I'm not sure I have the patience to do this. I love my mom but sometimes I don't like her.

Follow
Share

She acts like a child. She blames me for her misplacing things, she says things that don't make sense and contradicts herself all the time. Says I'm picking on her. She lies about the silliest things. I'm lost as what to do or how to deal with this. I get impatient and frustrated with her..I feel like a bad daughter

This question has been closed for answers. Ask a New Question.
11

Answers

Show:
All of these answers are from years ago, but still appropriate today. I have been caring for my 94 year old mother with dementia, for almost 2 years now, I am 62, have arthritis in my knees and back, work full time and, yes, she lives with me. It never gets easier, it just gets harder as I age and as she ages. I have to work to make ends meet, her money goes to someone coming in 1 day a week to shower her and clean her room and do her laundry, which one day a week use to be enough for laundry, but she is incontinent (urine and bowels) so there is a load to at least every day other day and mopping of the floor and cleaning her up. Then there is her medication, medicare supplement, and life insurance to pay plus all her personal needs (Adults without bladder or bowel control go through WAY more disposable diapers and cleaning clothes and ointments and powders to keep her from chafing than any baby I ever had). It is the hardest thing I have ever done. I fly by the seat of my pants every single day. I know I am not a very good caregiver, but I can only do what I am capable of doing. She can't walk further than 15 ft without getting tired and dizzy, so she stays in her room most of the time...it's especially hard getting her back and forth to the doctor, in fact it is a nightmare for us both. It has been almost 2 years since I have been anywhere but my office and the grocery store...that is it. I am beyond burned out.

And just to rant a little on some things people can say...like "what a blessing" really? Just who is it a blessing for, my mother who can't remember her name or where she is or my name or that my father passed away 14 years ago, can't control her body and is deteriorating a little each day? Me, who has no life and can't even go visit my children, has a bed in the living room with no privacy and can barely make it through each day? No it is not a blessing, it is a burden. She can't go in a nursing home, don't even ask why or about other family members helping, it's just not doable. and the people who say "it won't last forever", it FEELS like forever and, honestly, I don't know if I will make it, physically, mentally or emotionally. Three meals a day (I have to rush home at lunch hour and fix her lunch and clean her up and hope I get back to work on time) snacks (she can eat and seems to always be hungry because she forgets she just ate), cleaning a potty chair, her, dressing her and seeing to all her needs, working full time and just having no life for myself just plain sucks. Is that selfish, who knows, but whether it is or not it doesn't change how I feel about it all. I love my mother and do my best but for her, but the mother she was is gone and I am just the caregiver for the body that is left. And please never say to a full time caregiver for an elderly parent, "they took care of you when you were a baby and a child and did the same things", there is a WORLD of difference between caring for a 6 to 10 pound baby and a child who can learn when you are in your twenties and thirties, and caring for a grown adult that weighs 150 pounds when you are in your sixties. So don't even think you know unless you are doing it full time. No matter how tough you think it is when they are in a nursing home or someone else in your family is taking care of them and you just visit or listen to them complain, I would trade the circumstances in a heartbeat. It HARD and how you feel is how you feel and if someone doesn't get it, it does not change that feeling. So just try your best and accept we are not perfect, all the answers don't fit us, well meaning advice is just well meaning and may not be the answer for you, and it's ok to hate what you are doing without hating the person and for God's sake make sure your children do not have to do what you have to do for your parent.
Helpful Answer (2)
Report

Ekkie, you're not a bad daughter - not at all. Aging is a cruel, cruel process, and sometimes it's faster than we expect or want it to be. My mom used to be a vital, active woman - it was go, go, go with her, all the time. She wanted to take rides, travel, go visit people, have people over to visit, went to church every Sunday, helped with funeral meals at the church, volunteered at the local hospital gift shop and other places, and took photos and wrote letters like there was no tomorrow. She kept herself and her house clean at all times, showering every day, keeping the dishes washed, floors clean, laundry done, etc. That was as recently as 15 years ago.

Fast forward to today, and Mom is completely sedentary, can barely walk more than 20-50' at a time (50' is a stretch and she usually has to sit down halfway), is becoming incontinent (urine only, so far), refuses to shower until I get stern with her about it and only THEN will she shower, forgets to wipe herself in the bathroom or flush the toilet, forgets to take her pills, doesn't want to go anywhere during the winter months at all - not even to our Sunday breakfasts unless I push her to get out and get some fresh air, and is perfectly content to vegetate in front of the TV. All that happened over the course of 15 years, but it has really accelerated in the past 2 years. It's like since I moved in to take care of her, she has just given up.

What your mom is doing is normal, unfortunately. It's part of the process. None of us are perfect, and caregiving is NOT for the faint of heart. No one is born knowing that one day they will have to wipe their parents' backsides, clean up their accidents, make them shower, etc - it's a task that is usually thrust upon us all of a sudden, and we're left to figure out how to adjust our own lives to handle it. Some people just can't do it, and there's nothing wrong with admitting that. You shouldn't feel guilty about saying, "I just can't do this" - because not everyone is cut out to be a caregiver. Given the choice to have someone else do it - and do it well - I'm sure many of us would be out the door, coming to visit, but not doing the full-time caregiver thing. I fully admit that I would like to have my life back - but I know that no one else in my family will (or can) take care of Mom, so I stay.
Helpful Answer (3)
Report

A bad daughter wouldn't even be in contact with her. You are a good daughter.
Helpful Answer (2)
Report

I just read this, and, I feel just like Ekkiemom6 this week, especially tonight. Some good and helpful answers posted on here, though. Thanks.
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

I just found this question and answers today. I feel the same way, often not understanding enough or patient enough. Part of me just wants my mom back and I don't want to except or adjust to the person she has become. Because I don't like this "new" person, who is hard to please, anxious, nervous, rigid, depressed, stubborn. I feel selfish for trying to have MY life and balance caring for her and my father. Jeannegibbs comments are good. I try my best to be a good daughter and caregiver, but I feel I fall very, very short in the task. To add to it, my father can get very agitated over little things, and his anger unnerves me where I can't deal with him and through in the towel and walk away. I just let the misconceptions and false ideas stay as they are. Explaining only fuels him more. Some people are better cut out for this task. I'm just not one of them.
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

I feel that way half the time. The other half I realize that jeannegibbs is right and this is my life too and I have to enjoy it even if that means thinking about me first some times.
Helpful Answer (2)
Report

Ekkiemom6, you are NOT a bad daughter. You might not be cut out to be a caregiver to someone with dementia -- not everyone is. Or with a little more knowledge and practice, your patience might increase and your skills improve. If that doesn't happen, then the best way to be a great daughter is to arrange for Mom to be cared for by trained professionals.

I posted an answer to a similar question several days ago. I'm going to repeat part of it here, because a few people told me it was very helpful to them.

Why is your mother behaving this way? Because she has dementia.

You will be doing yourself and your mother both a favor if you accept that a person who is losing her ability to reason cannot be consistently rational. Expecting rational behavior and accurate answers is just asking for high-level frustration.
(I know. I've been there, done that, and have the scars to prove it.)

Why ask her for explanations? An answer won't change anything. As an example, how about "Oh dear! The faucet got left on. We'll need to clean this up fast. Can you help me? I'll get some rags and a bucket." If she explains that the dogs did it, say, "That's OK. I am sure it was an accident."

Don't ask if she knows where anything is. Of course she doesn't. She has dementia, remember? You might try, "I am so sad. My red-handled scissors is missing and I need it now. Will you help me look for it?" That gives her a chance to be a hero if she has a vague memory of where it might be, and no reason to get defensive about it. Remember the goal. You want the scissors, not to establish guilt.

Acting childish is extremely common in dementia. She is NOT doing it to get attention or to annoy you. She is doing it because there is a physical defect in her brain which is preventing access to more mature behavior.

She may never again be able to do even familiar chores that involve organizing things or multiple steps or complex decisions. Just can't do it. Try to find tasks that give her something to accomplish that she can succeed at. Matching socks from the laundry, folding towels, possibly polishing silverware are examples.

Adjusting to living with someone who has dementia is very, very hard. It will always be hard, but it can be a little easier if you accept that your mother's behavior is limited by physical flaws in her brain (plaques or tangles or protein deposits, etc.) She can't help her behavior. To be successful with her you'll have to adjust yours.

There should be no shame if you can't make the necessary adjustments. It certainly does not make you a bad daughter. I think you have a duty to see to it that Mother gets good care, but not necessarily to provide it yourself.
Helpful Answer (8)
Report

I just went and check out the Teepa Snow on YouTube Thank you so much sunflo2 for posting very good information and the way she explains it!
Helpful Answer (2)
Report

It's part of the disease. Reading up on elderly, dementia, ALZ; being on this site and watching Teepa Snow YouTube videos helped me tremendously to cope.

I'm the first one mom accuses of stealing things, or gas lighting her, or ignoring her, etc. she has even reported my brother and I having stolen this or that or burglarizing the house...we're professionals and live out of state. It's frustratin and sad....and sometimes I have to just take a break or take a time out to deal with it.

What I can tell you is that you can't reason with her or snap her out of these accusations or paranoia, just go with it and stay calm. Don't deal with her, if you can, when you are tired or stresses. Not all have that luxury...I do because I don't live with mom and I'm not a full time caregiver.

My mom lies to. I deal with it over the small stuff, but sometimes when she keeps it up and I know she is in her right mind, I call her on it. I don't get angry, I just calmy say " mom, when you say such and such, it hurts me when you know that's not true.." Or I have stated, "mom, I don't want to listen to this, let's agree to disagree". If she keeps it up (and she doesn't so much lately), I just tell her I'm leaving and will see her in the morning, or I tell her I love her and hang up the phone and ignore her calls for a few days while I cool off and she gets the point.

It's sad...but it doesn't get better...you just have to steel yourself and learn to cope with it. It ain't easy....
Helpful Answer (4)
Report

Ekkiemom6, according to your profile your Mom has dementia/Alzheimer's.... good heavens, what she is doing is normal for someone with that illness.

When she lies about things, just keep reminding yourself it is the dementia *talking*... don't try to correct her, it won't help.... try to find some humor in what she says, she is probably saying the darnest things.... agree with her and giggle to yourself.
Helpful Answer (2)
Report

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