1. Expert Q&A: Protecting a person with dementia from financial abuse - Weds 26 June, 3:30-4:30 pm

    Financial abuse can have serious consequences for a person with dementia. Find out how to protect a person with dementia from financial abuse.

    Sam, our Knowledge Officer (Legal and Welfare Rights) is our expert on this topic. She will be here to answer your questions on Wednesday 26 June between 3:30 - 4:30 pm.

    You can either post questions >here< or email them to us at talkingpoint@alzheimers.org.uk and we'll answer as many as we can on the day.

  1. Jazzy

    Jazzy Registered User

    Jun 3, 2006
    34
    Derbyshire
    Hi

    My Mum has been in hospital for a full assessment for nearly a week now and when I visited her last night, the nurse rold me that she had become very manipulative. She'd also been sedated, as she'd been moving the furniture around the day room all afternoon and been very agitated. When she looked at me she had a very accusatory look, which I'm sure i wasn't imagining. Also, I can't do anything right at present! Has anyone one else had similar experiences? Mum was always a polite, gracious and mild mannered person.

    Thanks
    Jazzy
     
  2. Amy

    Amy Registered User

    Jan 4, 2006
    3,453
    Hiya Jazzy,
    Doesn't the word "manipulative" have horrible undertones? Did it make YOU feel guilty? Or was it said with a smile and a light tone of voice? Did it mean that your mum is adapting to the new situation, and making the best of it that she can? Mum didn't move furniture but did move objects; the number oftimes we'd arrive at dad's and he'd be looking for something. And is it the look that could kill that you are getting? It's the illness Jazzy - you know, you don't need me to tell you- there's still that gracious,mild mannered and polite lady in there.
    Love Helen
     
  3. daughter

    daughter Registered User

    Mar 16, 2005
    824
    I was composing this post and had similar thoughts to Helen about the word “manipulative”;

    Hi Jazzy,

    I know how these visits to the hospital can be up and down, never knowing what to expect. When it’s been a difficult visit, and someone has said something, I found it hard to stop myself ruminating over it.

    I suppose it depends on how you define the word “Manipulative”. I thought it was “the power to control or influence someone or something cleverly and unscrupulously, especially to one's own advantage”. I cannot imagine anyone with AD having the where-with-all to be able to consciously attempt this. Perhaps the nurse meant something else (there you are, you see, now I’m ruminating again!) Still, I can relate to the accusatory looks – when Dad is going through one of his agitated phases, he is suspicious of everyone.

    In a previous post you mention “It's difficult to know how it's going to be when I visit and whether it's the medication making her like this or something else.” This is a problem that I have also found with my Dad – no answers I’m afraid, but I do know what it’s like. Hopefully the medication will be adjusted and be of benefit to your Mum.

    My Dad was also "always a polite, gracious and mild mannered person.” It’s so hard to believe it is the same person sometimes, but the corner of Dad’s mouth just has to lift a little when he finds something quietly amusing, and I see his old personality again for a brief second.

    Best wishes,
     
  4. dmc

    dmc Registered User

    Mar 13, 2006
    1,157
    hi jazzy,

    my mum has done things id never thought id see her doing, a few examples being writing over the hospital wall with toothpaste, and lipstick, putting mascara on her lips, eating soap, all this was at the beginning and things have calmed down a bit, as amy has pointed out it is the disease not your mum, its very hard to try and seperate the two i know but i think as time goes on you get immune to the looks and hurtfull remarks, or at least learn to ignore them
    hope things calm down a bit for you
    best wishes
     
  5. Lila13

    Lila13 Registered User

    Feb 24, 2006
    1,342
    I wonder if you could ask the nurse fir examples of your mother's "manipulative" behaviour, Jazzy? (But it may be difficult to find the same nurse again.)

    My mother also liked moving furniture. One way of controlling her environment.

    I remember when some relations had come to visit and she stayed in bed looking sweet and frail, hardly able to hold a cup and saucer, and as soon as they'd gone she jumped out of bed and started rearranging the chairs.

    Lila
     
  6. Áine

    Áine Registered User

    furniture shifters united!

    Re-arranging the furniture in the nh is one of my dad's favourite occupations. He's also been a very mild mannered character, and also gets pretty stroppy now if they try to stop him. He's got meetings to arrange (he tells me) and these people are getting in the way. He hopes they're sent to jail for a very long time :( I think they mostly let him get on with it, but stop him when he's putting himself or others at risk of being hurt.

    "Manipulative" is one of my pet hates in words. I think it's usually a word applied to the more or less powerless, by the more powerful, when they don't quite have complete control and it annoys them. :eek: Applied in these circumstances I think it comes out of frustration and fails to take the context into account. I guess your mum, like my dad has got few other ways of taking a bit of control of herself and her environment.

    The thing that's upset me this week is the nh writing about my dad to the psychiatrist that he's "prone to crying". It's very true that he's sobbed and sobbed this week about stuff .... but ....... he's in a place that he doesn't really understand, he can't hear, can't read, can't follow TV, can't go out, can't go home, can't use a phone, can't chose when to make a cup of tea, can't have a bath in privacy, can't even use the toilet by himself. OF COURSE he's crying ....... wouldn't anyone who had any comprehension of what's going on be crying :eek: The way they phrase it suggests it's something about him and out of the ordinary.
     
  7. Kayla

    Kayla Registered User

    May 14, 2006
    621
    Kent
    There was a man in my Mum's NH who actually took the furniture to bits. One weekend he had got through three chairs and a table. Apparently he had been an engineer or a carpenter and he just couldn't help himself. I dread to think what would have happened if he had been a dentist or a surgeon! Seriously though, the staff at the NH were trying to find an outlet for his desire to take things to pieces which wouldn't do any harm. They didn't blame the poor man at all.:)
     
  8. Amy

    Amy Registered User

    Jan 4, 2006
    3,453
    Hiya all,
    My sons could have written that about me!! Sure sign at home and at work that I am not coping!

    Áine, the description "prone to crying" - why is it getting to you? Come on, they are making the same observation as you yourself "he's sobbed and sobbed this week" - just different language. No criticism, no weakness, statement of fact. It must have been a tough week for you though, seeing dad in that state - we are so unable to help them, aren't we?
    Love Helen
     
  9. Michael E

    Michael E Registered User

    Apr 14, 2005
    618
    Male
    Ronda Spain
    It occours to me that having AD and being put in a 'care home' must be a bit like being taken prisoner of war and sent to a prison camp - like Colditz or - we have all seen the movies.....

    Our homes have become 'strange' places. We are surrounded by people we do not know then all of a sudden somebody decides that we are to be moved - to a new 'camp'. A bewildering journey - taken as a prisoner - half protesting to a new place with locks on the doors.. All our lives we have come and gone - been shopping, traveled asking permission of no one and suddenly we are trapped.

    The best time to escape is when you first arrive - digging a tunnel takes time - so if we can move some furniture - see if there is an old tunnel behind the commode - manipulate the prison guards - get them confused then may be there is a way out..... No good being 'nice' and reasonable if the bas****s are planning to keep us in. Try every thing you know to do a runner...............

    I get the feeling that for some of the sufferers it is like that - like an escape movie but deadly real and very frightening...

    Michael
     
  10. daughter

    daughter Registered User

    Mar 16, 2005
    824
    I feel similarly indignant when the hospital/home refer to my Dad's aggression. I know it is irrational to feel this way, and of course these things have to be noted, but sometimes I can't help taking it as a personal slur against my Dad! In fact sometimes I think "good on you Dad" for standing up for your diginity when some stranger is trying to undress you. I know I'm just being overly sensitive but I also want to hear the understanding addendum that he is a lovely man really and he cannot help it (although I'd then feel I was being patronised if it didn't sound sincere.) I guess there's no pleasing me where my Dad's concerned!
     
  11. Amy

    Amy Registered User

    Jan 4, 2006
    3,453
    Hiya Hazel,
    So difficult when our heads and our hearts are shouting different things!!
    Love Helen
     
  12. Kathleen

    Kathleen Registered User

    Mar 12, 2005
    639
    West Sussex
    Hazel

    You are not being over sensistive at all, you know and love your Dad as a whole person, the carers can only ever know the damaged personality that is in the grip of AD.

    I think it is important that the carers are told as much as possible about the sufferers life before AD, it seems to help Mum and her carers to make some sense of the way she behaves now. It is especially helpful now that Mum's speech consists of random words and garbled attempts at sentences.

    For example, Mum has developed a fear of the bath, but as a young child, she had witnessed her sister come close to drowning, that memory seems to have surfaced again, and by running the water before they take her into the bathroom and only having a very shallow bath, the fear is lessening every day.

    Kathleen
     
  13. Lila13

    Lila13 Registered User

    Feb 24, 2006
    1,342
    I felt it was manipulative when my mother pushed me out of her house and sent me home, then went round to neighbours complaining I'd gone. (If only there'd been somewhere near enough where I could stay when dismissed but go back again as soon as summoned.)

    Lila
     
  14. Brucie

    Brucie Registered User

    Jan 31, 2004
    12,413
    near London
    that's the problem - it is all in the words, ones own situation, and circumstance.

    I'd call it dementia-related confusion, but then I wasn't there.

    At the end of the day, as the relative on the spot, you get to call it how you saw it.
     

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