Follow
Share

Everyone says not to argue with her, as she has dementia. However, her "reality" is scaring her and she cries on the phone. She asks, " when can I go home? Why don't you come get me! I don't live here!" If I told her I'll be there soon, she certainly calls back and says "why didn't you come?" It's easy to let them live in their own world when they're happy. It's a whole different thing when she's scared and paranoid. Also--she was recently moved to Memory Care from Assisted Living and has been on Depacote for only about 5 days. Help!

This question has been closed for answers. Ask a New Question.
Excellent comments here!

I validated my dad with all the "good" things but when he saw war on TV (he wasn't supposed to have the TV on during news) - he was certain there was a war in our community and he accused me of lying to him when I said there wasn't. It was distressing to say the least.

All that I could do was acknowledge his stress and in a kind way tell him the was was in a different part of the world and the war couldn't get to him.. Did it help? No. I tried to make him feel safe and let him know I was there. Eventually it passed and he moved on to something else. We can't make it all go away no matter how hard we try. My heart is with you.

Please read the full string on comments as each one has something valuable to share.
Take care,
Carol
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

I know what you mean, Frances2. Get into their world and go along with their delusions. But if their world is a very scary place and their delusions include their loved ones plotting against them, it is hard to figure out how to do that productively.

What I have tried is to acknowledge the feeling. The feeling is real. I don't agree with the scary delusion but I try to be comforting about it. Then I try to distract to a different topic. Always successful? Hmm ... no, I can't say it has been.

"Oh Mom, it must seem very strange to be in a new place now! Nothing is familiar. The people are all different than the ones you are used to. Not everyone even knows your name yet, and you certainly can't remember the names of all these new people. I'll bet you feel confused and unhappy." ... "I'm so sorry you are unhappy. This new place has more people to help you. Once you get used to everyone this is going to work out fine. I'll be there to see you the day after tomorrow. Is there anything you would like me to bring for you?" ... "You know, I think your winter robe is looking a little shabby. Is it time for a new one? Should I bring in my computer and we can pick one out for you?"

summary: You are unhappy and you have reason to be. I am very sorry about that. Things will get better. Change of subject-- how about a new bath robe?
Helpful Answer (23)
Report

jeannegibbs is right. What your mom is feeling, seeing, imagining is very real to her. Imagine what that would be like if we were going through the same thing and people were telling us it wasn't real, that it was all in our minds. That would be awful!

Don't argue with her but as Jeanne said, acknowledge her feelings and then redirect her to something else. Redirection can be exhausting for a caregiver and I found that it was helpful to have a running list in my head of my go-to subjects in which to redirect. That way you're not in the moment, at a loss for what to say.

Give the Depakote a little time to work and if your mom can't seem to settle in maybe discuss with her Dr. an anti-anxiety medication.
Helpful Answer (15)
Report

When my mom deteriorated to the point that there was little or no reality, I just went with wherever she took us for the day. I must day that now there are some very find memories. When mom had some more scary things or things that agitated her, I took the lead and steered the illusion to something pleasant or at least more manageable. For example, on one occasion she was hearing voices and there were men with guns trying to kill us. I walked about 5 feet away, started stomping my feet really hard and yelled through the floor - you kids turns that tv down you're bothering Grandma!! I then walked back to mom and apologized that the kids had had the tv up so loud. That was enough to move mom on. Trying to convince her that something wasn't real would have caused me anxiety and probably put me in a looney bin. To her it was real, her fear was very real so you may have to manipulate reality at times but I was able to let the actress in me shine. (Lol) I say have fun with it and laugh when you can; there will be enough times when you have to argue - to go to dr, to get a shower, to eat. My mom has been gone 18 years now and I still miss her. Give yours an extra squeeze for me in memory of my mom. ; )
Helpful Answer (15)
Report

I get so frustrated sometimes with my parents; Mom has Alzheimers moderate-to-severe stage and Dad is knocking on the door of dementia plus both their critical other health issues...so, when my frustration is at it's peak, as hard as it is, I look into their eyes....do that, the next time your loved one is extremely anxious, or demanding, or....just look at their eyes. I guarantee you will see fear staring right back at you !!! Then, if you have ANY amount of conscious, be softer in your voice, give a hug/smile, be NICE !!! Kindness and love is what they need/want, not someone bitching back at them, etc......I know this first hand so I know what I'm talking about....FIND A WAY TO COMFORT THEM IF ONLY BY A SMILE, HUG, or softer tone in your voice....they are scared to death of being alone, dying, around strangers or a 'feeling' that they have....just step into their shoes and you'll figure it out....life has a way of 'slapping us back in the face' and give your loved ones what they need....
Helpful Answer (6)
Report

This question reminded me of my daughter as very small child, when she threw
a tantrum about wanting to go to Sunday School on a Thursday, and I couldn't convince her that it wasn't Sunday. Some years later, I mentioned the incident to her, and her reply: You should have given me a cracker and some juice and it would have been fine. My MIL in her last days would insist it was the wrong day. What I should have done is asked what she usually did on that day, and followed that cue. Similarly, asking someone who wants to "go home" what they like best about going home, or what they want to do there. In other words, try to get past the impossible part to the real reason behind the request.
Helpful Answer (6)
Report

You don't say how long she's been there, but if you could try to get her involved in the place, the people, the activities. I wouldn't tell her I'm coming if I wasn't. Don't argue, but affirm that she does live there, she needs to be cared for more than you could, etc. The drugs can make people WORSE, so be aware of that. If you can visit more frequently in the beginning, it's helpful (or other family to visit?).
You could ask the staff for advice to make it feel more like home to her... some of her stuff, pictures, etc. And make sure she is being treated well at the facility!
Helpful Answer (5)
Report

Have the nurses at the home talk to her and maybe give her an ativan to calm her down when she gets like that. If you can get her to give the phone to them. That is what I did. And told them I didn't want her calling me when she was in that state anymore. I couldn't do anything about it, and could not deal with it. My mother is not argumentative, but if she asks a question that I don't want to answer, I change the subject or make up a story that will make her feel better. She feels better and forgets about it.
Helpful Answer (5)
Report

My Mom thinks her room at the nursing home is her apartment. So I just started referring to it as such. She want to move to a bigger apartment and I simply tell her that I am looking, but have not found one to suit her needs yet, which isn't quite a lie. I try not to argue but to validate that I hear what she is saying and that seems to keep the stress to a minimum.
Helpful Answer (5)
Report

My Dad continually asked why he was where he was, and when he was 'going home' after being placed into Memory Care. What worked best for us was to simply tell him that his doctor wanted him to be there, and that he was there, to get meds to help his brain work better. He understood he had dementia and he had been on meds at home, so this response would calm him down. He would not remember he had asked the same thing yesterday, so our answer was always acceptable to him, as he always respected his doctors and wanted to do what the docs wanted. Then we would just use diversion....ask a different question; suggest going for a walk or getting a treat to eat. I always went in the direction he wanted to talk about. Or I would ask his opinion about something that was in eyesight if I was with him. And getting good meds on board IS the most helpful thing. I was always fearful that my Dad would be snowed and sitting there drooling or such, and was happy to see that anti psychotic meds, if ordered by an experienced doc, are started in small doses and increased until the person really is in a more normal state. Never was he sitting and drooling. And within several weeks, he was OK with where he lived and recognized it as 'home'. We could take him out for a treat, a ride, or a meal, and he was happy to go back and walk through the gate again. I would be asking for a med review by the doctor if she continues to be so upset.
Helpful Answer (5)
Report

See All Answers
This question has been closed for answers. Ask a New Question.