My mom is age 92 and has probably stage 6 dementia. She has been having regular treatment for a bedsore and chafing on rear end since October. Coincidentally she seems to be crying and traumatized during many of the nurse visits. The bits and pieces she is expressing are leading us to believe she experienced some sort of sexual assault in her late teens, and has repressed it all these years. Because of the personal nature of care involving attention to her butt, we think this is triggering those repressed memories. Any suggestions?

Thanks, everyone, for your responses. I know this is a tricky topic. Ironically in the last week or so she hasn't brought this up and seems much less weepy. I know it may come up again, and I appreciate your supportive comments as I consider that possibility.
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Reply to tornadojan

I feel so sorry for your Mom, and for you as a witness to her anxiety!
If you are there during the nurse visits would it help if you were to sit next to her, hold her hand and talk quietly to her while she is undergoing this treatment?
Possibly music would help.
Maybe reading a book would help.
Anything that will help her focus on your voice as opposed to what is being done.
Once her meds have been balanced it will be easier on her, you can plan medication around the wound care as well as any shower time as I imagine that can be just as traumatic for her.
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Reply to Grandma1954

This must be so difficult for her and for you. I’m so sorry. Sounds like you’re doing what you can. I might suggest getting a psychologist on board to either talk with her or give you advice and help your family process it. Hugs.
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Reply to JuliaRose

Thanks for your response. I know this is a tricky issue, and I have contacted the Alzheimer's Association. They support what we are doing - mainly comforting, assuring her she is in a safe environment, etc. The AA rep says her reactions during the treatment indicate she does not feel safe at that point, so that is what we are focusing on. Good point about trying to treat ahead of time. Doc is in the midst of transitioning her from Zoloft to another med, but she has to wean off for about 3 more weeks. I am getting bits and pieces of info out of her, which though painful, I think might help her release and give her peace. Yes, she has been depressed her whole life but has not really taken any steps to address it until we assumed care in her elder years. She is definitely grieving, but we are trying to make it productive without probing too hard or too deeply. We are just trying to create a safe environment for whatever she might want to share. Thanks again.
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Reply to tornadojan

Poor thing. I wonder if her doctor would prescribe something to calm her in advance? Anti-anxiety or Tylenol? I’m not sure what but something to calm her beforehand. It might be good that she is releasing these memories or it might be like experiencing it all over again. It might be something she feared and that didn’t actually happen? So hard to know.
Is she being treated for her depression?
I know it’s heart breaking to witness. Hugs for you both.
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Reply to 97yroldmom

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