1. Expert Q&A: Benefits - Weds 23 October, 3-4pm

    Our next expert Q&A will be on the topic of benefits. It will be hosted by Lauren from our Knowledge Services team. She'll be answering your questions on Wednesday 23 October between 3-4pm.

    You can either post your question >here< or email them to us at talkingpoint@alzheimers.org.uk and we'll be happy to ask them on your behalf.

  1. JJM

    JJM Registered User

    May 30, 2015
    4
    My Mum was diagnosed with early stage Alzheimer's a few months ago. Her short term memory is getting worse, especially lately, but she has yet to show any signs of the middle stage. But what's especially concerning me and the rest of the family at the moment is the way she's treating my Dad (they're both in their late 70s). She is constantly picking arguments with him about trivial and petty things and is antagonistic, irrational, resentful of his own hobbies and interests, and incredibly stubborn. This is making him very stressed and I'm worried he's going to end up having a heart attack or stroke. So I'm looking for any insights and advice that others can give in the following areas:

    a) My own thoughts are that this behaviour is not specific to the Alzheimer's as such but is being magnified by it. She's always been a little bit like this to be honest but nothing like on this scale. Does this sound likely?

    b) I feel that she needs to be challenged on this behaviour and that this could include telling her of the serious risk to Dad's health if it continues, with the inevitable consequence that she will end up in a home if Dad were to die. Does anyone have any thoughts on taking this approach?

    c) If I were to do this could I go even further and tell her that if this behaviour continues she could end up in a home even if Dad doesn't die, but for the benefit of his health. Although this is perhaps not a likely scenario in real life it could possibly give her an incentive to think about her behaviour? I don't like the idea of bringing up the subject of her having to go into a home but really her behaviour towards Dad is that bad.

    Thanks for taking the time to read this, and I'll be grateful for any thoughts anyone might have.
     
  2. sistermillicent

    sistermillicent Registered User

    Jan 30, 2009
    2,951
    it's a horrible situation. I am sorry to say it is highly unlikely to improve.
    There is likely to be very little point in trying to reason with your mother....yes, you will probably get through to her for all of five minutes but she will forget, genuinely forget what you have discussed and what she has agreed to.
    So I would not threaten a care home if you think this is what your dad needs, just do it.
    We had similar with my parents, Dad was well enough to cope with it though he was constantly under attack both mental and physical. Mum went on antipsychotic medication which calmed her right down but it isn't suitable for everyone or indeed what everyone would approve of. But it was the ONLY thing that worked for her after trying numerous other approaches, drugs, distractions etc and enabled her to remain at home for another five years.
     
  3. Beate

    Beate Registered User

    May 21, 2014
    11,714
    Female
    London
  4. Kevinl

    Kevinl Registered User

    Aug 24, 2013
    4,783
    Salford
    Hi JJM, welcome to TP
    I'm coming at this as someone with a wife with AZ having previously had my Mum live with us who developed AZ in her last few years.
    a) I would describe my late Mum and wife as quite passive people, however, AZ has and did bring out a much more aggressive side in both of them that I thought possible.
    b) You can challenge all you want but I believe it won't help and may harm the situation. What they are feeling to them is reality and you'll never convince them otherwise.
    c) Same as point a & b really, confronting someone with the results of their actions means nothing after a certain stage in AZ, it would to you or me but in someone with AZ it really can cease to matter to them same could be said for many other aspects of their behaviour be it; manners, hygiene, personal safety and so on...the list is endless.
    As someone who has to deal with this everyday your Dad has my sympathy.
    K
     
  5. garnuft

    garnuft Registered User

    Sep 7, 2012
    6,588
    It all depends on what your Dad thinks.
    How much he is willing to endure.

    If he wants to endure, it's their marriage after all, then I would support them and make sure I took over care to enable him to have free time to sit quietly or pursue his hobbies.

    My experience of dementia, in my darling Mam, who adored me...was that she lost all empathy and became a very self-centred person.

    A result of the ravages of dementia upon her brain.

    She was definitely NOT unempathetic or selfish pre-dementia.

    Her determined contrariness and argumentativeness however, were, as you say, simply magnified by dementia:)

    It's a struggle, to fight one's own demons.
    Short-temper, irritability, impatience...
    but it's a battle YOU must do, with yourself.

    I know I thought quite often, when my mother was being obnoxious and belligerent that I would put her in a home but I NEVER said it to her.

    She was ill.

    And she didn't do it to me in my teenage years when belligerent and obnoxious were my middle name. :cool:

    Have a read of this...it helped me to help my poor, ill Mam.

    http://forum.alzheimers.org.uk/show...mpaired&highlight=compassionate+communication
     
  6. Tin

    Tin Registered User

    May 18, 2014
    4,826
    UK
    It is horrible and part of the illness. Have you ever heard that saying 'think before you speak' In better days my mum used to often say this to all her children. This is something my mum cannot do anymore. When she first moved in with me I was the focus of her agitation and anger. I could not do anything right. I used to hide in a corner of my garden or lock myself in the bathroom just to get away from it all. She could not keep some of those bad personality traits in check either. I'm too embarrassed to admit some of the hurtful things she would say to me and how much crying I have done in front of her and her only comment was, what are you crying for you big baby. We've moved on now and things are a lot calmer and I think anti depressants have helped her, or its probably what I don't like to admit to and that is her dementia has moved on. You have to have a tough outer skin to put up with a lot when caring for someone Hope your father can cope with it all, He is definitely not alone.
     
  7. JJM

    JJM Registered User

    May 30, 2015
    4
    Thanks for all the replies, you've certainly given me and the rest of the family much to think about.
     
  8. 2jays

    2jays Registered User

    Jun 4, 2010
    11,604
    West Midlands
  9. Alan19531953

    Alan19531953 Registered User

    Jun 16, 2015
    36
    Olanzapine helped my wife

    My wife was very argumentative and aggressive at times. But olanzapine seems to have settled her. Now much better. Of course it won't probably stay that way but the war is at least over for the time being.
     

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