Is it wrong that I put my 86 yr old mother in time out?

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I put my mother in time out last week the way you would put a toddler in time out when they take a temper tantrum, was that wrong of me? My mom is 86 yrs old with MILD Parkinson's and MILD dementia, she gets along just fine but sometimes she becomes very demanding with getting herself dressed and undressed. She was in her bedroom demanding that either I or her home aid undress her and put on her night clothes. She dresses and undresses herself everyday. So to stop the fighting I closed her bedroom door and let her be. 15 minutes later i went to check on her, she had changed into her night clothes and put the clothes she was wearing away.
Today she did the same thing but only in the bathroom. So I put her night clothes in the bathroom and left. If for one moment I thought she couldn't do it for herself I'd help her, but she is very capable of doing things for herself. She lives on her own, so there are things that she HAS to do for herself in order to get by. Her home aid cooks all 3 meals for her, helps her with showers, does her laundry and mops her floors. We make her do the dusting as part of keeping her active and moving. But when she starts to get in her demanding "I CAN'T DO ANYTHING" mood she becomes impossible to deal with. I believe in tough love only because I know if I cave and do more for her then she will waste away that much faster. I can't accept that this is as good as it gets because she was in good health right up till the day she retired from her job when she was 79 yrs old. She has become lazy and wants everyone to take care of her. So if she's going to act out like a 2 year old having a temper tantrum then she will be dealt with accordingly.

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I think letting her be for a brief time to settle down and do what she can do is OK. I think I'd avoid referring to it as a time out. She is not a two-year-old. She is a person with abnormal aggregates of protein in her brain. The kind of dementia she has is characterized by fluctuations in cognition. Most of the time she can dress herself and sometimes she thinks she can't and is very, very frustrated by that. I'd say something like, "Mom, I am so very glad that you can dress yourself and do it well. I think I'll just leave you alone for a while so you can get on with it as well as you can. I'll be back soon." Another characteristic of having those protein deposits in the brain (called Lewy bodies, after the researcher who discovered them) is periods of lucidity and self-awareness. It must be terrifying to realize that you are losing your abilities and especially that you are losing your mind! I think I'd have moments when I'd want assurance that someone would always take care of me. It may be her "laziness" is part giving up and part testing to see if she'll be cared for. Or maybe she just is lazy, but that doesn't seem consistent with how you've described the rest of her life.

I think it is good that you are encouraging her to remain active -- that is extremely important for this kind of dementia. And leaving her alone to work through her own frustrations seems to be working. For your sake, it might be less stressful to learn more about your mother's disease.

Best wishes to you both.
Thank you for your input, I am sure there are other ways to deal with what is going on when it is happening you are right about that. I wish I could say that you are also right about her being lazy. I also wish I could say this is all age related and is happening because of her health issues, but her stubbornness and wanting others to take care of her is how she has always been. I blame myself because I started taking care of things for her when I was 11 and just kept taking on more and more because she's mom and worked so she shouldn't had to deal with anything else. I spoiled her and now that I have my own family she is very resentfulness towards that. A hug part of the problem is she hates the fact that I don't live with her she never thought I would grow up and move out. She thought I'd live with her forever. I was 32 when I finally broke free from her. She lives 2 minutes away from us by foot but I needed my space. I will do more research on her condition to help be better understand what is going on and how to better handle it. Again Thank you so much. It helps to know there are people out there there that understand what you are going through and are willing to let you vent it out. Family will take just so much before fights start and I don't want to fight with my husband or our daughter because I am frustrated about mom.
It sounds like you have a lot of insight into the dynamics of your situation. And you are certainly right -- you do need (and deserve) your space. I am in the tenth year of dealing with Lewy bodies, but it is my husband, not a parent, and the dynamic there is naturally different.

Many people here can relate to what you are going through. You are not alone!
I think calling it time out is the problem. She is not a child. Sometimes we all need a little private time. Giving her space and not hovering is a good idea.
Yes, I agree w/ what Jeanne said about sometimes they seem to able to do things just fine, and all of a sudden they can't deal with it. It DOES appear to be like a temper tantrum. My 86 year old Mom lives with me (and my husband), in her own quarters connected to our main house. She showers, and dresses herself, etc. But Igo in and get the shower started to ake sure it's the right temp, then leave her to her own devices. It's funny sometimes, as she used to pick out all of her own clothes, but lately has been asking me to help her decide. So often I'll lay all of her clothes to wear on her bed. Then she comes out wearing something totally different!! She puts away what I put out, and picks out something else. (usually it's the exact same thing she wore the day before....a certain blue blouse that she loves the color of.) I'll have to get her 5 of that color. :) Then there are those times that she just can't get the hang of it. She can't button up the buttons right, and gets so frustrated. And zippers are totally out of her expertise now. I zip things up for her, telling her it's her eyes, and it's tricky to see how to do it. She sometimes tries to get her robe on in the evening and can't figure out how to put her legs through the opening (I leave it zipped partway) and tries to put her leg in one of the armholes. This really confuses her. But it's only once in awhile. This happens with other things that she knows perfectly well how to do, but all of a sudden there is blankness, and she can't do it. It was good for me to read Jeanne's comment, as I too thought it was silly, and she just didn't want to do it. I'd be nice about it, but would say, "Oh Mom, you know how to do it. Just think about it a bit." I, like you, want her retain as much ability as possible. But.....after reading above comment, I realise that a curtain comes down now and then where they really don't know what to do or how to do it. It must be frightening. I will be keeping this in mind from now on. Thanks all!! Best of luck, Jersey girl. Your Mom is lucky to have you. (I know the "fine line" w/ the family's patience too.)
I do the same thing but I don't call it a time out. My mother is in early stages of some kind of dementia; she can be fine one minute and the next minutes she's going on and on about some wacko delusion or other. I just say, "That's not reality, so I'm not getting into that conversation," then I leave. It may not be helpful to her, but it helps save my own sanity.
The time-out part sounds like u r treating her like a child n in your eyes that is what u may see but to her that is like shaming her. My mnl gets a big temper going on too when things don't go her way. Yes, she ask me to do things for her too. I reply, "you can do this but you need to do your breathing technique I taught u so that u can calm down first." The breathing technique is just for her to breathe through nose n out with her mouth. It usually works on some things. However, if it don't then, I will step in to help her. There r times when she can get real moody n I just walk off out-of-site for about 3-5mintuets so that BOTH of us can have a chance to chill n so I can get myself back together so I don't take out on her, for this will only make things worse. Letting her stay in her room a little bit allows her to calm down n refocus. Like others has mention, there r times they can do it one day n then the next they cannot. It is hard on us caregivers as a family member n its got to be very frustrating on them as this devastating disease robs their memory n brain function skills. Best of luck. This is a great book if you haven't read it yet. "The 36-Hour Day," by Peter Rabins. Great, great book.

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