mum suddenly contented - and I wonder why

SitsThere

Registered User
Jan 7, 2013
68
Hello, I haven't posted on here for a while and the reason is that in her 7th-8th month in residential nursing home, mum has become very calm and happy and not at all her old, critical, complaining self. So far I've just been basking in the relief of not having to see her worried and querulous every time I go to see her, but now I'm starting to wonder - is this "normal" ? I know, I know, there is no "normal" with dementia but my worry is that it's so unlike mum not to care about, frankly, anything anymore (including cleaning her teeth and wearing clean clothes) that I'm tempted to think she is being tranquilised in some way. She has also become less mobile of late, can't walk far even with the rollator, and doesn't seem to want to - she no longer sees me off from the front door or moves from where she's sitting when I arrive. She asks some questions about the outer world and the rest of the family but she doesn't show any interest in the answers and of course, immediately forgets. But none of it seems to distress her any more and she is in a very jolly mood most of the time, cracking jokes with the staff.

It seems insane for me to worry that she is happy, but it feels very much as if Mum is gradually drifting away, like a ship setting sail or a cloud dissolving in the sky. Has anyone else experienced this - dementia progressing in the form of contented mood ?
 

Grannie G

Volunteer Moderator
Apr 3, 2006
70,335
Kent
dementia progressing in the form of contented mood ?
Yes. This is precisely what happened to my husband. It was probably a progression of his dementia which reduced the insight he had into his condition . It made my visits so much easier and our relationship was improved tenfold.

It was a delight to find him so contented. Enjoy your time with your mother.
 

Tin

Registered User
May 18, 2014
4,825
UK
I had similar behaviour with my mum at the beginning of March, she became so calm. Her anti depressants were changed at the same time, but they cannot have kicked in so quickly. Mobility was a little odd too and she began to sleep through the night. At the time I put it down to her Dementia moving on, but like you I wondered why. Some of the erratic behaviour has returned but not too much. I talk to her gp regularly, they probably dread my phone calls.
 

canary

Registered User
Feb 25, 2014
11,267
South coast
That has happened to mum too.
Actually it happened after a couple of months in her care home and I always thought it was because her needs are being met by people who are around 24/7 and she no longer needs to try and do things herself. I feel sure that her trying to battle with the disease and continue as she had been doing was what made her so anxious and paranoid.
She doesnt need to battle it anymore
 

2jays

Registered User
Jun 4, 2010
11,598
West Midlands
There is also the thought, along with the progression of dementia, that being in a regulated environment, being regularly fed and hydrated, some one on call 24/7, there is less need to keep up the pretence that all is ok as would be the case in the "outside" world.

Enjoy the calm times - so they are not perfect - but they are good when they happen.

Mum went through a period of calm like this and my visits were enjoyable for both of us. She is starting to get a bit agitated again, but after checking for uti etc, it is felt that it's because of the changes in staff that has happened recently and things should settle again

Try not to over think things too much - yeah I know it's not easy - and enjoy this time with her xx


Sent from my iPhone using Talking Point
 

Saffie

Registered User
Mar 26, 2011
22,505
Near Southampton
To be reassured, why not ask to see your mother's Careplan and also ask if any medication has been changed. This can have produced such a change though I hope it is just a natural reaction to having accepted that the Care home is her real home.
 

Soobee

Registered User
Aug 22, 2009
2,734
South
When my mum seemed happier after a somewhat miserable life I wondered if it was because she no longer remembered all the things which made her feel unhappy, bitter and jealous. Perhaps she no longer recalled the emotional baggage that came with her experiences and therefore could just enjoy the moment.
 

Quilty

Registered User
Aug 28, 2014
1,051
GLASGOW
Same thing happened to my Mum. It happened as soon as she was moved to the respite centre while we waited for a care home place.

I think she was finally able to let go of all the things she had been trying to manage - laundry, food, locking doors, meals, washing, telephoning, watching outside the house, neighbours etc etc. She only has to think about making a meal choice and what to drink. She is so calm and contented that I am struggling to believe it. I have been on high alert for her bad behaviour for so long I am struggling to adapt.

I checked her docit box with her nurse in respite and CH and there was no change in medication.