I'm a caregiver for my 91 year old mother with dementia, and 14 year old pomeranian with a brain tumor. It gets fairly weird around here, being that the two of them share similarities in behavior.
Don't get me wrong, I love the both of them and am fully aware neither of them can help their situations. The pomeranian is my sidekick, my mother is...well she's my mother. I also realize I've chosen to be here for her and to try to help her. I'm pretty much all she has for this, and am on my own with it.
Here's the thing, my mother has always been mentally ill and these days, it's even worse. She can be quite abusive. A nursing home is not an option, as there aren't any good ones where I'm located, and she'd last about a week in one of them. Either she'd give up, or the aides would smother her in her sleep. She can be pretty frustrating.
Part of the time, she's non-compliant with eating, as well as with taking her meds. This is usually when she's mad at me about something, which can be anything from not responding to her the way she wants, or in general just my breathing.
Current situation is that she's become bed ridden. She's having problems with one of her legs that could be anything from phlebitis (which she's had before) to a blood clot. I've tried repeatedly to get her to go to ER, but she has a different excuse every time as to why she won't go. The latest is, she 'won't go because of me'. She's always blamed me for a lot, but lately is blaming me for just about everything she can think of.
She wouldn't agree to home health care, so I got it myself to help with taking care of her. I should probably mention I have cancer. My body just won't do the things I need it to. The home health aide isn't supposed to do anything for my mother, but her running errands and light house work 4 days a week helps a lot.
I've tried everything to get my mother to accept medical intervention. Earlier tonight when she popped the latest excuse for not going, I popped and told her it's not because of me. I reminded her of all the other excuses. I really shouldn't have done it, because now she's refusing everything.
Usually when she flips into a different 'mood', I can just wait a bit until that switch flips and she's more agreeable. When she's like this, it can take days. The worst of it is, she's refusing her heart and BP meds.
I've recently taken a different approach to all of this. When she's refusing, I just chill and wait...and pray a lot. Pushing her doesn't work, and causes just that much more stress for me.
I guess I just need to feel not all alone with this. I recently lost a very close family member who was like a brother and my rock through this, and now am alone, with the exception of my sidekick.
I made a comment the other day to my home health aide that my mother doesn't even like me much, which she found pretty amusing because it's the truth. Lately when my mother complains about her care from me, I've told her a few times to fire me. She never knows what to say to that.
I've been doing everything for her, preparing her meals and taking them to her literally on a silver tray, taking care of her bedside commode, doing her laundry, applying hot compresses to her leg, keeping track of her OTC pain med, her regular meds, etc.
Is this pretty much a common thing when caring for an elderly parent with dementia? Do they get really mean at times?
I was caregiver for my father but he was a bit younger and had Multiple Myeloma, which he passed from. He was never mean with me.
So I guess that's it. Thanks for taking the time to read what has amounted to a chapter in a book. My apologies for the length of my post.