Blaming me she can't do anything saying all kinds of remarks to put herself down. She threw herself on the floor and was acting like she was hurt said things like I don't love her anymore and that I'm trying to kill her. I just lost it. It hurts me so bad she started yelling again and I blew it. I started yelling too. I feel so bad! It was a really bad experience. I am having so much anxiety over this and she is being stand off toward me. Acting like she didn't do anything to cause the arguing. Help me please.

This discussion has been closed for comment. Start a New Discussion.
Find Care & Housing
Caring for a Mom, Husband, or someone you're close too is very hard. We do the best we can but we aren't perfect. Everyone's circumstances are different and others can give you seemingly good answers about what you should do, but they are not in the moment with your Mom, you were.  

 You said your Mom has dementia and I don't know how bad her memory is but my Husband has Alzheimer's. I'm with him day in and day out. He has brothers and sisters who could help out. They are all retired but they don't even come to see him. They are afraid to spend time alone with him and I hear how I'm his stability, his centering point, and if I'm not around, they can't handle him. I care for him the best way I know how with no relief, so if I get frustrated and an argument ensues, it just does. I'm a wife struggling to keep things going for us. Sometimes you just can't ignore things they do. So don't beat yourself up over this, you're only human! If she's like my husband is, she won't remember too long.

Teepa Snow has a 5 minute video on de-escalating a crisis situation with a person who has dementia. Is is here:

Re-read what SueC1957 wrote, and consider me saying exactly the same thing.

How long has your mother had dementia? Is she being treated by a specialist? Has a particular kind of dementia been mentioned? Lots of people have experience with dementia on this board and will be glad to share with you.

You say that mom is acting like she didn't do anything to cause the arguing. She didn't. She is just living in her own reality, she is not picking fights. Can you imagine how frightening and frustrating it would be to stand in front of a washer similar to what you've used for years and not know how to operate it? Or maybe even what it is for?

Frustration and fear often come out as anger. A person with a broken brain can't help that. (Even those of us with working brains sometimes lose control in a situation like this.) There is really no point in trying to get mother to acknowledge that the argument was her fault.

In this kind of situation it is often good to first calm things down, and be reassuring. "Oh, Mom! This washer has been acting up. It is not your fault! Let's just leave it alone for a while. I'll call for repairs later. I could sure use your help sorting the socks from the drier right now. Would you like tea while we do that?"

(Believe me, if it were really this easy to talk someone with dementia out of a fit, the frustration level of caregiving would decrease 47%. I'm just suggesting an approach that MIGHT, sometimes, bring the stress down a few levels.)

If it is any consolation, nearly all of us have had episodes where we break down and shout back. (Those who haven't are new.) It is not the end of the world. Learn from it and move on. I was lucky in that my husband understood that he had dementia. We called it Lewy [Lewy Body Dementia]. I could say, "Oh honey, I am so sorry I lost my temper and hollered at you. It is Lewy I am mad at, not you." If your mom doesn't understand that her brain is broken your apology might be, "I was really very crabby with you this afternoon. I am so sorry. I'm frustrated over that dang washing machine. I love you very much."

You are in a very frustrating role. You love your mother. It pains you to see how she is now. And what can you do to express that pain?

1) Come here often and just vent. Or ask how others would handle something.
2) Join a local support group for caregivers of persons with dementia.
3) Discuss your anxiety level with your own doctor.

Robinl, take your Mom to her primary doctor or to an urgent care to have an Urinary Tract Infection test done.... I wouldn't be surprised if that is what your Mom has, as UTI's can make an older person mean and sometimes violent.

Let go of this incident but learn from it.

Your profile says that your mom has dementia. Unfortunately, your mom can't control her actions and words because her brain is broken. She is no longer thinking clearly and isn't the mom you're used to.
She will continue to act strangely as the dementia progresses. You need to do a LOT of reading on her disease, so you know what you're in for.

She may say confusing things that get you mad. She's not purpously trying to do that. But it's human nature, dementia or not, that we get mad back.
You can not take what she says to be what she means and feels.

She may realize
that her brain isn't working too well anymore and she's frustrated. She takes that frustration out on you because she's sick in her brain.
Reassure her that you love her. DON'T react to her unusual behavior. Try to remain calm. You may have to step out of the room for a minute.

We're right here for you to vent your frustrations with her disease and to answer questions.

Take a deep breath.

This discussion has been closed for comment. Start a New Discussion.
Subscribe to
Our Newsletter