How do I deal with my elder mom being abusive with my Alzheimer's dad?

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My mom is suffering from extreme sleep deprivation, has had seveal mini strokes and is in denial about my dad's condition. The way she cares for him, I know she still loves him. I send my dad to senior day-care twice a week, have in-home care, have a family counselor come to the house once a week, send my mom to a psychiatrist and take care of my dad myself 90% of the time. However, my parents do have to interact since we are all living together (I moved home to care for both of them). He has the cognitive problems that come with Alzheimers and severe incontinence (for which I've also gotten a plethora of help aids: diapers, catheters etc.). My mom literally screams at him when he has "accidents" overnight or can't feed himself right -- everything bothers her. And when he can't cooperate the way she thinks he should, she hits him and when I intervene, she hits me. How do I keep my family together, try to enjoy what little time we have left and help both of them at the same time -- she won't listen to me or the family counselor and I know because she's sleep deprived despite a plethora of meds for her sleep deprevation and depression -- I'm at the end of solutions -- any suggestions?

Answers 1 to 7 of 7
perhaps a "time out" is needed for mom. Send her on a weekend getaway qwhere she can relax and enjoy herself. If yo have help availlable for dad a weekend getaway pefor the two of you might be good. You can talk to her one on one after she has had time to relax and regoup internaly. Tell her that her actions are not appropriate to ward you or your father. Ask her how you can help her to cope. You seem to have everythign else in order as far as "help" on a daily basis. Sometimes it is helpful to just" step away". It would be good for both of you.
Top Answer
Pray for God to give you the strength you need to cope and pray for you mom. Ask God to give her inner peace; once she has inner peach she will be patient with your dad and would deal with his illness in a better manner (without the abuse). Your mom has to get to the point where she understands he is not having accidents because he wants to but it is because he cannot help himself. I am sure she still loves your dad but she is frustrated and the lack of sleep is making the situation worse.
I know this is all difficult for you but you have to be strong and remember “This Too Shall Pass”. Here is a song for you; click on the link or copy and paste it in your browser and listen to these words of comfort by Yolanda Adams. GOD BLESS YOU!
Sometimes it is not the one cared for who needs to leave a situation. Sometimes it is the person who was the caregiver for a long, long time, who has now simply burned out where your father is concerned. I doubt a time out will work. Explore assisted living for your mother, if you want to continue to have your father at home -- but make sure YOU have the respite care you need to make that work.
Bert Cave, Support For Home
The roles were reversed in my family. It was my mom with dementia and my dad who couldn't deal with or understand the changes that came to their lives. He reacted hostile to my mother and didn't understand that she wasn't doing things on purpose. I think you are doing all that you can and more. You and others helping care for him should be taking a lot off of her shoulders...but she's still angry. She's seeing a psychiatrist to help her mentally deal with the changes...but she's still angry. You're right, her sleep deprivation could be contributing to a lot of her hostility. But, as long as things are as they are in the home where she can't get enough sleep and then has to face difficult things that put her on will continue. IMO, a weekend away...won't help her. It may help you and your dad get a little peace while she's gone. But, when she returns, the caustic atmosphere will return as well. From what you've said, sounds to me that your mother is angry because of how things have changed and most importantly, there is no hope from her viewpoint, that things will improve or go back to how they were, when life was simpler, happier, better.

I have two things to suggest. One, do you and your mom spend time together without him? Do you go out to dinner together? Go shopping or see a movie...just you and your mom...and "get away". Making a special effort to give her and your relationship attention may help. But, I think it would be short term.

Secondly, it sounds to me like it's time to consider moving your dad from the home to a facility where he can receive care. This will take the load off of you. You can also spend more time with your mom. Plus, the cause of hostility will be out of the house, where your mother lives and observes. Remember, it's her house too. It's her life too. You and she can visit him as often and as long as you like. But, then you and your mom can get away from the things that irk her.

In my situation, my dad's demeanor changed for the better when my mom was hospitalized and then was in rehab...taking her out of the house for about a month. He visited her and spent hours with her each day. But, he knew there was an escape from the burden of caring for her and he could sleep. It gave him hope of having a good day himself.

Don't know if you have considered a facility...either temporarily or permanently...or what your thoughts are on that issue. But, I think it may be best for everyone involved. Good luck and I hope your family finds peace.

First of all, bless you for moving home to help your parents. It seems your poor father needs some peace and your mother is at the end of her rope; and you are dealing with a most stressful situation. It is difficult to conceive of having your father go to a facility; but do you think, under the circumstances, he would be more at peace? As would your mother. Somethings got to give.

My parents were living in a volatile situation until fate stepped in and my father was in the hospital, rehab. and subsequently passed away a short time later. I don't know how your father feels about being away from your mother, but for my father it was an opportunity to have "real peace" - it was the most peaceful I had seen him in a long time.

Facilities can offer care and a place to rest. Ultimately, staying in one's home is what most people want; but when health is failing, a facility can be a good alternative. And you can monitor the care. Take care and will keep you in my prayers.
I agree with the suggestions concerning a facility placement for your dad. The reason I do is only because it may bring peace to both of your parents. You, however, would know best if that is something that is affordable. At the very least, can your parents sleep in separate rooms. Your mom needs a space of her own.

Also, you say your mom has had some mini strokes. Do you think she could also be dealing with some dementia. Do you think the stress of your father's illness and her sleep deprivation have contributed to her mini strokes?

You are obviously pro-active in trying to keep peace and understanding in the household. Take care and keep posted.
Thank you all so much for your suggestions, the support from all of you "out there" really does help. I will take the advice to put dad in care for a respite -- it's just too cost prohibitive right now for a permanent move. Unfortunately, mom and dad didn't make any plans financially for this scenario. Although I believe mom has dementia, I'm exasperated with the medical profession not getting on board -- thanks again for all the compassion -- I love this sight! Kathy

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