Dementia: DNA And Aggression

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Early this morning I have relied heavily on the advice of our local Pharmacist.  She told me shortly after Maureen’s diagnosis of dementia: Do Not Absorb any insults when she is in a combative mode.  She certainly ‘had one on her’ at 1.30 this morning. I have never had such vitriol directed at me and suspect constipation was the cause of her aggression:
‘If they depend on other people for their care or if they cannot easily find or access the toilet, this can also affect their bowel habits. Constipation in people with dementia can lead to a worsening of their confusion, as well as symptoms of irritability or aggression.
Yesterday afternoon Maureen told me that she ‘couldn’t poo poo’.  District Nurses responded promptly to my request for help.  Her reaction to their presence was tinged with sarcasm and suspicion.  It took quite some time before she gave them permission to feel her tummy.  They decided that any further examination would only cause distress and advised me to continue giving her laxatives.
Maureen woke at 5 am this morning, thinking I was her dad and wanting to know if she was late for an appointment.  Her confusion was paramount and she was adamant that she didn’t need laxatives.  In fact, she suggested that I should take them if I was constipated.
The advice from G P Out of Hours this morning was to contact the District Nursing Team as soon as they open.  Hopefully, Maureen will be a little more cooperative than yesterday and they will be able to get to the bottom of this problem!
This is the third time that Maureen has returned from a Care home with constipation.  It is something that needs to be addressed when I take my next break and an ensuite room would be a step in the right direction.
As I am about to post I hear Maureen in tears at the bottom of the stairs.  She tells me that ‘they have gone without me’ and goes on to say that ‘no one likes me’.   My reassurance that I like her has no impact ‘as I am not at school’.  Her feelings about being poor compared the rest of her fellow pupils keep resurfacing: she paid a heavy price for that scholarship to Nottingham High School!

6 thoughts on “Dementia: DNA And Aggression

  1. Constipation is not a problem confined to people with dementia, and is often caused by travel and/or being away from one’s own usual “digs.” That’s why most hotel breakfast buffets include stewed prunes as a staple. I take preventive measures when I travel and eats lots of carrots, which for reasons unknown act as a natural laxative for me. I do this because I know I am prone to constipation when I travel. I suggest including natural laxatives in Maureen’s diet a few days before as well as during respite stays in facilities.

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  2. paul – i just researched this topic online. it seems that after a certain age, about 50% + people have issues with constipation. when people are in nursing homes, that number rises to 74%. and elderly women are 2 to 3 times more likely to have this problem than men. and people taking multiple medications is also a contributor to constipation.

    that’s the link for the article.


    Liked by 1 person

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