What is the best way to respond when a parent with dementia when they become very hateful to you, should you walk away?

Asked by

example, my mother was in the bathroom and i went to the door and asked if she needed help. she responded very mean no, not from you. I asked her what was wrong she responded "what is wrong with you?" I replied "nothing but why are you being so hateful?" She replied you are the hateful one and you are no longer my sister. (by the way I am her daughter)...... I said I am sorry you feel that way and left the room.

Answers 1 to 10 of 27
Top Answer
I think you did the right thing... she is confused obviously and she will forget. Do NOT treat her any differantly and don't bring it up... sometimes you have to act like a duck and let stuff just roll off your back!!! take care
Poor Mom. Poor Caregivers. It is Dementia that is hateful!

If it is safe to do so (you are not in the middle of giving her a shower, etc.) then leaving the room for a few minutes may be best. Certainly don't react, get mad, correct her, defend yourself, or otherwise disagree with her. When she said she didn't need any help from you, you might have asked if she needed help from anyone, to get at what you needed to know. But I think you handled this well.
Crazy: mom just last week after i asked her if i could help her, said "nothing you can do will ever make me happy. I left the room and just kept a low profile. She later was sweet as pie, so who knows? Has something to do w/ the neurofibrillary tangling of the brain I guess. Anyway that worked out OK.
thanks for all your input, I am new at this and it is so frustrating
I am glad to read I am not alone on this, Crazydazey, I am also new at this and do not know how to react some times however I do the same, walk away and hopefully things get better (in my case sometimes it works others.. well it does not.) I am glad it work for you.
How do I get MIL with Alzheimer's to believe me when I tell her that she is able to stand and walk?
Opps. Sorry I meant to post that as a question.
The question and all the comments are so helpful. My sister is periodically paranoid and hateful and accuses me of stealing from her. (Ironically, when I'm not home she goes thru my drawers and takes my stuff!)
I like the duck analogy--just let it roll off my back. Walk away and forget it, since she will!!

Great advice.
The hardest part is the individual who was never like this before.

My Mom would have never said anything to upset me or anyone else, but the disease took over!

I realize if I keep my mouth shut and walk away she comes to me later with an apology. But if I argue or try to correct her she'll stew all day... Soooo, keep my trap shut is the way I go!!!
This was the hardest part in the beginning of the journey for me.They ^^^ are right. Just walk away,as long as she's safe and you can. It took me a while to learn not to argue and realize it's the DISEASE she is mad at and the DISEASE I am mad at. The loss of control she feels of her body and her mind turned into I "control"her. When she is clear(er) minded, we discuss it and she understands, but, of course, she forgets. Hang in there, and try not to take it personally.

Share your answer

Please enter your Answer

Ask a Question

Reach thousands of elder care experts and family caregivers
Get answers in 10 minutes or less
Receive personalized caregiving advice and support