks to be just one of two people on the ward who also has dementia.

I am off to make myself a big tea, have a small Asti, an early bath and then watch 'Dirty Dancing'and knit!! I have been decorating my husband's den much of the day - lets hope he does decide he would like to come home to me sometime!

Love from Sammyb

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