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Memory Health: Alzheimer's Support Group
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Help dealing with anger

Hi, I'm new here and seeking help for my 85 year old father who is co-care giver for my 82 year of Alzheimer mother. She has recently become argumentative and difficult to get along with. They have been married for 66 years and this is taken a great toll on him. Any suggestions, as this is new to all if us; including her.

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Welcome to the community, and thanks for reaching out for help.

For people with Alzheimer's who are angry and argumentative at times, a few suggestions:

- A calm tone of voice and friendly body language count for a lot

- Deflecting with new topics can be effective - avoid "No", use "Yes, and [new topic]" instead

Every situation is unique, so expect a trial and error approach to figuring out what language and topics will be effective at de-escalating confrontations.

Also, for spouses caring for a partner with Alzheimer's: it might help to frame a new reality that they are now interacting with a "new" version of their partner - same in some respects but different and unpredictable in other ways.

All the best.

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Thanks Christian, this is truly a learning experience for all of us, but I do appreciate your suggestions, I tried the avoiding the "No's" today and it seemed to help a bit; as well as the new topics. I was really surprised at how easy it was to move from one subject to the other without confrontation.

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My mother has had all heifers for boutique 2 yes now and getting worse every day my dad tends to her the most but I'm there in new out all day I live across the street so near by at all times but still dad's there 24-7 we try to get him out a couple times a week so he can unwind and try and grasp all of this, it helps because the questions all day long, arguing because she remembers to a T...it's hard believe me very, but needs to be done because she was there for us,jut remember they need you now more then ever,take a breath n do what you need to do....after all she's my momma 👵

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I sympathize. I watched my father become angry and combative. With dimentia. And now I am showing symptoms.

The anger is in my opinion the exhibit and release ,of the terrible frustration of being slowly forgotten. I think the forgetting is mutual..but the person who has the cognitive issues feels responsible for causing the change in thebfamily.

I get frustrated and embarrased andashamed that my mind doesnt seem to do what I wantbit to. I'm letting all of you down. You didn't signup for this.

That's my view, maybe that helps you too.

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Thanks for the insight Katie. It helps me keep it in perspective.

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I can certainly sympathize with you and your mother. I have gone through the stages of dementia with both my parents and now my brother is well into vascular dementia. Fortunately, neither ever became truly hostile so I can't give a lot of first hand advice. But I can advise that you go to the library and check out The 36 Hour Day. It was written many years ago and has undergone several revisions to keep it up to date. It was written to aid the Alzheimer's/other dementia patient caregiver in what to expect and give adaptive techniques and coping strategies. I found many of the ideas invaluable, hopefully you could glean some helpful knowledge as well. If you find the information as helpful as I did then the book is well worth purchasing.

I hope this is in some way helpful and will keep your family in my thoughts.

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Just cutting in here, my husband has been dxd with Alzheimer's and I find the 36 hour day one of the most helpful books I have read. we're all different but that book "speaks" to me.

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Thanks for the suggestion. I have been reading everything I can get my hands on so I will go to the Library and check this out. Thanks again

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Good luck, it's a trial and error situation to find what works - we're all different!

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Welcome, VSDaniels -- Are you the other co-caregiver for your mother, or is the other person a paid caregiver? When was 79 and newly married I started on the path to becoming a caregiver for my husband, who was six years younger and a foot taller than I am. Although I had some help from home based hospice, and he was in a nursing home for the last four months, it took a great deal out of me physically and emotionally. You and your father should make plans for what will happen if/when your father cannot continue doing his part of your mother's physical care. It would be good to include a social worker in your plans. I am now 85, and know that at this point in my life I cannot take care of anyone except myself.

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Thanks jaykay777, I am the other co-caregiver, however, I have looked into some social services for assistance for my father because I have health issues of my own and the strain is beginning to take a toll.

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I am glad you have looked into some social services for assistance for your father. You need to take of yourself.

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