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I know there are probably no easy solutions, but I'm just wondering if any of you wonderful people have had to deal with the anger that can affect people dealing with Alzheimer's. I'm into year three of caregiving for my parents (both with dementia/Alzheimer's) and this forum helped me so much in the first year, so hoping to find some answers again.


Lately, my mother has become increasingly angry with me. Although it's not based in fact, she seems to think that she was promised by one of her daughters (I'm the second daughter, she has three) that we would live with her and take care of her full-time. I stopped working three years ago and moved to an apartment nearby. After a year of full-time caregiving, I was exhausted and have started finding caregivers to help. We now have a team of three wonderful caregivers, and my mother seems to like them, so I don't think she is actively rejecting them.....


And yet it has become an almost daily occurrence now that when she's alone with me (usually when my Dad goes for a nap) she starts to tell me how disappointed she is in me and how angry she is that I'm not doing more. I know that it's not "her" talking, it's her fear, but that doesn't make it any easier to handle or respond to. I spend a lot of time saying "I'm sorry that you're disappointed in me, Mom" and I'm happy to take the blame for everything that goes wrong - which seems to pacify her somewhat.


I find I'm dreading my days with her and sinking into a pool of self-pity, which doesn't help. Has anybody struggled with this, and did you find a solution or response that worked? Thanks!

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LorrieB, You aren't alone in this at all! I've lived with my mom for 8 yrs. Now with her health decline starting 4 yrs. Ago. I completely understand the emotional toll it takes to caregiver for an Aging and sick parent. I try my best, yet I still feel guilty sometimes thinking I should be doing more or should have done something different. I think those feelings come with the territory. These are special women who gave us the gift of life so we try our absolute best! People that aren't in our situation, can't possibly understand how difficult it is or the million emotions we go through. That's why I love this site because it's a excellent platform to ask for advice, tips, to vent, or just emotional support! Your not alone, ever! Keep up the good work and don't forget to pay yourself on the back from time to time! It's no easy task......But it takes a special human being to be a caregiver:) Best wishes & keep us updated! Kelly (Diannekk)
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We have been discussing triggers at Dad's Memory Care facility. If & when my siblings ever come, Dad has a very nice visit with them. With me, however, he is often angry & accusing & just very unpleasant. But... I've always been the one who everyone calls when something falls apart, big or little, or if they need help or advice with anything. So, we think that I may be a 'trigger' for Dad to decide that things aren't right & need to be fixed. Little things are exaggerated beyond belief, & he becomes angry that things are the way they are. I visit every day now, but we're discussing cutting that back to see if it helps. There are others there too going thru the same thing.
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LorrieB,

In answer to your question, I have dealt with my Mom's anger for years now and no closer to finding a strategy to deal with it. With or without a UTI, she's angry. I have taken her to multiple doctors who refuse to offer medications other than antidepressants, which didn't help at all but made the anger far worse! The more I'm around her the angrier she gets. Most recently she's gone on a slander rampage, making up horrible stories and dragging my name through the mud to anyone who will listen. And I can assure you there are plenty of clueless people "out there" willing to listen and believe her outrageous stories.

I don't know what to offer in the way of coping strategies or comfort. My mother lives in a memory care facility, which helps, as do a handful of family members who participate in her care; yet none of them are the target of so much anger. My husband suggested I try to imagine she's not my mother but a person I was hired to care for; in other words take the mother-daughter relationship out of the equation and see if that helps. I don't know if I can put that in practice, but it's worth a try. I wish I could just cut off all feelings and make myself numb to Mom's anger but don't know how.

Lorrie, just try to imagine the multitude of children and grandchildren that share the same anguish that you're feeling now and completely understand what you're going through. That's why we're here; to encourage and support each other through the craziness of caregiving.

This too shall pass.
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It truly is a lonely place to be...even when others are somewhat supportive. No one feels it the same way as you do, as the child and caregiver. I am right there with you.
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Thank you for your thoughtful responses, freqflyer, Grammyteacher and DianeKK. I don't think it's a UTI, I take her temperature regularly and it's not episodic, it has become a pattern. But you're right to point that out! UTIs are sneaky, I've heard, and we can forget that they cause bad behaviour. I will work at growing a tougher skin and being grateful for those moments when she and I do connect on a loving level. Again, thank you for your support. I feel so alone in this most of the time, because no one else in my life really understands the emotional toll.
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It seems like your doing your best by just agreeing and not letting the hurtful words or statements really get to you. It isn't really her speaking, it's the disease. She may just want reassurance that YOU will continue to come over and spend allotted time with her. May just be a fear, more or less and that's her way of addressing it with you! Hang in there, and your doing your best. That's what matters and counts at end of day:-)
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I went through the same kind of thing and I care for my mom 24/7 and have for years. I don't know if anything can help except just resigning to the fact that the disease is creating this distorted view. You are making sure she is safe and well cared for. Someone on the chat rooms once told me "happy may no longer be possible, you may just need to be okay with safe and cared for." It helped me to feel like I was properly caring for her. We cannot change their behavior, we can just change how we let it effect us. I can tell you that this too shall pass. My mom is now stage 7... She can't talk enough to say those hurtful things anymore. She does still have times when she is agitated with me. I still take the brunt of her frustration, but it no longer bothers me as much. I guess we have to get thick skinned and remember that it is the disease. Luckily, my mom has a few times when she is more clear and will say, "oh, honey, I love you!" Those moments hold me through. Hang in there, you are a great daughter.
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Lorrie, take Mom to her primary doctor or to an urgency care center and have her tested for an Urinary Tract Infection.... such an infection would cause an elder to act out and be angry. If after the UTI is gone and Mom is still acting this way, ask her doctor for some meds that would help her to be calmer.

I was glad to read that you now have 3 wonderful caregivers help you out.... in the past it was very difficult for you to be doing this all on your own, to a point of exhaustion.
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