“I want to be good,” the first line of a note written by my mum to me last night. She had listened to me talking to various people about her and her eccentric behaviour and taken note. The rest of the note made no sense at all but that first line stood out and made me think about what I say in front of her.
The behaviour I have discussed with the OT and Physio in front of her was some bizarre dislike she took of some men in a restaurant on Sunday where she made shooting noises at one of them whilst putting her fingers in the shape of a gun. On her way out she had thumbed her nose and stuck out her tongue at another. Luckily the waitress knew us and when mum pulled her over to ask her in a loud voice to get rid of the nasty, vile men she laughed and didn’t get upset.
Mum’s moods swing from euphoria to deepest despond and I have realised to just ignore both. I can get her to calm down sometimes by introducing subjects like books or politics but mostly it is a waste of time and any kind of rationalisation makes things much worse and the mood take hold for longer.
I feel as if her frontal lobe and inhibition markers have been affected by Alzheimer’s and this has meant she no longer cares about some of the things which were deeply important to her. Then every now and then she recognises that she has behaved in an extreme way and writes me a heartbreaking note.
Ali Richards is a nurse, coach and carer. You can read more of her writings at: