Sep 13, 2014

Mean Dementia Patient, Challenging Dementia Patient

People with dementia may sometimes behave aggressively or in a mean spirited way. This can be very distressing and disconcerting for the dementia caregiver, family, relatives and friends.

By Bob De Marco
Alzheimer's Reading Room

Challenging and mean spirited behavior are common among persons living with dementia. But, I always ask the question, was the person "mean" before the onset of dementia?

The Path to Alzheimer's World

I still remember Dotty saying to me,

Get Out, I Don't Want You Here, I Can Take Care of Myself


At first and for a long time, I thought Dotty was being mean to me. However, it finally dawned on me  that she was actually trying to communicate to me how scared, confused and worried she was.

I mean really. Does it make any sense for an elderly person to tell you to "get out" when you are taking care of them 24 hours a day?  When you are providing for all their needs, and providing a safe secure environment.

No it doesn't make much sense. And, I finally learned to listen and pay attention when Dotty would get angry or challenging.

I finally learned that it was the Alzheimer's speaking and trying to send me a message.

Alzheimer's patients need to communicate, just like we need to communicate. However, Alzheimer's patients after a time cannot communicate in the way they did prior to the onset of dementia. They do they best they can but eventually it falls on us to listen and interpret their words sometimes.

When they can't find the words they sometimes "act out" to send us the message they can no longer verbalize.

Subscribe to the Alzheimer's Reading Room
Email Address:

We have a long list of articles available on the issues of meanness and challenging behavior. You can use the search feature of the Alzheimer's Reading Room to find useful information, and the information you might use to eliminate or at least lesson the problems your are facing. You can also share the information in support groups or via social media.

Click the links below to get a sample search of the keywords - mean challenging dementia patients.

Mean Dementia Patients


Challenging Dementia Patients


You might also find this search of our Knowledge Base of interest.


Advice and Insight into Alzheimer's and Dementia

Bob DeMarco is the Founder and Editor of the Alzheimer's Reading Room (ARR). Bob is a recognized influencer, speaker, and expert in the Alzheimer's and Dementia Community worldwide. Bob lives in Delray Beach, FL.
The Alzheimer's Reading Room (ARR) offers a searchable Knowledge Base that contains over 4,970articles. Those article, as well as our featured articles, are offered free of charge to the entire Alzheimer's community via the ARR website.

 Original content +Bob DeMarco , the Alzheimer's Reading Room