My mother whom has vascular dementia refuses to allow anyone to come in to help in her home. She lives with her husband who is dealing with own health problems and at times is at wits end with her. He is committed to keep her at home as long as she remembers who he is. She can perform basic ADLs but does not cook. Can make toast and coffee. She has never had outside help and thinks that she is cleaning, laundering and cooking just fine. Gets very upset with me if I try to help. I think she feels we are criticizing her that she is not doing her "job". I try to get her to do it along with me but she thinks she just did it yesterday and that nothing is dirty. At times she has become very obstinate and verbally combative. She is very protective and clingy to her husband which has caused issues with his children. Any other suggestions?

This question has been closed for answers. Ask a New Question.
I know this is difficult to accept, but even though your mom is aware she’s having issues, she is not likely to give up her independence, even such as it is. You can appeal to her attachment to your stepfather and claim the help is for him, not her. Meals are for him, but of course if she wants some, there’s enough. You’re (or someone you’ve hired) is coming to help him clean, not her, because of course, she’s doing ok.

The more you try to tell her she needs help, the more she’ll push back. And, unfortunately, physical combativeness is not far behind the verbal kind.

You will need to have a plan in place for her encroaching decline. This is not a curable disease that goes into remission or gets better. Soon, your stepfather will not be able to care for her and that’s not fair to him. Get POA if you don’t already have it and start making a plan for the future. There will come a point where her protests will become fruitless and for your stepfather’s and her own safety, she will need a higher level of care than you can give.
Helpful Answer (5)
shad250 Sep 2018
In other words, NH in her future?
Great advice from Ahmijoy. A couple more things...First, can you get your step-father to put his foot down? She may think that he is criticising her, but why shouldn’t he? Perhaps if it is clear that yes, he is criticising her and the state of the house, she will actually listen and let him take the initiative to hire some help. It might only need one shouting match to work. For most women, this would be more likely than accepting being ‘bossed around’ by a daughter! If your stepfather is not the shouting type, it might be easier for him to do if you and he make it 'an act' and practice it first.

Second, it might be a very good idea to get on good terms with your step siblings, and make sure that they know you aren’t supporting what you can see is difficult behaviour from your mother. Everything becomes far worse eventually when the rest of the family and friends are at loggerheads.

Good luck! And yes, get your ducks in a row for the future.
Helpful Answer (2)

I understand your frustration. I have the same problem. My parents desperately do not want to be a burden. (Add to that fiercely independent and stubborn.) I know my parents love and trust me, and they won't accept my help. They are already suspicious of people, so I am glad they trust me! Any offers are summarily rejected. I know there is no one that they would easily accept help from.
So far... The only thing that I have found that works is being sneaky. They are home a lot, so I don't get to do as much as I would like to. Not how I am, but it is in their best interest, not mine.
Otherwise, I am in limbo, and waiting for the accident /injury that forces them to accept help.
Kicking and screaming.
I tell myself that I want to help and that counts. And I hope I can actually help them. Sooner rather than later.

I'm so sorry I haven't been much help. I wish there were better answers! This disease is so cruel. Breaks my heart that two people I love are living in scary conditions. Sniff.
Helpful Answer (2)

Talk to your stepfather and get him on board with the idea of you helping with everyday chores at scheduled times and that the plan is to gradually add on paid inhome care once the routine becomes established. If he agrees: he can then “put his foot down” and tell her that this is what he wants.
Helpful Answer (1)

Can you order meals on wheels and say that her husband needs a special diet and this is the best way to get it?

I would say that he is complaining to his children and maybe he doesn't understand that it is setting up distension against his wife, who very much needs him now more than ever, is he not in it for the long haul? If not than you or one of her family needs to be assigned Durable POA for everything as well as medical.

For a woman of her generation to not be suzie homemaker is a failure, help her understand that times have changed and it is the in thing to have domestic help. Give her tons of compliments on how well she did it, does it and that it is time to enjoy the fruits of her labor.

Hugs 2 u for helping her and her husband.
Helpful Answer (1)

This question has been closed for answers. Ask a New Question.
Ask a Question
Subscribe to
Our Newsletter