1. Rachael D

    Rachael D Registered User

    Apr 25, 2005
    Last year, when we were planning a new look for the newsletter, Share, we asked members what they wanted from the newsletter and what they found most useful. Many said tips and advice.

    We're planning to include a new section in Share aimed at helping carers by unravelling what a person with dementia may be feeling/needing when they display unusual behaviour.
    There will also be contributions from CPNs (community psychiatric nurses) and clinical psychologists suggesting ways of responding to different forms of behaviour.

    So, what I'm looking for is examples of unusual behaviour. These might include hiding the post, packing and unpacking bags, or more alarming behaviour such as
    threatening to murder their carers who they perceive to be strangers.

    If you have any examples of unusual behaviour, I'd be grateful if you could share them with me, and hopefully we can try to help people and carers understand what the person with dementia is going through, and offer good tips as to how to help them.

    I look forward to hearing from you,
    Best wishes,
    Rachael D
  2. Nutty Nan

    Nutty Nan Registered User

    Nov 2, 2003
    Dear Rachael,
    Hiding the post, unravelling toilet paper, polishing the same object all day and collecting anything that is either blue, shiny or both ..... we have been there, done that, and although many of these odd things can be frustrating, they are fairly inconsequential. We've learnt to go with the flow.
    However, there is a fairly recent development, which always catches me out when I am tired and really not in the mood for going with the flow (no pun intended with what follows!): Within an hour or two after going to bed, my husband gets up to urinate, but instead of going to the bathroom (there are ALWAYS lights or nightlights on to show the way), he does it anywhere in the bedroom. OK, I can accept that he is not awake enough to realise where he should go, BUT - it only ever happens on that first awaking. He goes at least 3, sometimes 4, 5 or even more times during the night (in spite of the fact that I make sure he only drinks very little after 5pm), and always manages to find the loo then.
    There is only one little detail that I can put my finger on: I am not always in bed yet when he first needs to get up. But if he is too drowsy to find the bathroom, he surely is not aware that I am not asleep next to him? :confused:
    Am I missing something? There is obviously no point in trying to reason with him, he is not even aware that I am mopping up, and I certainly wouldn't want to upset him by making him feel guilty. But if someone has a suggestion of how I can prevent the nightly sprinkling session on the bedroom carpet, I would be very grateful.
  3. Anne54

    Anne54 Registered User

    Sep 16, 2004
    Dear Nutty Nan
    I’m sorry I can’t help with reasons why or ideas for stopping your husband but I have replaced all our carpets with cushion floor it’s such a relief to be able to wash the floor after accidents. I have done this over the last 10 years so it has been very gradual.
  4. daughter

    daughter Registered User

    Mar 16, 2005
    I know this may sound potty (groan :rolleyes: sorry) but would a couple of buckets placed strategically help? Not in a place your husband can fall over them, of course. He may be too drowsy to get to the bathroom but might automatically reach for a receptacle.
  5. Nutty Nan

    Nutty Nan Registered User

    Nov 2, 2003
    Thsnks, Hazel, I might give the buckets a try. I had dismissed this idea some time ago, simply because it never happens in the same place two nights running - actually, as I said before: it is more like an overall sprinkling .......
    Anything is worth a try - I'll let you know if it works.
  6. Nutty Nan

    Nutty Nan Registered User

    Nov 2, 2003
    Operation Bucket

    Well, one week on, one bucket is strategically placed each night, and it acts like a magnet - why??? It gives a new meaning to the term 'en suite'! (Thanks, Hazel!).
    Unfortunately, it is not the answer to the whole problem, but I intend to iron out the remaining details such as the fact that the 'sprinkling' effect means that the bucket is too small a target - the towel placed underneath it doesn't protect the carpet adequately, but I will try and use a plastic sheet below that tonight. I feel this is turning into a nightly military operation .....
    I haven't overlooked the suggestion of getting rid of the carpet, but I am not quite ready for that yet: I suffered a dreadful old bedroom carpet from the previous owners for over 15 years after moving into this house, because we never felt replacing it was sufficiently high on our list of priorities - until a couple of years ago. I am not about to pull it up just yet.
  7. daughter

    daughter Registered User

    Mar 16, 2005
    Hi Nutty Nan,

    Really pleased the bucket is having desired effect. The plastic sheet sounds a good idea. The things we have to do eh? Just a thought, but I wonder if one of those urinal pots that they use in hospitals might work too?

    A quick search on ebay for 'urinal' shows that they sell portable ones (a "Glastonbury essential", apparantly and "Perfect for situations like: Traffic Jams, Motion Sickness, Bad Weather, Potty Training, Camping, Boating, Flying or Anytime when a Toilet isnt available" - like in the bedroom?!)

    Anyway, I hope it continues to work and best wishes,
  8. Nutty Nan

    Nutty Nan Registered User

    Nov 2, 2003
    I know what you mean, Hazel: the urinal bottles would be perfect, as they almost eliminate the chances of missing the target. However, as a 'new idea' I think they would be a bit too ambitious for someone who is sleepy and confused.
    I've got used to compromises, so the bucket and plastic sheet will have to do for the time being (I suspect some day I will wish things could be as straightforward as bucket and plastic sheet again ....... :( )
  9. sarahfromBucks

    sarahfromBucks Registered User

    May 17, 2005
    Unusual behaviour - hearing running water

    Hi Rachel D
    A different type of passing water with my Mum. In the early stages of dementia, she kept on hearing water running in her head, and was terrified this meant a burst water pipe in the house. She would regularly climb the loft ladder to look at the water tank, then go downstairs to the tap on the rising main in the kitchen and turn that off. She was living on her own at the time, with carers visiting only once a day, and my visiting once a fortnight.

    I screwed down the loft hatch, as we were concerned about a fall, although Mum was pretty active and limber for her age. Mum would push the washing machine to one side in an effort to get to the rising main tap - such was her determination and anxiety. She would often go outside the front door in her nightdress - no further - to see if she could detect the noise coming from the water main. During the war, she remembered her father dealing with burst water pipes in the house when the severe winter of 1941 was followed by a thaw. It was an exaggerated fear of what all of us might dread happening in our homes.

    A hearing specialist and geriatrician thought that it was related to tinnitus, and that a hearing aid, regularly worn, would enable Mum to focus more on noises that were "outside her head", rather than in. We started her on high strength gingko, as Aricept was not available in her area at that time. I believe it helped. In the end, it was Mum's deterioration which diminished her ability to go looking for the causes of her "running water", which eased our problems.
  10. thompsonsom

    thompsonsom Registered User

    Jul 4, 2004

    In the beginning when m/in/law first showed obvious signs of demential it was the constant taking everything out of her handbag and then putting them all back in again and even today 18 months on she will still although not as bad as in the beginning put everything she can lay her hands on into her handbag, newspaper catalogues are the worst as soon as you give her one to look at in the handbag it goes. Tissues are now a major issue she will constantly take them out and sort them into little piles she must have the equivalent of an whole toilet roll in her bag and we go through 1 roll a day and most of it is in her handbag, every pocket is full of tissues/toilet paper and if she goes to a cafe or pub for a meal the serviettes will go in as well, dirty or clean.

  11. Norman

    Norman Registered User

    Oct 9, 2003
    Birmingham Hades
    Hi Thompsonon
    nothing unusual in any of that behaviour after 7 years we still go through toilet rolls like there is no tomorrow.
    Some down the pan and some to be shredded.
    Tissues go the same way,folded sometimes or shredded.
    I find them every where,in vases,cupboards,drawers,you name it they are there.
    I think this is one of the most common form,s of unusual behaviour.
  12. Sheila

    Sheila Registered User

    Oct 23, 2003
    West Sussex
    Yep, we've been there too and got the Tshirt. Love She. XX
  13. katieberesford

    katieberesford Registered User

    May 5, 2005
    south wales

    :rolleyes: Hi

    Yes, I have this problem with my husband. We have kitchen roll tissue inbetween all our plates, saucers and frying pans!!

    We get through rolls of the stuff. Saving grace is when we are short I just take a sheet from inbetween something. ;)

  14. spook

    spook Registered User

    Jun 9, 2005
    Hi. new member so not sure what to put. My mun is in a nursing home now at the age of 84 she has had dementia now for three years and at the moment is suffering from constant vomiting. there seems to be no physical reason and now is at the stage where it begins after breakfast and carries on with every drink or food all day. she is not distressed by this at all. But its very hard for us to watch this happening. wondered if a from of bullimia happens with dementia. thanks all.
  15. jc141265

    jc141265 Registered User

    Sep 16, 2005
    Interacting with reflections

    Dad's most troubling 'unusual behaviour' was him thinking reflections were real people and not recognising himself in a reflection and thinking it was another man.

    I know this is a well recorded behaviour often with the story of the husband thinking his wife has let another man in the bedroom or bathroom, but Dad's reflection friends were so much more than that.

    He used to invite the man he saw in the window in all the time, and then when he would open the door he's be quite puzzled as to where he had gone. Then he started yelling at the man in the window and of course the more he yelled the angrier that other man would get and he too would start waving his arms around in fury.

    Dad's reflection folk were also troublesome at shopping centres and when walking past car windows. Sometimes he would roar murderously at these folk, which would be quite a show stopper for all the 'less reflective' real people passing by!

    The funny thing about Dad and his reflections however was that if you managed to beat him to the punch and explain to him that they were reflections he was able to control himself, but you had to keep explaining it. Often we would go through the shopping centre and I would see him starting to look at the reflections and it became a running, well not joke, but a kind of comforting conversation we would have where all the while we would pass by the reflective surfaces with me saying, ' Now Dad don't go looking at the reflections you know they make you angry, remember they're just reflections, thats right, best to look away.' and thats how we would get through it. If I was too late and he would already have started his rant, I would have to get between him and the reflection and calmly say the same speech over and over again and sure enough he would gradually calm down and come back to 'my world' with me. Sometimes it would also help to stand beside him and point to me and say, "see thats me and see thats you and have my reflection touch his reflection on the face".

    Its also important for carers to realise if you loved one has a problem with reflections wearing glasses when talking to them can send them nuts! I try to wear my contacts most of the time when with Dad, and even today when I was too tired to wear my contacts I had to take my glasses off and sit blind through most of my visit with him.

    When this is your loved one's behaviour you will soon be amazed at how many things around us are reflective. I'll never forget last year when as a special christmas treat I rented a flash shoreside apartment for my mum, dad, my partner and I to stay at over xmas (mum had been quite down about xmas as she didn't feel she could take dad anywhere and the rest of teh family had flown to another city). What do you think happened? The beautiful apartment we had, had floor to ceiling mirrors on several of its walls! I still have the photos of us sitting in the apartment with strange images of bedsheets hanging over the walls! Then there was the time in the hospital and mum took Dad to the toilet and again a floor to ceiling mirror on the inside of the door. So she took him to the loo while I stood outside holding the door cos we couldn't shut it what with the hospital bedsheet we had taken off his bed to drape over it!
  16. Rosalind

    Rosalind Registered User

    Jul 2, 2005
    Nothing like as bad as the things some people suffer, but why oh why does my otherwise not particularly tidy minded VaD suffering husband take it upon himself to throw away the carton that contains the roll of kitchen foil? He then puts the roll back into the drawer. From then onwards, I have to either cut the foil with scissors, which puts my teeth on edge, or try to rip it against drawer edge, that does not work. I beg and implore him not to do it again, he says he didn't do it the the first place, and will never throw away another kitchen foil carton as long as he lives, the roll is replaced and he does again.

    He does not do the cooking, does not use the foil for anything, and it does not occur to him to throw away other things - if anything he goes to the opposite extreme, and takes things I have thrown away out of waste paper baskets 'because I didn't know if you had really thrown it away'. These are things like unopened letters inviting me to get a new credit card, or the parish magazine.
  17. daughter

    daughter Registered User

    Mar 16, 2005
    Hi Rosalind, some behaviours just don't seem to have any logical basis do they? However, (just a thought), is it possible your husband is recognising the potenial danger of the serrated edge on the carton and trying to put it out of harms way? I guess you could experiment by removing the edge and seeing if he still throws it away - then again, you'd still be without the handy cutting aid! :eek:

    (I'd say that the letters inviting you to get a new credit card were just as dangerous but in a different way! :) )
  18. purchase

    purchase Registered User

    Aug 31, 2005
    The handbag certainly struck a cord with me. Everyting goes in. Also mom fills all the drawers in her room with newspapers and rips things out to show us. The funniest thing is, and the home are aware of this, she gives my sister and me ornaments that she says she has bought but has obviously collected on her way round the home. Also glasses. Any other resident who dares to put their glasses down are sure to lose them in mom's handbag. Thing is she can never find her own glasses.

  19. Bets

    Bets Registered User

    Aug 11, 2005
    South-East London, UK
    Hi Rosalind,

    I don't have the kitchen foil problem, but similar things drive me mad, e.g. my husband always unplugs the electric toothbrush in the bathroom. When we first had one many years ago (pre VaD) and I unplugged it, he told me to leave it plugged in all the time. Like you, I have asked and given up trying to get him to leave it. He, too, agrees he won't ever do it again. I might as well save my breath. He also insists on closing all the internal doors before we go out.

    Hey ho,

  20. Norman

    Norman Registered User

    Oct 9, 2003
    Birmingham Hades
    Have you all found Mr Nobody living with you yet?
    My wife is never guilty of any strange happenings,of which there are many,must be him.
    We are still mainly on paper tissues .It turns up everywhere,in drawers,cupboards,in the teabags,in thr mop bucket etc etc.
    I am still surprised at some of the things that I find!!

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