Why do parents with dementia want their children to take care of all the minor issues but they still want to be the boss of everything else?

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My mom has gotten into the nasty habit of what seems like helplessness by not taking care of minor issues, such as making a phone call to her apartment manager to request a minor repair. She complains about the problem bitterly because it hasn't been repaired. I've stopped jumping in to take care of these small items because when I have she wants and does direct the whole operation down to the smallest detail and critically I might add.. So, obviously she could have handled it on her own. Besides finding this aggrevating and wasting time, it seem like a control issue or attention seeking behavior. I'm not being mean when she complains but know she is capable of handling this. So what is going on here?

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My mother started taking advantage of me and my husband's kind heartedness in helping her. It got to a point where she would rely on us for everything, even the things she could do for herself. I finally decided I was not going to be used anymore and had to convince my husband to stop being manipulated by my overly needy mother. I did not appreciate my mother referring to my husband as her personal handy man. My mother is the type who will latch onto anyone who offers their services to help her especially if she can get it for free. Then expects this help on a continually basis. She has managed to distant a lot of people who used to help her, including me. Her needy expectations has left her with few people willing to help her. My sister is the only one left willing to be used by her. Her behavior has forced me to do only what I feel like doing for her, when I want. I feel so sad and guilty about what little substance I have in my relationship with my mother.
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And my mom would use "what?" to give her more time to think of an answer (all my life) and also so that the speaker would spend more time with her ... attention. Sometimes it is a fine line between all of this ... and also a combination of these among other factors.
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I agree with whoever said trouble hearing is an issue with dementia. It's hard to tell the difference. My mother has had trouble hearing for many years which I think has accelerated her dementia.
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To think about calling for repairs requires thinking in a step by step process.
"If I call the manager, they call the maintenance and I have to be here and show them where it's broken, etc. and then I will have a functioning faucet". This is not possible anymore. Instead, they look at the broken thing and want it fixed. Reasoning out how things are accomplished involves other people and requires thinking in sequence, a process. Most comprehension of how to contribute to a process is lost. Most of the things someone learned how to do are forgotten. Sadly, it seems a person is reduced to wanting something done, but not knowing how. Understanding that you have things to do or that they are causing a problem does not even occur to them. It seems their survival skills take over and it's down to the basics. This is easier to deal with if you know why they have become so selfish, having never been that way before.
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To: Maria050205: When my mother broke her back she was placed in short-term care. At that time I was planning to send her to a smaller AL with a smaller staff to ratio patient care. Then, mom began saying that she liked the Skilled Care Nursing/Rehab and is now there long-term. There is a place in Davis that is $1,000 less called Courtyard, but we are all so pleased with my mother's Skilled Care Nursing at the Vacaville Rehab/Conv. we all think this is the best fit for her at this time. The staff is very friendly and accomodating to her various needs. You might call them and see if they have an opening for long-term Please keep us updated--I know what you are going through--have been there.
In regards to your q: "are we responsible for our elders?" Our family goes by what the Bible says and there is much to be said about honoring our parents and caring for them. There are blessings when we obey God and His commands and curses when we don't. Better to live a restful joyful life (though difficult) than not, and instead live a life filled with regret. It has taken awhile and my mother still has days where she struggles, but on a good day I think she will agree that this is the best scenario for her, her family loves her, and her well-being and safety are of utmost concern. May God be part of your decision making process and bless it!
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Thanks so much for sharing me your thoughts, sumlerc.
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Maria050205, everyone has their opinion but as we are walking this path together we may venture off in various directions, ones that will hopefully get us to our destination in tack. In other words, if you're making a decion that helps both you and your Mom, give yourself credit for taking care of the both of you!
I think sometimes people use the term care giving in a singular fashion, meaning that one must do the hands on, day to day care giving, for those that this type of care giving works for them, that's wonderful. For those of us who opt to think outside of the box, that's awesome as long as the care is given.
My parents prepared for health and life insurance and even their burial prefreneces with POA's, DNR's and a Will. What they didn't prepare for was the time in between their independent health and the end of life. That's where I came in, it wasn't easy but I realized early that I could not have my mom live with me with her controlling, negative, unhappy self and Dad's stroke left him wheel chair bound, incontinet, along with his my way or the highway mind frame. So with me being the closest family in a 300 mi range, the others went on with their lives and I found myself loosing myself.
Thankfully Mom saw the need to be where she could get help and she requested to be in NH care with my Dad. She is there but she also took her personality with her, I love my parents dearly but their personalities are too stressful for me so I am happy with them where they are. I hope that you can find the same peace of mind in your care giving journey.
Check with your city's care on aging, Social Workers or just do a google search for Long Term NH care facilites in your area. When you find them, visit at random times and go with your gut.
Best wishes to you.
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After reading the statements in here, i feel the same that we are all in the same shoes and scenario. I am a loving and caring child, but i want to know how far is too far in this very strenous situation? Are we really responsible for our elders? What about our own life and health? Should we not take care of it as well? So give me your opinion on this query of mine and i will appreciate it. I am planning to place mom in a nursing facility for long term however most of the facility seems accepting short term only. Anyone who knows long term care specifically in California? Thanks you
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We all have the same scenario. I am even planning to place mom in a nursing facility coz i can't no longer cope up with her changing personality despite the adjustments i am doin just to understand and be patient with her. I just want to know if we children are responsible for our aging elders despite that we also have our own life and health to take care of. Please help me with your opinion on my query. I appreciate it.
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My mom also has a sense of entitlement and also was spoiled by my Dad. Family members were "in the know" that when Dad died Mom would expect others to do for her as well (like ordering in a restaurant). I do not do things for her that I know she can do for herself (or has done for herself). I recognize that the trauma of grieving (my Dad has been gone only a year) magnifies the memory loss so sometimes (if I see she is genuinely having a memory loss day) I will accommodate and help out but not do 100% for her. I have, with her permission, taken over the management of her medications as she, for one year, has been forgetting to take them and yet when my Dad was alive she diligently took them and made sure he took his as well. So things changed and I accept that. With that being said, and being her daughter my whole life, I know when it is victim play and when she truthfully cannot remember to do things. It is that fine line that I can see in her eyes LOL. So I try not to play the game as Eddie stated. It is in the elder's best interest to maintain some semblance of independence and freedom and I won't take that away from my Mom while being aware that some days or times of the day she just cannot do some things that she did yesterday but may be able to do tomorrow. It is all about awareness. Eddie: the fish story was a good one for all of us to remember and practice. Thanks.
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