My combative & argumentative elderly mother just moved in with my husband and I. I can't take much more of this. What should I do?

Follow
Share
This question has been closed for answers. Ask a New Question.
20

Answers

Show:
You mentioned Gabapentin... I gave my mom Gabapentin at bedtime and she woke up in the middle of the night in a hysterical panic. She came to our bedroom asking if we saw my dad.. said he was asleep next to her, he got out of bed and didn't come back. She was so panicked, she was putting on her shoes, in her nightgown, to go out and find him. My dad passed 3 years prior to that. My husband said we had no choice but to tell her the truth. When I told her that her medication is causing her to be confused, she was more aggetated... I finally told her he passed a few years ago and her reaction was as if I told her he just died in a car accident. She went pale and was on the verge of fainting.. she was uncontrollably hysterical. I had to call paramedics. She was taken to the ER. I told the doctor this never happened before and appeared to be a reaction to the Gabapentin. I Googled reactions and got mixed reviews.. some people did horribly. The ER doc did not agree and said it was an episode due to her dementia. She came out of it gradually and was back to herself 6 hours later.I never gave her Gabapentin again and she never had a similar episode again. Moral of story: don't believe everything a doctor says. Be proactive and use common sense. Also, I now list Gabapentin as an "allergy medication" for her.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

I moved my 87 year old mother in with my husband and me 4 years ago when my father died. For those of you who struggle with a parent with dementia, it's not easy... But, add narcissism on top of that and it's h*ll.
I've gained 40 lbs, my depression is in full force, I'm with her 24/7. If I do go out once in a blue moon, with a friend, she makes it so difficult for me... But I realized as long as I'm not having fun, she can tolerate my going out, so I say I'm visiting a dying friend in the hospital. I know paranoia is a dementia symptom, but it kills me that she doesn't trust me when I've been glued to her side my whole life looking after all her needs when she was quite capable... it's called enmeshment to the enth degree. I put up with all her sh*t cause I chalk it up to dementia, tho I've put up with it as long as I can remember. She's self centered and always has a reason to be unhappy and gloomy. It's like we live in a cave of darkness all the time. Oh, and did I tell you she's barely appreciative of all I do which is literally everything, but I guess after 40 years of my complete devotion, she sees all I do as an expectation...
I have so much resentment for her controlling me since before I was aware of it... So now it's very difficult to put up with her cause I see her so much more clearly tho I still do 98 percent out of conditioned guilt.
Bottom line, she doesn't qualify for Medicare and refused to part with 10 cents for any kind of companionship/aid. I'm depressed, overweight and at 62 I feel like my life is over.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

I talked to my mom's neurologist about her moodiness & argumentative responses. We decided to keep her in the Gabapentin for her headaches and take her off the Namenda since there's no evidence that it really helps with the disease. Since she had been of it, her moods have gotten much better & she is much more cooperative. I have been awful busy and have not actively engaged in these forums but hope to more in the future. You all are a great resource & connection to have when trying to deal with everything. Thank you.
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

Jinx4740, thanks. Great suggestions that I will have to practice daily. I will most dedicated check out those you tube videos. It must be more difficult in many other ways when dealing with a spouse oppose to a parent. Last night I told my mom that it saddens me she thinks we would lie to her or (nastily) tells us we are saying she's a liar. I continued the conversation by reminding her that she tells us she forgets and gets mixed up and that's what we're also telling her...not that she's lying. She understood (this time). I also made a point to tell her that we love her and are trying to help her, that there is no benefit for us to lie. I asked if she trusted us and she responded positively. I assume at some point as he disease progresses that won't be the case. I have to make a commitment to put some time daily into reading and sharing.
Again, thanks for your responses.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

Jeanne's advice is on the money. All I have to add is to confirm how nearly impossible it is to avoid arguing, when they are so clearly WRONG!

Make it a habit to say to yourself, "She can't help it. It's the disease." Repeat several times an hour. After an occasion when you ended up arguing, go over what happened in your mind. What set her off? Why? What set you off? Why? Is there a way you could have avoided triggering her? Is there a way of looking at her words that would make you laugh instead of getting angry? No blame. Just process improvement.

My husband has the delusion that he formerly lived in this house years ago with relatives. I'm confident that he never did. It's just that his memories are unstuck in time now. When he tells me about that, I have learned to say, "Oh, really?" and let him talk. But one day he was talking about being in the house when his relative had the cabinets installed. I went a little ballistic, and spoke harshly to him. Then I realized why. He and I had chosen everything for our redecoration of OUR home. Now he doesn't remember that. I guess it cut pretty deep. When he asks if we are married, and asks my name, it rolls off my back. But forgetting our home renovations is another story. Go figure. So when I apologized for getting upset, I told him that it made me sad that he has forgotten that. It helped him to forgive me.

Hang around here and read about others' problems, and you will learn a lot. Try to imagine what is going on in your mother's mind, and try to feel compassion for her. Compassion makes it easier not to get angry or hurt. Look at Teepa Snow videos on Youtube. More knowledge makes caregiving easier. Do not seek perfection, and try to laugh! Good luck!
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

Wow! I'd be combative if I had 2 to 4 migranes a week! I hope that gets resolved.

Be sure to let her doctor know about all of her symptoms. Not all can be helped with medications, but some can and it is worth trying.

I think life would be easier if you avoid arguing. She thinks the water has been sitting there a long time? Give her a fresh glass, with ice and a smile. She forgets the walker? Set it down next to her, "here ya go, Mom," and smile. Smile a lot!

If the floor surface is not cluttered and Mom knows her way around by "furniture cruising" it may be more important to use the walker when you leave the house. Or consider a wheelchair for trips out.

Pick your battles. Don't argue when it doesn't matter. Reasoning is no longer an option. Would you argue with a 2-year-old? Would you let them goad you into yelling? Being right isn't nearly as important as maintaining harmony! Keep your goals in mind.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

jeannegibbs, thanks for responding. My mom is not on anti-anxiety meds. We're going to a new neurologist. He is treating her for migraines mostly. They run in our family and she gets 2-4 a week. He just put her on Gabapentin which could be making her argumentative states worse. It sends whenever we tell her to do something she doesn't really want to do or hear,
like use your walker mom, i just Gabe you that water outreach not been sitting thete since yesterday, are you tired mom. .. sends you can't keep your eyes open etc. She'll deny, get confused, mixed up and argue about it. All normal die a dementia person. I need to learn how to handle those behaviors where i don't lose control of myself and react by yelling. I know skews going to get worse and i really want to keep her out of a nursing home if i can. Biggest problem is when she ignores me and didn't use her walker. She's stumbled a few times and fallen. She doesn't recall of course. Her balance will get worse, I'm concerned she'll fall and break her hip.

A local caregiver group is a good idea, I'll have to look for one in my area.

Thx for the welcome. :)
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

SalGerm, the argumentative states have got to be very wearing! Is your mom on an anti-anxiety med? Have you discussed the argumentative states with her neurologist?

Belonging to a local caregiver group can be very validating.

Are the argumentative states constant or frequent or once-in-a-while? Is there any particular trigger than you've noticed? Over-stimulated? Tired? Bored? Hungry?

Welcome to the forums.
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

I am a new member. My mom was diagnoised with Vascular Dementia at the age of 80, she will be 88 next month. Since then I have noticed a slow stead decline. My heart aches for her and i want to take care of her but in my caregiving I find her argumentative states are tremendously annoying me that i find myself yelling at her. I need to find a way not to react... suggestions wecome. Since her diagnosis 8 yrs ago A Neurologist has diagnosed her with Alzheimer. We just have to take it somerimes, one minute at a time. Stubbornness is what keeps them going, we don't want to bask them cuz then they may loose the will to live. .. but we want / need cooperation. How do we get this when we can't reason with them?
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

Correction - her behavior over the years is now effecting my mental and physical health.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

This question has been closed for answers. Ask a New Question.
Related
Questions