When I visit mom she is so cold and mean. Just to me. I get anxiety just going there. During the summer I was able to visit several times a week. Now it’s the weekend. If I go during the week I get there during her dinner. Then she wants to watch tv downstairs shortly after. I disrupt her routine. Even went with my daughter who she hasn’t seen in months. She really could care less. Refused to look or talk to me. I’m there more than any other of the residents family. We were so close now everything is awkward and forced. Doesn’t want to talk about anything. How do I rise above her coldness and keep visiting.

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You’ll have to practically chant to yourself under your breathe “it’s not her, it’s the disease” and try to distance your emotions hard as that is. Continue to visit, it’s important that the facility see the resident has family that cares and has eyes on the place, but keep your visits brief for your own mental health
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Reply to Daughterof1930
disgustedtoo Oct 8, 2019
Absolutely keep going - it is hard, but try not to take it personally. Dementia affects many people in different ways and the effect can change without notice!

Maybe some visits can be just to check on her, observe without making your presence known - at least you can see how she is doing and if she is participating with others, etc.

Perhaps going at dinnertime/tv time is disrupting her "routine." Have you tried going at different times of the day? For some, later in the day might bring on some sun-downing, which might affect her demeanor. Can you go in the morning and see if she behaves differently?
Perhaps visit less often, for less time and differently than you do now. Rather than going later in the day and interrupting dinner and a movie, get there early in the morning with some breakfast treats you know she likes. Have a quick breakfast with her in her room, and then leave and let her go about her day. When something isn't working, change it.

Although I agree it's important for the facility to see you there, I don't believe you have to endure her being cold and mean to the point where it's affecting you. You are human and you have feelings. Protect yourself.
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Reply to NYDaughterInLaw

I work at a Memory Care community as a receptionist. Dave comes every single day to visit his wife who is a resident with Alzheimers/dementia. She is mean as a snake to him. Calls him all sorts of horrible names and he can do nothing right, in her eyes. He's stupid, he's an idiot, everything he says is wrong, yada yada. She treats him like this in front of other people, too, which is how I can tell you this story. I witness it all the time. Yet Dave smiles and puts his arm around her, and she throws it off, and he puts it back, etc. He keeps coming, and she keeps sniping. He takes her for walks and on drives and out for ice cream. Sometimes he stays for 2 hours and other times he stays for 15 minutes, depending on the severity of her Bad Mood towards him. He fell and broke his hand and required stitches over his eye last week. So he had a friend drive him over to see his wife in MC.

Personally, I don't think I could be like Dave. If my mother were to continually treat me with a cold shoulder, or open hostility, I'd stop visiting but for once in a while. I like Catnk9's answer myself, even though I'm in the minority here.

I fully realize that dementia is a disease and their brain is 'broken' and all that. At the same time, however, I realize that I am human, my brain is NOT broken, but my heart CAN be, quite easily. I need to figure out how to protect MYSELF while seeing to the needs of my demented mother who lives in MC and treats me quite badly also. Is it due to her dementia or her snake-in-the-grass personality? A little of both, methinks.

But no matter the reason, it's important that WE care givers TAKE CARE OF OURSELVES in this process as well. OUR lives matter just as much as our loved ones with dementia.
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Reply to lealonnie1
DollyMe Oct 7, 2019
Powerful post and so important that caretakers take care of themselves, sometimes this is a missing link in our relationships with LO's.
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I’m so sorry that your mom treats you this way. It hurts even if she can’t help it.

Stay away if you need a break. You don’t have to stay a long time if the visit is particularly hard on you. Go back when you feel up to it.

Know that you are doing all that you can.

Take care.
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Reply to NeedHelpWithMom

Honestly? If your mother treats you like this each time you visit, why would you continue to go? Sometimes, people with dementia decide in their broken brains to punish a certain person for something that never happened. It might be a family member, a staff member or a complete stranger.

I know that telling you not to visit seems unreasonable considering that she is your mother. And, it’s hard to accept that your mother as you knew and remember her is fading away. Hang on to those memories and don’t torture yourself by visiting more than a few times a month just to make sure everything is going ok at the facility.
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Reply to Ahmijoy

If your mom has been diagnosed with dementia, it is part of her tragedy, and yours, that she is no longer who she was, and there are no explanations that can be determined by logic of why she has become who she is, right now, in her damaged present.

Since that loving woman is gone, can you be comfortable with at least for the time being, visiting less, in shorter visits, telling her you love her (she may comment harshly in response to affection), offering a few comments of family gossip, and leaving with a cheerful, noncommittal “goodby”?

There is no logic to the choosing of a target. My grandmother turned her fury to my father, her dearly loved son in law. As the disease process progressed, the hostility dissipated and ultimately disappeared.

Don’t worry about “forced”. If you are approaching her with a peaceful sense of low expectations, it won’t be quite as bad as it was the first time you noticed the change in her demeanor.

Unfortunately, many of us understand. Courage and peace to you.
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Reply to AnnReid

When my brother, was put in a facility, no body knew he had family. His wife put him in there, and I guess you are not allowed to visit? Anyway, I found him, then I put up a newspaper article from San Francisco.. He was a Tug Boat Captain, and he saved 6 people one night. Their boat capsized in a busy shipping lane. My Brother The Tug Boat Captain, heard it on his radio, he was there, so he ordered that lane to shut down. He found the people and rescued them. Once Coast Guard was able to transport them onto their boat, he went back to work as normal.
A few weeks later, he received a Coast Guard Medal for rescuing these people.
A let the cartakers know a little about his life and a world of difference he made. And he was able to say yeah.. ya... :)
HIs boss didn't know that incident happend until a few weeks later. He didn't think it was a big deal.
Helpful Answer (8)
Reply to MAYDAY
disgustedtoo Oct 8, 2019
So glad you were able to locate him! How nice to put up the article too! Often we know nothing about other residents. When they were still able, I did chat with others (mom was/is very hard of hearing, so it was nice to be able to have conversations with others!) I learned a little bit about many of the residents. One had been an author of children's books! Another had been a judge. So many interesting things you can learn by interfacing with others while they are still able!

Big hugs to your brother, The Tug Boat Captain HERO!
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All of the visits with my mom are different.  Some times she is having a moment of clarity and wants me to sit and visit with her...other times she treats me like the hired help and literally leaves me in her AL apartment to clean, put away the laundry I have washed for her, etc.  I play it by ear.  Some times I just do what I need to do for her and leave.  From what you have said, your timing is not the best. LOL  I have found that my mom does not like her routine disrupted.  Can you time your visit so that you are there before dinner or later in the evening after she has eaten.  Keep in mind your mother is not mentally who she used to be and may not be able to carry on a decent conversation.  Maybe you can just sit with her while her show is on.   I show my mom pictures of her great grandson on my phone and we have a TV show on that she wants to watch.  That is about as deep as it gets.  I don't want to frustrate her or confuse her with the details current events, my life or job..she doesn't understand...can't keep it straight and truthfully she wont even remember my visit.  It really hurts in the beginning to realize that your mom is no longer there.  She still needs your care and she still needs your visits, but she can't offer you what she once did.  it has taken me almost 8 years to get to this point of acceptance and trust me there are days when it really hurts but for the most part I have accepted it.  I'm sorry...I know this is hurting you.  This disease is harder on the family.  It really is a long goodbye.
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Reply to Jamesj
disgustedtoo Oct 8, 2019
Acceptance - kind of the key. Don't take anything said or done personally - if mom was the light of your life before but isn't now, understand that is NOT a reflection on you or anything you have done. Oftentimes they are not even aware of what they say or do.

You've also figured out how to "go with the flow." If she's receptive, great, have a nice visit. If not, oh well, do what needs to be done and move on. Demeanor and behavior can change so much, minute to minute sometimes, but usually longer periods can prevail. You just have to get used to it all and know how she is "feeling" at the moment. Sometimes it can just be some sun-downing (generally later in the day, but it can happen at other times too.)
Val, my heart goes out to you ❤️. After 5 years of being sole caregiver to my mom, with 2 sibs who never communicated with me (actually told me not to contact), I gave them notice, and moved out of mom’s house to another state. Now they’ve been forced to take over. I flew back twice in 6 months. Sibs were so awful to me (I tried /had to stay there), mom was max stressed out. I’ll not go back. Save that airfare for emergencies (my own)! Take care of your heart, take all of the responses here that may help you.
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Reply to Davenport

Your mother has a broken brain and cannot help her actions.
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Reply to Llamalover47
lealonnie1 Oct 7, 2019
Maybe so, but that doesn't mean the OP should continue torturing herself by frequent visits to a mother who has no interest in visiting with her. There are limits to how much any human can and should tolerate, imo.
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