I am lost... don't know the next step to take to help Mom.

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I am lost... don't know what to do. My Mom was very ill 2 yrs ago. She thinks my Dad come back from the dead. She talks about him dating a nurse from the nursing home that she was in. I told her she was very ill and that she was dreaming all these things. No they were real, she insists. Her comments of her dreams are always the same, to the detail. She gets angry and or upset because I don't believe her.
She dreams of him all the time, hears him, thinks he is next to her in bed. (so heart breaking). I told her she is lucky to see him all the time in her dreams. She says no it is real, but why does he stay away from us. He must be with that young nurse from the nursing home. And if I tell her that Dad is in heaven, then she says no he is not. (I am to the point that I just listen, and don’t say too much.)
She doesn't want to clear out any of his things, as he may still come back to her, and would need them. She is insisting on going to the nursing home to look for him. I of course don't want to be embarrassed, and don't want to take her. But to keep her calm and from getting upset, (because of her health) she is tempting me to take her, otherwise she is going to call a taxi. She is so depressed; they were married for 52 years. She says she has nothing but myself and my son to live for. :o) I tell her well there you go, that is enough!! And we need you too!!
She has been recently talking about jumping in front of a car, to just end her life. This breaks my heart. She is with me all the time, and I would make sure that would never happen. I left my job 2 years ago to take care of her. When she was ill in the hospital, it was 6 months to the date of losing my Dad. So I couldn't bare to loss another parent.
She has many health problems, and is being medicated for; high blood pressure, diabetes, COPD, temporal arteritis, cholesterol, stage 4 kidneys, hypothyroidism, gout, pain, depression, anxiety & stress.
Mom knows current things going on around her; day, month, year, remembers things from the past, helps me finish a sentence ;o) and reminds me what I was talking about. (I am the one losing it).
She doesn't want to go to thereapy. So, I am stressed and confused how to handle this. Any advice would be appreciated.

2 Comments

Oh, gosh, Shirley. I know how you feel. You are doing everything you can to make your Mom happy and it doesn't work. That is also my Mom. My Dad died in 2001.
she was fine until about 2007 when she started to fixate all her unhappiness on losing my Dad. This was not the case since she was unhappy when he was alive, too. She does use that as her excuse, but it is the only reason she can admit. I don't know what it is about her. She has always been needy, and wanting other people to make her happy and entertain her. She is 91, or will be on March 6, and really has no major medical problems. She is very depressed, anxious, and narcissistic. She would cry every day, and she lives with me, so it was very hard on me, too. Every day she would cry about her pain, she was taking all of these pain meds and she would still cry about her pain. She would cry about why God wouldn't let her die. I found a doctor here that listened to me. I could never say much in front of Mom, but I would write her letters to explain what was going on. One day when Mom was particularly out of sorts, I took her to see that doctor and she fell apart, finally, so someone else could see it. She was referred to a Geriatric Psych program where she stayed for ten days, and came back some better and they had her off her narcotic pain medications. As a result, home health was ordered after her release from the hospital including a psych nurse who visits once a week. That has led to an Intensive Outpatient Program that Mom has been enrolled in. They have decided she is not strong enough, yet to attend. She was all set up to go on Thursday, and I asked if she could postpone it until Friday since she wa so tired from OT and PT, and they agreed. The next day, she slipped out of her chair (I believe it was intentional) so I had to postpone it again. Now, they say she probably isn't going to be a candidate. Oy vey. I understand so well what you are going through, but if you can get the right doctor to see what's going on, the wheels can start turning. Even though Mom may not be able to go to this day program, which would really be a boon to me, too, to have a few hours a week free (heavenly bliss) they said there are other options, like another stay in a different hospital for 21 days. That may be the next step.

My thoughts and prayers are with you. Some days I think I can't take it any more, but then I wake up with a new attitude the next morning. Sometimes, I end the day just like the day before with no hope, but then miraculously, there comes another day and renewed hope. I do know that I can control my attitude and that does make a difference, but it is easier said than done. I hope this helps a little. Hugs to you.
surelee, you sound like you are doing the best job possible. With the different physical problems your mother has, it isn't surprising that her behavior is unusual. Probably the only thing you can do is take it one day at a time and get as much medical help as you can. I don't know how much therapy would help if the problems are mostly physical and making the brain not act right. It isn't her fault or anyone else's, most likely. Kidney, vascular, and oxygen problems may be a big part of it.

I think you are doing a very good job with a difficult situation. I wouldn't take her to the nursing home to look for your dad. I do believe in validating and humoring delusional thinking when it isn't harmful to people, but I wouldn't take her to look for your father. Maybe you'll say that you can go later.

Most days I wonder how we all cope. I am glad that we have people to talk to about it. You have my good thoughts this weekend while we are all taking it a day at a time.

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