cpegaso942740 Posted July 2016

Moving parent to different room for a while.


My mother moans, groans, makes sucking noises, burbs, sneezes and yawns, out loud so as to be heard several rooms away. Being deaf as a door, she can't hear anything and claims to be not aware. We believe, at the very least, she could not possibly make all those noises and not feel it. She refuses to get a hearing aid.
Her home health nurse came the other day and my wife told her we shift her to another room, on occasion, for the peace an quiet, and felt guilty about it. The nurse told us not to. She told us we were some of the best caretakers she dealt with. Losing patience is all part of it and moving her to another part of the house, not shut away, is perfectly fine. Mother making all the noise, none of which is medically necessary, is her way of getting attention. Removing her from our area is our way of saying it is not acceptable and we don't have to be subjected to it.
When she does return, she stops making noises for a while. When she resumes, she's returned to the other room, which is a family room, btw, out of hearing. Fortunately, our home is big enough. For those out there, don't feel trapped. Enforce the fact that unacceptable behavior is not to be tolerated, respectfully. We no longer yell and scream, we relocate. Life is not perfect, but it is better.

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Veronica91 Aug 2016
All I can say is that everyone has their cross to bear. You have found a way to lighten yours a little and still keep your sanity. No criticism from here.

Thanks Jinx4740, I appreciate the comments. One thing we did discover. Mom sucks, repeatedly; this is why and maybe this will help someone else. She has a 2 tooth partial in the front of her mouth. When she takes it out, it stops. Now we have her remove it until just before meals and then remove it afterwards. Problem solved.

I appreciate all the comments and suggestions. We have her here because my brother would have put her in a nursing home 10 yrs ago and walked away. She still has some money left, but not a great deal. Had she been placed, she would have been broke years ago and under Medicaid and would have died off by now. I watched my father deteriorate in a nursing home and die off within a year.
I swore that would not happen with mom. As long as she is able to be functional and mobile, and our mental facilities still intact she will stay here. We don't shut her in a closet, she has free rein of the house. We don't berate her when she make all the noises, oh she sits and stares at us too, we just shift her. No harm no foul. It's not punishment, It's maintaining our sanity. For OMG, that's easy to judge when not subjected to the situation 24/7 for going on 10 years. If I was perfect I would be wearing robes and walking on water; I don't.
Rainmom, you are a Saint. I wish I had you stamina. For those who may think we are bleeding her dry, financially, think again. If we had, she would have been broke years ago and a ward of the state. Do we resent being stuck with her, yes at times, but that fades away soon after. We have been told that is normal. My
parents were taking trips to Europe, Hawaii, road trips, cruises at our age, mid 60's. We stay home with mom as fate has it. So be it. Maybe our time will come, maybe not. Only time will tell. Hope we're not too old to enjoy it then. Oh, BTW, she is not in pain, she has been checked. Due to sinuses, her throat tickles and she thinks moaning an groaning scratches it. Mine does too, I just have not started moaning yet due to spousal threats.

Jinx4740 Jul 2016
Rainmom, that was great! No blame for a hard situation.

It's true, not everyone is cut out to be a 24 hour caregiver. It is very hard to accept that the demented person has little to no control of behavior. You have control of your behavior. If you think she wants attention, give her some extra loving and see if it helps.

Sometimes I can channel some saint who truly rejoices in serving and relieving distress. For that period of time, caregiving is truly a joy. My goal is to make him comfortable and as happy and calm as possible. For those minutes, I don't think about how hard everything is. And for those minutes, it is not unbearably hard. I can just go with it. It doesn't last forever, but I always feel stronger and more peaceful for a while.

Your mother's making annoying noises falls into accepting the things you can't change. Having to listen to them when you are trying to sleep is one of the things you can change, with a move or a little remodeling, or a decision that caregiving is not for you.

You are a good person trying to do the right thing. Keep it up, and look for information about dementia. Let us know how it goes.

Rainmom Jul 2016
This is another one where I think my experience as a parent of a child with sevear autism gives me a different perspective. Ever spend any time with an individual with sevear autism - especially a nonverbal one? My adult son, who lives at home has a huge range of noises. Some are ones he makes - a kind of humming one that has no resemblance to music, slurping as he puts is fingers in his mouth, general babbling etc. He also taps on everything, has toys that generate literally dozens of words, phrases, and short music tones yet he hits the same one button over and over and over - lately it's been his toy cell phone saying "let's call grandpa" - for twenty consecutive plays. Thing is - both hubby and I have learned to just tune it out. Honestly- the majority of the time we just don't notice it. We love him very much, he lives here - it's just who he is and what he does. I'm not saying you don't love your mother. What I will say - this goes beyond the annoying sounds. Ever been in a bad marriage? I swear to God, the mere sound of my ex-husband clearing his throat made me want to stab him with a butter knife! Perhaps you resent having your mom live with you. Perhaps it's a feeling of loss of control over your own home and your own life. You believe she is making these noises on purpose just to tick you off and get attention. Maybe she is. But if that's the case than perhaps she would be better off in a different living arranement- and so would you. That's okay - nothing to feel bad about. Not everyone is cut out to live as an adult with their parent - especially a needy parent. It's just my opinion but isolating her from everyone attempting to teach or train her not to make noises is not the answer - cause ya know what? It's just going to be something else that becomes a trigger. I encourage you to seek other living arrangments for your mom - where she will be free to make noises and you will be free not to hear them. This is something you both should be entitled to.

cwillie Jul 2016
While I agree that yelling and screaming are not going to change the behaviour I wouldn't characterize it as punishment, I expect it is one of those triggers that finally cause caregivers to snap (been there, done that). The way I read this the nurse wasn't telling them to yell, she was telling them to forgive themselves for yelling, a big difference.

I think that you should consider moving your mother to the other room permanently, it is a whole lot easier to re arrange furniture that to replace drywall or try to soundproof her bedroom, you could set up the bedroom as your private getaway. If she is already OK staying there for a few days then she would probably make the transition well.

jeannegibbs Jul 2016
OMG You are PUNISHING a person with dementia for making noises, and the visiting nurse approves? OMG!

As you are learning, this experience is not teaching your mother not to make the noises (except for a brief period immediately after she returns). That is because with dementia she cannot learn -- she cannot remember the consequences from one time to the next.

I'm so glad you've stopped yelling and screaming. That certainly did no one any good.

If you explain that you want Mom to have a different view for a while and make it a positive experience for her while giving you some respite, fine. But expecting her to learn that her behavior is unacceptable and you don't have to be subjected to it is, I'm sorry, quite misguided.

freqflyer Jul 2016
Yes, sound reducing drywall. I wanted my boss to add that to the wall next to me because said wall butts up to the hall bathroom.... as it stands, I might as well be right in the bathroom with whomever is in there :[

Have you thought about researching soundproofing her room? I've read on other DIY forums of people who've put extra carpeting down (might be a problem with an older person with dementia though) as well as added specific kinds of material to walls. I don't recall if it was insulation or if it was something that could just be added to the interior wall, something like thick drapes on the walls that adjoined a common area.

I honestly don't think she's doing this deliberately though, given that she has dementia. She's probably not even aware of it. Remember, people can regress in behavior as they age, and sometimes with dementia. Babies and toddlers make noises but it's considered cute. We need to be as tolerant with older people who have dementia as with little ones.

Sunnygirl1 Jul 2016
As long as she's safe, I suppose there is no harm to moving her to another room. I do wonder why you think that she's doing that in some willful way though. Your profile says that she has dementia. I wouldn't think that someone with advanced dementia would learn lessons from being moved around, since they have lost their short term memory and they are no longer capable of learning new things.

I can certainly appreciate that the sounds might be frustrating, but, it might help if you realized that she's not doing it on purpose. Also, I'd make sure that her moans and groans are not due to pain. Sometimes people with dementia have difficulty conveying that they are in pain and they may act out in response to pain. I might discuss that with her doctor to ensure that something isn't hurting her that you aren't aware of.

It's nice that the home health worker thinks you do a good job. That must be very rewarding.

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