Mom won't accept the truth of her dementia.

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I live with my mom, who has moderate dementia/Alz. She acknowledges that she has a "memory disorder", but is unable to grasp the reality of the effect that has on her inability to manage activities of daily living, or the overall cognitive loss that goes along with the illness. I have been unemployed (left my job to relocate and become mom's caregiver) and with her full time for 2 years, but finances require that I return to part-time work now. Mom has also become socially isolated as her friends have pulled away, and she needs to engage more with people. She agreed to enroll in a very nice senior center day care program for high functioning folks with dementia, but after 1 day refuses to go back, because she can't identify with being someone who needs to be in an "institutional" setting. We can't afford in-home care (or assisted living) and she can't be left alone all day, but keeps circling over & over through those alternatives, belligerent about not returning to the program. She is pyhsically healthy and strong, which adds to the challenge of her accepting that she needs constant assistance.
Mom has rational moments where she understands her need to cooperate and honor my guidance as her caregiver, but reverts back to refusal and defensiveness when she becomes more emotionally reactive and unable to think. I do have compassion for how challenging it must be for her to let go of her perception of herself as independent, smart and competent, yet still need to find a practical solution for her comprehensive care. Any suggestions would be deeply appreciated.


Perhaps having Mom's doctor talk to her would help. If doc would take the time to really explain what is going on and how you are trying to help with the options available.

We can talk to our Mom til we are blue in the face...yet one simple sentence from her doctor and it is all good and she is ready to do whatever he says.

Good luck!
This is a difficult situation. My mother also has mid/moderate dementia. I think most people with dementia are in denial. Getting them to accept that seems to cause them too much stress and anxiety. I don't try to get her to accept it anymore because it is not worth the argument. Maybe if you went with her to the senior center, staying for a couple hours the first few times, she will feel more comfortable.
Your description sounds just like me and my mother! On her good days, she knows her thinking is not so well and promises to cooperate with me, then less than good days she insists she is 100% (except for a few memory issues) and that I am being ridiculous when I suggest she needs help. I haven't found a solution, either -- but know that you are not alone in this struggle! I sometimes wonder what I will be like at her age ...
The back and forth can be frustrating. I usually don't try to make plans anymore, because I know she'll only claim she never wanted to do something at all. For example, she thought buying large rugs for two rooms was a good idea. So I measured and looked. I showed her some pictures of some. She said she never said she wanted rugs. It is that way with most things, so I don't really bother with anything now unless I personally care about getting it done.
Thanks for all of your replies. I really appreciate knowing that I am not alone in dealing with this particular issue of dementia caregiving. Mom's sister had a talk with her this afternoon, and mom later came to me to ask what time she would be going to the center in the AM?!! I was surprised and grateful for the shift. My aunt is going to go with mom tomorrow so that she can support mom in engaging there. Thank goodness I have my aunt's support, which mom trusts more than me these days. I accept that mom blames me for her frustrations, realizing that in the role of caretaker I am inevitably the "messenger" with the constant message of mom's limitations. Prior to her illness she trusted me unconditionally, so it's been an adjustment to let go of that between us ... just part of the grief of losing the emotionally strong and competent mom I've always known.
And I realize this could all change again in a flash :(
Awakening~I have found out that my mother trust people her own age more than me. It's because I am her child. We have been able to get mom to agree to situations by having some in her own age group talk to her. Don't take it personal, you are her daughter and you will always be her daughter. My mother just straight up told me she wanted to talk with someone her own age because they would know more than me about social security or insurance, Lol!! I just went with the flow and everything worked out. You are making progress and bless you for all you do. Hugs to you!!
Awakening, you have found "a practical solution for her comprehensive care." Adult day health programs offer a safe environment for Mom and also a chance at some social interaction. One day is not enough for her to make a decision, and besides that it really isn't her decision. You are taking care of her and it is your decision. But how to get her to cooperate is the issue, isn't it?

Talk to the day center staff. They deal with this all the time, and they may have some ideas for how to approach it.

Don't give up on this. It really is what you need in your life right now.

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