My Mother has Alzheimer's and it effects her temperament. She is either crying or causing trouble. Any suggestions?

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She has always been a control freak. As an adult, she could put on her fake happy face but now that part of her has disappeared. She resented my close relationship with my father when he was alive. Now, he has recently passed & she is pleading for my attention. She still wants to argue about everything she doesn't understand. My brother says that my desire to be truthful just makes matters worse. Am I to treat her like a child now? Or lie about things that will only confuse her? My Dad just past in June & now she cocoons herself in bed, pleading to die so she can be with him. She is home with 24/7 caretakers. When we visit her she depresses us into crying as well. What should be our strategy for handling this? After we visit, some days she will call me up to 25 times. Every phone call upsets me. I have a lot of serious paperwork to do for their estate & his death. At times I don't answer because she throws off my concentration. I hate to admit this, but sometimes we wonder how much of this is fake, due to her normal personality. Now that Dad is gone, we don't know if she is being deviant about her emotions just to get attention. It's been very hard to show compassion to a mother who has never been loving to us. I have asked her visiting physician if there are any medications to give her to help her from screaming & yelling. Does anyone have suggestions?

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Mom did the very same thing! So the care home took away the phone and gave her a dummy one with no battery. She ended up putting it in the toilet! She rapid cycles and refuses meds. She takes off her clothes, so they put a double hospital gown on her she can't get out of. She fought us at every corner! And lost a great deal of weight. She assaulted other residents so she was moved to a isolation lock down unit. Now she can't bother anyone. They put her meds in applesauce. She is so thin now that she's getting week. She was at a point that she tried to take back control of her money and her freedom so she could move to California but thankfully the lawyers set up her affairs to protect everyone's interest. She will be raging to the bitter end!
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This sounds all to familiar with my own Mother. I, an only child, had them living with me for 3 years due to safety concerns and her refusal to discuss what she wanted whenever the time may occur to visit that topic. She Refused! Dad begged her to look at assisted. She has a tendancy to be caustic. Not caring who she offends, if she feels threatened. God only knows what she perceives as threatening. She is paranoid, delusional and creates grand schemes stories and accusations in her head. I just came out of the Worst ever yet episode. She is threatening me to have me investigated for fraud. She is mean, spiteful and hateful. Then can swing a 180 to sweet and laughing as long as she is center of attention. The stories she creates are astounding. I am healing from stage 4 cancer, diagnosed while they lived here. Father passed a year ago. He had my back. I have invested Countless hours, untold with their estate and establishing for her provision. Prayers going out for you, myself and others in a tough painful situation. PS I am a nurse. She will manipulate Anything. Has Zero trust and will end up all alone at this rate. God Bless. I pray we can somehow be a living example to our children. God Bless us all.
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I am sorry for your loss. There seem to be many good suggestions given as answers to your post.
I can identify with many points in your description and maybe you feel like I do, frustrated and angry and wondering when all of this will end. I find it easier to deal with irrational children because they don't know any better but an adult mother should know better - right? Unfortunately not in your case - not in mine and many others. I don't have any answers but stay strong, take care of yourself.
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Yes, there meds that can help her relax. You probably cannot change any deep seated personality issues.If you do not received satisfaction from one physician find a doctor who specializes in geriatric psychiatry, the cocoon position and talk of wanting to join her husband suggest that she is depressed, so an antidepressant may also be helpful. be as truthful as you can, but let her know that you do not wish to argue with her. Tell her when you will call her & then limit the conversation so that you do not feel manipulated.
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Susanq, click on this link https://www.agingcare.com/Alzheimers-Dementia and now scroll down to the articles. Lot of great information here to help you with this journey, along with the great advice given by those who had answered here.
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It seems that people with dementia/Alz go back in time. I found it best to be reassuring and loving as much as possible (we always had a contentious relationship before she got sick). Her mother had been dead 25 years and she kept asking me where she was. I would tell her that Nana is fine, taking a nap, watching TV, whatever it took. No point in the truth at that point cuz she would cry and mourn all over again. The professionals at the NH agreed it was not helpful to argue with her.
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I'm so sorry for your loss. This is a tough time to deal with issues that you have to deal with.

Multiple phone calls can be so concerning. She probably doesn't know she's doing it. My loved one did that and each call was like the first one that day. Sometimes, I could console her, but other times, I couldn't. Even if I did, she would forget in 5 minutes. The emotions are all over the place. I doubt it's her being mean. It's just the brain not working right. I would try to look at that way. If you try to look at it with the goal of fixing it, it's not likely to help.

There are ways to redirect and take her focus to other things, but that has to be repeated over and over. Are her caregivers doing that? They should know how to work with dementia patients so that she isn't calling so much. Instead of calling over and over they should be redirecting her. One suggestion I read is to give her a number for a certain phone line. That phone is never answered, but a message comes up that says, "Hello mom. We can't talk right now, but we are so pleased to hear from you. We are thinking of you and love you. Please take care.? So, she gets the comfort from your voice, without actually disrupting your work day.

I don't know there is any way to really change her. The disease will progress to different stages and sometimes the agitated, constantly talking phase may leave., especially, if she gets medication to help her. Medication has done wonders for my loved one who was in that stage last year.

I would read a lot about dementia, so you will understand that the condition is causing this and it's not her trying to cause you pain.
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At this point, a check up and meds...the only thing you can do! You're lucky you don't have to care for her daily. Yup, this too shall pass...try not to take it personally, or don't answer your phone as often. She's got caretakers, at least you know she's safe. Goooood luck!
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I am sorry for the loss of your father and as a child I lost my father, so can relate. It never gets easy to lose a parent. Your mother's brain is changing and she doesn't know how to adjust because there is no adjusting to having dementia. The connections that make us pleasant humans seems to diminish when one gets dementia. I assure you she doesn't have the mental capacity to "do this on purpose". Ask her doctor about prescribing some anti-anxiety medication and tell him/her about her behaviors. You would do well to also get in a support group, and/or personal counseling to deal with your feelings. You cannot help anyone if you are having difficulties yourself and please do not harm yourself. It will end one day and the best you can hope for is the behaviors will settle down once she becomes more affected by the disease process. Hang in there and know we on this site experience similar situations and you can come for help. Best wishes!
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Susan, you are doing good to not answer the phone. The time will come that she will become unable to even use the phone and will likely confuse it with the television remote. My mom was in this constant calling probably eight years ago, many times in the middle of the night, three times in five minutes and sometimes very depressed. She really had no idea she had just called. And who wouldn't be frightened or scared? At that point my mom realized and understood that something was very wrong with her brain. She too, was always a screamer when we were kids and the late middle stage of Alzheimer's will brought back those behaviors in my mom. It is not a willingness of losing her filters. It is the disease that steals all remaining filters from them. And the behaviors will become much worse as the disease progresses. Her brain is slowly dying a very cruel way for our loved ones to meet their demise and even harder for a family to watch. In a future phase she will KNOW there is absolutely nothing wrong with her.

Yes, the initial reaction is to try to straighten them out, to somehow explain to them how they should be thinking, realizing and viewing their lives. But, Alzheimer's makes that impossible for them. And the mere act of trying to straighten them out with explantions only makes them angry and frustrated both of which increase the difficult behaviors.

Your father, her life partner just died in June, that was a very short time ago. Of course she is going to be upset and still greiving. The day will come that she will not remember that he has passed away and she will be upset when she cannot find him. She will be likely to think he is out carousing with other women or has left her entirely.

Yes, you need to learn that treating her like a child will be the most effective with this disease. But, that requires much skill and patience to continue to treat her with dignity. I would suggest that you call the Alzheimer's Association to ask about classes about caring for those with this wretched disease. It will be helpful for you to understand and learn about the crazy, unmanageable behaviors that go along with this disease and how to manage them. For now, you can check online, there are many online free learning resources. Check out Teepa Snow for her website and she has many videos available on YouTube as well.

It also sounds as if your mom should see a gerontologist and a neurologist. Has mom been officially diagnosed? What medications is she taking? There are some that will help to control the behaviors, but there is not a medication that will halt the progression of the disease, some claim they will slow the progression. Who really knows for sure?

Was your father her 24/7 caregiver? About 40% of caregivers die before those that they are caring for. The stress of caregiving takes a huge toll on caregiver health. And now your mom is with strangers 24 hours a day when it used to be your dad most of the time. She is missing him terribly as she should and is nomal. Unfortunately it then becomes the children that end up taking much of the burden when she is naturally upset.

I also understand that you have details associated with your dad's death that need to be done. Try to take it easy on yourself and deal with your mom with more patience and compassion. Anger and frustration are normal reactions when new to the caregiving role even if you are not the 24/7 care provider. Remember that your mom is in mourning and try to be patient with her, I know that is very difficult but if you can do it, you and your mom will be less stressed for it.

Also start checking into day programs so your mom can get out to socialize or even an assisted living/memory care continuum of care facility. Your Mom needs redirecting with activities to make her feel valued and needed, to say nothing of the socialization.

Just a few more words, BREATHE, we are all only human and can only do so much. Good luck and best wishes to you as you begin this caregiving journey. Take care of yourself first or you will be of no value to your mom.
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