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Mom needs help adjusting the temperature in the shower. Ok, while I'm fiddling with the knobs I notice that she has pushed the liner all the way around the back of her shower seat and water is already on the tile floor. The temp is fixed, hand her the shower head and pull the liner around while saying very casually/nicely that water was getting on the floor because the liner is out and she could slip. She started yelling NO, doesn't want it out at all! This is a safety issue, so I keep my voice down but insist that the liner has to be in because she could slip and the water all over the floor could cause a leak etc.
Well she just starts yelling and screaming to GO AWAY/LEAVE ME ALONE/I HATE IT HERE etc. I tried to calm her and say it's just for safety, we always have the liner in, don't want you to slip and get hurt etc. She then smacked the curtain liner all the way open so the water would really get everywhere. Still screaming LEAVE ME ALONE, I HATE IT HERE really screaming and loudly crying as if she was being tortured!!


Is it really unreasonable to ask/insist that it's good to try to make sure shower water doesn't get all over a tile floor (and the bat mat was soaked to) for safety?!


I am frequently so surprised when seemingly normal everyday helpful things cause such an extreme and hostile reaction that is strongly directed at me as being some kind of oppressor or horrible person. Now she will not speak to me the rest of the day or if she does it will only be a guilt trip to tell me how I ruined her day by upsetting her etc. I feel like I am on another planet.

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Since she hates living with you so much, sounds like it's time to get your mother into Assisted Living where she can have 3 teams of caregivers who work in shifts to help her deal with her issues instead of you. With the level of mental health issues your mother is suffering with, how can ONE person deal with all of it? It's unrealistic after a while, let's face it. I, for one, would NEVER be able to handle my mother and all of her behavioral issues in my home. She lives in Memory Care nowadays, and in Assisted Living before that. She's MUCH nicer to her caregivers over there than she's EVER been to ME. That's the truth.

Look into it. Before YOU die of stress and assorted problems before she does, God forbid. Know when to cry Uncle and say enough. You matter too. Oftentimes, the elder is the only one who gets the concern..........what about everyone else???? WE matter too! So do the others living in your house!! They matter too. And your mother disrupting the entire household isn't helping anyone.

Wishing you the best of luck making decisions that benefit everyone.
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Reply to lealonnie1
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InFamilyService Jan 6, 2021
Wonderful advice! Thank you for being honest and telling it like it is. You can only do so much before a caregiver herself becomes ill.
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One of my best friends had schizophrenia before she passed away. Every once in awhile, she would need a med reset, via a few days at an in-patient psychiatric center.

Perhaps one might be warranted for your Mom? At a facility that has geriatric psychiatrists?

It would get her the meds she needs, and you could re-evaluate the appropriateness of her current living arrangements.

Best wishes.
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Reply to cxmoody
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cherokeegrrl54 Jan 8, 2021
That was going to be my suggestion too. If she ever hits OP, i wld call 911 and hav her sent to ER for psche eval. You do NOT have to endure this abuse, and thats just what it is.
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When the cared-for-one starts making life unbearable for the CG, then things need to change.

Putting mom into a hospital setting for a few days to have her evaluated may be just the ticket for you to reset yourself.

If meds don't settle her down--then start thinking of a full time placement. I'm surprised at the physical strength an elder can exhibit when they are angry. My MIL punched me, luckily just on the back, but had she hit me in the face--wowza, might have broken my nose.

Do check for that dreaded UTI---they can wreak havoc with elders.

Whatever you decide--remember that no matter what's going on with mom, YOU do not deserve to be pummeled and screamed at.
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Reply to Midkid58
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Indigo, my mother was a lot like your mother. My mother suffered from undiagnosed mental illness all of her life. She was always hard to be around at times when she was out of control. Screaming if things didn’t go her way, yelling at my father all the time when I was growing up.

Having said that, her mental illness got worse when she turned 90. She started treating me like my dad. I would have to walk away when she acted that way. My mother suffered from mental illness, was an extreme hoarder, and a SEVERE gambling addict. I have been on your shoes. It is absolute hell.

When my mom was in a good mood she was Great!! Laughing and smiling and I laughed along with her. But when she was in her angry mood, nothing I said or did could get her out of her mood.

I learned from aging care and my therapist that it is NOT my fault. I did the best I could for her.

My mother insisted on living alone at 96. She didn’t want any outside help and REFUSED assisted living. I lived 15 minutes away from her and would help her when I could and so did my son.

My mother passed away on October 31st from a brief stroke. I found her on the floor and called 911 to bring her to the hospital. She lived for 4 days. I was by her side. She went into a coma the last day and I just cried and told her how much I loved her.

Please, find alternative arrangements for your mother. You don’t need to take care of her because it’s not going to get better. Assisted living facility is the best place for her. You don’t need to take care of her. You need to take care of yourself. You don’t deserve to be screamed at. My hear really breaks for you because I have been there.

I started thinking I was crazy. But it was never me, it was my mom. Please, take care of yourself. Sorry for the long post.
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bundleofjoy Jan 12, 2021
hi elaine,

hug and thanks!! :)
i found your words very helpful.
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So sorry for you Indigo and this scenario sounds so familiar. I have found that less conversation helps sometimes with my mom and my husband's aunt. Just do what is needed as quick as you can and leave. Maybe more conversation makes them angry because they cannot follow along. Mom 84 would become argumentative and difficult always fighting showers. Now her aide assists her. For some reason I bring out the worst so calls and visits are limited. Now she seems happy to see me. Aunt's dementia is much worse at 92 but overall she is easier to deal with.

The hired caregivers are a godsend. I hope you have some help even just part time.

Get your mom evaluated by her PCP. She needs some help and possible medication before it gets worse and physical.

It is all so exhausting! Try to rest and take care of yourself.
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Reply to InFamilyService
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sending hugs to all of us!!

dear indigo,

i hope the situation calms down. hug!!

has your mother always been like this towards you — in other words, sometimes nice, sometimes/suddenly screaming/angry/blaming you for everything? any chance she’s a narcissist and takes it all out on you, trying to drag you down, make you miserable, blame you when you’re only doing nice/good things for her, intentionally misinterpreting things to make it look like you did something wrong?

does it happen often?

does she seem to jump on opportunities to yell at you?

make yourself (when you can), unavailable, some people say. these people won’t change.

no matter the cause (schizophr...UTI...) (or simply that’s her personality), the abuse is tiring, shocking, and often happens exactly when you don’t expect it. you’re in the middle of doing something nice for the person, and the abuser describes you in a terrible, totally incorrect way.

hug!!!

unfortunately, it normally doesn’t change.

kind people tend to remain kind.
mean people tend to stay mean.

of course there are exceptions; and for example a kind person with dementia can suddenly become mean/violent.

the point is, it’s damaging to the caregiver. hug!!

i hope things calm down.

unfortunately, it’ll probably happen all over again.

——it’s not your fault.
——and whatever she’s accusing you of, is wrong.
——the pouting, silent treatment, cancelling things, blaming you, it’s all part of the same abuse, trying to make you feel bad, and make you look bad and responsible for some wrong-doing. but it’s a lie.

you were being kind to your mother. she’s very lucky you love her, care for her!!

hug!

some people feel great when they push other people down, make them as miserable, or even more miserable, as they are themselves.

it’s especially common from mother (abuser) to sweet daughter (abused).

i hope you find a good solution.

be careful, these abusive scenarios tend to re-appear again and again. often we’re surprised/shocked. it’s unpredictable and sometimes that’s done totally on purpose. your guard is down. they attack.
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Reply to bundleofjoy
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It certainly sounds like she needs to be fully evaluated and have some kind of medication. If the previous medication wasn't working anymore, they must have others that might work.

Meanwhile, rather than try to talk to her and suggest things, just make the necessary adjustments and mum's the word. Although you aren't dealing with dementia, the same suggestions we make might work. No point in saying anything that might trigger her. If she moves it and things get wet, it can be cleaned up. Easier to clean up than get into it with her. Maybe lay some towels outside the shower, to catch some of the spray/overflow? IF she makes a stink about that, then it's back to just cleanup. Cleaning up stinks, but making everyone's day (or more) miserable isn't fun!

NOTE: again, not dementia, but it's still a mental condition and many very often direct their anger at the person closest to them, esp a care-giver, even if it's family and they had a wonderful relationship before whatever ails them. It's frustrating and anger inducing for care-givers, but we have to try to understand their world (in their mind) isn't in sync with ours. Meanwhile, adjust your behavior and expectations while seeking medical resolutions.
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Reply to disgustedtoo
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Obviously you care deeply for your mom but please think about yourself equally.

Your peace of mind is very important. If you neglect yourself you may find that you will need medical care for yourself. Then you will no longer be able to care for your mom.

Perhaps the best plan of action is to find suitable living arrangements for your mom. At the very least, hire someone from an agency to care for your mom.

Why hasn’t she been on meds? Your mom needs to see her psychiatrist ASAP.

Wishing you all the best in this difficult situation.
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Reply to NeedHelpWithMom
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Indigo, I'm so sorry mom is behaving this way.

She sounds irritable and depressed. You profile mentions a diagnosis of depression. Is that being treated effectively?

Also, if this is an uncharachteristic outburat, please consider testing for a UTI which often cause behavioral symptoms in elders.
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Reply to BarbBrooklyn
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Has your Mom been examined for UTI? Is this violent acting out common? Is she diagnosed with dementia? And if so, what kind. (Many different types have extreme anger in such bursts).
The time may be here that you can no longer care for your Mom safely in the home. Consider placement once covid 19 is under more control.
If your Mom has dementia she is truly not in control of her behavior, nor responsible for it. Sorry for all the trauma.
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Reply to AlvaDeer
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Indigo108 Jan 6, 2021
No, she hasn't been examined for UTI and I will check in with her doc to set up an appointment. She hasn't been diagnosed with dementia, but suffers from Schizophrenia and has been off medication since August. Her old psych told me it can worsen as they age.
Honestly, the medication wasn't really working anymore last year and she's been on and off it over the past year. Her mental health has gone downhill and I have become the enemy in her eyes.
In the past it was different, I was the one who could calm her down. Now it seems I just make her more agitated if I don't do what she wants immediately (even if unsafe!).

I agree that she needs more care, but refuses. Even fires caregivers etc. It is a mess with alot of layers. After my initial post today she canceled her doctors appointment because 'I upset her to much to go out.' This appointment was important as she is having trouble walking and they fit her in really quick. I am trying to not get caught up in the guilt trips, it is very stressful.
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