Is it me or her?

Follow
Share

My mom is 91 and is reasonably good health for her age. She has lived with me for almost a yr as she can no longer care for herself. She has gotten incredibly lazy in doing even the simplest things in caring for herself or simple things ..such as throwing things in the trash. She has lost alot of her hearing but refuses to wear her hearing aid. The result being a blasting tv..which I eventually have to leave the house cause I can't stand it I'm feeling resentful and frustrated .I used to look forward to weekends off but now I dread them because I know what's in store for me at home. There are other siblings buy no one offers to help. Any suggestions??

This question has been closed for answers. Ask a New Question.
Find Care & Housing
32

Answers

Show:
Thanks windyridge . Next time my mom doesn't flush the toilet, I'll stop and think that she doesn't have to because she's 91! Even though she's perfectly capable of pushing down that little lever!
Helpful Answer (13)
Report

First of all, get her one of those TV head phones. Tell her it is not negotiable. (There is nothing worse than a BLARING TV) Refusing to wear the hearing aids is pretty common. Is her manual dexterity declining so that she can no longer turn them on/off, put batteries in, etc.

Sounds like you may need to set a few ground rules about living in your home. Also, sounds like you need to contact your siblings to have them schedule rotating weekend outings with their mother so that you can have a weekend break.
Helpful Answer (8)
Report

Thank you all for your responses! It makes me feel good to be able to talk about my concerns and get feedback from people that can relate! Yes she does have some dementia and I recognize that in her short term memory loss. It's very true that she's still trying to be the one in charge and I understand how important that is to her. I just need a whole lot of patience And prayers! Thank you!
Helpful Answer (7)
Report

ataloss - I appreciate that you feel that taking your mother in is the right thing to do, Many here feel that way. It does sound like her disease is progressing, Does she have Alzheimer's or another dementia? Many find it helpful to read about the progression of the dementia their parent has. I doubt that your mother can do all the things you think she can and that make you mad when she doesn't. I am not saying that she is not physically able to do them, but her brain is damaged by the disease and that affects her behaviour and capability to do the normal daily tasks. Understanding the disease progression should help you understand her limitations due to the disease. A fave saying here is "Get mad at the disease, not the person."

You need to research the resources that will be needed as your mother declines. A trip to your local agency for aging and/or social services should help you plan for what lies ahead.The point will come where she cannot be left alone day or night and she will need more and more help with simple things Will you be able to keep your job and provide for her? Are you able to give up your job, look after her 24/7 and still support yourself and have enough resources for your own old age?

My mother is in a facility. She chose to go into an ALF about 6 years ago and has progressed to one which has 24/7 nurse available, She has vascular dementia and also a personality disorder (lifelong). She makes a few friends and is very well looked after. She is not a joiner either. I wonder if you would reconsider a facility for your mum when the time comes. 40% of care givers die before the people they care for, Resentment and frustration are hard on your health. Remember your mum has a disease and one that is difficult to care for. Some, at the cost of their jobs and social lives manage to do that. Some are not able to. The sacrifice is huge - you can read many threads here about that.


A final point - if you do not already have them, you need to get financial and medical POA while she is still competent to sign the documents.

Blessings and come back and let us know how things are.
Helpful Answer (7)
Report

ataloss - has your mother been evaluated for dementia? Has she has a good general check up recently? Something as simple as a low thyroid could cause some of these symptoms. I say that because as get older, I find tendencies to do some of these things and if I am unwell, they happen more often. Refusing to wear her hearing aid is a bit different. My mother who is 103 wears her hearing aids. If her general health is good and she does not have dementia then maybe she is just being difficult.

You do have to look after yourself, and caring for an aging senior is a big job. Her needs are only going to increase, so the pressure on you will increase.

It sounds like you are working full time. Does she have any funds to hire someone to come in a few times a week to do extra cleaning up? When you brought her to live with you, did you have a plan of how to deal with her increased needs as she aged? Considering that you are finding yourself resentful and frustrated, and I make no judgement about that as I would feel that way too at having the serenity of my home upset, it may be time to look for a placement for her. She would have company all day long, and activities to engage in.

We know isn't easy to blend any two lives together, and often that is even more the case when a senior is one of them. Let us know how you make out. The stress isn't doing your health any good.
Helpful Answer (6)
Report

Stacyb - consider a walker for your dad with a tray you can add to put his food on. My mom has used a walker for years and I recently got her a universal walker tray and it has worked out wonderfully well for her. She puts her plate of food on it and it has a drink holder, so she can push her walker along with her food on top and not spill anything. I got the tray from Walgreens online.

Ataloss, one of the things that goes away with dementia (per Teepa Snow's videos on Youtube - which are great) is initiative. I see that with my mom. My mom has always been a good housekeeper but now she'll let things pile up and isn't concerned with how her place looks. Her routine saves her, because she can function in that routine but she never takes her garbage or recycling down to the garbage room, I have to do that. She can't remember to put empties in the container, she just sets them in her pantry for me to deal with. She does her dishes (that daily routine again), but doesn't get dressed most days and will stay in the same jammies until her shower, once a week. I pick my battles with her.

I also think you need to consider a placement at some point for your mom, as she'll probably need more care and someone with her or available 24/7.
Helpful Answer (6)
Report

First, understand that your mom isn't purposely trying to exasperate you. At 92, if she didn't have dementia, it would be very unusual. She MAY be doing the best she can. What you attribute to laziness may well be apathy from depression or a symptom of her dementia.

I must tell you that 100% (yes, really) of the seniors I know who have gotten hearing aids don't wear them. That's not unusual at all. It may help this PARTICULAR problem if you make sure you're always facing her and she's watching you when you speak. It may help her. Rather than expect her to wear a hearing if, try an amplifier...just for when she's watching TV. If she can hear high volume, an amplifier will definitely help, and you can turn done the set. They're not expensive...probably about $50.

Apparently she can be alone because it sounds as though you are working. Make it a point to get out by yourself on the weekend...window shopping, the movies...lunch with a friend.

Hope a thing or two helps you.
Helpful Answer (5)
Report

ataloss, this sounds like fairly normal elder behavior to me. No matter how old, mothers always want to be boss. Their children can't tell them what to do. We can suggest and encourage, but many times we are just ignored. It is usually easier to just accept it as best we can unless it becomes dangerous to them or us.

Older folks run out of steam when it comes to cleaning up after themselves. To make it worse, their worlds become smaller, so that pretty soon they often see only themselves. They can be very inconsiderate of their children. I always find it strange with my mother that she has plenty of energy to get herself a snack, but not enough energy to put the trash in the garbage. Sometimes she just throws it in the floor. She might have been aiming at the garbage, though. :)

There are many of us who are right there with you, picking up trash and yelling over the blaring TV. It seems pretty normal to me, since it is the way I live. You can encourage her to help, but accept that maybe help isn't going to happen. All you can do is adjust yourself to the way she is now. If it becomes unbearable, you may want to talk with her about going into assisted living.

Sorry I couldn't be more help, but I haven't found the answers, either. I've just learned to accept and to lower my own standards.
Helpful Answer (5)
Report

I don't know where Maggie got her information but most elders - even those in their 90's - are NOT demented. Research has demonstrated that the vast majority of Americans do NOT understand the prevalence or incidence of aging-related illnesses and grossly OVERESTIMATE them. Our society is extremely AGEIST and inaccurate data ought to be challenged. The media perpetuates the negative stereotypes about older people. And when an older person is just being himself or herself - passive aggressive, mean, rude, whatever - we attribute those behaviors to dementia. If a person was always a pain in the neck they will not stop being one just because they're old. And if a person was always a sweet, soft spoken, well-mannered individual they will not stop being one just because they're old. Brain disorders are what cause CHANGES in behavior. A traumatic event brings about TEMPORARY changes in behavior. Stop treating your mother like a child. Elders are NOT children and ought not to be infantilized. Unless your mother has in fact been diagnosed with either depression or dementia do not make assumptions.
Helpful Answer (5)
Report

Sendme2help..mom has never been one to "clean". As she's gotten older, it's gotten worse. She would hoard if she could but I don't allow it. I clean her room frequently so she can't accumulate . But this extends on to her personal care. She's totally fine bathing once a month, wearing the same clothes for a week, staying in her pajamas and robe for days , etc. I don't allow these things but this is part of what was going on before I took her in.

I will check into getting her some headphones for our tv problem. I hope it will help ! Investing in another hearing aid is just a waste of money.
Helpful Answer (4)
Report

See All Answers
This question has been closed for answers. Ask a New Question.