About Me

Allergies: The Unbearable Sniffing, Sneezing and Drainage

My name is Marilyn Baker, and I have horrible allergies. I’m 42 years old and have been suffering from allergies since I was a child. I have seasonal and environmental allergies. Allergies plague me year round. When I was young, my parents even moved to a dryer area in the hope of helping me. Over the past eight years, I have done extensive research both through doctors and online. I have managed to come up with some combinations that have helped me a great deal. My allergies aren’t gone, but they have become manageable. I do have to have allergy shots, but I also use some natural remedies. I am happy to be able to share my findings with you here on my blog. I hope you can find some of this of value.

Allergies: The Unbearable Sniffing, Sneezing and Drainage

When Your Parent (Who Has Dementia) Becomes Combative

by Clifton Davidson

Taking care of an elderly parent who has some form of dementia (such as Alzheimer's disease) would be taxing for anyone, and if your parent has become combative or violent, this can make things so much harder -- even dangerous -- for you. It can also make you very sad to see your parent's mental condition decline to this extent, but there are ways to cope with this situation.

See Things from Their Point of View

A person with dementia can feel confused, irritable, or tired from the day's activities. They may be in pain from another ailment. It is hard for them to think clearly enough to verbalize what's bothering them. Sometimes they just don't have the words, or they have trouble following what you are saying.

If it is important that they do something, try saying it in fewer words. Use "do" statements instead of "don't" commands.

Recognize Symptoms of Mood Disorders

Your parent may be depressed and the symptoms of depression can cause an elderly person to appear to have dementia. Some older people also show symptoms of late onset bipolar disorder or its milder form: cyclothymia. You might think a person in a manic phase would be happy-go-lucky but more often than not, a person having a manic episode can be extremely irritable.

Of course, your parent could have both dementia and a mood disorder at the same time. His or her physician would prescribe a medication such as an antidepressant or a mood-stabilizer to treat a mood disorder, and this would help him/her to feel happier.

Pick Your Battles and Simplify the Living Environment

When your parent balks at doing something, it may be better to wait a while and approach the subject differently, even if it means their personal hygiene may suffer somewhat.

Make sure your parent's living environment is as simple and peaceful as you can make it, while eliminating any distracting or annoying noises.

He or she may also appreciate cue cards to remind them of things they need to do.  Consistent morning and evening routines would also be comforting to them.

Get More Help and Take Breaks from Each Other

Your responsibility for your parent may feel like an untenable burden at times. If you don't take care of yourself, you won't be much good for anyone else. People with dementia can live a long time with this condition, and can also be very strong physically. You need help and regular time off to regroup and be there for your Mom or Dad.

An option you could consider is hiring a health care aide to assist as you help your parent with activities of daily living and grooming. If you hire one, it is best to ease into the transition and remind your parent that they would enjoy the company of another person being there with them to do things. Another option is to enroll your parent in adult daycare, which would have trained staff there to handle various behaviors.

If you are heading towards major burnout, don't let a rash promise, such as 'I'd never put you in a nursing home,' given in the past keep you from taking that necessary action if you need to. Sometimes we do say things and mean them without realizing the full import of our words and the safety issues involved. Your main responsibility is to love your parent enough to give them the care they need in one form or another.

There can come a point in time where someone might need more than one person to deal with them when they are aggressive. Also, if the person has a habit of wandering off, it might not be safe any longer for them to stay at home. Even if your parent lives in a facility, such as Alta Ridge Communities, you can still be their healthcare advocate, visit them, and take them places regularly.

To recap: be sensitive to a parent's needs and feelings of confusion or frustration, and talk to them with fewer words. Keep their environment simple, quiet, and neat. Take them to a physician to rule out mood disorders, or to obtain treatment for them. Finally, don't be afraid to call 911 for emergency assistance, if you need to.