Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Is This The Start?


Last week, when Mom arrived to pick Lyn up from day hab, the staff asked to speak to Mom in the office without Lyn.  They had to advise Mom that a report was necessary due to a significant "change in behavior."  Lyn got aggressive with another client.  

The other client doesn't like to speak and the team works to encourage him to use his words.  They had just succeeded in getting him to sing into a toy microphone.  Afterwards, everyone laughed and clapped for him and he began to sing again.  The staff stepped into the other room and Lyn took that moment to make her move.  She jumped up, got into his face and screamed "Shut up!  Shut up now!"  He kept singing and the staff came at a run.  Lyn stormed off to the restroom in tears.  

We don't know if she was angry that another person was the center of attention.  We don't know if something else caused her to feel confusion or threatened.  However, the staff was right to intervene immediately to protect the other client.  While Lyn did not strike him, her outburst was out of character. Normally, she would have been unhappy and then complained about it to Mom on the way home.

Lyn's internal governor is failing and seems to be failing quickly.  This incident has been documented by day hab and is being included in the reports to Lyn's case managers.  It will also be documented with her physician.  Mom and I are actively discussing the need to medicate Lyn.  It is looking more and more like mood stabilizers are in need.  Her physician disagreed the last time they met.  However, this incident or another like it before their next quarterly appointment may be the tipping point.

3 comments:

  1. We went through this with my dad. He generally got increasingly irritated at others, which I took to be caused from his increasing lack of understanding of what was going on around him. But the hardest part was his anger at my mom, to whom he'd been happily married for more than 60 years and who was his primary caregiver. Toward the end (as in within the last year of his life - he died in May this year), he began hitting out at my mom when he didn't want to do something she directed him to do - get out of bed, not put food in his drink, etc. As my sister and I both live out of state and were alternating spending ten days a month at my parents' house helping with his care, we were able to somewhat mitigate the problem by stepping in more and more when he needed convincing to do something. He never once showed anger toward either my sister or I and would attempt to comply with whatever we asked of him, but we watched very carefully how he treated Mom to prevent problems. I think he felt she was "safe" to get mad at. It was very hard for her to apparently be rejected by the love of her life - we continually reminded her it was the disease, not him.

    So much of what you're going through we recently experienced - I'm feeling for you. Let me know if you'd like to communicate off-thread occasionally. God bless - it's a tough assignment.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Sharon. This outburst was SO out of character for her! My daughter is one who did everything to be sweet, helpful, kind and would never hurt someone's feelings. Taking it one day at a time. Mom

      Delete
    2. Thank you, Sharon. We greatly appreciate you sharing your experience with your father and your willingness to communicate off-thread. I believe you're on to something with your father feeling "safe" to get mad at your Mom. I'm sorry it was so hard for her. While the aggression is discussed in the Alzheimer's community, I don't think the wider population realizes what those with Alzheimer's or their care providers experience.

      Delete