Why is my Mom so cooperative and loving with Adult Day Care staff, but uncooperative and mean with me? - AgingCare.com

Why is my Mom so cooperative and loving with Adult Day Care staff, but uncooperative and mean with me?

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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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