I am the sole caregiver and new at it. My mom has dementia she is always doing things that make things hard for me. How should I handle this?

Follow
Share

I am the live in caregiver for my mom. She is like a zombie all day long. Making messes in kitchen, lighting her smokes from gas stove, taking food from fridge to feed cat & dog, never just relaxes to watch TV or something. How should I be handling this type of stuff?


Like washing dishes without soap, wiping off counters with dirty rags, putting urine soaked clothes in washer when on last spin cycle. Help how can I make stuff not so hard to keep up with.

Find Care & Housing
8

Answers

Show:
I didn't understand why people don't trust their own family members until it happened to me don't waste any time. Talk to a lawyer .you're there, not her , get everything on paper. My sister wasn't around and told me she doesn't care about these people I only knew him for 18 years I feel sorry for you he finally got a relationship with my mother and it's a privilege to take care of her but my dad is making it hard and I'm getting sick and my boyfriend is taking advantage and he's making me sick I need help. And she's a retired nurse and she told me that she's rich. That she comes and tells me the only way they can get help is my selling my house if they own and didn't put my name on the deed because I'm on SSI they didn't believe if I can own property but I gave it to me they asked me what else I wanted this one or the one I'm living at I told him mine so they did a reverse mortgage so she fed in my dad's anger he never wanted to buy the property but my mom made him because she didn't let her help her son and her son committed suicide a year before they got my house and I told her that I thought I never would ever live my dreams for the house gave me so much I never love myself until I was in that house and then I realized I was living to my dreams and I thought never will come true and my parents gave me that I told him one day when I don't have any more animals on the side of the house and did my last dream let's go to Australia but I can look in your eye something was up I just never thought how cold so we could be can before my mom's birthday before Thanksgiving for Christmas I was told that my mother was going to Care Home and I had to get out of my house is being sold so so I have nowhere to go with my animals and three left behind and when I got to my dad's house what do I see a picture of her when she was the only child and things that he said I put it all together that's why certain people were saying what's up I thought they want to sell it and made him an offer because my sister bought my house I don't want to live in his house there's so much traffic so much speeding cars buses every half an hour my cats will get runned over. My house is quiet the oceans across the street here is the ocean the waves The Byrds my dog's Harley Park cuz you have done with people walking around there's no traffic noise and I had a 6-foot fence so really no one could see inside my yard I have social anxieties I am sick and they know it and I I'm outside for everyone to see and everybody looks this way I cannot breathe she took my mother she took away my relationship with my father she took away my home she already has a home I'll never be able to have a home I fell on my back I fell on my tailbone it hurts like hell just to give my dog a bath now I crawl into cat cages to clean it out I'm in so much pain physically and mentally I really can't take it,
so do not trust your sister because it's obvious if she doesn't trust you, something is up. family members seem to screw over their own sister and brother when their parents gets sick or & die. If it was hard for you to understand my comment I'm sorry I have a learning disability and I'm considered to be stupid.
Wait, back you & your mom
try to play music
dancing & sing
& joke around. Just make it fun
give yourself no reasons to laugh, make it fun.
my mother I like that. My dad is always grouchy, so I play music and Dance all weird and got her to dance. My mom got Parkinson's should I put the Taylor Swift song Shake It Off and I said look they are doing your dancing moves. She would always call me when I'm making dinner to tell me to stopped her from shaking so that song help to let go some aggravation.
Sorry I'm going on & on
I have nothing and no one
Because of my sister. Don't tell her you're going to talk to a lawyer just do it right honorable and fair to all your siblings before one sick one comes and be as greedy and heartless as mine. So sorry if you can't comprehend what I said. I'm stupid
Helpful Answer (1)
Reply to Dac1War
Report
jeannegibbs Jul 9, 2018
Dac1War, you may have a learning disability, but you are not stupid! I wonder if you would get more responses to your own situation if you post that part in a new post of your own.
(2)
Report
1) The behaviors to be most concerned with are those with risks. Lighting a cigarette on the stove sounds dangerous to me. That is one I'd try to find a way to prevent.
Is the food she is feeding the pets totally inappropriate for them, is she using things you expected to use for dinner, or is this mostly a cost issue? The priority and level of energy you spend dealing with this probably depends on the answer. Try storing the pet food, even dry food, at the front of the fridge, so it is the first thing she sees when she opens the door.
The unsanitary practices are gross, but you can do them over correctly, without drawing it to her attention. When small children are "helping" you, it often is more work for you than if you'd just done it yourself. But you go along because it is good experience for them. In this case you go along with "help" because she can't help her behaviors. Get in the habit of always washing your counters before doing any meal prep on them. If you know dirty laundry has been added to only the final rinse cycle, run the load through the wash again. If you don't have a dishwasher, this might be the incentive to get one!

There isn't a way to be the caregiver of an impaired adult and not have your workload increased. It is good practice, of course, to try to minimize the extra tasks.

I also encourage you to look into Adult Day Health programs. It is good for socializing for your mom, and a good respite for you.

2) It sounds like medications need adjustments. Discuss with her doctor. BTW, does she see a geriatrician or a specialist in dementia? Sometimes other doctors don't really "get it."

3) Does your sister have financial POA for your mother? Is that why she thinks she can make the decisions? Even if she has POA, your mother can make the decision of how the bill-paying should be handled. And she can also change POA or assign the role to you, if that makes her more comfortable.

Do be aware of the impact transferring money to Sis's account could have on a future Medicaid application. Setting bills up on auto pay makes the most sense. Sis can have the role of reviewing the payments if she wants to be involved.

I agree that Mom should have the dignity of some access to her own money, and I'm glad you said "with my help." She shouldn't have enough access, for example, to donate thousands of dollars to a scam charity, but she should be able to spurge on items important to her, within her means. How does Sister paying her bills impact her access to her own funds?

Is this worth "fighting" sister over? In my opinion, yes, although I hope it would be a matter of reasoning and persuasion rather than fighting. Do what you have to do in mom's best interest.
Helpful Answer (2)
Reply to jeannegibbs
Report

Val1313, kudos to you for taking care of your mom. It sounds like your doing a good job without much help and as your mom's dementia progresses, caregiving will continue to get harder and without a lot more help, you'll probably start considering whether to move your mom to a care facility. If she will need Medicaid assistance for that, then your sister's history of transferring money from your mom's account to hers may result in a Medicaid penalty due to a 5-year look-back period. Getting a personal care agreement (PCA) signed and notarized may open your sister's eyes to all the good work you are doing and will also help avoid a future Medicaid penalty. Here's a website to explain why a PCA is important and how to do it: https://www.agingcare.com/articles/personal-care-agreements-compensate-family-caregivers-181562.htm If it seems too complicated, then you may want to talk to an elder-law attorney. Best wishes.
Helpful Answer (2)
Reply to bicycler
Report

Thank you for all the much needed advice to my question which leads me to my next plea for advice I live with my mom & take care of all her needs take her to stores or at least rides every day but my sister comes & gets all her bills that we pickup from post office and every month transfers my moms money from her bank acc. To hers & pays bills and I buy groceries I've try to tell my sis there is more to life than groceries & paying utility's and that we should let my mom have a little access to her money with my help since I'm right here & knows more of what she needs bills could just be on an auto pay program but my sister won't even hear of it should I fight her for what's right or let it go? I don't get why she thinks she decides everything when she only spends all together maybe 30mins per a month total with our mom at all and I am 24hrs a day for 6 months now
Helpful Answer (2)
Reply to Val1313
Report

Val, all I can say is patience. You need to keep an eye on them each second. It will get worse, much worse. Are you sure this is the solution to her care needs that will work for BOTH of you?
Helpful Answer (4)
Reply to gladimhere
Report

I hope Mom’s not alone, too. Have you considered Adult Daycare for her? These places can usually be found by googling them with the name of your city. She does need to have her meds adjusted. This is what they did for my mom when she started wandering aimlessly around her facility, taking things from other people’s rooms and trying to get in bed with people. And, it’s no shame to ask for help. Her insurance, whatever it is. Should pay for an aide to come out a few times a week to give you a break.
Helpful Answer (2)
Reply to Ahmijoy
Report

if you are the sole caregiver I hope you are never leaving her alone. this is hard on you if you are with her 24/7. everyone needs a break...does she qualify for Medi-caid(Medi-cal) How old is your mom?

my MIL has Medi-Medi - she gets X amount of hours each day from an aid. (she doesn't have dementia) she has had strokes....
Helpful Answer (4)
Reply to wally003
Report

Someone on the forum describes Dementia as a "broken brain". Short term memory, reasoning and processing what is said, in my opinion are the first things to go. So constantly reminding Mom or trying to reason with her is not going to work. Talk to her doctor and tell him she can't sit. This is a form of anxiety and he may be able to give her a med. To calm her. Tell him she is like a zombie, could be a med she is on. Something does need to be done about her using the gas stove to light her cigs. What if she turns the flame too high? I have electric ignition. So you could turn the circuit breaker off when not using the stove. Not sure if that would make it hard to get a flame though? You could take the knobs off the stove. Call a repairman and ask if they have any ideas. One day she may not turn off the stove. See, you need to be one step ahead of Mom. Do laundry after she goes to bed or throw in before she gets up. Keep up on the dishes so there is nothing she needs to wash. I either use one of those sponges with soap in the handle or there's a little scrubber that has a well you put soap in. With just the two of us we wash as we go. I will wash as I cook too.
Helpful Answer (3)
Reply to JoAnn29
Report

Related
Questions