How did it make you feel when you had to put your Alzheimer's parent in their place? - AgingCare.com

How did it make you feel when you had to put your Alzheimer's parent in their place?

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Mother and I have had a few disagreements, but today I really put my foot down and told her that it doesn't matter how she felt about something. It's what had to be done and she was going to learn to except it. I just went through the cycle with her to get all of her neurological testing, and the two of us were told she has moderate Alzheimer's. This past week I see another drop in her, and it's time for me to step up and take more responsibilities for her. I turned off her stove (she keeps burning things and the Dr. said no more stove), cleaned out her fridge, and I am making arrangements for her home to be deep cleaned. I feel like a salmon swimming upstream, she is being resistant. The next step, since I told it doesn't matter how she feels, is to just do it and hope she settles in to it. She has become the worst hoarder, and when she tries to tidy up, it gets worse. Every shoe box, bowl or container that can hold something is packed with array of items from every room of the house.

Trying to understand why she's doing that is baffling. I feel like I'm being aggressive, but at the same time if I don't it won't get done and it just keeps getting worse. Somewhere in that pile of chaos is everything she can't find. It's hard to believe that just a few years ago she was the cleanest, most organized person I ever knew.

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Hi Graciesgirl,
I know this has to be breaking your heart. The problem is, you mom is not able to be logical. She can’t understand why you are making changes. That being said, you do have to do some things such as make sure the stove "doesn't work," or whatever needs to be done for her safety.

Since you have to make so many changes to her home and living habits, she may be better off living in a good assisted living memory unit. That would be one big change but so is having her house changed as it is. Professionals would make sure she is safe and cared for and you could concentrate on having nice visits with her, taking her out if she enjoys that, and comforting her.

Even in a controlled environment she's likely to get angry with you at times. The only way you'll be able to cope with some peace of mind is to understand that she cannot help but feel anxious over change. Her environment doesn’t make much sense to her. She can't help this. Her brain is being destroyed by the disease.

You might want to get in touch with your local Alzheimer's organization and/or go to www.alz.org to learn more about the disease. The brain tour on this site is amazing.

Take care and please keep coming back here for support. Most of us have been in similar situations.
Carol
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While I applaud you for stepping up to help mom get more organized....and I know you are being met with resistance.... I am going to suggest you read and learn about Alz/dementia....it is very hard on the person who has it, not to mention what it does to the caregiver.... but some things are out of her control.... there are ways to deal with her resistance without having to feel like a 'meanie'...... I am encouraging you to educate yourself, to come here and read and comment and ask questions.... will also encourage you to be open minded as this is the most horrible disease we have ever encountered.....I personally wouldn't tell her I didn't care how she felt, but would try to word it in a way to let her know you are setting boundaries....I know is sounds like a word game is being played.... but there will come a time when your 'boundaries' will be meaningless to her.... please educate yourself, so you will know what is happening and what is waiting for you down the road.... sending you hugs .
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I apologize if you felt I was criticizing...I simply replied to your question.. you did tell her it didn't matter how she felt about some of it... was only sharing my own experience....and my heart hurt for your frustration and you seemed so overwhelmed.... was never my intention to offend you....sending you lots of hugs.... this is the hardest job in the world..... and I wish you well on this journey.
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gracie,
if you ask for peoples input i think you should be thankful for getting it instead of being so defensive. i too think your approach was simplistic. ill or not someone who " puts their foot down" with me is prob'ly gonna think theyve ran headlong into the battle of leningrad. the GD brick wont even be reusable. lol
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Graciesgirl my heart goes out to you. My mom doesn't have Alzheimers but has gotten more stubborn the older she gets. She usually does most of what I want her to do but the other day, she got mad at me and basically wouldn't speak to me for the rest of my visit. I, like you, do EVERYTHING for my mom, often to my own detriment. It ruined the next two days for me - I didn't sleep well and was angry and sad.

So I know how it feels to try to get a parent to do what's in their own best interest and to be met with their active resistance. It sounds to me like you're doing a fantastic job. Hugs to you. You are not alone.
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Graciesgirl, good for you. I think many of us deal with these problems with our hearts. It can also take a backbone and true grit. I'm glad that your stand led to her asking for your help. That won't be the end of the struggles but it's a good start. Stay strong.
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I never told fer I didn't care how she felt. I told it her still had to be done. This is why I don't come here often. I'm made to feel I'm not doing it right every time. I'm not mean to her. Believe me, I am doing the research and I do understand how bad it is. It seems if people don't do it "your" way it's wrong. She's lucky she has the resources to be cared for, I have a feeling when it's my turn I won't be so lucky. She's not ready for assisted living and she won't go willingly. The dr says she isn't far enough along to force her. What the heck. I'm the one doing all of the work here. EVERYTHING I do is around her. Everything. She was a stranger to me until she showed up here, because she didn't want to be involved with family. Now, I do everything for her. And will be doing more as she progresses. The problem here is she's used to make all of the decisions in her life and now those are scrambled. I wasn't getting anywhere making gentle suggestions, just meandering. I was proud I made a stand and guess what, she just called me and told me she wanted help. Whatever, have a nice day.
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to graciesgirl, we all need to handle our love ones the way we feel is right. Since we are all different this disease affects each of us differently. I have been taking care of my dad with Alzheimer's and dementia for over 5 years now. There has been many times I put my foot down and he told me each time to "get the f---- out of his house" And each time I stopped what I was doing and left, I drove around the block and came back. When I walked through the door he greeted me like I had just gotten there. With out saying a word I picked up where I left off and he was more accepting to what I was saying. I have no idea why this works for me but it does. I get a small break from the situation without getting in a confrontation with him and he gets a jolt of being alone. And no one has the right to tell you you are doing it wrong because you are doing it period. So hang in there for it doesn't get easier (sorry), but if you feel you might get to the point where she will push you somewhere you know you should not go then get help. We all have almost gone there.....
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My Father in law, didn't remember from one minute to the next what had been said to him. We learned to keep our mouths shut, when possible. I bet your mom has already forgotten the incident, while you are beating yourself up over it. My mom tended to keep stuff like 1000s of address labels, and newspapers and empty coffee cans. Every time I got a chance, I threw an arm full out in the trash.

My FIL could not have lived alone. He would have wandered off. Do you have someone with her 24 hours a day?
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