I confess I lose my temper at times, which leads her to lose hers and tells me if I don't like it move! I quit my job to make sure she'd be ok at home. Now I'm regretting my decision. She's never been a warm and fuzzy person, it seems that that has intensified with the progression of her disease. I'm not certain what to do now. Any suggestions?
This forum (unfortunately) has quiet a few posts such as yours.
First of all you are a wonderful daughter to be caring for your mom. Unfortunately the illness marchs forward with very little regard to just whom it attacks. First know that your mom has very very little ability to control the loss of her filters or her reasoning or her poor broken brain.
The best you can do is educate yourself on the disease. Learn to redirect her comments or concerns. Remove yourself from volatile situations when possible.
Go on YouTube and watch the Teepa Snow videos. You will recognize your mom in some of the scenarios Teepa presents. She’s an excellent teacher.
Know that quitting your job to take care of your mom may have seemed like the best choice at the time. You are free to choose again.
When her behavior escalates check to make sure she doesn’t have a UTI. These infections can be toxic and escalate dementia symptoms.
Let her doctor know of her new or escalated behavior Incase she needs her medication adjusted.
Start making plans for when you won’t be able to care for her at home.
That moment may have
Already arrived. Will she be able to afford extra caretakers or Assisted Living or Memory Care from her own funds? Will she need to file for Medicaid?
Come to this site to vent. Know that your loss of temper happens but is a sign to you that you are in need of respite and/or assistance.
You can not reason with or educate your mom. It is only you that you can control.
Her behavior -- changing from one minute to the next -- is simply how dementia works. It is not personal against you, it driven by the damage in her brain. I know that can be very hard to remember sometimes, but I don't think anyone can survive caregiving if they don't accept this fact.
Losing your temper, as you've seen, is not an effective way to deal with the outbursts or hurtful behavior of someone who has dementia. Setting up a conflict makes matters worse.
The accusations of stealing are a very common part of the paranoid delusion period. Many people with dementia experience that, some for a short period, and some for the duration of the disease.
You've already made the big sacrifice of quitting your job and moving in. Before you make any permanent decisions I suggest one more step, and that is to learn about dementia and about ways of dealing with it to maximize peace and minimize tempers.
After you know more about it, then you can decide whether this a role you want to and are able to play. It is no shame to say, "I am just not cut out for hands-on care. I'll use my skills to help in other ways." Then make arrangements for mother, move out, resume working for pay.