How do you care for your mother without treating her like a child?

Follow
Share

My mom has dementia and does childlike things that I am constantly correcting her on. It is hard because I don't want to treat her like a child. I can't punish her nor can I put her in timeout? Any suggestions?

This question has been closed for answers. Ask a New Question.
Find Care & Housing
7

Answers

Show:
maybe im an idiot and her skewed decisions were still superior to mine. either way, mom never lost control of her home and her day to day decision making.
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

i cared for my mother till her last breath and i only presented her with our options. for all appearances sake she was making all the decisions. maybe i was just fortunate to have a genius for a mother despite dementia.
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

I agree with Jinx and the rest as well..

In my case, I woke up one night to the god awful stench of electrical wires burning, and smoke...I immediately went from dead sleep to panic mode...my mom had left the microwave on for god knows how long and it was fried. I'm grateful we didn't have a fire, because it was sparking and smoking like hell at that point... I just told her flat out that I was in charge of the meals, and I was happy to fix her a midnight snack, but she needed to let me handle it and make it for her, and that she wasn't to touch anything in the kitchen unless I was there. . I had to take control of the situation. I was nice about it, kind of joked a little, but I was clear and firm, too.. I couldn't let her in there unsupervised, and I had to make her understand, ingrain it in her mind by repeating it if she forgot, that I needed to handle meals and cooking and she wasn't to enter my domain... It worked.
Helpful Answer (3)
Report

I totally agree with Jinx and Jeanne. It's a lot harder said, than done....but I try as best I can. BTW...GREAT to see you J...you have been missed!
Helpful Answer (2)
Report

Jinx is so right! I think it will be better for both of you if you realize there is no real value in constantly correcting her. She may behave like a child, but unlike a child she is not able to learn from your corrections. I'll bet she continues to repeat behavior you've corrected over and over, right? As Jinx says, figure out ways to prevent the dangerous behavior, and try to ignore the rest of it. This may feel vaguely neglectful at first. After all, you are looking after her, so isn't it your responsibility to teach her better behavior? No. Her ability to learn is limited. It is not her fault and it is not your fault.
Helpful Answer (3)
Report

I feel your pain. I don't know exactly what you are dealing with, or how you are handling it, so please ignore any wrong assumptions.

First, I had to learn to ignore a lot of WRONG behavior and statements. I am the kind of person who worships "facts" and "the truth." You don't want to tell a story about my childhood, because I will correct every other sentence if you don't tell it "right."

My loved one says things all day long that are not true. Some of it is confabulation, where the brain makes things up to fill in for missing memories. I try very hard not to correct him, unless it will make a difference in something he wants to do as a result. It is hard not to correct him, but it's the right thing to do.

When he does things wrong, again, I try not to correct him unless it will cause damage or danger. I sneak around him and fix things when he is not looking. When I do correct him, I try to let him save face by saying, "Oh, that's new. Let me show you how it works." Or "I've decided that I prefer to do it this other way, if you don't mind."

He constantly picks things up and reads the labels and puts them down. This is annoying, but not dangerous, so I do my best to ignore it.

It's good to remember that our loved ones deserve to have their dignity preserved as much as possible. Good luck.
Helpful Answer (5)
Report

The Alzheimer's website has some great advice.
alz.org
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

This question has been closed for answers. Ask a New Question.
Related
Questions