My mother always thinks I'm fussing when I'm only trying to explain things to her. How do I deal with this?

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My mom is 84-years-old and lives with me.

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Precious comments. Thanks! M88
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I'm going to be straight up with you and use a specifically hard time in my life to illustrate the technique.

The answer is lie, agree, and withhold information you think would upset her. Agree with your mother, then do as you please. As long as your mother is safe and happy not a whole lot else matters. Sounds bad doesn't it. But let me explain.

My mother went on a respite vacation leaving me with Grandma for a week. One hour after my mother was gone, grandma forgot all about where she went and when she would be back. No matter what I said or how I reasoned with her, she was angry, emotional, and full of anxiety which left me up to my armpits in poopy. I'm embarrassed to say that I didn't LEARN this self preservation technique till about 5 days into the trip, but as a last resort, I lied. I lied like a rug on the floor, like a convict on parole to get out of a ticket....and it worked. Seriously grandma believed that mom was just at work...she'd be home later that day....or tomorrow...it didn't matter what I said as long as I didn't tell her mom was gone. They aren't serious lies, they are little white ones that satisfy her brain like giving a baby a pacifier.

We can't share any neighborhood problems with grandma or let her watch the news like we could when she was "herself". All of the bad stuff she sees is internalized. She thinks the worst about the weather and if there is crime, it turns into "men in her room" which keeps us all up at night.

It only hurts her to hear the truth about some things she can no longer process with her oxygen starved brain. Hearing the truth about her mother being dead, she being one of the last 2 of 10 of her siblings to be alive is extremely upsetting to her...since she lost the memory of their passing. Does it hurt us to let her speak lovingly of them like she saw them yesterday? No...we are learning to work around it, and losing the guilt for what we say to keep her emotionally comfortable.

On days where I just find it taxing, I just nod a whole lot. There is nothing gained by trying to reason with or explain anything to someone who has dementia. All you can do is love her and try to keep her out of things that will hurt her.

Vent, vent, vent. Please let out your feelings. Venting in a safe place will save your life and help you to preserve your mother's feeling of dignity.

Hang in there! Love HB
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I'd like to know the answer to this, too, because my mom does the same thing. It's frustrating because you're trying to be helpful and explain something--just like you'd do if she was still "herself". I have to remind myself that she can't help it, and just can't remember what we're talking about and why. The hardest thing is dealing with their emotions and the ones they evoke in us.
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