1. twinklyJules

    twinklyJules Registered User

    Feb 18, 2015
    My mum was properly diagnosed about 5-6 months ago although we all knew things weren't right for a couple of years.
    My dad has been very poorly with lung cancer for the last 3 years and is now in the final stages. As dad grows thinner and weaker my mother is becoming worse, but what is troubling me most of all is not what she forgets but rather the new "nasty" persona that she has taken on!
    They are just about managing on their own at home with regular visits from me and my sister. Dad tries to help mum with arrangements and medical dates (she also has numerous medical problems right now!) but sometimes I have to help out.
    Yesterday I visited during a doctor home visit and had my mother ranting at me for interfering and almost shaking with rage at my intervention.
    It's the first time she's been like this with me and I have been tearful ever since (I'm 46 with young children and she's never been this horrible to me in all my years) .... worst of all my dad says she is the same with him now (he doesn't have long left now!!)
    Is it the effects of Aricept or does the character change this early on (her condition is not that bad yet and she still knows who we all are and is happy to discuss current affairs etc)
    I feel hurt and desperate - Im losing both of them!
  2. canary

    canary Registered User

    Feb 25, 2014
    South coast
    Oh Jules - as you say - such terrible timing.
    The change in character and nastyness is a symptom of dementia Im afraid, and can happen quite early on. In my mums case it became one of the things (the other was her accusations of a friend stealing from her) that alerted us to her dementia. It seems to mark the stage at which the dementia begins to cause problems. In mums case this stage didnt last too long, but I know in other cases it can be quite a problem.
    Im sure someone else will be along to give you some better advice.
  3. chris53

    chris53 Registered User

    Nov 9, 2009
    Hello twinklyJules, may i first say I am so sorry your poorly dad is getting the brunt of mums frustrations:eek: aggression can be caused by some medications so maybe these need to be reviewed, when my mum went on a higher dose of Aricept, she did become aggressive for a short while and she was reluctant to take it in the first place! may I suggest that you have a consultation either in person or by phone with mums GP, this will be treated in the strictest confidence-informing them of these additional problems and he/she may be able to prescribe something to "calm" mum down, if you feel that is it getting too difficult maybe a few days respite for mum-will give dad some peace,the GP can consult with social services and do a referral for this(it speeds things up) my heart goes out to you and I hope you get some practical help very soon, please keep posting here,much understanding and support in this safe havon..so a warm welcome to you to Talking Point.
    Take care, and sending a hug as well
    Chris x
  4. twinklyJules

    twinklyJules Registered User

    Feb 18, 2015
    Thank you

    Thank you lovely people for your helpful suggestions and support!
    I am suspicious of Aricept as it was also causing her to pass out several times a day back in December for a few weeks (luckily that has stopped now)
    Unfortunately no chance of respite for either of them - they are still very much in love after 51 years of marriage and would refuse to be separated. My mum does still feel it is her job to care for dad with his illness (he is pretty much in the same chair all day and night now as he can't breathe lying down) he needs in house help & will only accept it from mum (even though she is pretty horrible to him sometimes!!)
    I do think it would be worth a phone consultation with mums GP though as he is a good chap
    Thank you !
  5. jugglingmum

    jugglingmum Registered User

    Jan 5, 2014
    Sorry to hear of your double trouble.

    Being ignorant of dementia, my mum was only diagnosed when crisis hit, she lived some distance away and whilst we noted changes in her we just didn't realise.

    She went through a phase of being very critical of me when she visited for 2 or 3 years before diagnosis, she started on Aricept in June of last year, and this has stabilised some of her dementia, so the criticism was before the medicine.

    She can get very nasty when the carers clean her flat, but she was like this before Aricept as well and it is just part of the illness, as she doesn't 'see the point' of cleaning (her quote to SW before diagnosis).
  6. twinklyJules

    twinklyJules Registered User

    Feb 18, 2015
    Sorry to hear of your troubles too!!
    Your message was really helpful - thank you !
    I realise that anger can be part of the condition (& not necessarily the Aricept) it just seems more shocking when it first strikes I guess.
    Also because mum is not too bad yet with other matters it feels personal!!
    I don't mind her forgetting things and I've had to get use to the fact that she brings nearly every conversation round to the 1940s/50s ! But she's never appeared so hateful before :(

    I was glad to hear that medication stabilised your mum - we need my mum to hang in there for a while yet before my dad goes!

    I hate this disease and I am pretty bloody angry about it myself!!

  7. pony-mad

    pony-mad Registered User

    May 23, 2014
    I am so sorry to hear of your horrible dilemma. Maybe a change of medication could help otherwise reassuring your Dad that it isn't her but the disease talking; and you or someone else being there as much as possible to steer her away when she gets aggressive.
    Sending love and a big hug!!!

    Sent from my iPhone using Talking Point
  8. jen54

    jen54 Registered User

    May 20, 2014
    our mum became very aggressive when dad became more and more ill with terminal cancer, she was convinced they were killing him- ie the painkillers etc, she was very rude to the nurses, and carers, as she wanted to be in charge..and couldn't as she just couldn't take in meds, appointments, care, feeding - she kept taking off his pain patches :( and would fiddle with his pump, catheta etc
    she became like a child, threatening, and saying she wouldn't do this or that..wouldn't let dad do a will, LPA, hiding the paperwork etc at the same time she became really rude and nasty to my sister who had come from abroad to stay at their house, sorting all meds and the night etc-it was as if mum didn't even recognise her, kept telling me that she was taking over the house and her place etc:( we had to do all the phoning, and speaking to nurses as mum just couldn't recall anything, and wouldn't accept dad was so ill, saying he was lazy and soon would get better etc
    dad died mid march - and for a week or so mum hadn't a clue where she was, who had died etc-but she improved slowely after he died, it seemed to be the terrible stress, denial and fear that things were out of her control, now it is mainly short term memory shot and some confusion due to not recalling things
  9. twinklyJules

    twinklyJules Registered User

    Feb 18, 2015
    Hello Jen,

    I'm so sorry to hear you've been through almost the same ! & I'm also so sorry that you lost your dad.
    My mum is sometimes a little in denial like yours was - she told me the other day that dad wasn't getting dressed anymore because he "couldn't be bothered"
    I took some comfort from the fact you say your mum recovered a little after your dad died, and I'm sure that has something to do with the stress being removed.
    My mum is very resentful of the fact her life has been taken over by dads illness.

    I've just chatted to a lovely lady on the Alzheimer's helpline who is sending me some literature.

    It helps to talk ...thanks again for your input

  10. twinklyJules

    twinklyJules Registered User

    Feb 18, 2015
    Thanks for your support!!

    I did chat to dad who was relieved I'd brought it up ! - telling him to take comfort that it was her condition causing nastiness and not really her!!

  11. jen54

    jen54 Registered User

    May 20, 2014
    yes, we were really worried that mum had gone downhill really quickly, she even poked a carer really hard to shove her out of the way on the night dad died, but yes, she has settled down, and isnt as bad as she was, so we are sure it was the total shock and grief, stress and fear that made her dementia much worse- as you mention ,denial, or perhaps just not remembering,or taking in what was being said to her- she didn't want dads hospital bed in the lounge...didnt want the recliner before that, she said dad was becoming lazy having everyone running after him(in reality he could hardly move) she shouted at him saying he better buck up as she wasn't going to be looking after an invalid for 20 years or so..poor dad nodded and said that it wouldn't be that long for sure, she really never accepted he was dying- even at the end she wouldn't stay downstairs with him the night he died, and early hours when I went upstairs to tell her dad had died, she wouldn't get up, insisted we left her alone- yet when she did get up she demanded to know why no one had told her he was dying :( very very distressing- try not to take her nastiness to heart, our mum said some hurtful things to us all and dad, but she has no memory of that time, the one time dad did call her out on upsetting my sister, my mum was in tears with no idea what she had done- and it must have been so very hard with her dementia, trying to take it all in and feeling out of control :( I am sure it was aggression out of fear that reared it's head
  12. twinklyJules

    twinklyJules Registered User

    Feb 18, 2015
    Thank you so much Jen ! You have no idea how much you've helped me in this matter!

    I can so identify with what you went through and I know you're talking real sense here!!
    And I will probably reread your last post every time I need to get a grip on things

    The lady on the alzheimers helpline also advised not to rise to situations with mum and to generally keep my cool - I hope I can put all this into practice as tbh it does sound to me like you need the patience of a saint to deal calmly with these situations (I am pre menopausal with a difficult teenager and a 7 year old - not helping matters ;))

    Thanks Jen !

  13. BR_ANA

    BR_ANA Registered User

    Jun 27, 2012
    Usually, with my mom, if Home was calm, she was normal. If it was agitated or on hurry she was more agitated and confused and demanding. To keep a calm home I controlled TV to bring calm stuff and calmed my emotions.

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