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I read that you need to communicate differently with people who have dementia. So after angering her by trying to reason, explain, etc., I tried two different things.
One: I say “yes” or “yeah” in response to what she says. Her response? (angry) “how to you know that?”
Two: I moved to saying “uhhuh” and her response? "You think you are so smart, you are putting me down"… more anger.
What do I do? Thanks.

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Instead of agreeing try to deflect, Mom: "the fridge isn't working" Laurie: "oh dear, the food seems cold enough though, I hope we don't need a new one. What shall we have for supper tonight?".
Yeah, constantly walking on eggshells has to be exhausting! BootShop's suggestion to watch Teepa Snow on youtube is a good one, her insight is amazing, but putting her advice into practice is another story. The suggestion of medication to alter her mood is also a good one. Being cranky, miserable and confused is hard on her as well as you, an antidepressant might help stabilize her and improve her QOL.
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Sorry, but your examples aren't really clear. You are saying "yes" and “uhhuh” to what exactly?
The point is to enter their reality and try to find a response that fits. Mom: "Remember that time I had tea with the President?" Laurie: "No, I'm sorry I don't. Tell me about it".
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LaurieB,
At the bottom of this page in the blue box poke Alzhimers Care. This has some helpful information. I try to remember the word ARE stands for never argue, reason or explain to the dementia person. When they say you will not win they are right! There are Tepa Snow videos "the dementia whisper" lady. All nice to watch but when mom is driving you crazy it feels like you can't possibly do this any longer! My mom argued and was irritated a lot. Then she fell and ended up in a geriatric psych. Hospital where she was given depression meds and depakote. Things are much better now with medicine. Sometimes I think it just takes that. I don't lie to her because she is in the stage in the middle where she will remember what is true maybe later. My sister came to visit and my mom said she grew up in Houston while watching the hurricane news. Um nope mom...Kansas. But my sister just said "lots of storms down there". The moment passed but if I would have said that it would not work ha ha! I think they look to us and read our face because we are the people that care for them and they trust us. Other people on here will have a better answer than me but just know you are so not alone in this! CWillie is right. Usually you just have to go to their world!
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P.S. I'm sure most of us that watched the Teepa Snow videos are thinking...This is great in theory but it doesn't go exactly like this at OUR house lol!
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One of the best "tough love" questions I was ever asked might apply here. A lot of my conflict with my Mom (whether stated or unstated) had to do with my desire to be appreciated for doing the right thing, being there for her, being the responsible daughter, etc. Of course true appreciation is not in the behavioral repertoire of the disease called dementia. So it was a losing battle. But still I fought on like a trooper! One day someone reminded me of a question asked by a motivational speaker of years past -- "Would you rather be right or would you rather be happy?" Of course my initial response was, "yes". Followed by, "when I'm right and others acknowledge it, I'm happy - so why choose?" The answer of course is that when I'm right an others don't acknowledge it, that leaves me unhappy. I've set myself up for failure, disappointment, and resentment. So when Mom says one thing and you know another to be true, ask yourself, "If I just wanted us both to be happy and it didn't matter who was 'right', how would I respond?" There have been some great suggestions already on alternative responses that avoid the "who's right" dilemma. It is counterintuitive to most of us -- maybe because we endured years of schooling that was about being "right" or "wrong". Life is not that simple. It has LOTS of right answers. And most of them lie inside a mindset called "love". Maybe it will also help to acknowledge your love for your Mom and at the same time acknowledge your anger at her disease. Some days that works really well for me. Other days ... well, as others have said, being a caregiver is not something any of us do anywhere near perfectly. So forgive yourself, forgive your Mom, forgive reality ... and move on with an awareness that will help you see more positive alternatives with each day. This is such a wretched disease, and the fact that we even TRY to deal with it positively is pretty heroic. So pat yourself on the back, try to turn it into a game (the purpose of which is to enjoy the creativity) rather than a contest (the purpose of which is to win). And bless your heart - and your Mom's.
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Thnk you for your respones. I really appreciate it. I guess I am not alone. My mother has always been in this negative and angry stage .. that is the problem!
Using the fridge as an example: I told her it is working; my brother went over and said the same. So did my husband. She told both of them that I dont want her to have a new one! What? I dont care! She refuses all kinds of help. Every single helper that has come in has been bad. Every cleaner doesnt get anything done.

If its not one thing, it is another. So deflecting does nothing because she is "on to something else" in a second. It is like an ongoing monologue. I feel so guilty writing this, but I am drained, exhausted and though I know it is not "her" (and never was "her"), I am still drained and exhausted.

As for doctors, my brother has POA. She will only go with him and he is burned out and not taking her to doctor often. She does cancel alot. She is on Ativan, but they dont like her being on it. She refused anti-depressants. Things are dysfunctional and my brother will not communicate with me about her doctor visits or anything else. I do send him information that I feel is important .. very rarely ... once or twice a year, and no response. (example a hallucination she had). He saw her having a complete meltdown in hospital with delusioins about him and a nurse, and he remains in denial.
No diagnosis, but doctor first said she is cognitively impaired. then said to brother that she has Sundowners. Finally, I said to him, Sundowners is about cognitive problems (I dont use the word dementia not to anger him) and he said "oh the doctor took the diagnosis back).

I dont know. Maybe it is me and I am just not suited to this. I have been going at this for over ten years. First heart disease (so she is very limited and very ill) and then dementia. Many hospitalizations, falls, crises.

So sorry for ranting, but I am heartbroken and grieving. We do not want to put her in a nursing home, cannot affored assisted living, and, anyway, I dont think we could/should put her anywhere against her will.
I am trying to be a good daughter. I am trying to help, but ... nothing is right.
Once in a while, she is "back" and she realizes and she apologizes. I say "it's okay", I know you are suffering". Then she is back to being ill.

I know, despite all of this, that I love her and that she always loved me and if she knew that she was behaving in this way towards me and other people, she would be very upset.
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Again, CWillie is an old hand with answers. I called my mom a "Negative Nancy" once. That didn't go over well! Yep Redirect, walk out to "Go Potty", come back and change the subject. This was a long phase for my mom. At some point this will pass but having the meds calmed the sundowners down. Also my mom had a bad U.T.I. that was found at the hospital when she fell. That makes them a little crazier too. Maybe time to unload all this on the Dr.!
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First, always treat with respect. The person doesn't know they are having cognitive problems and even if they do, it doesn't help.

My DH is starting to see people in the house all the time. Instead of arguing, I sat down with him and assured him these other people will not hurt him.

From my researching online, I know he will also start seeing people from the past who have already passed on. I told him, they will not hurt him either. I am fully expecting him to start seeing brothers and sisters who passed and most likely his parents. My goal is to keep him from being afraid.

At night he only knows me as the lady who takes care of him. During the day he knows I am his wife of 32 years. It doesn't matter in the long run - I am keeping him calm and settled.

Instead of your standard answers, try something like, "I think that is a wonderful idea! You are so clever!!"

Dementia doesn't take away the need to be appreciated and flattered.  I tell my DH daily how good looking he is!  He sucks it up like a sponge!

I told DH's son - sure, I yell back at him.  He doesn't remember and I don't hold it in - better for both of us.
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When my Mother started acting that way, it scared me and I didn't know what to do. After reasoning and explaining didn't work, I realized I had to enter her reality and just agree with her and distract her as much as I could. Wait until the storm passes, what she is upset about one minute she will forget about very quickly.
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Sorry I am not clear. She often complains or is angry about just everything. The house, the couch, the refrigerator, the heat, the cold, etc.
Example: the refrigerator is not working.
I have tried to explain that it IS working but she thinks I dont want her to have a new one.
She is complaining and angry non-stop about everything and almost everyone, and I am exhausted. I know I cannot reason with her or try to fix anything.
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