Meanness with Dementia.

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I am relatively new to this site (so thankful to have found this) I have been caretaking for my elderly Aunt (90+) yers old living in her own home. I have been at her beck and call for over six months, am slowly being eeked out of this caaregiving role by others who never cared for her before (or our other Aunt)
I can deal with being eeked out, so long as she gets food and some help, I have peace fo mind. However today, I was accused of being "nosy" for asking her if she eats, how she's sleeeping (she's not, gets into bed between 9-10 PM, lays there restless until 2-3-4AM, rises around 6-7 AM, only to lay back down and get a cat nap after a small breakfast and coffee. Calling her at any time beofre sundown usually invites a plesant conversation AT FIRST and then it becomes a battle, with her spewing nasy things about me, my family, how we don't listen to her, or do things 'her way' ( I try to follow all directions to the T so as to keep the peace, for me and most especially for her) I have no interest in dirstuption her, or giving her any reason to to be distressed or upset.
She has taken to calling me names, telling me I dont listen, and that I only speak "Gibberish" . Today she insulted me by saying I don't even deserve the husband I have (to be honest, we don't have flashy cars, a mcmansion, or superficial stuff, however we have a loving marriage that has endured for decades and wonderful children, alll very warm and close) I know she is losing it, can't be sure as she refuses to see medical prof. but I have seen another relative with throught the stages of demetia, hallucinations and ultimately psychosis (in their end days)
I know my Aunt is sick, and does not truly mean what she says, but it is SO HARD to let it just roll off your back..
I try to call my Aunt daily or at the very least everyother day. I cannot force her to seek medical treatment, I cannot force her to see my view, I cannot make her pain disapate, but I TRY so hard to be there, to check on her, to help and I feel as though I am banging my heasd against the wall.
She has always been a straight shooter, with a bit of an edge, but I accept that as being one of family's attributes. Stuborness runs rampant within our family...my grandmoter died of gangrene that caused sepcemia from a simple cut that was infected that she REFUSED to have treated/seen by a doctor.
Today, my Auntie and I had a seemilngly pleasant and benighn convo. that turned ugly fast, which ended up with her telling me, I am nosy (when I ask if she slept or ate) and that I don't deserve the husband and children God gave me.
***GASP*** That hit below the belt and I could not contain my tears (did I mention she also said I was rude, and my mouth causes trouble and I talk but make no sense) After her comment I could not contain my tears. She told me to "shut up with the water works or she was hanging up the phone" I meekly tried to say that that comment really hurt and she hung up on me.
I don't know what to do anymore. I feel astho I NEED to help her, I have to do it for my family. I love her and remember the sweetheart she used to be who doled out candy and cream sodas and rocked me in her arms.
Loving her, and letting her barbs fall to the wayside has taken a toll on me and subsequently my family.
Please advise. I know I am doing the right thing, but it hurts in the worst way.
HELP...and THANK YOU!

38 Comments

People with dementia may simply not realize at all that they have a problem, so when they can't understand it is because the other person is speaking gibberish, just like when some people with hearing impairment can't make out what you say, it isn't because they can't hear, but because you are mumbling! They can't be reasonable or empathetic the way you'd have every right to expect if they could still think and reason and take other people's perspectives. It hurts - you can't help but hurt some over these kinds of things. But I know it helped me to realize that when my mom who had lost her vision still insisted I looked like a drip, etc. etc, maybe her disinhibited, frank negative comments weren't really all that accurate after all...and she'd been pretty prone to be critical and negative even before she got dementia. Sorry this is happening to you! You really do have to lower your expectations of her and keep contacts very short and maybe focused on very simple concrete things. I became Mom's laundry and sugar-free candy refill lady, and let her spend more time with her grandson whom she adored. He could come in with uncombed hair and cat-chewed flip flops and we was as good as gold...I could never quite do or say anything entriely right though!
Thank you for responding...it's funny you mention blindness & deafness as she is plagued with both. My husband has suggested to keep the converstaions "short and sweet" and less frequent. I just don't feel right not calling to check on her daily (or every other day) There is another care giver in the family, whom she clearly adores, however their visits are infrequent as are their well-ness calls. All I know is that this job is not for the faint of heart. Hope it goes smoother for us all. Thanks for responce, very much appreciated!
Let me tell u one thing dear that what ever she does she definitely don't mean it this is simply just because of the dementia....... In fact the patient that is suffering from such kind of disease is in a huge pain but can not tell any one...........
Let's enjoy all that we have worked so hard to attain.
There are countless people over 65 who are enjoying
life, good health, and mental acuity. You just don't
hear them whining--they're too busy! But sometimes life demands something from u at a certain stage sometimes it would be your time and some times in shape of something else.;....... If u are loosing her then i think u might shift her to an assisted,
I would LOVE for her to go to ALF, but she REFUSES to go. She won't go to the doctor and won't even attempt to go anywhere. I am at an utter loss. Thank you for your responce and advice. I appreciate it.
my aunt is also mean, says hurtful things, we realize she can't help it as she has dementia...she is currently in AL .....she is still ok with me, just confused and argumentative but is downright hateful and mean to her 86 year old sister (my mom) she calles her very bad names and argues at every point and it clearly hurts my mothers feelings.....we both know it is her dementia but it is still hard to swallow......we are going to try to keep her in AL until she passes but if she starts to wander or gets mean with others they will make her move....so now Dr. has her on lowest dose of Ativan twice a day....she is now sleeping her life away....so I had them take her off her morning dose and she has arrisen with a vengence!!! she calls both of us several times a day and forgets why she calls, or accuses us of stealing her money, locking her away in her apt., not coming to visit or bringing her food (she gets her meals delivered twice a day) and we talk to her daily and I do her shopping...
Gayle189: Please google Ativan side effects. You will b surprised at the nature of the serious side effects. My aunt and my mother both had bad reactions to Ativan.
Me personally cant leave any of them alone in that stage.Better off in asl they will forget you. I rather do that then come home to a serious problem.
My husband has dementia and started being very verbally abusive and cruel after we put him on a Parkinson's med. - I'd heard it could be part of the disease, so thought I would just have to live with it. But it got so bad I took him off the med., and there have been no such outbursts since. I'd check on her meds if I were you, as it's so emotionally draining to deal with such behavior. (I thought I'd HAVE to send him away, as I was crying all the time and feeling helpless to deal with his belligerence.) Dr's also say check for a urinary tract infection or something else that could cause a personality change. Personally, I think that sometimes they feel so powerless themselves in the face of this disease that they take it out on anyone around them. But it pays to check for other causes, at least if this is new behavior.
ry to remember that it is the disease talking, not the person. I also would ask for some help from your local social services agency, as they can come in and do an evaluation for you. God Bless.

My Mom is starting to experience dementia and becomes very paranoid (people are coming into her townhouse & stealing things) or argumentative over money, which has really hurt my feelings, because Im the most honest person there is. She also won't take her blood pressure medication, no matter how many doctors, me or my sister explain to her the consequences, very frustrating (she does her eye drops, insulin, thyroid medication). She thinks my sister walks on water & listens to everything she says (thank god my sis & I are tight) and gets so excited that she is coming. My sister says it is the same way with her husbands Mom & sister. So, I've come to realize the caretaker is the "bad person" because in their minds we are "bossey" & the ones who aren't the caretakers are the "good people". Basically, we too could be the "good people" if only we lived far away & only visited on occassion, it really is not a personal attack. Try to get the aid of the "good people" to help persuade the person you're taking care of to agree to medications, financials, living situations, etc.

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