I want to share an article with you which may be downloaded here: http://www.alzheimercambridge.on.ca/about_dementia.htm
You'll need to copy and paste the link into your browser and then scroll down the page till you find the article titled Understanding The Dementia Experience.It's a very well-written primer on AD and it's stages, and how bad things can get. It will also help to explain some of what is erroneously seen as aggressiveness or belligerence.
After reading it myself, and knowing I am in the beginning stages of AD, I couldn't help but think how very strong a caregiver must be. Not only strong, but very intelligent and vigilant.
As you read the PDF, think of a magician and how he or she performs magic: How? By distraction, and in its latter stages, when the patient can no longer perform tasks by himself, the caregiver's job is to figure out a way to steer him in the proper direction without "arguing" him into it and many times that will call for "creative distraction".
One example cited in the article, written by Jennifer Ghent-Fuller, B.A., R.N., M.Sc.N, mentions a man who would not perform his "bathroom functions" until the other guy in the bathroom left. His caregiver figured out that he was seeing himself in the mirror, and when she had the opportunity, she covered the mirror with a sheet.
So as I was reading this article, one thought kept surfacing: "Bill, do you really wanna put somebody through this?"
No. No, I don't, and that is why I'm willing to do whatever it takes to keep myself mentally sharp. Right now the Namenda has been in my system for a month, the Welbutrin and the Cymbalta are keeping me "levelled" out psychologically, but I still notice myself acting erratically or forgetting the name of my grandson.
The job? So far so good, and I can still drive and carry on a conversation except when a word fails me.
Thanks as always for reading.