Just a vent.

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92 year old middle-stage Alzheimer's mom is madder than a hornet that she has a live-in caregiver.
Yes, she is on meds.
Yes, I am certain they are not the right ones for her mood swings, which creep up with no warning and are volatile as hell.
Yes, I have made an appt with a different geriatric psychiatrist, since her current one literally has "no time" to discuss mom with me since she also runs a teeth-whitening clinic. (No joke.)
The new live-in caregiver has a tough exterior shell which is good. Mom's name-calling of her being "as big as 3 people" isn't outwardly bothering her, although I am mortified.
Mom blames ME for her dementia and her living arrangements. What she doesn't realize is that if not for me, she would be in a long-term memory care facility for the rest of her life without her beloved dog she obsesses over. She would be out of her home.
She fights me tooth and nail.
The caregiver has to call me because mom will not take meds for her; only me. And mom's meds wear off every few hours... then her behavior ramps up FAST to the point where she is screaming, sobbing, and kicking the dog's bed about. so I need to go over there a few times a day. thank God I do not work in a full-time job or I don't know what would happen.
This morning I woke up with not just panic attacks, but chest pains.
I want to disassociate myself from her completely, but I feel awful for even feeling that way.
Yesterday she told me, "Don't call me mom anymore." "I don't have a daughter." and "how can you take HER side?" (caregiver) - But the icing on the cake was when she pointed a crooked finger at me and looked at me as though she were putting a curse on me, and said with a wry smile, "Your time is coming, and when it does I'll be there to twist it!!!"
ugh! Thanks for letting me post. Not a question really just had to get it out.

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Okay - I'm caught up on this thread now! I feel for you Nikki - our moms sound a lot alike in distemperment. You must have been mortified when you had to drag your screaming mother across the street. But believe me it can be just as bad - just less embarrassing when you've got Sybil for a mother. My favorite of this variety is like what happen in early November. Mom had been asked to leave AL because they felt they couldn't met her care needs - she fell on days 10 and 12 after moving in - in September. I brokered a deal that we could keep her there as long as we had a private caregiver with her during awake hours - so we could find a nice NH for her rather than the first one that would take her. After about six weeks we found one and set up the move. Mom had gotten use to having someone wait on her hand and foot and was digging in, refusing to move. So I go over - ask the caregiver to take a break so I can talk to mom alone, I didn't want to embarrass mom in front of the caregiver when I had to - for the 100th time tell her why she had to move to a NH. Mind you, the caregiver knew it all - she's the caregiver after all but still - I thought it the right thing to do. Needless to say the talk didn't go well and mom was in rare form - she ended with saying she wished I had never been born. So then the caregiver comes back in - atmosphere is thick - mom asks the caregiver to sit with us and starts with - to the caregiver, in her sweetest helpless voice "I want you to know how much I love my daughter and how very grateful I am for everything she is doing for me - I know I'm a very lucky woman..." She carried on for a while - I just sat there wondering if I was the one losing my mind!
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Have you Googled or talked to Area on Agency about smaller group homes specialized in Alzheimer's? The homes usually have 6 to 12 residents and is way less expensive than a traditional memory care unit. These units are purposely understaffed for higher profits so if you can find a group home, which, were we live, are in a residential neighborhood, then this may be an option for you. I understand it all depends on what's available to your mother's location but if need be, maybe you can relocate her to a group home near you. Go to care.com for options on finding a lived-in caregiver if the current one doesn't workout. This is where I found my mother's relief caregiver. She's a former nurse in the Philippines and works the graveyard shift at our local hospital and comes to our home for a few hours one day a week for care and companionship to my mother. I had to go through several caregivers before I found the one that was the right fit. Although my mother doesn't have Alzheimer's, she does have personality changes due to her vascular dementia and when it gets rough, I keep telling myself it's the disease that's causing her outbursts, her anger and to not take it personally. I know this is easier said than done because my patience is tried every single day but there will be a time your mother/our aging parent will pass so when it does get rough, try to remember that you're doing what you feel is the best and safe thing for your mother. This is what I have to do to get me through the day. And then I drink a big ass glass of wine. :-) I have a unique family story and although it's very challenging for me to care for my mother, I believe, at least for me, this where I'm supposed to be right now. Yes, it does get very lonely and I run the gamut on the rainbow of emotions, but at the end of the day, I feel this is what I need to do.
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Nikki - sorry for not replying earlier - I lost track of where I've been posting and just found this again today. Those email updates don't help me much. Yes - my mom is on medication but to be honest right now Im not sure what. Mom had a new PCP who starts and stops meds without notifying me - he's a moron. Then two days before Christmas I took her to a Geriatric Psychiatrist who was mystified over what the PCP had be prescribing and we agreed to try some new things and stop the things that didn't make sense. The GP said we'd be doing it slowly - one med at a try to help determine what was working and what wasn't. He also said he'd deal with the PCP, lol! This new gentlier mom started around New Years but really kicked in about ten days ago so I have to believe it's the new meds. When I visit mom tomorrow I'll get a med list - which I need anyhow - and I'll let you know what's on it.
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Windy - the thing is - she does it to me and I can mutter "ok sc*ew this" to myself and walk out the door. I'm INDIRECTLY her caregiver. I run the show. It's the REAL caregiver that LIVES with her I worry about. Cuz if we lose her? Well, let's just say she's the "last house on the street" for me. And I have weighed the whole assisted living option. But here's the zinger: It would cost me $177K a YEAR to put mom in assisted living because she would need memory care and most likely, in time, lockdown. I mean, when I had the temps coming in, splitting 12/12 hour shifts for 3 weeks it was almost $10,000 just for that time period. A live-in would give mom one-on-one care. I personally feel that a long-term care facility would be understaffed. I feel this way pretty strongly because her rehab after she broke her hip last year, which I want to mention was THE nicest in our area, (chandeliers and all) still smelled like piss, and I personally saw my mom slumped over falling out of her wheelchair because they over-medicated her. So, for me, that is not an option to put her in a home. I would rather spend 1/3 of her and dad's hard-earned money to have one person live with mom, bond with mom (such as it is) and care for her one-on-one. Mom deserves that. Again it's a personal decision. i promised dad I would take care of her, and to me, that means she stays with her little dog across the street from me. But darn it if her rotten behavior doesn't eventually drive people insane. That is where the RIGHT meds come in; if we could only get them!
Her (awful) geriatric psych office called today to confirm an appt on Monday. I had told them I do not want to sit in that waiting room with her for an hour like I did at our first appt either. I mean, I sat there while mom fidgeted for ONE HOUR first appointment! It was over-crowded, and when I finally got to see the doctor, she waved my written summary of mom's issues at me and abruptly said, "In all honesty, I don't have time to read all this. Too much information..." I wanted to punch her. But since she is all I got until we meet with a new geriatric psychiatrist in early February, I am going back to her on Monday with mom for hopefully a good med change.
I have heard a lot about Ativan and Cymbalta. I am going to ask some real questions and she had better plant her butt down for more than 10 minutes to listen to me.
(whew, I think that was another vent!) I feel better already...
Tomorrow night, I am taking mom and her new perm caregiver out to dinner and it's the caregiver's payday. I am putting extra in her check. This is how we show appreciation. It beats paying a facility where mom can't even get her eggs the way she wants them (except on Saturdays!)
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My mom is not mean at all but just ever so pitiful. It's just soooooo depressing to deal with her. And honestly, she's had a pretty tragic life. I spose she deserves to be pitiful. I know this is easier said than done, but if either of my parents treated me like your mom does you I would have plunked them into care long ago, dementia or no dementia. I read all these stories on this forum and I just can imagine going through that kind of hell.
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Windy - you are welcome! I like knowing I am not the only one with a mom that makes life absolutely impossible with threats, screaming and resistance to help. Today she said, "Why don't you go home and kill yourself" to me. Nice. This was after I had taken her out for 3 hours and as soon as we got home she saw her caregiver and just started grumbling and complaining. I cannot WAIT to get her meds changed. The current ones might as well be m&m's.
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Nikki, I'm just having some fun here. I wouldn't survive a Florida summer. I grew up in WV and we could have horrible, hot, buggy, humid summers. Winter in northern Mi is really quite nice until you look around and see a 3 foot snow base in April.

This is a good discussion, thanks for starting it. I, like most others around here, have such conflicting emotions about my folks.
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Windy, yep, Florida. I grew up in CT and (don't flame me!) but I miss the snow and cold! That is because our summers are SO HOT AND HUMID it is crazy. And summer lasts HOT a longgg time around here! So I do love the fresh snow (not the muddy slush so much, but what can you do lol) - and i love the look of the icicles on the trees. Like a wonderland. The beach is nice here but congested. So many tourists this time of year. And it's not like there is time anyhow. (did I mention summers are unbearably humid here?) - hope that makes you feel better. ;)
Garden, here's the thing. Dad died in 2009; her LIFELINE. Then the original caregiver bailed, and even mom in her state of mind thought that was awful of her. Now, I'm not sure what is happening. I think mom KNOWS I will not abandon her. I think she knows she can treat me badly because no way would I desert her under any circumstances but darn it she sure seems to try. Part of me also has to re-think that altogether because she is treating the new caregiver terribly as well; so it isn't "just" me. She used to complain solely to me about her "sorry state of affairs" but tell you something - if she knew how some of the folks her age at 92 on the other side were living, and if she had the ability, she would thank her lucky stars I'm looking out for her.
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Nikki, it just occurred to me that perhaps she's afraid she'll be left again, by you. Maybe that's why she's so manipulative; she sets conditions that can't be complied with, she can't be reasoned with, so she creates a situation that you can never satisfy, yet as her daughter, you'll continue trying. If you were able to make her happy, she wouldn't have the hold over you that she has when complaining constantly about her situation.

Relationships can be so complicated at times.
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I don't know how people do it, living with mean, demented parents. I'm 600 miles away from the folks, just had hell week down there before the holidays and I'm still a wreck and my folks are kitty cats compared to all these mommies from hell.
I talk to mom about every night and it just depresses the living s. t out of me. They won't let helpers in the house yet, oh well.......Nikki, you and all the other live in caregivers are saints. Crazy I think, but saints.

Snowing like all hell up here for past 2 days. Big wind with lake effect snow off lake MI. Spent 2 hours on tractor blowing, now can't tell I was ever out there. Sposed to calm down tomorrow. More blowing, try to find the barn. Ashlynne, what part of the country are you in? BTW Nikki....Florida? I hate you......
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