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Caregiving Knowledge I Wish I Had Known (Part 6 of 7)

Continuing from my initial blog post on September 4.

6. Wish I’d known that dementia causes anger, rudeness, and

unpredictable behavior

Mama Peaches was convinced that one of the neighbors was entering the house to spy on her. She was also terrified that we would die in a car accident. Transporting her to the doctor, store, or anywhere else became an ongoing challenge. Mama would call my brothers, other family members, and even 911 to claimed that she was being mistreated— which was far from the truth. In short, there were days when Mama Peaches absolutely resisted me despite my desperate pleas for her to comply for the sake of her well-being.

Most people associate Alzheimer's and dementia with memory issues, but these diseases can also cause extreme changes in one’s personality and behavior. People who were once polite, kind, and rational can become mean, make wild accusations, as well as see and hear things that are just not there.

Through her sickness, Mama believed her feelings and events were real, which caused a great deal of pain and confusion for our family. I wish I had understood earlier that it was the disease talking and not Mama. This understanding would have made it much easier to deal with the hurtful comments and changes in behavior.


Check back next week for the next thing I wish I had know. For a complete listing, please reference my new caregiving book called Mama Peaches Hot Slices of Wisdom available on Amazon.

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