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My father has vascular dementia

lizzie c

Registered User
Aug 27, 2006
4
hi to everyone, i've just registered with the talking point. I have an 80 year old father who was diagnosed with vascular dementia approx 18 months ago. He is currently in a nursing home and I need to talk to people who have maybe experienced the different stages I am going through with him. At the moment he still knows who I am if I call him dad but in the past couple of weeks he has taken to staying in bed all the time - the staff try and get him to sit up for his meals which he does for a short period of time but he always wants to return to bed fairly quickly - is this normal? He also gets very aggressive with the staff - I have tried explaining to them he probably cant understand what they are saying to him - some dont speak very good english, but is agresssion part & parcel of dementia? I dont really want him to be sedated all the time just to make their life easier but what can I do to make life easier for him? - We have had several run-ins with the nursing home about their standard of care it just seems like i'm hitting my head against a brick wall sometimes.
 

Amy

Registered User
Jan 4, 2006
3,453
Hiya Lizzie,
Welcome to TP. Aggression is often (not always) part of dementia, especially if the sufferer is confronted head on with something that they do not want to do.
Are there any particular triggers to your dad's aggression. It must be difficult for him if he is struggling to understand what is being said to him - not only may he not understand the accents, but the dementia will be making everything confusing for him.
How long has your dad been in the Nursing Home? I suppose by staying in bed, he is asserting that he can still take control of his life.
If you are not happy with the NH, are there any alternative ones in the area? Best to try and keep the NH staff sweet, as they are the ones caring for your father.
I am sure that others will come up with some ideas soon.
Love Helen
 

lizzie c

Registered User
Aug 27, 2006
4
Amy said:
Hiya Lizzie,
Welcome to TP. Aggression is often (not always) part of dementia, especially if the sufferer is confronted head on with something that they do not want to do.
Are there any particular triggers to your dad's aggression. It must be difficult for him if he is struggling to understand what is being said to him - not only may he not understand the accents, but the dementia will be making everything confusing for him.
How long has your dad been in the Nursing Home? I suppose by staying in bed, he is asserting that he can still take control of his life.
If you are not happy with the NH, are there any alternative ones in the area? Best to try and keep the NH staff sweet, as they are the ones caring for your father.
I am sure that others will come up with some ideas soon.
Love Helen

hi helen Thanks for replying, it seems dad gets aggressive when the staff want to clean him or dress him - I think he probably gets frightened because he just doesn't understand either what he's being told or what is happening to him with the dementia. He's been at the n.h for about 18 months - i've never really been happy about this but my mum felt she couldn't cope with him even though I said I was willing to help her. There aren't very many in the area that are registered for dementia most are just care homes so we aren't spoilt for choice!!! It just seems such an awful & cruel illness and I feel so helpless at times, I wish I knew what he was thinking and how much he knows about whats going on. Still I have to remember the good times and enjoy the smiles and cuddles as and when they come.
 

clare

Registered User
Oct 7, 2005
31
hi lizee

My mum also has vas dementia, and her symtoms seem very similar to your dads.
She refused all personal care from the nh and was aggressive to the carers and inmates. So much so that the dementia care home she was in for a year could not cope. she is now in an assessment unit. Where she will go after this i dont know

Just a thought, was your dad like this when he was at home?? I also felt that maybe the care home wasnt right for her but when i think back mum was like this at home.

Im afraid i havent got much positive advice, and i think the medical thinking is to keep adjusting and altering medication in the hope that the best combination is found. I can say that the nh mum was in was very good,but still couldnt calm her down. Is he aggressive towards you???

hope thing improve for you soon

clare
 

Helena

Registered User
May 24, 2006
715
My Mother also has Vascular Dementia although still lives alone but challenge her over anything or just move your head in the wrong direction and oh boy does she get aggresive

She has always been difficult and argumentative along with being intensly stubborn so i do not envy care home staff if she ever gets into one
 

sunny

Registered User
Sep 1, 2006
598
Vascular Dementia

Mum, has VD and can be quite moody (and at times quite unlikeable), her moods seem to change with the wind, thinks people are "on" at her at times (when they are not), she can be very irritable especially in dressing and personal care, eating and drinking. She rounds on people very quickly for absolutely no reason, imagines many "slights". Gives me people a "daggers" look which is not particulary endearing.
I think it is just the condition and the brain not working properly. When she is in a good mood she is usually "very with the fairies", but when she is slightly aggressive she is usually depressed and fairly "withit" seemingly. It is certainly a rollercoaster, all you can do is just visit your dad and accept whatever mood he is in and don't take it personally, he cannot help it! Perhaps shorter visits when he is disagreeable and longer visits when the mood is better on that day.
 

Helena

Registered User
May 24, 2006
715
If its taken one 2.5 hours to even get to visit the AD/VD patient you sure as heck do not need the aggression or the aggravation from the patient

So its hardly surprising some patients land up with their families etc never visiting them

If you are only minutes away then its different you can of course shorten or lengthen your visit accordingly
 

lizzie c

Registered User
Aug 27, 2006
4
Have been away for a couple of weeks but before we went dad was referred to a local ?neuropsychiatrist who suggested we try him on a different type of anti-depressant - I wrote the name of it down and now cant find it!!! - anyway he started these tabs a week and a half ago and apparently was really good after a few days - he's not so aggressive, will talk to you when you speak to him but still decides to stay in bed all day and sometimes will not even open his eyes to look at you even though he is awake! Whether these tabs will have a lasting effect time will tell but at least when I visited him today he seemed a lot calmer - I just hope its not because he's drugged up to the eyeballs but as I said time will tell. The doc also said it might be worthwhile trying to get him in to a different n.h. locally that would be able to give him more specialist care - something to think about.