Several weeks ago my husband was asking my mother a question. She didn't respond (he has a very soft voice and she is hard of hearing and often forgets to adjust her hearing aids). I asked the question again louder. No response. I again repeated it (louder). Again no response. Louder still, I repeated the question. Mom turned to me, practically crying, and said "Please don't yell at me".

Fast forward to today. We were waiting for the delivery of her new mattress. The delivery people had called to say they would be arriving in 15 minutes. My husband heard them pull up outside, so he and I discussed, in her presence, taking the car out of the garage so they could bring the mattress through that way. The dog barked as they entered the house and I had to hold him back from running down the hall. She looked at him, and I told her, "He wants to go help". She heard one of the workmen talking on the phone, but couldn't discern what was being said, so called out "Yes?" I said, "He's not talking to you, Mom".

So, to make a long story short, the mattress got delivered, I said, "Want to go check out your new bed?" and she was pissed that no one told her the delivery people were there so she could supervise the delivery. I told her I thought she knew, and she said, "Did I respond to you?" Half the time she doesn't. We've seen how well it works to keep raising my voice until she does. Any suggestions?

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Things like this can drive us crazy. This would be one of the times I would go to my room, pull out my finger pistol, and shoot myself repeatedly. That way I can get rid of the stress without doing damage. One rule I've learned about taking care of mothers is that, no matter how right we are, we're wrong. There's never any point of arguing that rule. :)

Just think how much easier caregiving would be if someone found cures for hearing loss and incontinence.

Thanks captain. While we don't have a diagnosis of dementia, I'd bet my right arm we're dealing with it. She seems to be having more and more trouble with things, and gets angry much easier than she used to.

You have so much experience with this - thanks for your insight. Though I love to travel, this is one journey I'm not looking forward to.....

in my experience with dementia " especially " , i usually dont attempt to communicate until i feel out what frame of mind the person is in . their ability to comprehend varies wildly and from one moment to another . many mornings i usedta put together my aunts daily meds , leave her some breakfast and if she wasnt much with it id just slip out , go to work and let her rest .
body language means a lot . if id offer aunt some ice cream , id have the container in my hand . multiple methods of communication ..
its rough . the patient doesnt like to be left out of conversations but doesnt have the ability to follow most . just include them all you can and let them think theyre making most of the household decisions even when theyre not ..
loud speaking isnt as effective as good eye contact , imo ..

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