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An_243579 posted:
My Mother had a birthday on Sat some of the family went to the home and had a party for her she was already upset that day so thy had to give her extra meds to calm her down I guess she was calm through the party , but on Sunday wouldn't get out of bed until 3pm and has been combative ever since Your thoughts on this situation please ?

cjh1203 responded:
Hi Linda-

I'm sorry the party had a bad effect on your mother.

For Alzheimer's patients, the most important thing is routine, and anything that upsets that routine -- even when it's the family trying to do something nice -- can be traumatic for the patient. Also, having that many people around was probably scary and overwhelming for her.

I hope that in a few more days of getting over the excitement, she'll be OK. If not, though, there are medications her doctor can prescribe to calm her down.

Even though it's natural to want to celebrate an occasion like a birthday with her, it's probably best not to make a fuss any more. She likely doesn't understand what it's about anyway, and it just gives her more stimulation than she can handle.

I hope you'll let us know if she seems any better in the next couple of days.

Judith L London, PhD responded:
Hi Linda,

How sad that you all came together for such happy celebration and acknowledgement of your mother that didn't produce the desired effect.

Sometimes people get upset at supposed happy occasions. Your mother had alot of stimulation, and it may have been too much for her to process. If some sad feelings emerged during the celebration, you mother's unconscious memory, which remains throughout the disease, may have registered upset and although she cannot remember why she was and is upset, the feelings are there.

Combativeness is a way she is expressing her feelings. Acknowledge how upset she is, and that you are so sorry she is upset. Do this not because you are the cause of her reaction, but rather to validate that she feels this way.

She should start feeling better soon. Just reassure her that you understand she is upset and that it is all right.

Hope this helps,


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