When does the broken mind go to far? Did you draw the line and argue back?
When my MIL claimed I killed her son (my husband), I drew a red line and I argued back!! She pushed her medic button and had them dispatch law enforcement. They immediately recognized she had dementia and noted her confusion since her son was right in front of her. She spent the rest of my multi-day visit yelling, anxious, and accusing me of trying to kill her too. In an instant, our relationship went from respect to your BSC lady and "I want nothing to do with you EVER again!"
I guess the better discussion is:
Do the elderly that are that far gone from reality still deserve commitment/time and/or respect from individuals/society or should they just be left alone like they request?
While I have a few long updates and answers to eventually post, my computer went down in the middle of all this craziness so this discussion will have to wait. I'm working from my phone -- in the the middle of the MC move wars!
I'll be back...
Did you once have a loving and close relationship with MIL? If so, I guess it is a matter of kind of realizing that, and visiting once in a while, and then on you go.
If MIL never DID like you, perhaps it's time to tell him "Hon, I admire your comittment to your Mom so much, but I just can't take her on myself. Let me know how I can help you after your visits."
You know, I wasn't overly fond of my Partner's Mom; but neither was he. We did our best and then went out, had a drink and a giggle, and got on with it.
Her life now will pretty much just be caregivers meeting her basic needs. That's all it should be too. When a person with dementia gets upset or is fighting with someone that can be a big setback that can last for days at a time. All this does is make the caregivers job harder to do. Stop visiting her now.
I truly hope your MIL in living in a care facility and not at home. She needs to be in a memory care. Someone as far gone as you say she is will not do well even with live-in help. What will happen if there's only one or two caregivers looking after her at home, is she will turn on them too. Put her in a care facility.
I could see you getting upset if ur husband had died and she made the accusation but your husband was standing there. You cannot reason with someone who has Dementia. She was probably watching a TV show and the wife killed her husband. Dreams and TV become part of their reality. The brain can no longer separate them.
I think if Mom is living alone its time to place her. Do not bring her into your home, and I mean this in the nicest way, you will not be able to deal with her changes and paranoia. And thats OK. Not all of us can deal with Dementia and what goes along with it, me for one.
Next time something likes this effects you this way, walk away. Go someplace to calm down and keep telling yourself she can't help it. Because she can't. You have to allow these comments to just roll off your back.
BSC...Bull_ _ _t comment?
Also distract the patient with TV or a magazine they like or a snack. Maybe take walks if possible then they probably will take a nap.
Ask doctor about mild medication to lessen the behavior.
Also agree with them rather than argue. The brain shrinks with age.
Leave the care to another relative.
They say folk with dementia can't join you in reality & you have to meet them where they are... But if her reality is up in the belfrey with the bats, consider a 'Time Out' instead.
Time to find a safe place to cool down. Jump in the shower, take time washing hands, put headphones on, scream into a pillow.
When she got particularly nasty, I'd back off on the phone calls and visits for a while to let things calm down, mostly ME. The next time I'd see her or speak to her, it was like nothing had ever happened b/c she didn't remember she'd said something foul. Again, the nature of the beast. The breaks were for ME more so than anything, to give ME a chance to calm down & regroup. It's never easy to deal with a demented elder, to say the least, but if it's a loved one we're in charge of via POA or just b/c of love, then we have to do what we have to do, regardless. If your MIL was accusing you of such ridiculous things while LUCID, well, that would be another story entirely.
Give her a break from your visits and then pick back up like nothing ever happened. She won't remember saying that she wants nothing to do with you ever again, I can practically guarantee it. By tomorrow, she'll be off on a different tangent entirely.
So to answer your question, yes, elders far gone from reality do deserve commitment, time and respect from individuals and from society b/c they are human beings suffering from a disease they didn't ask for and cannot help having *in my opinion*. I think we all argue back with outrageous accusations, however, when the better thing to do is just leave the room.
Like Barb suggested, though, do have her checked out by the doctor b/c a sudden change to aggressive behavior can indicate a medical problem going on in her body.
Best of luck!
Questions of what respect they deserve need to wait until after she is cultured for a UTI and evaluated for medication by a geriatric psychiatrist.