What do I do when my 83 year-old mother with dementia needs help, but doesn't want my help?

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My mother has lots of health problems and her dementia is getting worse and that makes everything else worse. She is so rude and irritable to me that I just can hardly stand it anymore. She has very bad eyesight due to 55 year of diabetes, she has seizures about every two weeks (fainting type), bad balance which she using a lot a w alker, falls more often now, always dizzy and feels bad, bad back, etc.


She constantly complains about her health, but she complains all the time about how dark it is. We burn all the lights with 100 wt. bulbs.


So, she makes all these comments about it is so dark in my room I can't see to get my clothes on. I offer to get her clothes out and she always says no she'll do it. I'll offer 2-3 times in different ways and she gets rude and then, I just leave and go on. I'll check back with her in a few minutes to see if she needs me to help her and more times than not, I have to help her do something.


But, what makes it so bad and makes me just leave her room is her attitude toward me. Just down right rude to me about it. I get tired of being treated so awful when I'm trying to be helpful.


So, what do I do when I'm trying to be helpful and she is rude about not wanting my help? She needs help, but won't admit it. I feel bad leaving her, but what else do I do...stand there and let her continue to be rude to me?


I need help!! LOL (but it isn't really funny!!) Thank you for your help.

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worried4mom I can so relate!!! My Father went to heaven in July. My parents had been married almost 63 years!! Mom is almost 84. Not two weeks after he died Mom had a heart attack. She has some memory issues.So now I set up her meds and take her everywhere. I know it is not easy.. take care!!!
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worried4mom, i know just what u mean-i send u any hugggggs'and strenght
karen
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Yes, having to live in darkrooms. Then, going to the doctor with her and she denies everything and makes it look like you are the crazy one. One never gets paid for the care because she does not want care from anyone. There is no visiting nurse because one is not wanted. If she can barely scribble out a check (you would not believe how easily scribbled checks pass thru the system!) or swipe a card to pay bills, but she has reasonably solid credit. It is all her word against yours. One finds that they have been wasting their life for such a person. I have cried so often. I am middle aged and never had children of my own. I have nosey half-siblings, but no one to help. They all brag about their grandchildren. I will not even inherit (accept huge bills possibly). I never have inherited because my birth father turned around & adopted someone in my place. Sorry about this sob story! I guess that is why so many people are on drugs. The hurt is just too much. And instead of our government helping us, it seems to help every other nation. We are not important to it anymore.
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I have been there and have decided that some folks who have dementia and need help with tasks of daily living, such as your mother, just don't know how to accept help. Very independent all her life? Only relied on herself? It also seems that they are in some kind of mental state where they think only they know they need help and if they keep pretending they don't need it, maybe no one will notice.
I read a great book, Talking to Alzheimer's, which addresses some specific ways to relate to people with dementia, without agitating them.
There are no easy answers, we finally felt it was best to find an AL with a memory care unit, which has been successful for all of us.
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One thing I want to comment on is, when people remind us that the demented person in front of us is not the loving mother we used to have, and is now not only confused and frightened and facing mortality and loss of power but also outright demented, ok that's a useful reminder. And I can imagine how breathtakingly difficult it is for people who had a loving mother to deal with this, including the shock of the change in her behavior.

But if the person who is treating us badly now always treated us badly, it requires a little translation. If anyone reading this had a mother who was a narcissistic bitch before, what you have on your hands now is a narcissistic bitch who additionally is confused, frightened, facing mortality and loss of power, and outright demented -- and you already have a history of abuse with this person. Hello! Let that give you a little permission to step back and look at how difficult THAT is, and get yourself some help.
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You may want to consult with a geriatric care manager. Typically a nurse or social worker who can come in and do a thorough professional assessment of her and the environment. A good GCM will establish a trusting relationship with Mom and help quide you in managing some of her behaviors.
If nothing else, do this for yourself. Family caregivers health and wellbeing will often suffer more than the loved one they care for.
Good Luck!
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Forgot to mention that the roles are reversed now . You are the authority figure now and she is like a teen. How many kids like to do what they are told and to do what is best. Hang in there
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My father died in December. He had been in the hospital since September. My mother lives at home. Refuses to leave. She was in the hospital for a week now in a rehab center to get her strength back. When my father was on a ventilator for 3 months she could not believe that he didn't have a living will. She has one. But when she had a problem and had to go to hospital she won't give them the living will. She is 86 I just look at it as she doesn't want to die. Who does. Also, I think she is scared. She hasn't lived alone for over 40 years. That is why I thought she would come with me. But to leave her home is too much for her. That is the only thing she has left. She has been very rude at times (downright nasty). I just try to overlook that. She has had pain and confusion in her life lately. I am starting to panic because I think in 22 yrs that could be me. (I am 64). But there are a few times that she regresses back to when I was little and wants me to sit next to her and she will stroke my hair. Sorry, rambling on. I tell myself that I have to just help her get through one day at a time. It is too stressful for her and me right now. Wish you well. Take care of yourself
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Thank you for all of your helpful comments. We did move in with my parents three and a half years ago when my step-father's alzheimer's got worse and mother had to have care for him and herself. He passed away a year after we moved here. I am glad you reminded me that this is not "my mother" anymore. She does think I am taking her independence away because she told her sitter that I bossed her around. I don't consider myself to be bossy, but to her I am. My husband and I try to ignore her rudeness, but there are those times when it gets to us and we tell her how we feel. I doesn't do any good at all to tell her. It is like she never heard it, so we'll continue try to ignore her rudeness. Thanks for offering to help and all your suggestions. Being a caregiver is a pretty tough job, more than I ever thought.
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YOu need a professional to assist and be "the bad guy"! I find the elderly much more receptive when the information and concern are coming from a professional nurse verses family. My clients have been greatly appreciative for the support and encouragement.
Pamela
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