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1. Because you are THERE.
2. Because you are "taking over."
3. Because she always has (it's a form of emotional abuse).
4. My mom's doc was reluctant to put her on antidepressant until Mom dropped the act and let the dr see her real self. Bingo!
5. Some old folks get just plain crabby because everything hurts all the time and they are tired of living.
Take care of yourself first. Don't let her see you cry.
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I agree with the opening sentence godhelpus wrote. I do not owe my mother anything either. I wasn't a saint in the my teens and a lot of it was my rebellion against my mother's verbal abuse and never ending criticism,which unfortunately lasted my lifetime. Everyone thinks mom is an angel but she is far from it. She acts all nicey, nicey to others, will do anything to make herself look good, but she doesn't give a hoot about my kids and me. She claims to be a God-fearing Christian but doesn't act like one. She hated her mother, she hated me and she hated my daughter. She may never have been diagnosed with dementia/Alz but no person in their right mind would act the way mom did and does.
When I was her caregiver, to her I never did anything right, never said anything right, never gave enough. Trying to set boundaries,although necessary, just infuriated her. When I told her I wasn't taking her garbage anymore, she disowned me and my kids. We did what we could but it wasn't enough for her. She never appreciated her family. I never have figured out why being nice to others meant so much more to her than us.
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bnagey,
Sorry, I can't buy into the "payback" game. No one in this forum asked to be born, and if our parents didn't raise us properly and we acted out in our teen years.....that is no ones fault but their own.
I was raised to be responsible for myself & no one else. I was not raised by caring, compassionate people who showed me how to care for others. That I had to learn on my own.
If my mother wanted a servant she should have raised me that way.
I owe her nothing. What I do is out of the love of Christ flowing through me toward her and the rest of His creation.
My parents fed me but my brother for the most part raised me. All my reprobate parents did was bicker in their own childish / selfish world and were too busy treating each other badly to really care for us. There were a few good times but overall I can say my parents should not have had children! I moved out at 18 yrs. and never asked for anything.
Still I do what I can in service to my God. I also care for the rest of humanity and would not wish my mom on them. You're welcome!!!!
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CHERYL:

I respectfully disagree with those who blame the disease for the strained relationship between you and your Mom. She seems to look forward to ADC staff. Have you spoken with any one of them to find out why that is? Is it because they have clearly drawn boundaries and knows that entertaining the idea of being uncooperative just for the hell of it and making their lives miserable is a losing proposition?

She does it because she can, and apparently there's nothing you can do about it except keep on taking the abuse. ... It all starts and ends with you, but be careful about the steps you take to address this situation. Think everything through, consult your husband so you can have some backup, and don't allow your emotions to cloud your judgement. Good luck.

-- ED
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I agree with most, she feels like going out she is supposed to act "right". That is a long term memory. And with you she probubly feels so confused. Sometimes they call their daughters mother because they never remember their daughters older than a young age. She knows she is loved by you and can let her feelings out, as much as it makes you feel lousy, maybe it helps her. Sorry you have to deal with it, think back when you were a teenager, maybe she is just getting you back. lol
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Cheryl, my mom is the very same way. She's now in a nursing home so I can relax and breathe easier. When she was home w/me she lashed out all the time, but w/others she was as sweet as pie. They all said that, "your mother is just the sweetest woman", I just looked at them and rolled my eyes....lol.......She's been in the home about a year now, and she is starting to lash out w/the staff. Probably because she is starting to relax w/them. They know now how to handle her, and she's getting the best care possible. I know she's just frustrated because she's old (93) and can't do for herself any longer. Toilet, getting dressed, eating, walking, hearing, etc....Her body is just breaking down and she's lashing back in the only way she knows how. I only see her twice a week, because even though, I know what's going on with her it still hurts when she's mean to me for no reason. Good luck to you. I know it's not easy for you.
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195austin,
Absolutely correct. You cannot allow it to destroy you.
I have gone as far as to speak to an attorney to find out my legal obligations to my mom. Now I know and if it comes to that I know what I must do. Hopefull it won't come to that but I am forwarned.
Praying for us all.
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IF you can tolarate their behavior great but if it makes your crazy and sick then it is time for placement-after 16 yrs. I could not do it any more and chose placement no one was helping and he said he hated me and was abusive so I put my foot down why should I be abused and treated badly when I decided others came to my defense so you take as much as you can and then give in.
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AlzC,
Thanks for the coconut water thing. My mom's diabetic & just recently got out of NH rehab after a very low sodium level. Got her the G2 low sugar gatoraide but she likes coconut. Folks are dropping these days from low sodium now that we've swung the pendulum the other way with this low salt craze. God put salt on the earth for a reason & all in moderation. I'm a big believer in balance, though I don't get much from mom these days.
Cheryla,
You're on the right track but don't neglect yourself. You won't be able to take care of your elder if you are out of commission. Your mom has to show respect to others but doesn't feel obligated to show any to you. After all, she changed your diapers & that's where her head is at. Often they still see us as children. Very common for folks in our position, but the Love&logic.com website & the good folks here can help tremendously. I've learned volumes myself in just a few weeks.
God be with us.
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Exxtreme thirst...is diabetes or some kidney problem perhaps?
Just learned about Coconut water, filled with several natural electrolytes. Might be good to have a stock on hand for your mother rather than gatorade. Runners use this to help recover from running events and muscle cramps. I now mix with Mom's protein drink and her yogurts.
Ok, so count your blessings that she is thirsty, usually it's the other way around....and how do you make someone drink who doesn't want to or who chokes too much?
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May God bless all of you as I have learned so much reading your posts. Wow, this website is awesome. As you can tell, I'm new at this full-time caregiver role. I feel blessed to have the opportunity to give back to my Mom, but I understand what you mean about the contradictions. My Mom so misses her independence, and she has always had a defiant streak. I do what the neuropsychiatrist suggested of giving Mom two choices with what I can so she can make her own decisions, but when I have to discourage her from drinking copious amounts of water (sodium depletion/psychogenic water drinker) and too much caffeine (she will not drink decaf), she tells me I'm mean and terrible. Many times she gets agitated and hateful when I ask her to change her panties or socks. I can see where she thinks I'm invading her privacy and "telling" her what to do, but the only other option is a nursing home, which she adamantly opposes. The professionals tell me her mental decline is too far along for assisted living and she requires 24/7 care. She told me the other day that the Adult Day Care worker told her she is not allowed to get up and get her own water. When I asked her how she handled that, she said she did what they told her. I was shocked and asked her if she tried to talk them out of it (like she does me). She said she said nothing because they make the rules! Imagine that!

I'm smiling as I'm typing this now because you all have taught me a lot. I must admit we've had some screaming matches since I've put on this caregiver hat, but I pray I'm getting wiser. I think what you all are saying is none of this is about me. I've got to do what has to be done to ensure my Mom has a good quality of life, yet I have to have boundaries too. Jeesh, it can be hard, but I thank God you all are here to help me. May God bless you all for sharing with me. You have made my life soooo much more peaceful!
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AlzC,
Hit that nail on the head again. Thanks for your perception.
Thanks also for the photo idea. I took my video cam to the NH a couple times while she was there & it was a big hit. Hubby & I photo wildlife so I took mom a print of a bear eating berries. Also a big hit. She named the bear.
They are still proud of us even though they abuse us & disrepect us. Go figure. What a mountain of contradictions!
I have said this would probably have been easier if I had had children, but I guess nothing prepares you for this.
Had to explain low sodium to mom for the fourth time in 2 weeks & no you can't take the medicine that's not on your list anymore just because your ankles are a little swolen. Elevate your feet!!!!!!
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I go through the same thing with my Mom. She is 83 and is angry and unappreciative of anything I do for her. She shows loving kindness to her other children on the phone when they call but to me its a different story. I do realize she is aging and its part of the process but it is very difficult to be the only one she is so difficult with.
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Oh, I just had a thought. The dependent parent now has NO way to repay all the favors. Sure they raised us, but they are not idiots. They know caring for them is 10x the trouble of caring for a child...and that it gets worse not better. Maybe they did it for their own parents or inlaws, or helped their parent care for grandma and grandpa. They think they have nothing to contribute any more.

I have countered that "can't make a contribution any more" by an agreement with the very loving and genuine next door neighbors, who have an 11 year old son who suffered brain damage during infant spinal meningitis attack. the boy is almost blind, and has a vocabulary of "doh," "buh," and "mah." However, he is a great joy, loves peek a boo, clapping and "Twinkle Twinkle." Mom relates to him totally.

Having run out of relatives 8 years ago (rather they ran out on us), I made plot with the parents to have Mom be wheeled over there to view the flowers and their new garden landscaping. Often they are outdoors with the boy or their other children, or they'll come out to visit with Mom. I take a photo each time of our last visit and have Mom give it to them as a present. I also find a rounded rock from our garden, wash it off, and have Mom give it to them as a present for the base of their new fountain. Last visit, the husband gave me a beer, so I will buy him a 6-pack.

Again, a photo each time. I even have a photo of Mom with the photos she will give them. This creates a continuity of contact and proof that Mom contributes to someone's life. I have photos of kisses all around. We are blessed that these people live there and are the Real Deal. Of course their experiences with the boy (and the gal's father had Alzheimer's) has strengthened their characters.

I use photography in this way every time we go to the ER or hospital. Pretty soon, I have nurses coming in to hug Mom and get kissy photo. I can show Mom the photographs instantly on the back of the camera.

Rather than snipe at the concept that a nursing home caregiver's get more respect than I would, I'd make them allies immediately and keep that "love" going. I would take photos and bring in a few new ones each time, and have mom make present of photo to the caregivers. Make allies of roommates also.
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I don't think you're far off base at all. I think family members feel ENTITLED to treat each other with disrespect and boss them around. I know I am more bossy with Mom than I would be caregiving a stranger. But then if it were a stranger caregiver, I'd be on for 8 hours, then off for 16, with two days off per week and perhaps a vacation and the freedom to call for a replacement caregiver if I were sick and and and. . .perhaps benefits!

One a few occasions when Mom has thrown her kleenex at me in disgust like "there, I blew my nose area you happy now?" attitude, I snapped back, "I have never thrown anything at you, never hit you...but you might remember beating us with the dog leash and spanking us with the hairbrush when we were little kids..." All that stuff is buried in our shared histories and will come popping out at times under stress.

Anyway, it's perfectly logical that blame would be thrown to the current jailor, which is usually the grown caregiver kid. Even the deadbeats can be seen as saviors, coming to relieve the boredom and the "live miserably forever after" of the parent's current life.

I often look at my mother's pity party behavior and wonder "what the heck have you been doing for 90 years, if you haven't been figuring out your life?" What did she expect old age to BE? Struggle to live long...and succeed, and NOW you're not happy. Cause your dentures don't fit cause you never had them relined in 50 years. And you didn't have the bottom ones fixed when the dog used them as a playtoy.

Gee... OH I see it's my fault. Even though she has dementia, I don't let her get away with this blame game. Somewhere in there is still HER, and she can stand in her own life's decisions.

Did I wander too far off topic? Guess not. The professional caregivers do not know her history so they can start off with "tabula rosa" (clean slate). And I'd show up all depressed I have to be responsible for her again, Mom would sense my demeanor, and so forth...
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This is about the lack of ability on the part of the parent to make decisions. Whether I am acting on behalf of my patients or on behalf of my parents, I use the same logic. I also use the same logic for my children. What is in their best interest. Anything that cannot be answered by this question is baggage and does not belong in the care of any other person.
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Is it a pride thing? "Don't tell me what to do!". Even if you are doing it out of love and concern for my health. Don't talk to me like a child. I'm not a child so don't disrespect me.
It's making a little more sense to me now. The Love&logic.com website makes more sense too.
Think maybe something in the back of our minds wants to tell mom/dad what to do after being told what to do by them all those years???? Is that how we see our relationships with them???
I have to admit to condescending to mom on occasion. Usually when I'm angry that she's not listening to me. "Children should be seen and not heard". Nothing I say is of any value.
Maybe this battle is because none of us respect each other???
Can we fix that??? Is it so engrained in us that we can't get past it???
What do you think??? Am I far off base???
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Even understanding all of this it still hurts so much when my son tells me to not stay out working in hot weather I know he cares but it someone said the same thing to my Mom she would have a hissy fit I hope this means I will be a nice old lady in years to come-the ones who are mean will be lonely because no one will want to be near them.
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the doctor/psiquiatrist/ counselor/ always try to convince us that's dementia, pshycoaffective disorder but we think that the patient knows what she is doing because why she tries other people with respect and politely and she is mean, unkind toward you? It's a mix of both dementia and unkindness that they are very manipulative or just want to take it on you because she recognize your face/you as being her daughter. That's have happened to me as well. It's very complex, so don't take it very personal or you will be crazy. try not to think about this all the times because this is very destructive. we can't allow our parents, family or friends sickness/dementia get onto us. we have to be strong. they are sick, so you don't want/need to become sick because of them either.
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I don't know if it's part of the disorder but I do know as a paid caregiver, it is easier at times for us as we are not with them 24/7! I can put on a happy cheerful smile even while cleaning up poop as not to make the client feel bad. Am I enjoying it ? No but there's no reason to make them feel bad either so I smile. I often can get clients to do things they won't do for their spouse the couple of hours a week I'm there helping.
On the other side of life, I am one of 10 kids that took a 24/7 care program for the last year of my mom's life. We had a schedule of who was there when. We also had Hospice coming in to do checks so someone was always coming or going. My sister that lives next door to mom got called on a lot before and after that last year. She was single and her kids were grown. Mom called her to come over or wanted her drop everything to go with her. Mom also raised her voice to my sis and then would be nice to others. I think it's cause she got so familiar with her in a way we'll never know. I do know without a doubt mom loved her and sis loved mom right until her last breathe. I mean that literally as on November 28, 2009 we were all at her bedside watching her die. Don't let it get you down, Praise God you have a mom to talk to and take care of. Do it graciously and with a smile as if you were doing it for Jesus.
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YOU KNOW,,, SOMETIMES THIS HAPPENS THEY LASH OUT AT THE PERSON THAT CARES MORE THEN THE NURSING HOME OR CENTER THATS JUST HOW THEY ARE..THEY ARE ANGRY AND YOU ARE THE FIRST PERSON TO LASH OUT TO CAUSE YOU ARE THEIR FAMILY..ITS JUST LIKE MY IN LAWS MY FATHER IN LAW HAS CANCER AND YES HE IS DECLINING BUT HE IS ANGRY AT THE SAME TIME BUT HE GET ANGRY AT MY MOTHER IN LAW AND THE REST OF THE FAMILY BUT NOT ME...AND THEY ASK WHY IS THAT KNOWING WHEN I FIRST INTER IN THIS FAMILY HE DID NOT LIKE ME HE THOUGHT I WAS A GOLD DIGGER BUT ITS BEEN 25 YRS AND I GUESS IM STILL DIGGING... HE TREATS ME LIKE IM HIS DAUGHTER I FUSS AT HIM AND HE DOES NOT GET MAD AT ME BUT LET ONE OF THE KIDS OR HIS WIFE FUSS BOY HE REALLY GETS MAD..SO ITS NOT YOU ITS NOT THAT HE DOESNT CARE OR SHE ITS JUST UR THE ONE THEY PICK CAUSE I BELEIVE IN MY HEART THEY KNOW YOU WILL BE THERE..
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The outside places represent freedom and her world, home is prison and you the prison guard. When I first started caregiving for Mom 8 years ago (she was a self-created hermit mess), I knew I needed a Good Cop to balance out my constant, "Mom, now you really have to get out of bed and get a life. You MAKE IT UP, just like everyone else has to. Now..." I knew I'd have to play this role, but it is certainly easier to have a designated good cop who knows the story.

Dependency Resentment.

I get really plugged in when offering Mom fun things to do or watch or read, and she gets that dour look on her face, her head hangs down to her chest. I start prompting her with "please" and "thank you." Right as I read this thread, I was sitting down to find a placemat or some lettering to put up signs with these reminders.

I was a Samuel Beckett nut in college. He wrote plays like "Waiting for Godot" and "Endgame." In the latter, one guy cares for another who is in a wheeled chair (tiny wheels, going nowhere fast). As much as they both hate their respective predicaments, neither can break their relationship. There, did I cheer everyone up? Oh, sometimes it's like that here.
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My husband did not have demetia and was horrible to me and the jolly green giant to others for many years ubtil I decided I did not deserve it and would leave the room or if he was in rehab I would go home and stay away I could not change his behaivoe but could change how I responed-which gave me the power instead of him and made me feel better-elders act like they do usually because they can and no one wants to change them. Would they have let us as children act out this way -I do not think so a lot of elders get very selfish and think they are entilted to be as nasty as they can be.
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All of the above comments are good. It is also important to set healthy boundaries with your mother. She can express her suffering in a healthy way that is not abusive to you. If after a dementia examination by her doctor, you find that there has indeed a change in her mental status, then try to deal with it as part of her disease. Video her behavior with both the Adult Day Care personnel and with you, and have a movie night to see what she says.
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Cheryl,

Hapfra is CORRECT! My MIL would put on her best behavior (when she lived here, now in a nursing home) when she went to her Elderly Day Care Center and when Home Health Aides came in or when she was out in public with her daughters. ...but when she was with my husband and I, ooh, at times--she could be the most uncooperative woman. I would just tell my husband to not take it personally, it's just the disease. ...and you don't take it personally either.
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Ascrazy as it sounds, your mother feels safe with you..and feels a need to impress strangers. She is not afraid to be herself, along with all her anger, fears, frustrations etc. If you look at her behavior from this point of view, it may be easier for you. Trust me, she loves you...and yes, you do have company>
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Chery: this sounds all to familiar to me--- Since you are the closest, your Mom takes evrything out on you--although this is quite unfair. She may look at the staff in a different light-and thus puts on her best behavior. If indeed you think this is also a form a of dementia-I would consult with a physician for their inpit.
If possible, TRY NOT to take her abusive actions personally, as she may not be aware she is doing this.
Good Luck!
Hapl
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Cheryl, based on what i've learned reading through posts on this board for a few months, the kind of behavior you're describing in your mother unfortunately seems to be a common occurrence. I've read about other people's elderly parents who treat their caregiver , the adult child, abusively.....yet they don't treat others this way. In my own father, I've seen some behavior of this kind, and it is frustrating when nobody else sees the difficult behavior that I encounter in him.....because he puts on a different face for others. So I sympathize with you. As to why your mother is acting this way, maybe one of the website pros ( experts) could tell you, but I can only guess that there has been some kind of mental decline in your mother which is causing this. I hope it helps you to know that you have company.
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Guess I should have added she has schizoaffective disorder and now has moderate dementia. Is this part of the dementia or the previously diagnosed mental d/o or both?
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