Dementia: Episodes of Unbecoming Behavior

snakebiteWithin days of the Assisted Living facility calling me in to work through how we might better help my Mom, she was involved in an incident where another resident ended up on the floor. We received few details, but I have witnessed, and the staff has reported that my Mom is getting more combative. She has periods where she is verbally abusive and physically threatening. She’s now about 5’7″ and 110 pounds, but is able to command a larger presence and scares other residents.

My general rule has been to tell my Mom once what is happening and what has been reported to me. The discussion is always difficult and she is always frustrated to hear that I have been told something about her when she was not present.  I totally understand that emotion.

However, even when she was present, she doesn’t remember. My Mom will argue each item and demands written documentation. When it is provided, she rips it up. From that point forward, I work to implement the changes and redirect conversations or frame them with information that my Mom will accept.

Within the past year, I have met several residents who will share how my Mom was one of the first residents that welcomed them into the community. However the dementia has changed her and now, she’s the woman everyone avoids.

The head nurse calls to let me know the doctor is going to meet with her and look into some new medications. The Ativan (by itself) can’t help anymore.

Just when I think I have absorbed the changes in my Mom, something new emerges. Rattled.  

8 thoughts on “Dementia: Episodes of Unbecoming Behavior

  1. That is yet another terrible thing about this disease, the anger and frustration it can cause in those afflicted. When my dad was at that stage, I felt like he was fighting with the disease to maintain some part of his true identity. Soon enough, whether it was the meds he received in the nursing home or the progression of dementia, the fight went out of him and there was just this sedated shell left. I’m not saying that was any less heartbreaking, but watching him fight for his sanity was more painful for me. I hope your mother’s medical team can find some effective meds to stabilize her emotions.

    1. Thank you. I’m struggling to know what to even hope for anymore. Peace is the most prayed for … Peace for my Mom, me, siblings, on site care givers, the other residents.

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