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Negativity in a dementia patient

Nozzie

New member
Jan 20, 2020
6
Hello
My uncle has dementia and I am going through the difficult decision of placing him in a care home.
He has regular support, but is not safe at night.
I visited him on Saturday and he kept repeating “ I want to die” He is physically OK for 87 but clearly very depressed.This is a highly intelligent man who was a librarian and has published translations of Dante.
I felt so upset going through his things and seeing letters from Oxford colleges asking to use his work.
He recognises me and thanks me for visiting , but immediately forgets I have been there. Rationally I know I doing the right thing in placing him in a home near me .( he lives alone 80 miles away),but I know he will refuse.I dread the thought of getting him in the car...he won’t go out of the house, even to the garden, in spite of much encouragement. I asked him if he was happy living in his home, to which he answered “ I’m as happy as I would be anywhere...life is misery”
I just hope with more stimulation and friendly faces he will get more out of life.
Thanks for listening !
 

Grannie G

Volunteer Moderator
Apr 3, 2006
70,659
Kent
Hello @Nozzie Welcome to Dementia Talking Point.

It will be difficult persuading someone with dementia to agree to such a big move, not only into residential care but to a home 80 miles away. It`s not surprising your uncle is resisting.

Is there any way you could arrange evening supervision for him? If he is housebound, agoraphobia could be the cause especially if he won`t even go into his garden. Taking him out and on a long journey against his wishes could be very upsetting and frightening for him.

After my husband had six months in residential care he was afraid even to go into the garden of the home he was in.

Please consult your uncle's doctor about the move you are considering for him. It could be too much.

I know you are trying to do your best but is this from your perspective rather than your uncle`s. If he is so depressed, would he want company and stimulation?
 

Nozzie

New member
Jan 20, 2020
6
Thanks for making me feel worse. I know you mean well. No, there is no one to be with him at night.No one is doing anything except his sweet and overwhelmed carer. I have to do something before he has an accident and/or deteriorates further. If it sounds like it’s from my point of view that’s because I’m the only one doing anything and he has dementia so it’s impossible to discern his point of view.
 

Thethirdmrsc

Registered User
Apr 4, 2018
127
Hi Nozzie, speaking from the depression side, my OH is 80, and talks most days about ending his life, although he says he is too cowardly. Even worse since November when he got his driving license revoked. I love seeing happy contended people in the Alzheimer’s brochures, and wonder if I could do a swap. Whatever you decide there will be guilt and angst involved, but good luck.
 

Nozzie

New member
Jan 20, 2020
6
Thankyou.
I agree what would be nice is for them to be happy in the moment, in spite of the dementia, especially if they are reasonably fit physically.
 

TNJJ

Registered User
May 7, 2019
1,204
cornwall
Hello
My uncle has dementia and I am going through the difficult decision of placing him in a care home.
He has regular support, but is not safe at night.
I visited him on Saturday and he kept repeating “ I want to die” He is physically OK for 87 but clearly very depressed.This is a highly intelligent man who was a librarian and has published translations of Dante.
I felt so upset going through his things and seeing letters from Oxford colleges asking to use his work.
He recognises me and thanks me for visiting , but immediately forgets I have been there. Rationally I know I doing the right thing in placing him in a home near me .( he lives alone 80 miles away),but I know he will refuse.I dread the thought of getting him in the car...he won’t go out of the house, even to the garden, in spite of much encouragement. I asked him if he was happy living in his home, to which he answered “ I’m as happy as I would be anywhere...life is misery”
I just hope with more stimulation and friendly faces he will get more out of life.
Thanks for listening !
He sounds like my dad. Dad is not a mixer and not fond of other people. Unless they talk about cars!
Dad has depression and talked about shooting himself.He has VD and cannot walk. I called the doctor in and she increased his Mirtazapine to 30mg.It is for depression and anxiety. He seems more stable now..Have you phoned his doctor? Do you have LPOA?
 

Rosettastone57

Registered User
Oct 27, 2016
1,166
Hello
My uncle has dementia and I am going through the difficult decision of placing him in a care home.
He has regular support, but is not safe at night.
I visited him on Saturday and he kept repeating “ I want to die” He is physically OK for 87 but clearly very depressed.This is a highly intelligent man who was a librarian and has published translations of Dante.
I felt so upset going through his things and seeing letters from Oxford colleges asking to use his work.
He recognises me and thanks me for visiting , but immediately forgets I have been there. Rationally I know I doing the right thing in placing him in a home near me .( he lives alone 80 miles away),but I know he will refuse.I dread the thought of getting him in the car...he won’t go out of the house, even to the garden, in spite of much encouragement. I asked him if he was happy living in his home, to which he answered “ I’m as happy as I would be anywhere...life is misery”
I just hope with more stimulation and friendly faces he will get more out of life.
Thanks for listening !
My mother-in-law was like this. She wouldn't have been happy wherever she was. She refused to go out even to our house. She refused point blank to go into care and my husband was not prepared to dupe her so we waited for a crisis. Eventually she became ill ,went into hospital and we organised a care home place for her, she was self funding and we had power of attorney.
 

Nozzie

New member
Jan 20, 2020
6
He sounds like my dad. Dad is not a mixer and not fond of other people. Unless they talk about cars!
Dad has depression and talked about shooting himself.He has VD and cannot walk. I called the doctor in and she increased his Mirtazapine to 30mg.It is for depression and anxiety. He seems more stable now..Have you phoned his doctor? Do you have LPOA?
Thanks for your reply. I have LPOA financial but the Health one is going through. I have contact with the GP and I think an antidepressant is a good idea.
 

Nozzie

New member
Jan 20, 2020
6
My mother-in-law was like this. She wouldn't have been happy wherever she was. She refused to go out even to our house. She refused point blank to go into care and my husband was not prepared to dupe her so we waited for a crisis. Eventually she became ill ,went into hospital and we organised a care home place for her, she was self funding and we had power of attorney.
Thanks you for your reply. That is more or less where we are...waiting for a crisis! I’m trying to do something before that happens.
 

Splashing About

Registered User
Oct 20, 2019
405
My mum has been negative and difficult for 2-3 years I’m sorry to say. She is now in a care home and safe. She would have resisted and fought the move if capable but it came after a crisis and she seems unaware of the alteration in her circumstances. She is much further along by the sounds of it.

I second the viewpoint of discussing medication but unless the PWD is willing to take it there is not a lot you can do. It’s desperate to watch and feel helpless to improve things
 

canary

Registered User
Feb 25, 2014
11,630
South coast
People with dementia almost always say "no" when asked if they want to do something, because they can no longer envisage what it would be like, so its much safer to say "no"
My mum absolutely refused to move into a care home, or even have carers in the home. Eventually (like other responders) it took a crisis. Mum had a TIA and went from hospital to care home. In fact, having fought so hard not to move there she ended up being happy there - much happier than when she was living "independently"

Im guessing that it will take a crisis for your uncle too. How is his carer coping? One possible crisis would be if she could no longer cope.
 

Shedrech

Volunteer Moderator
Dec 15, 2012
8,754
Yorkshire
hi @Nozzie
I can quite understand you wanting to have your uncle near you, safe and settled

should you be able to move him, might you hire a comfortable wheelchair and a taxi that takes a wheelchair, they are larger and more comfortable ... that way you are not driving and worrying about your uncle, you can be sitting with him ... and if possible have his carer come along with you so there are 2 of you to look after him ... and take drink, food and some treats with you