For example, the person may become agitated and make scenes in public, causing people to stare. This could include behaviors such as arguing loudly with you or strangers, even about inconsequential matters.
Furthermore, Alzheimer's patients tend to lose their sense of inhibition and may say rude things to people.
Sometimes a person who always demonstrated extreme politeness in public may loudly curse at you or others. In other cases the person may make racist remarks - something they never would have done before.
I was a caregiver to Ed Theodoru, my Romanian soul mate of 30 years, when he developed dementia. Sometimes I was so embarrassed by what he said and did in pub lic that I actually pretended I wasn't with him.
Ed often made scenes in restaurants. Once he complained very angrily to the waitress that his food was not hot enough and made her take it back to the kitchen. I'm pretty sure my face turned red.
During the same dinner, he commented loudly that a child sitting nearby with his parents was too loud and he wanted to change booths. Needless to say, the parents heard him. I pretended I had not heard him.
Another time he became agitated about having to wait longer than usual in a doctor's waiting room. After a few moments he got up and stomped over to the receptionist and loudly declared he wasn't going to wait much longer. Everyone there stared at him. I wanted to become invisible.
I was Ed's caregiver for the seven years he had Alzheimer's. During that time I developed some approaches to dealing with my embarrassment about his behavior. Here is some advice, based on my experience
A Story of Love, Alzheimer’s and Joy
Marie Marley, PhD, is the award award winning author of, Come Back Early Today: A Story of Love, Alzheimer’s and Joy. You can visit Marie’s website at ComeBackEarlyToday.
A slightly different version of this article was published on the Huffington Post .
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