Dreaded sentences for a caregiver.

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On a lighter note -- I have come to live in dread of the simple question my mother often asks: "Do you know what we should do?" This is not really a question. It is a way of telling me that she wants me to devote a half or whole day to doing something that is not important. Not willing to throw my time away so freely, I have started asking her if she has a mouse in her pocket. Of course, I have to explain each time what I mean. Oh, does she get mad. But I save myself from a lot of unneeded chores. This "we" thing means me and always takes a lot of time.


If your mother has dementia, she may be at a point where she cannot organize her thoughts to act on things. My mother called me earlier this evening telling the neighbor next door (he moved out of house months ago but is not selling the house?), who has a palm tree in the front yard and a branch has fallen on his roof which means it will eventually fall on her patio. Palms trees are very messy, with little berry type things that fall on moms patio making it a potential danger for her to fall. This neighbor is not real respectful but at the same time, my mother (personality disorder as well as Alzheimer's) has been very rude to them because they are Mexican. She wanted to know if I was doing anything with the rest of my evening since I got off work at 5pm.??? Well the neighbor is not living there and I sure as heck am not going to get on his roof to pull the branch off, really!!! She said she has told the city, but they don't seem concerned....What are they supposed to do. All I can do is wait for the branch to fall on her patio then remove it. The point is, your mother may not be able to follow thru on simple actions anymore due to dementia, so she asks the questions in hopes you can do something for her even if it is something that is meaningless, not important in the bigger scheme of life. I tend to ignore a lot of these questions. She wants to have the carpet in her hallway cleaned, I have ignored that one too because all is going to do is stress her out in the long run, all the disruption to her daily life. Chose what you think is most important to deal with.
sharynmarie, I know what you mean about the carpet. We need some work done on the house, but I am reluctant to call anyone. It is nothing critical -- just painting and things like that. My mother gets very upset when someone is in the house too long. The worst thing, though, is she develops symptoms of some type, then blames the people who did the work on the house. They must have done something or put chemicals in the air that made her sick. This can go on for months. She still talks about how people who did work back in 2009 caused her to get a yeast infection (really a UTI, but she calls is yeast infection). I have to ask myself if we really have to have something done and is it worth what I know will happen afterwards.

The things that I was writing about, though, were not so serious. Such as we need to cook something for someone, we need to drive out to visit my brother again, we need to go visit her sister, we need to clean the rugs or rake the leaves again,... If I fulfilled all her need requests, I wouldn't have a moment for my own work. Taking care of someone with dementia can be like living someone else's life, so one does have to set limits on time. If not, life would be gobbled up completely.

This wasn't meant to be a serious thread. I was making light on things I do to preserve my time and sanity.
Sorry Jessie, I guess I didn't state myself very well. You see i am 55, the thought of climbing on someone's roof is hilarious to me cuz it just isn't going to happen, Lol, not way!! I try to find humor and I pick and chose what is a real necessity to take care of to preserve my time and sanity. When my mother says, "What are you doing with the rest of your day or evening?" I know what she means just like you know your mother's questions. I use my imagination picturing myself doing some the things mom wants and it plays like a comedy scene from Laurel and Hardy. It sounds like your mom like to go places and do things, where my mom focuses on things around the house even though her home is meticuliously cared for.
sharynmarie, I just thought of a good one to use for situations like the branch on roof. Say we'll clean it up after the squirrels push it down for us. I can see us getting on top of our neighbor's house with a ladder. Truth is, I won't even get on our own house. I'd fall and break something for sure. It is much better to pay someone else and keep the cash flowing.
Good for you, Jessie. You just keep letting Mom and that mouse handle those "what we should do" chores!
I understand that. Mom always said/says "what we gonna do today". Like, you need to include me. Too cute
Sounds good to me Jessie, it better than you and me playing Chip N Dale, Lol!!
Jessie, I have to ask...what in god's name were the workers doing in 2009 that gave your mother a yeast infection? You REALLY need to report that to the better business bureau. I always get a chuckle from the stories that come from imaginationland/dementiaville. Dad's usually comes when he doesn't want to go to bed. He talks about the 4 other guys that are in there, and what they've got going on. That's usually the one I hate to hear most, because it means it's going to be a struggle to get him to go to bed. Sometimes I stymie him with "There's only one bed in there. What are you doing in bed with 4 other dudes?" Recently, it wasn't HIM that soiled himself. Obviously, someone else (one of the 4?) pooped his pants. Silly me for thinking otherwise.
The stories can sound very logical. The workers sanded old paint and it blew back in the house. She breathed it and got a yeast infection.

We had workers here this summer getting rid of the sag in the floor. They supported and lifted the floor. Mom said it caused cracks between all the boards, letting little bugs and noxious gases in. They were causing her itching and breathing problems. (She doesn't have breathing problems, except the one created by generalized anxiety.) I'm dealing now with keeping the towels and throws picked up off the floor. She puts them down to cover the "cracks," even though she has already sealed them with multiple layers of wax. I don't worry about the cracks, since there are none, but I do worry about the trip hazard she creates putting towels and throws in the floor.

We haven't had four men in the bedroom yet. That would be kind of scary. If that happened, I guess I could just say, "Two for each of us!"
Jessie, funny you should mention that...In addition to all the other weird/odd behaviors, dad is also paranoid about mom "running around on him", like she has time to fool around while taking care of him. Anyway, one day he was complaining about all the (imaginary) people in and out of the house, and said we should put chairs in the hallway, like a waiting room. After he went to bed, I looked at mom and said, "It all makes sense now. You're screwing around with all of dad's imaginary friends. Four of them? Tramp!" Mom and I still laugh over it, but other people don't really get dementia-related humor. Oh well.

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