Mom in AL with dementia is very angry that family doesn't visit her. Would counseling help her deal with her anger?


My mother has 6 nieces and nephews who live within 20 minutes of her. Her only sibling, her sister, lives 8 hours away. Her sister was in the area, staying with her daughter, for two months. She was only 20 minutes from my mother yet only came to see her 3 times. No one calls sends cards or anything.

Furthermore, when my mom first went to AL my aunt and her daughter took several things from my mother's condo. They never told me and I am my mother's only child. They later told me my mother gave the things to them. My mother says she didn't and is very upset about it. She keeps telling me, "I've got to get rid of this anger." Would counseling help her? Her dementia is to the point where her reasoning ability is nill.

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Counseling might help you deal with your anger against your aunt and her daughter (not that you don't have a right to be angry), but it probably won't help your mother, especially since she has dementia. Distraction works better with dementia patients than talking about what made them angry because talking about it just tends to get them more worked up, and before you know it, they're raging about something somebody did to them back in high school.

Your mother might find yoga a helpful way to relax and get rid of anger, if she's physically up to it. Or possibly some kind of group activity like painting lessons or a sing-along, to take her mind off things,
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Since your mom's dementia has reached the point where she has little or no reasoning abilities therapy wouldn't help. To benefit from therapy someone has to have the ability to reason, has to have insight, and must be able to retain information among other cognitive abilities that your mom probably doesn't possess anymore due to the dementia.
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