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Hey, this may be an odd question but I figured you’re the best person to ask. My friend has a grandparent currently suffering with dementia and she lives with the family. Recently she has become quite aggressive and has been saying some vile things to my friend, which is negatively affecting her quite a lot. Is there any way I can help her to understand her grandma’s behaviour? We are both sixteen and she is under so much pressure X

Hi, thanks for writing in! Yes, I think the biggest part is to understand that it’s not HER, it’s her disease. So when she says mean things or does mean things, it’s not because she’s mean or because she doesn’t love her granddaughter. It’s because her brain is changing in a way that affects the way she processes information, speaks, understands, and everything else. Dementia is a difficult group of diseases because it’s a “family disease,” meaning that it often affects the family more than it affects the person living with dementia. The good news is that, often, people change as their dementia progresses. There’s a very real chance that this is just a bad stage, and she’ll eventually be a lot nicer. We also want to make sure that her grandmom is getting her needs met: she could be acting out because she’s hungry, tired, has a urinary tract infection, etc. I hope your friend will follow my blog!

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