Follow
Share

My mom has been really mean lately. Example. When I went to visit Saturday with my daughters to take her out to lunch and shopping ( usually go twice a week) she told me I looked horrible. My hair was ruined and she doesn’t want to go anywhere with me looking like that. Yesterday I took off work to take her to dentist and then spend family day with her. I told her I was going upstairs to a paint and sip fundraiser for Alzheimer's. She chose to stay downstairs. When she was going up to her room and saw me and my daughter she became so angry. Said she didn’t know I was there. Caused a scene and stormed to her room. I left my purse in her room. She locked me out and yelled and was crying and told my daughter I am so mean. Then slammed the door. I called her today and she was still angry and mean. Does this sound familiar? It’s emotionally draining visiting her the last couple of times. Hurtful and sad.

Is this a sudden change in her behavior?

If so, you really need to alert her doc and have her tested for a Urinary Tract Infection, which can cause these kinds of behavioral disturbances in the elderly.

Once you've ruled out a UTI, you can consider having her see a geriatric psychiatrist. But I'd have her tested today if possible.
Helpful Answer (10)
Reply to BarbBrooklyn
Report

I agree about ruling out a u.t.i. first. It can't possibly hurt to check, and it just might solve the problem.

But also, have a chat with the staff who have most to do with her and ask them if they've noticed any changes in her, too. How long has she been living in her facility?

I really don't know what you're supposed to say to anyone who tells you your hair looks horrible! But there's an exchange in "Four Weddings and a Funeral" when Hugh Grant greets his friend, James Fleet, and adds "disastrous haircut, by the way" and James replies "oh, yes, thanks" - so perhaps seeing the funny side and not taking it to heart is the only answer.

The fundraiser skipping and then not remembering that you and daughter were there incident is more of a worry. She must have been pretty out it, hm, even if it wasn't obvious at the time. But, yes, a u.t.i. could still be the culprit, so let's rule that out first.
Helpful Answer (10)
Reply to Countrymouse
Report

Sounds like she is already in a care residence of some sort and they probably have Alzheimer's/Dementia patients somewhere given the fundraiser they were hosting so there could be any number of contributors here. Without knowing the background I agree having her evaluated for memory issues would be a good idea, perhaps present it to her as it being important to get a "base line" just in case she ever starts exhibiting memory issues so it isn't as threatening to her. I would guess that Dementia beginning or not, part of her behavior is fear based. She is in a facility even if she loves it with people her age who do have cognitive issues, you are attending Alzheimer events and she knows or at least suspects that she is forgetting things. She on some level is probably feeling panicked at the real possibility that she has Alzheimer's and while it is a good thing this is being brought out of the shadows and recognized in many ways back in the days when forgetting things and not thinking as quickly were considered a "normal" part of old age it was probably an easier transition for the patient themselves. They could slip into their own worlds blissfully unaware and less afraid of what it meant for their future.

She is already placed and safe so that isn't as much of a factor and maybe reassuring her that she's just getting older, forgetting or using ques from you to remember something is perfectly normal, "I'm always forgetting where I put my keys!" will help. You don't want her hiding symptoms either you want her comfortable sharing her fears/experiences with you and just being herself. You also need to find a way to not take her outbursts so personally, are they scary and difficult for you, of course they are and they probably are for her too but these behaviors aren't in her control either (which she may be aware of, very scary for her) so they aren't about you. You can however often times help her prevent or temper them by not fighting back and trying to see things from her frighted perspective, engaging in the heated behavior, the fighting or tantrum which is the natural automatic response for all of us, I have found get's me nowhere and leaves us both pissed off, upset with nothing resolved. If I can see it coming and swallow my instinct I can often circumvent the drama even though it often means not accomplishing what I planned or needed too. So for instance quick before she stormed off "Oh I'm sorry Mom, I thought I invited you to join us, I must have misunderstood thinking you heard me and was saying you didn't feel like going. What were you telling me? (maybe if it seems appropriate and she seems like a distraction from the heated topic at hand could work) sometimes giving them something else to focus on totally diffuses things, sometimes not. You obviously care about her very much, you will learn the ques.

I would also echo the suggestion's to have her tested for UTI, you never know while even finding one may not negate the possibility of cognitive decline (still get that neuro-psyc eval done) treating it will make a difference in her behavior. Good luck, my thoughts are with you as I know how tough this is and how much of a tough experiential learning process it can be as well. I hope you know and can keep in mind that you aren't alone.
Helpful Answer (6)
Reply to Lymie61
Report

It’s not sudden. Just getting more and more frequent. But I will talk to her doctor.
Helpful Answer (5)
Reply to Val622
Report

I think it certainly sounds like Alzheimer’s or some sort of dementia. Try to get her to her doctor but give him a heads up before you go into the room. Blessings to you.
Helpful Answer (5)
Reply to Eloise1943
Report

BRAINS CHANGE.

Some people get very mean... and don't forget, they probably know they are losing control.. and that is difficult to process... I will probably be in the same boat. ... sadly...

Hope i can be somewhat in a happy state.

So keep your visits short and minimal... Don't make them try on clothes... I did this once, my mom yelled and screamed at me.. the clerk came in and asked if she could help. she saw us walk in.... so she knew....
Helpful Answer (5)
Reply to MAYDAY
Report

You just described the last 3 years of my life! Mom lives in her own home & I'm with her most moments except when I hire caregivers...my home is 300 steps away...my sanctuary...she's angry & then nice then flip flops like menopausal women...very difficult very stressful, so sad.
Helpful Answer (5)
Reply to 2irishlasses
Report

Take her to a neurologist or at least your family doctor for an evaluation. If she balks about it have the doctors office call her and tell her its time for her senior check up. I had to do this with my Mom. If she still gives you problems enlist a close friend or relative to be the "nice help". My mom's sister and close neighbor were an endless supply of support.
Helpful Answer (4)
Reply to VickieByrd23
Report

Take her to the doctor. Have her evaluated for Alzheimer's. Then, you'll have to decide where she'd be safest. If she's mean, don't go to see her. Wait on visiting with your kids as well if she's going to make a scene. They don't need to see her acting like that. And yes, it does sound like she has either dementia or Alzheimer's. Good luck.
Helpful Answer (4)
Reply to mmcmahon12000
Report

It certainly could be Alzheimer's... I've found in the last year as my mother's Alzheimer's has progressed that she gets angry much more quickly, says incredibly mean things about everyone, and eats salty junk food she never used to. She has completely lost her filter. Does your mother change her mind shortly after being mean? Get her checked out, depression could also be a factor if dementia isn't.
Helpful Answer (4)
Reply to SFdaughter
Report

See All Answers

Ask a Question

Subscribe to
Our Newsletter