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    Old 01-03-2006, 06:14 AM   #1
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    Personality Changes


    I was so intrigued by that other thread, I decided to start a new one where we might explore some of the personality changes with Ad and dementia.

    My mom's personality is totally different. She was never family oriented, never cared to visit or see her children or grandchildren. Though we lived in the same town, she would never babysit my children and has grandchildren she had never seen until they were teenagers.

    Now, she is taken aback when my children visit and they are adults, rather than the small children she remembers. She delights in babies, when in the past she's always said if she had it to do over, she would never have children.

    Now, She is simply this sweet little lady who adores children and family.

    Does anyone know what happens to change their personality so drastically?

    Or, what has been your experience with personality changes.

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    Old 01-03-2006, 07:39 AM   #2
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    Re: Personality Changes

    While we don't have a diagnosis of AD or dementia, my mom has gone from this sweet, loving, independent, strong woman to one who is constantly paranoid, suspicious, accusing, angry and hateful. One who would never say anything to hurt anyone, but now thinks nothing of spewing venom at my dad and I. One who never told me to shut up, but now finds that to be her favorite phrase. One who believes she hasn't lived here the whole time, and believes that she should have never 'come back'.

    Old 01-03-2006, 08:39 AM   #3
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    Re: Personality Changes

    Great topic. I've tried to figure out why and how this personality change happens but as usual, there's no predicting the changes in this illness. my mom is in moderate stage - she was always upbeat but emotionally guarded - didn't like hugs, didn't let people too close emotionally and could be critical. she's still very upbeat - doesn't take much to make her laugh but the criticism is gone. i've thought of it as the part of her brain responsible for emotional defenses has melted away so she's more open emotionally - feels her emotions in a more pure way. feels a little childlike. so, for her, so far anyway, it doesn't feel drastically different which seems strange given other's experiences. i don't know how tangles and plaques in the brain can create suspiciousness, etc....

    Old 01-03-2006, 05:40 PM   #4
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    Re: Personality Changes

    My mother was a very conservative, prudish, uptight lady .. born in 1908, this is not surprising.

    After a couple of years of Alzheimer's she walked around the apartment naked (she had never shown herself naked to me before!) and a few months later, while swimming at my nephew's pool, she dropped her wet bathing suit and paraded around to the front of the house where she sat on the front porch until my brother, aghast, yelled at her. Then she cried.

    It seemed to me that Mom lost all her sense of embarassment or shame. She didn't care if she stank, for example. Acted more or less like a 2 year old would .. no inhibitions. However in her speech she has never used any filthy language or stopped speaking in a polite and loving tone of voice.

    My brother's MIL on the other hand, cursed, spat at people,and was quite unreasonable ... until she too reached a stage where she had forgotten why she was mad. She was very docile and friendly for then last 6 months or so until her death.

    It does weird things to the mind. It is scary .. terrifying.



    Last edited by Martha H; 01-03-2006 at 05:44 PM.

    Old 01-03-2006, 08:17 PM   #5
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    Re: Personality Changes

    I've been working my way up to answering this one .. how to put it and such.

    Ok .. my ex-charge was a warm, caring, educated, clever, wise woman. She was a life-line counsellor, a mad keen potter, worked tirelessly with Meals On Wheels, Rotary and Church.

    This disease turned her into a selfish, ranting mean lady. Quite the OPPOSITE of what she had been. Like Martha's Mum, she lost her inhibitions .. if she soiled herself, she would simply strip off and leave the clothes on the floor and walk around her area of the house half dressed (much to the horror of my son once .. !!) She didn't understand money and kept trying to give HUNDREDS to the church she frequented, but couldn't figure out how to pay a bill. Once, I found a shop docket in the milk bill ~ lucky I found it. She couldn't figure out the coffee machine, spoiled food, washing machine, lights .. all this from an educated woman.

    It was so sad watching her decline -- and bearing the brunt of her frustrations and anger --

    My friend noticed her Dad went from being an overbearing brute to a great big *****cat. She can never remember him cuddling her or even having a conversation with her (until she had a son) .. and now, when she visits him, he'll hold her hand and be quite loving. He even was put on 'parole' at the NH because he kept patting nurses bottoms and being cheeky!! VERY MUCH the opposite of what was.

    so .. the question of personality changes appears to be across the board .. what was isn't ?


    Old 01-05-2006, 08:55 AM   #6
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    Re: Personality Changes

    I didn't know my dad very well while I was growing up. He was a workaholic and he drank a lot. We were never really close. He was a man who didn't sweat things much. He didn't let things get to him. He was pretty easy going, never yelling. Kind of happy go lucky. But when he got angry, he just left the house for a few hours until he cooled down.

    Before he was diagnosed with AD, he started showing signs of depression. He was sleeping an awful lot. He cried sometimes (this was a man who NEVER cried). He never told me he loved me before. In 35 or so years, I never heard it once. All of a sudden, he started saying it after I told him I loved him. He was never really possesive of his things. All of a sudden, he became very possesive with me about certain things. He would fly off the handle and start yelling and drawing his fist up at me and I would run the other way because I knew he would hit me and hit HARD. I was scared. This was not MY dad. So after speaking to his doctor, she put him on Zoloft. He still sleeps a lot (he has congestive heart failure too which makes him tired). But he's more even keel on his emotions. At least he was when I last saw him 7 months ago. He was no longer a threat to me. I asked the doctor if the antidepressant would calm him down. She said many times, it does for people with dementia.

    Love, Barb
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    Old 01-05-2006, 05:58 PM   #7
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    Re: Personality Changes

    My grandmother was almost the Grandma Stereotype.
    She baked cookies, family dinners, all that.
    Very sweet and Baptist.

    Now, 2 years into the disease, she's very paranoid - mostly.
    She remembers some of our names, not all.
    She thinks her mother (who died 26 years ago) is still living.
    She constantly tells us that she just 'came back' from visiting her.

    When we eat dinner she asks to wrap a plate up for her husband, my grandfather, who died a year ago.

    Her little dog is her baby now. She's extremely close to it and defensive about it. One time she wet the carpet and I picked her up (gently) to set her outside and my grandmother went into hysterics thinking I was going to "send her away!"

    She doesn't ever know what year it is, month, day of the week, time.

    This one is sort of funny, but she thinks it's her birthday just about everyday.

    She wraps her purse and other belongings (panties, flashlights, books) in plastic grocery bags and hides them. Usually under the matress or in cabinets. She absolutely never remembers where she put them and she goes into hysterics if you don't find it.

    Wakes up in the middle of the night - usually in panic mode.

    We don't give her money anymore since she hid that, too.

    She can't hardly ride in cars anymore. Becomes very suspicious and upset of where we're going. Has tried to jump out.

    Constantly repeats questions. Takes very long and much effort to make her go to sleep.

    Has to be forced to be bathed or wash her hair. She constantly says, "I'm not dirty. I can wash myself."

    Talks under her breath. Kind of creepy sounding.
    For instance, if I say "Granny, are you okay?" in the middle of the night -
    she'll mutter under her breath - "That sounds like Tate, Tate...Tate..."

    Convinced our neighbors are trying to steal from us/trying to kill her dog when it goes outside to play/use the bathroom.

    Very suspicious about her medicine. Almost refuses to take it.

    Old 01-05-2006, 09:18 PM   #8
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    Re: Personality Changes

    Hi Tate,

    Your Grandmother does sound like she has serious dementia or alzheimers. Has she been diagnosed yet and does she take any medicines for this? If, no meds. yet, some might help her delusions. Some are helped and some are not. As long as she is not a threat to herself or her family, she is allright! My dad has not started those "doings" yet. I guess, not quite that far along?!

    If yall need some help with your Grandma, there are probably home health care aides, to be hired (or if in the U.S.), or for Medicare to pay for partially (part time). You should check into it, if you have not already. Unless there are a lot of family members watching after her, it sounds like yall could use some help?!

    Take care and come back some more.

    Love, Wannabe

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