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Mother with moderate dementia is constantly bringing up new health issues. 99.9% of these issues have been dealt with. But new ones are brought up daily and with her it's, "I've been suffering with (whatever the complaint is) for weeks or months now". Many times it will be the first time I've ever heard about it or the malady will have just happened yesterday. Then she wants me to call the doctor. By the time I get an appt (not an emergency situation), she will have forgotten all about it. If I try to play it down, she gets pissy at me. I'm tired. Anyone else go through this?

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Gosh im lucky even before i have to say my mum never complained about her illnesses and as i know her so well i know if shes not well by her mood i then have to ask whats wrong and she will tell me but i guess this may change very rarely she gets headaches which i know could be another ministroke she always in a very bad mood the next day.
Jaye so sorry for you this must be awful yes there are times when we just want them to be at peace and never suffer again. I pray i never see my mum suffer or be in pain that would be too much after all shes been through in life but i have a strong feeling she will go quick she has suffered enough with health issues ALL her life. So sad hugs to you!
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The journal of complaints is also to let her know she has been heard, taken seriously, and the MD will like Brief! documentation. If mom increases her complaints, add in taking her temp and pulse to the journal. Then when she complains again, you can remind her "the doctor said not to worry about that", but keep the journal going.
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I agree with all of the above. My mother tells me every other day that she has the flu. She will call and sniffle very loudly and "cough" and say how awful she feels and then when we talk about me bringing her sweets or something she will foget and the symptoms disappear. At the end of the call if I say, "Well Mom, I hope you feel better!" she will remember that she is "sick" and the symptoms re-appear.
My best friend's mother is in the same AL Center which is about a mile from our home. We vote on which mom gets the "Academy Award" each week.
On a side note, the activities director there is a sweetheart. His mother also lives there. She called 911 a few weeks ago becasue she was constipated and he would not take her to the ER.
You gotta laugh or you will go nuts. Rest assured that we do keep an eye on our moms here. But we have also learned when to act and when to just kindly nod and give a hug.
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In my case with my mom, it I a exactly as psteigman describes...boredom, looking for attention, sympathy, etc. I finally nipped it by hanging up when I called and she started by replying "mom, that must be bad, you need your rest." Click. Another thing I used when I visited and she would start "let's go to the emergency room, they'all probably want to run tests and keep you a few days". No sir...she knew she didn't want to go to hospital. Or I'd fake calling dr and tell her, dr says you should go to hospital.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not mean, but am no longer maniputed or made to feel guilty ...my moms 91 and healthy as a horse although some dementia but she will take advantage or make me feel bad for not living nearby to care for her.
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Dementia patients generally lose track of the reality if their medical history. They just can't remember. They are also what is medically termed "poor informants", not only about their history that also about their current condition. Most will try to interpret an ache or pain, usually coming to the wrong conclusion about what it means.

They can sometimes relate true discomfort to you, the caregiver, yet sometimes they are relating pure fantasy just because it's what's in their thoughts. Other times they either won't tell you anything, or when you clearly see they are in discomfort and ask them about it, they will tell you they don't know what's wrong and are unable to be specific.

As a caregiver, you kind of have to learn to be zen, in other words, "at one" with them. You have to observe, yes even feel, their behavior add get pretty good at interpreting it, just as you would have to do with a child or a pet. Oh, to be sure, you should be asking them, but not relying on their information out of hand, and definitely not out of the context of what you see and feel.

If she sees an ad on television and what's the medication because she thinks it sounds like that's what's wrong with her, get a tablet and make a show of writing it down and tell her you're going to check it out.

Anything she is complaining about, get your tablet and write it down. Ask her how bad it feels and combine her answer with your observation. If there is a clear suspicion of a problem, 911 or get her to the ER or urgent care, depending on what you normally do. If you think this isn't warranted, observe her closely while telling her you're making a doctors appointment. If she presses you on the issue, tell her that it's coming up in a couple of days.

A journal documenting complaints is a good idea. That allows you to be able to look back and review to see if there are any habitual complaints. You should never ignore any complaints unless you are absolutely positive that you know their source.
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My mother is now 94 but does not have dementia or Alzheimer's, thank God! She does have some old age forgetfulness but never forgets about me when I call her.
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Write her complaints down in a notebook with the date etc. Tell her you will take this to her next doctors appointment so the MD can review it. Some people were raised in an environment where they only got loving care when they were sick. Maybe that is what the source of this is. Also, it could be a sense of being repeatedly unfamiliar with her own body such that the same old same suddenly feels new.
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daughter52, this is how I live. My mother does have physical ailments, but she is also a hypochondriac. What she will do is take a mild symptom and dwell on it until it becomes something worthy of seeing a doctor or going to a hospital. She loves to go to the doctor, and she loves to take pills to fix things. It is a difficult situation, because she cries wolf so much that people don't listen. And I worry about not listening, because what if something is really wrong this time? People push and say that we ought to just take them to the doctor, anyway. These people haven't spent 2-3 days a week for a couple of years in doctors' offices and being told that nothing is wrong. A hypochondriac will absorb your life, so you have to play it by ear, picking out what is really wrong. In the case of my mother, something has really been wrong only once in 4 years, though she is sick every day.
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Sorry, I meant to say "heard it yesterday".
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Every day I hear about how long it takes my husband to apply his ointments for his skin condition. I just tell him I've hear it yesterday, change the subject and walk out of the room (mostly). Then he forgets about the conversation and we go onto something else. Just take one day at a time, tell your mother you made the appointment (without making it, unless it really is something serious), and she will forget she told you about the issue. I get complaints ALL THE TIME the minute a senior hears I'm a nurse. That's all anyone ever wants to talk about until I say, I don't discuss health issues and politics (I live in a senior city so I am surrounded by US - yes, I am 65 yrs. young), but I keep my complaints to myself. People who complain all the time about medical issues are wanting to have someone feel sorry for them, converse with them, or just discuss something with them. Get on topics that have a more positive message.
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my Mother is almost 87 and for weeks now it is all I can do to get her up to eat. Most of the time all I hear is I just don't feel good OR my favorite, I am just so tired!!! I have done everything I know how to do!!! I think she really wants to go to heaven... I don't want her to but it is VERY hard to see her like this!
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my mother usedta read the drug data sheets that come with all meds and then freak out cause the rhesus monkey died when given 400 x the normal dosage. i had to just start disposing of the data sheets lest she drive me and the hospice nurse nuts with the completely misread info.
i drew a cartoon once when i was on a hepc treatment that makes me laugh to this day. im seated in my favorite chair, sporting rat ears and chewing on a physicians desk referance dated 1984. phooo, i proclaim spitting out bits of paper. " rat poison " , this couldnt be good. lol
in another im begging the nurse for MORE intron and duller needles.
lol the va in order to save money had purchased really cheap needles / syringes. these needles werent hollow ground by any means, only bologna cut and somewhat barbed.
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My Mom had Alzheimer's and she did this all the time. I thought of her as a complainer who wanted attention. But it wasn't that at all. I learned she didn't know what was really hurting or what was bothering her, just she didn't feel good. One time she was complaining about her knee hurting - first one then the other (she had a knee replacement in one). I took her to the doctor who did the knee replacement and he did all sorts of tests and found everything was normal. So I took her to her Primary care gerontologist and he did labs and found that she had a UTI. He sent her home with antibiotics and called me back a few hours later to say he wanted to admit her to the hospital right away. Bottom line - I learned my mom could no longer communicate what was going on, what hurt, what was wrong or where the pain was. I was grateful I took the time to listen, read between the lines, and seek medical help for answers.
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Yes, my mom gets in a rut where she complains about some "illness". For weeks, she will tell me that she is coming down with a terrible cold. If I ask her about symptoms, she denies having a cough, sore throat, headache, etc. Once, she told me she was coming down with a terrible cold while we were in the car going to her MD for a checkup. I responded that she was in luck because we were on the way to the doctor. (She usually wants antibiotics when she tells me she has a cold.) When we saw the doctor I mentioned her complaint, and she denied ever telling me about a cold! The doctor found no evidence of illness, of course.

When your mom mentions an illness, tell her that you will put a call into her doctor and get back to her. Redirect her attention and she will forget about it.
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Mom has severe dementia and alz. I have found exactly what pstegman says to be true. Sometimes I just cringe at the drug commercials on T.V. You can just see her thinking - "wow that is exactly how I have been feeling!". I just shake my head and tell Mom I will mention it to the Dr. It is gone and we are on to the next thing! Have to say it is frustrating sometimes. We as caregivers and family tend to get tired or burned out and then these things affect us even more! Good luck with Mom! Prayers and hugs for your journey!
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Yes, it is PURE manipulation. It's boredom. It's whatever malady their girlfriends have and they want whatever meds they saw on TV. Fortunately she is easily redirected and will forget about it when you take the conversation elsewhere. Trying to convince her it's not real will only make her dig her heels in and worsen the "symptoms"
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