Looking in the mirror.

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When I read the discussions on this site it is like looking in a mirror at myself. I don't have any good advice as I don't know how to handle my own situation. It is good to know it is not only me going thru the horrors of being a caretaker although i would not wish it on anyone. I don't think there is a real solution to a caretakers problems except to have a place like this to vent .. putting your feeling in writing does help!

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AbusedPrisoner - You really are in a very difficult spot. It sounds like you are dealing with someone who has mental illness and dementia. I know because I have lived it myself. I recognize a lot of what you describe because it happened to me too. Your mother needs a lot of help that you are not qualified or experienced to provide. Your job is to get her connected to help and let the professionals take over, or your living situation with her will become very unsafe.

My mother has bipolar, cluster B personality disorders, and advanced dementia. Two years ago, she was extremely paranoid, controlling, domineering, verbally abusive, and physically abusive. The entire family abandoned her because she was so awful to be around. They didn't understand it was her mental illness and dementia that was getting worse.

Your mother probably has angry outbursts because her brain is sick. I STRONGLY suggest you call your local area agency on aging (you'll have to google it for your county or state). Request a social worker come do a home assessment. Your mother must be seen by a neurologist and a geriatric psychiatrist some how, some way. She won't want to be seen because it scares her. She will fight you on this.

Do not be surprised if they tell you that your mother must go into 24/7 care. Putting my mother into a secure dementia care unit was the best decision ever made for her. The staff make sure she eats, takes her medicine, is bathed, changed, and went to activities until she couldn't anymore. If this is what your mother needs, you must let it happen. It does not mean you have failed. It means your mother's needs have changed and increased, which is normal for old people.

My mother was seeing men with red eyes outside her window, seeing squirrels on the fireplace mantle, rabbits running through the house, seeing people who have long been dead. Accusing me of all kinds of things. I supposedly stole her pants despite the fact I lived 1800 miles away. I also was rummaging around in her closet, taking things and was on TV. These are auditory and visual hallucinations caused by the dementia and mental illness together. It is NOT NORMAL. She called me every awful name there is, swore at me, screamed, yelled, raged and ranted. She accused me of wanting to take her money and kill her. This was her sickness talking. I had to learn NOT to take it personally. She also accused people in the memory care home of wanting to kill her, so it wasn't just me.

I also want you to find a counselor or therapist for yourself, to make sure that YOU are going to be OK during all this change and that you can learn to feel good about your decisions to put your mom in a place where she will be safe from herself.
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Her realuty is definitely different. At first. I use to try to correct her misconceptions. like thinking the mailbox is someone standing by the road. Always callung me by my aunts name. Thinking i am talkung to ny aunt in my bedroim. Hearing knockIng on the windows.. on and on.. she woyld becime angry about me Telling her the truth.. Finally i have started agreeing with her which makes life easier. It was a hard lesson for me to learn but finalky i got it. Your right idont think i can use logic to figure wht she has the angry outbursts.
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Ah, AbusedPrisoner, I see the source of some of your frustration. You are trying to logically figure this out. Logic does not apply. That is a real hard pill for us "logical" people to swallow. Life, as we see it, is supposed to be logical and there should be cause-and-effect. Well I am sure there is a cause for Mom's behavior but we may never know just what it is. Her reality is not our reality. If you are going to continue to be the primary caregiver for this confused person, I think you are going to have to accept the reality that logic is not the driving factor here.
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I cannot logically figure it out. I dont know if it is a mental condition. She is just being bratty ir maybe becase she is angry about her disability. She has outbursts of angrer then she wants everything to go back to normal. It seems as if she has gotten some idea in her head and then has an outburst and wants it to be over afterward. It is like a rollercoaster. She will tell me she loves me and needs me.. then try ti hurt me with her angery words. Her outbursts are unexpectef.. i can be cookung or washing dishes or just sitting quitely with her and the anger erupts. Simetume she wll go into tears and i feel sorry for her feelung so unable to functiin as she did. I am not the cause of her disability and i am the only one with her i have no siblings oe children of my own. Why would she want to hurt me?
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I would never suggest that you "just walk away" from someone you love. But finding an alternate care plan is very different from walking away. It is not either/or. My mother is now in a nursing home because that is the level of care she needs. It is NOT because any of her children "walked away."

So, loving her as much as you do, you do have choices about how to express that love and do good things for her.

If you DECIDE that the best way to express your love for your mother is to keep her in the home you built for her and provide all her care yourself, then at least acknowledge that is is your choice, and you are not a prisoner. For heavens' sake, take credit for this decision -- don't pretend you didn't make it.

It really helped me to take care of my husband with dementia at home to remind myself that this was my choice, and there were alternatives if things got really bad.

If your mother was eligible for hospice care then she is apparently at the end of her life. Does it help any for you to realize that this caregiving role is likely to be over soon?

Just because you chose this role and intend to continue in it, in love, doesn't mean that you don't hate it to pieces from time to time. This can be a good place to vent.
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Show yourself some love by placing her in a nursing home where people can care for her in 8 hour shifts and thus have a life. It sounds like wanting to go see the lawyer about going to a nursing home is some evidence that she wants to go there. Her dementia will if it has not already reach a point beyond which a person just can't do 24/7 care. If she is no longer taking her meds for her paranoia, that is only making life worse for you and for her.

Sorry, but I can't see a loving mother doing what you shared that your mom has done and said. Healthy love does not do that and does not let others abuse them or make them feel like an abused prisoner.
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I love my mom.. that is why i dont just walk away.
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Mom does not have anything other then 900 a month ss. She has the property my aunt left to her which is in a trust fund for me. She owns the house i built with my 401k monies. In my career as a senior programmer analyst i saved my money and i am financial set for my retitement. I dont need moms money for the future. You totally misread something. I have two annuities.. a health savings account.. my socual security and an ira. I am trying to help mom to stay in her home and not be displaced. No matter what any of you think i love my mom .. i have always known she is not quite right even when i was a child. I always felt she loved me which is all a child needs. She does hurt me with her words. I cant help stop that hurt.
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Does she take medicine the mental hospital prescribed for her paranoia?

Has a doctor evaluated her competency?

Lawyers don't send a person to a nursing home. That's what doctor's write orders for.

Would she qualify for medicaid to pay for her to go to a nursing home?

Given her mental health problems on top of the dementia, she may well need a special nursing home for people with her unique needs.

Would you take such abuse from a spouse? If not, then why do you take it from your mom?

Do you have her durable and medical POA? I hope so.
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I dont know why she wants to see a lawyer. To see if a doctor can legally send her to a care facility. Once she was being taken to a mental hospital by a policeman he said for her to get in his vehicle she said she would not unless he handcuffed her .. he said i dint think that will be necessary.. she did get in.. Many times she calls me by her dead sisters name. She is not right in the head.. i know this. It still hurts for my mother to say the things to me that she says.
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