Diabetes mellitus is common among older people. Hypoglycemia is a sign of poorly controlled diabetes mellitus and may lead to irritability, agitation, anxiety, hunger, and an excessive food intake, which in turn may make the control of diabetes more difficult. Excessive, inappropriate food intake is also a sign of Fronto-Temporal Dementia (behavioral variant: bvFTD). In this case study, we describe the events leading to an altercation that developed between an older diabetic patient with bvFTD and the staff in an Assisted Living Facility. His first dose of insulin was given early that morning while he was still asleep. He, subsequently, woke up feeling hungry, agitated, and irritable. This, in turn, exacerbated the hyperorality associated with bvFTD. We examine what went wrong in the patient/caregiver interaction and how this potentially catastrophic situation could have been avoided or defused.
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Hamdy, Ronald C.; Kinser, Amber; Dickerson, Kara; Kendall-Wilson, Tracey; Depelteau, Audrey; and Whalen, Kathleen. 2018. Fronto-Temporal Dementia, Diabetes Mellitus and Excessive Eating. Gerontology and Geriatric Medicine. Vol.4 https://doi.org/10.1177/2333721418777057 ISSN: 2333-7214