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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!

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Thank you, I really appreciate it it. I am not sure where or what stage she is at, but going enjoy those good times, which there is many so far. Though man she is verbally rough at times. We are having a good day, so far.she is busy with here dvd collection. Laying down for a bit.
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Eklrs You will be in my Prayers, may God bless you during this time. You are not alone
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Thanks so much for this conversation. My mom was recently diagnosed with dementia after a devastating, though benign brain tumor. She has just been released from the skilled nursing home she has been at, recovery was long. It shows I am not alone...though I do this by myself at the moment. Mom has been saying mean stuff. I react not in the best way. It’s hard...
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lars37, I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but I don't think there is a foolproof way to deal with the anger in public. They are in their own little world. Removing them from the situation seems to be all that works.

I hope others have some suggestions for you. Stay strong. I know it's hard.
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I had to take away one of my wife's memory medications about six weeks ago. It was causing nausea, loss of appetite, weight loss and dizzy spells when sitting up from a laying down position. Since that time, her memory has decreased drastically and she has started having spells of extreme anger. I'm still not dealing too well with the sudden hostility, but fortunately it usually passes within five to thirty minutes. Then she's all loving again. But now I'm becoming more reluctant to take her out in public, never knowing what might set her off, or how to deal with the anger if it does rear its ugly head. Anyone who has found a good way to deal with it, other than just walking away from it, I'd really appreciate their insight.
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My mom seems fine but is really mean to myself and has accused us of stealing my deceased dad;s stuff from her. my siblings used this as a way of convincing my mom that she was right and that she was right to never see us again and having her give them all her possessions and money. I continue to call her infrequently because she is so mean to me. Today I called her and she was "nice" to a degree. I never know "who" is going to be answering the phone when I speak to her. It is very sad for me, as now we are shunned from every person in my family of origin. I try to focus on my nuclear family which is great! Please share. I found this site because I was researching "meanness" and narcissistic personality disorder.
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I have read every one of these comments and am very grateful that you all are here. I quit my job 5 years ago and moved in with my mom (at her request even!) to help out so she could keep her home. Now, all this time and with not even a paycheck for the last five years I'm suddenly the enemy. My sister, who is an hour away, is the angel and I am the devil. I tell people that I am the custodial parent and she is the Good Times parent, which gets a laugh but most people don't know how much your own mother can hurt you. I'm not mad at my sister - she is doing her part and I am doing mine - but when you give up your job and your home and cross the country only to get abused it makes you want to pack up and leave and never come back. It is true that all these platitudes are not - NOT - helpful. I know that it's the disease! I'm just a daughter trying to obey the 4th commandment, so these things mean nothing to me. I am not a nurse or a psychiatrist and I don't have the foggiest idea how to find the trigger! I wish I could do them but frankly my plate is full trying to get a glass of water into my mom so she doesn't get dehydrated. I don't have the time or the energy to learn what took the professionals years of study! So if all you experts out there want to help us why don't YOU come three times a day and see if she'll eat for YOU. THAT is what will help!

Sometimes when I am feeling strong I say to my mom, "Boy, when you are on the other side and you see the video of everything that has happened in your life you are going to give me one whopping big apology!" The nurses smile but my mom does not. But it reminds me that I'm doing it because you take care of your parents. Because it's the right thing to do, and even God says so because that is the first commandment that carries a promise with it.
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Well, my mean MIL with dementia is back home after 6 days in AL, which was an expensive and disheartening disaster. The change/break of schedule threw off any patterns we had, and she's so much worse...even grabbed my hair yesterday while screaming at me that she was the boss, and trying to hit at me. She's 95 now, and weighs 110 pounds; I'm a strapping 49 and 190 lbs., so I'm not worried that she is stronger. It was bad enough to deal with all the mental meanness (you're fat, are you pregnant again?; speak up, you mumble; you all would never make it without me; I own you; you are idiots....etc), but now the physical comes on. I'm truly depressed, but have no choice but to keep going. My husband believes the theory that we are all distilled to our essence at the end. This whiskey's rough and burns all the way.
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Have you applied for Medicaid on his behalf?
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I have a husband I am trying to care for with the same thing. I have tried everything with government to get help and been turned down for everything. He had a stroke in sept of 2014 and was in hospital 5 times and 2 rehabs because he had lost strength in his legs from an over does of steroids. When he was in last time dr said he had onsets of dementia and it is rearing its head as we go along each day. Treats me terrible and has turned his own kids againist by telling them lies about things I have not done. I have always had a good relationship with his kids until all this happened. I have done nothing but try to do the best I can and keep things going with the house. We lost 2500 when he could no longer work and now we are at the poverty level. Its been one thing after the other happening and I have had no one to talk to and its starting to take a toll on my health. Can't do anything with him with no help from anyone and now his youngest son and I are at odds because of his dad"s lies. Don't know what to do or who to turn to. Just need a friend to say its okay and things will work out. Don"t know how much more I can take either. Ff someone has an ides please contact me.
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It comes and goes in stages with my mom. The meaness was very bad at first and I thought I couldn't survive it, but lately she's been calmer. Now she does in appropriate things for her Down's Syndrom son like give him things he can't eat. I have to watch her ever minute now because she will put things on the stove and forget they are there, lets the dog out front instead of out back, I have to hide the meds or she will give hers to her son, or take more than she should. It's still not easy to deal with but after nearly two year of living with her, I've learned tricks that help. It will take time to learn how to deal with each one because they are all different, not one is the same as another so there is no set of rules to follow. Trial and error is the only way and I've learned to just take the hateful comments with a grain of salt because I know it's not my mom in there.
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When my mother was having to be placed in a home, we were at the E.R., and she was lying down on the bed. She was paranoid and thought we were whispering about her (which sometimes we had to, when she told doctors and nurses she was diabetic, when in fact, she was not). She got extremely teeth-gritting mad, and said the most hateful things I had heard her say in a long time. So, I know her fear and anger were real, and I don't doubt for a minute that dementia had a part in it all. That's why I couldn't hold it against her, even though I had to go out an d have a cry.
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Thank God for this site! I d0+on't know what I would do without this community of people who are trying to do good to their relatives and friends but because of this deteriorating brain disease are and will always be the "enemy". I am friends with a woman who 30 plus years ago was a well educated woman of her time. She is now 81 years old and has been in the on going stages of dementia for at least 6 years now. She moved away for 4 years to her sons house and told of the abuse she was in there. I felt so bad for her and then she recently moved back to her home town and into an ASL home. The place is beautiful and she is already fighting with staff and neighbors. There is a middle eastern man living above her and now she is worried ISIS is coming to her home to get her. She is getting worse and I am having trouble on some level to accepting what this dementia is doing to her. I would like it to be the way it used to be as friends and close confidants. But those days are gone. I am now the one she is suspicious of and who she says bad and mean things to. She gets a look on her face that makes me so uncomfortable and then the mean things come out. I have helped her get settled and take her to the stores, shopping, restaurants, and include her in my life. I recently lost my dear husband and she doesn't even seem to care. It is a very narcissistic illness. They only see themselves, no one else. Gone are the days of normal conversations. The other day she called me a B....., I told her later that I was very hurt and she said she was upset with me. I asked what was she upset with and she said "for flirting with the young waiter" at a restaurant we had gone to a couple weeks before. It is total insanity!! She has crazy scenarios in her head and her narcissistic world is full of people who are out to get her and now the one of the few friends she has left she has alienated with confrontation and meaness. I have to say, I am done. This is not a relative but she was a close friend to me for years. But I can't take it anymore. I am stepping away for my own sanity. I am dealing with grief in my life and I don't need to go and get more tension and abuse daily from her. I am not calling her anymore because my friend does not exist anymore. She is a totally different and unkind and self righteous person. I just had to express this here today because I dont' know who or where to go to get this out. My husband was a counselor and he always helped me as she progressed in this disease. But he is not here to help me and I believe the only thing for me to do is to step away. My friend is gone. Her mind is gone. She used to cry to me and say she feels like she is losing her mind. My husband would say she is. It is a terrible disease. I don't have a reserve now for her to take away, maybe someday I could put up with it again, but for now. Goodbye old friend! Thanks for listening.
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Your case mirrors mine. My single, childless aunt was a member of my household growing up; she filled the "mother" role quite a bit. But she was always a bit "catty" and difficult when she was younger. And she has a history of some mental illness. Now she has some dementia on top of her previous mental illness ("mixed dementia"). She has recently become delusional, paranoid and downright MEAN. She also knows precisely how to hurt me and what buttons to push; she helped to raise me after all. It also doesn't help that she has macular degeneration and is now experiencing visual hallucinations (NOT dementia but "Charles Bonnet Syndrome"). This syndrome feeds into her paranoias even more....
I have responded with rage, tears, etc. I fear for my own mental health and then I feel guilty for wishing her a quick death. But I was raised in a family where we "take care of our own". Your feelings ARE valid and you need to take care of yourself too. I wish I knew the perfect thing to say but I don't have a solution. But from where I sit, the well intentioned advice people give me, such as, "Oh, just remember that she doesn't mean it...or try to remember that that's not really her..."
Blah, Blah, Blah. Well intentioned advice but it pi**es me off!! What about me???
As I said, your feelings are valid too. I've found that support (online or face to face) is very helpful.
I've also discovered that a lot of my anger comes from expecting my aunt to be the person she USED to be; I guess I'm subconsciously angry over it. I need to remind myself that that person is GONE. I've also discovered that engaging the person in an argument ("taking the bait") is NEVER a good option. The good thing about dementias is that the afflicted person is easily distracted. My aunt will say something mean and horrid, and 15 minutes later, her mind is on a different topic. I've found it easy to introduce new topics and distract her from things. I've also found that getting the person to talk about their past experiences is helpful. People with moderate dementias still like to talk about the past. I make sure she thinks it's all about her.
But today, she lit into me again. I got angry and upset, shove a donut (her favorite!) into her face and left the room. I needed some "me" time. If it gets too bad, don't engage, just leave. Do the bare minimum if you have to.
I wish I had a magical cure. But I don't Maybe some of this will help.

Flying over the cuckoo nest here I Maryland
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get some help its time to brin in people that know what to do. call ss they will help. good luck and dont take it to heart what she saids, its not her.
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WHAT a blessing - someone actualy completely willing to use a hearing aid instead of yell at everyone for mumbling!!! Bravo!!!
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Thank you, patdoug. My observation about the hearing impairment is not to suggest that the hearing aids are a cure-all for all the problems associated with the aging body and brain. ***Everyone*** on this discussion list is dealing with really frustrating and sometimes agonizing situations and everyone needs and deserves hugs! But it never, ever occurred to me that my mom would exhibit such an incredible transformation. Also, not every aging person with apparent negative behavioral issues is a candidate for hearing aids, and I have to tell you that they can be expensive (Medicare does not cover them) and not necessarily easy for the user to figure out, let alone manipulate if there is limited manual dexterity. Fortunately my mom can open the battery cases and she can clean the "domes" (the part that fits down inside the ear). I have read, though, that some folks have had great luck with buying inexpensive models at large chain warehouse stores. I only hope that my post helps someone in this group!
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It's great that you were able to pick up on her saying "What, Honey". Sometimes it the simplest thing that can make a world of difference. Great Job! Your mom is very fortunate to have you on the team.
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My mother is 90 and she had really started to shut down; lose interest in reading, people, conversation. and acting snappish and mean and confused about simple tasks. I noticed that she was constantly saying "What, honey?" so I took her to an audiologist and she has significant hearing loss. She got her hearing aids ONE WEEK AGO and the transformation has been astounding. She starts conversations, picks up the phone to call friends; is reading the newspaper, laughing, engaging with others!!

I have since been reading up on the effects of gradual hearing loss and it is linked to depression, confusion, and dementia. The brain essentially has to work harder to process information when the auditory system is not functioning at optimum levels. Please don't get your elderly loved one on meds, or feel hurt by sharp barbs, until you get a hearing eval. It could change your life and that of your family member.
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That's a great idea. Knowledge is power they say. The more I can learn about dementia and Alzheimer, the better to do what I have to do. They tell no two Alzheimer patients are the same. That is what they say about children who have Autism.
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My recommendation is that you enroll in a course that covers the many demands of working with dementia patients. Education is the best way to cope with the demands of caregiving. Check with your local Alzheimer's office for classes and support groups available to you.
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My mom in law has dementia and is in AL. We (my husband and I ) are her caregivers in the family. She has always been very demanding, out spoken...and spoiled. Since she has gotten dementia she has just gotten worse,, esp to us. We see her every week, take her out to eat, shopping, etc...but she complains that nobody comes to see her in the family...and it is becasue she is so mean to them when they do come. The aids and nurses have even told us, they do not know how we deal with her being so mean to us all the time You just have to take one day at a time, and remember that you have a life also...and you need time to do what you want. Death has no age limit, and these peope coul125779d out live us all. We have had to set boundries with her, and when she makes demands we just remain firm on the bountries..
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Your doing a great job!!! I know it can be hard, i have problems with my dad concerning taking a shower. At least I can get him to do it once a week and it marked on the calender. He goes in to shower but only changes clothes, we do this 4-5 times before he actually gets in the shower. Most times he's telling me "to get off his ass", but it does get done. I have written out all his meds and what they do and the benefit they provide, which is working for the time being. My dad was diagnosed last year so this is all new to me. I find that things I do for my 7 yr old granddaughter with Autism, who we have guardianship, and is non-verbal, works for my dad as will. It takes alot of patience, determination and love,with several prayers thrown in to make it through the day. Our best to you and your mom.
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Patdoug, thank you for your experience. My Mom refuses to take her BP pill. I thought she had been taking her pill, only to figure out she was putting it back into the rx bottle. I've considered dissolving it into her tea, but I'm worried she would detect the bitter taste. She's had several lovely women dr's explain the benefit of Lisprinisil (sic), that it helps protect her kidneys from the effects of diabetes, that HB is the major cause of stroke, that at 87 our bodies are worn & sometimes need the help of rx's. Her response is always, "Im eating lots of garlic and taking supplements that will lower my BP", our response is that it's not working. I think it is her stubborness, the more you want her to do something the more she won't. So, I take her BP, show her it is still high, remind her that HB is the main cause of stroke & causes kidney damage, then let it go and walk away. I'm glad your Dad is listening & trusting you, the best to you both!
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My dad who is 81, has Alzheimer's, I have moved from Missouri to Arizona to care for him. When I first got here there was a woman 84yrs old, had moved in with him to "take care of him". He had stopped taking his meds (heart, thyroid, prostrate, etc), stopped paying the monthly bills, the freezer and refri. were full, but they never ate at home, always eating out but only eating a few bites and would bring the leftovers home and feed to the dog who was 30 lbs. overweight.
I moved the lady out, which made the family happy, but now I'm mean for making her go back to her own home. I'm a tight wad with his money, he now has a budget and an allowance, and all his accounts are current, he goes to breakfast at Denny's Mon-Fri. and eats at home on Sat. & Sun. I take him down to the bar down the street Tues-Sun., where I buy him drink chips, because he was spending anywhere from $40-$70 a night. These two things are things he doesn't forget, go figure. There again I'm a tight wad with his money. He tells other people that he can't do anything right, but tells my how happy he is that I have come to take care of him. He's very rude to some people and I have to call him out on it, but then He doesn't remember and he won't do it again. I have no problem be "bossy or mean" to the people who say they are watching out for him, but still taking advantage of his memory loss. I'm here for my dad's best interest and to make sure he doesn't loss everything.
My dad's health is good but his memory just isn't there. I have even printed out different pages on what to expect when a person is diagnosed with Alzheimer's to try to educate people so they don't judge so much, but then again I am here to care for my Dad, not make other people happy. Luckily, my dad and I have a great relationship, not only are we father and daughter but we are friends also. I can call him out on things that other family members and friends can't or won't. For some reason, thank heaven, he does listen to me and still thanks me several times a day for being here with him. You have to be like a duck, and let the water flow off your back, don't dwell on yesterday because most likely they don't remember 10 minutes ago, much less yesterday. I live be the Serenity Prayer, which in my mind really helps me stay focused. angie28 you are the good person because you are there. Have you tried a pill organizer to do her meds in so she takes all her pills, maybe you can get the blood pressure meds. in that way. I had to start using one because my dad would try to take too many of one med or the other. I tried the clear zip top bags and marked them by the day and in order of the week,but it was just too much for my dad.
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Arianna~I empathize with your situation. It is so hurtful when you are doing everything possible and they appear not to appreciate any of it. My mother recently accused me and my sis of plotting her murder all because she received some letters regarding the privacy act notice and she can't understand what it means anymore. My sis, like you, gets very hurt. I have learned to detach emotionally from her hurtful words. That does not mean I don't care about her well being. It means that I have learned to separate my mother into two compartments:1)the mother I have always known and 2)mother with Alzheimer's. When the conversation with your aunt starts to turn south, redirect her thoughts to more pleasant things just as you would a child. She is most comfortable with you because you are her main caregiver so she lashes out at you. When you call her, don't ask how she slept or if she has eaten You can always make extra food and take it to her, freeze it it zip lock bags for her to reheat in the microwave. I have not met an elderly person who does not sleep a lot during the day and chances are your aunt is too so don't worry about her sleep. It sounds as though she is still able to cook for herself so she is most likely eating well. You don't mention whether she takes any medication for anything or whether she goes to her primary care physician for regular check ups. I would relax about the situation but continue to care for her without asking about her well being. Visiting her will give you clues as to how she is doing, such as wearing clean clothes, the house is tidy, etc.
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Would it work to get a neutral outsider to tell her she needs to go the dr. or even take her? I got a case manager through a local Aging Services provider who's very calm and very helpful. Wouldn't it be nice NOT to be the bad guy but let an authority figure do it? (Once when my husband was very belligerent and wouldn't take his meds or drink or anything, and I just went away and cried, he called the cops, and the guy who came was VERY nice -his mother had Alzheimer's, too- and the minute he said, "I think this nice lady IS your wife, and we'd like you to take your pill" my husband calmed down and cooperated. Who knows what might work!?)
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I agree, Angie, the one who says "shall we make a doctor appt?" , "when would you like to get a tune up on your hearing aide?" or "Perhaps it's time for new glasses" Is def. the one who reaps the wrath of the demented elder. The one who says " I got your favorite magazine and some donuts" is def. the lesser of two "evils"
I am also beginig to think that the extreme frugalness of the elderly population is drawn to the people who don't want to drag them to appointments, shell out cash for their new glasses/hearing aids/ etc.
I think my Aunt is aware that her mind is slipping and is also aware that I have noticed a change (b/c I'm the one calling very regularly) but the other who call/visit infrequently are easier to fool.
There is for sure, no bargaining, convincing or persuading my elder. She's not having any of it. I'm sure she want to live in her way and die in her way in that little house. She thinks she knows best. I try to help her maintain her control over things if they are reasonable or safe, but let's call a spade a spade here. A 90+ year old who is incontinent, who has not been to a doctor in 5+ years, who insists she does not need help (when she can't walk or go out to shop, and infact REFUSES to go out) is not exactly an expert on whats best for herself.
It's a fine line to walk between making her happy and doing what's best for her. Having said that I get a lot of "how do you think I managed before you?" or "Don't you remember I'm older" and like comments thrown around me. (and some other choice words for good measure.
Good luck to you! Thanls for responce
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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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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.
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