stressed & need to vent

Discussion in 'I care for a person with dementia' started by Belinda3, Feb 23, 2015.

  1. Belinda3

    Belinda3 Registered User

    Mar 9, 2014
    Haven't been on here for a long while, but about a year ago my friend's repetition of telling me about things from his past became more prominent.

    I wondered if they were early signs, and kept it on the back burner.

    What I have noticed over the last few weeks is:
    -my friend keeps getting days mixed up,
    -seems to forget which days we arranged for me to visit him,
    -tells me so and so called to explain something but then tells me he is too confused by it all and can't remember what they explained exactly,
    -says he can't afford to eat and he must cut down on his food intake (when he knows only too well he can afford to eat),
    -has the most awful mood swings primarily aimed at me (his closest friend),
    -acts out of character ie telling others nasty inappropriate things/thoughts about me,
    -gets overly critical about things even about something he needed that I bought for him (which he btw forgets),
    -flies off the handle if an item wasn't where he claims it is,
    -gets so angry and is adamant socks won't fit so almost refuses to just try them on saying there's no point trying them on he knows they wont fit, but lo and behold they fit perfectly after all that.

    Yesterday it struck me it isn't just a case of forgetfulness, but possibly a case of not being able to fully process new information or accurate recalling of it.

    He is a lot older than me, he lives alone and has a care plan.

    But I seem to be the one who he 'goes into one' on. And it firstly makes me stressed, then incredibly angry afterwards. The last time he went ballistic at me was Saturday, its now Monday night and I am realising how much anger I've been left with since he went into one/behaved irrationally/illogically/got angry at.

    My late mother had lewy body dementia.
    I do now feel my friend is showing signs of early onset dementia because I recognise the signs. Two direct family members of his had it.

    I did report it all to his gp, but my friend refused to allow the gp to do a test/assessment. The gp does home visits and knows there is nothing else medically causing all of this.

    Telephoned the Alzheimer's Society, who kinda said yes, they do sound like possible early onset signs. I was sad for my friend, it was a kinda shock to hear it, but I was also relieved to hear this, if you see what I mean.

    So anyhow, I've been talking to my friend about P of A, and we both agreed not todo anything yet, and that if his health got so bad then the gp/social services would take over. I thought he was brilliant listening to me, I kept it brief and to the point, so's not to overwhelm him. He thanked me for looking into things and seemed to be really on the ball about it.

    Until he then started to get angry with me, almost accusing me of something, I don't know. Now, at every opportunity he tells me there is nothing wrong with him and that he hasn't got Alzheimer's.
    I have NEVER said that he had, all I said was power of attorney just in case one day it was needed if he got ill.
    My friend now says to me, and to all his carers etc in front of me "I haven't got alzheimers". They do not know him that well nor for as long as me, and so it seems to me they don't see the full monty, so their reply to him is always "no".
    He then forgets what day it is and constantly phones me up.
    It is very stressful for me to deal with calmly.

    All I've done is to look into safeguarding my friend's long term best interests, but I feel my friend is attacking me.
    I have tried as gently as possible once, to point out his forgetfulness, but he is in complete denial and gets angry.
    I have not even tried to point out all the other things I've been noticing about him as I feel doing so, would make him more angry and upset in denial.

    Not quite sure how I am going to carry on handling his mood swings, flying off the handle, being angry at me, when I have simply tried to help him as a friend ie getting him things carers don't, spending time with him, complaining on his behalf when things go wrong, checking ambulances are booked for appointments for him, etc.

    He is not family he is a friend whom I've known for a long time.
    I remember he used to be a very funny guy, always made me laugh so much.
    He isn't like that now.
    Its so different now.

    thanks for listening.
    Any advice most welcome.

  2. Emily M

    Emily M Registered User

    Jan 20, 2015
    Sorry to hear of your problem Belinda. You are a good friend indeed.

    My mother was in total denial about her Alzheimer's despite two sisters having it.

    I assume that if your friend has a care plan he has carers, who may also be able to monitor him and any changes.

    Don't be too disheartened and if your friend's behaviour to you gets too bad be prepared to put some distance between you and him for a while for your own sake.

    What I have said is probably not of much help. However, it is important that you vent your feelings.

    Good luck.

  3. Belinda3

    Belinda3 Registered User

    Mar 9, 2014
    thanks so much, your reply helps a LOT.

    yes, distance is important. Having to take the phone off the hook, and cutting down when I visit (he's not alone, he has carers etc).
    I have now spoken to the carer managers and they will start monitoring too.

    Today another incident happened & my friend clearly couldn't remember what todo at the time, sorry this is vague, but the point is it brings it home to me how badly his memory/decision making is becoming, in contrast to how he was.
    Intending to visit him when calm and collected, and have to keep telling myself he is not alone, and neither am I, and neither are we.

    thank you

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