Dementia, diabetes, depression, stubborn, combative and manipulative. An unlikely combination.
This may be a bit lengthy but I haven't found this combination in any of the forums I've read yet.
My mother, 83, suffers from Dementia & Alzheimers. She has been an insulin dependent diabetic for almost 30 years. She is an absolute control freak, always has been. Extremely manipulative, especially with Dad. The depression is worse than it has ever been.
Here's the scenario. My father is still sharp-as-a-tack and strong as an ox in some aspects. But weak as a kitten in others. Mom is sliding downhill fast in all aspects of her physical state. It was Dad's idea to move to an assisted living facility 3 years ago when Mom broke her OTHER hip (first hip broken 15 years ago due to diabetic episode ... blood sugar drop equals falling down). It took Dad 3 days to get her to agree to have it checked out. Prior to this she would spend days in bed. Never left the house. Rarely even got dressed. Her typical excuses were "my back hurts" or played the diabetes card "my blood sugar is off".
Once they moved into AL her dementia began to progress even more rapidly as did her general physical condition. At the present time the services they receive at AL are weekly housekeeping (yeah, right ... check out the ants, not to mention the urine stench in the bathroom), twice weekly laundry, medication distribution for Mom (not Dad .. he manages his own), and meal prep. The meals are not diabetic friendly and as a result Dad is spending an awful amount of money eating out daily for lunch and dinner. Oh, did I mention Mom only gets out if someone besides Dad is there to press the issue?
So now Mom spends her time in the recliner under a blanket watching TV. My sister, who is there during the day almost every day, does her best to get Mom out and downstairs to the cafeteria for lunch. She gets from their front door to almost halfway to the elevator (only about 10 yards) and starts "I'm so shaky. I'm going to fall. I need to sit down" because she absolutely refuses to get any excersize.
If she doesn't want to do something she will go to any length to make sure everyone is sorry for making her do it. If she doesn't want to go downstairs for lunch she will spit her food out or start carrying on that no one cares about her. We have to keep Dad away from her during meal times so she doesn't steal his food. Again, Mom is diabetic, and Dad has a sweet tooth. I have seen her reach to his plate and just take whatever she wanted. That's when we have to step in to play the bad guy "No Mom, you can't have that. It has way too much sugar". That's when the crying starts ... "That's not fair. Stop picking on me!" and the tantrum begins.
Being as weak as she is has resulted in several falls. Dad usually ends up picking her up but as his arthritis progresses this is getting harder and harder to achieve. When Mom leaves the walker on one side of the room and falls while walking towards the other side of the room she will somehow make it Dad's fault. She keeps him awake all night and then HE apologizes for not letting her sleep. He is so conditioned to take the blame that he is no longer able to stand up to her and say no. If she wants a cookie he gives it to her. If she doesn't want to take her medications HE doesn't force her.
It comes down to this. My sister and I can't be there 24/7 to run interference between Mom & Dad. Mom needs excessively more help than they're getting at the current AL. Dad physically cannot take care of Mom on his own. Mom will sit in the chair and soil herself just to make a point that she is the one in control.
Then we have the head games. I don't know how much of this is dementia and how much is Mom playing games. She whispers to Dad (who has basically been deaf since an incident while in combat in Korea) and then gets mad when he doesn't respond. She doesn't grasp the concept that my children are grown with children of their own, she's constantly asking how my "Wee One's" are. A very specific incident took place recently. I had taken my grandson with me to take Mom & Dad out to dinner. Mom always puts her best face on with the children around. Mom asked my grandson approximately 5 times during a 20 minute time span "How are you doing in school". His response was "Why do you keep asking me that?!". Mom didn't bring it up again. That's why I question how much is games and how much is real.
ADVICE PLEASE HELP!