Follow
Share

I've tried writing her a simple note, but it doesn't help. Today I wrote her a note 'I'm in the kitchen starting supper. Be right back.' After two minutes in the kitchen, which was about 10 feet from her, but behind where she was sitting, I heard her start muttering to herself. It got worse and worse so I went back in and asked what was wrong. She angrily told me that she didn't appreciate me leaving her alone all day (we'd just finished watching a movie together) and that she wanted to go live with family. She held up the note and told me the dog gave her this note and it said she couldn't have anything to eat because there were other people in the house hungrier than her. I immediately fixed her a quick snack but she just looked at it all teary-eyed and told me the dog didn't want her to eat it because she was not as important as all the other people in the house. (We'd been alone all day.) Any suggestions? It's really hard for me to fix supper or do anything lately because she doesn't want me to leave her side. And believe me, it's not because she likes me. It's more because, if I'm not there, she doesn't have anyone to talk to about how horrible her life is (she is treated like a queen, btw.)

This question has been closed for answers. Ask a New Question.
Find Care & Housing
You guys are the best! When I wrote this, I was laying in bed awake in the middle of the night, worrying that I wouldn't be able to take care of Mom much longer because of how I tend to let her wind me up. My mom is frustrating to deal with, as much due to my issues as hers. We have had a difficult relationship as long as I can remember - Mom has always been prone to irrational fears, has tons of phobias, has never been able to just come out and say what she wants, lies when it suits her, has very little empathy, has always refused to take responsibility for her own behaviors, has never seen anyone else as other than an extension of herself, etc. My counselor friend calls it a 'personality disorder.' Add to that the more recent 'box of frogs' diagnosis (why isn't THAT in the DSM?:-) and the fact that my 29 year old autistic/MR son also lives with us, and there's never a dull moment at our house.

I've come to the conclusion that getting through all this is personal work for me that is important for me to do. Having been raised by a narcissistic parent, I've also had a lot of issues and, unlike my mom, I want to work through them in my lifetime. Coming to terms with my anger, resentment, and judgement toward Mom is something I need to do. I know that Mom staying with us at this point in her life is the best thing for her, and her being here is the best chance I'll ever have to resolve my feelings towards her. I just enrolled in a 21 day online course on forgiveness, hopefully a good start. It's not the crazy stuff that bothers me, it's the constant implication from her that I'm doing a bad job taking care of her that really hurts because it is a recurrent theme in our relationship - as far as she's concerned, I've never been good enough.

You know, it's almost a shame we can't all exchange between ourselves our parents that we take care of. It would sure take a lot of the hardest parts of caregiving out of the equation - nobody can get to you like your own mom or dad, I think. Anyway, thanks for all the ideas and supportive comments, you've helped so very much.
Helpful Answer (3)
Report

Thank you Countrymouse. Love the expression got it bad - crazy as a box of frogs

tinyurl/pqqeq8t here is one box of frogs
Helpful Answer (2)
Report

"Oh, I'm sorry, mom. I'll try to do better." Or, "I'm sorry mom, I'll fix you a snack right this minute." Try "I'm sorry."

Can't hurt. Might help.
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

Oh my days, Lizawren. She *has* got it bad - crazy as a box of frogs, as we say over here.

The thing is, she is so far from reality that there is - during this phase, anyway - zero point in trying to make anything make sense. Short term memory completely gone, confabulating away… she's not going to respond to standard techniques, is she? Be sweet to her but don't try to follow her thread, or explain, or ask her to keep hold of a logical train of thought. Just nod and pat her hand and carry on regardless (but quickly!). Trying to deflect or reassure her, although normally you'd say it was worth the effort, doesn't seem to be doing anything constructive so why spend extra time that you can ill afford?

I'm just wondering what would happen if - just say, hypothetically - you were abducted by aliens or something and she had to be looked after by someone she genuinely didn't know from Adam. My money would be on her not feeling any more frightened or angry or disoriented than she does anyway. Do you get any breaks at all from caregiving?

Oh dear. It sounds as if I'm saying "let her rant." And I suppose I am…
Helpful Answer (2)
Report

Did you bring your concerns about mom's fearfulness to the doctor back in August? What did s/he say?
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

Lizawren, I went back and read a post you wrote back in August about all the fears your Mom has, like fear that when you help her go from one chair to another that she's afraid you will drop her and she clings to that chair for dear life. So this fear of you not being in the room sounds like an extension of that dropping or rolling off the bed fear.

In that post you said your Mom threatens to go into Assistant Living.... do you think that is what she wants? Even with dementia, I think there are times where the brain loops around for a few minutes of being back to normal before looping back to dementia. I wonder if she is serious about that. Just a thought.
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

If this is a change in her mental status, you need to inform her primary doc, who I hope is someone who specializes in dementia.. she may need anti depressant and/or anti anxiety meds. It can take a while to find the right combo. I would infer from what she said about the note that she can no longer read or at least comprehend what she reads. Can you leave her with a basket of socks to fold, or towels? Sometimes having a relatively simple task takes their mind off things.
Helpful Answer (2)
Report

You poor thing!

How long has it been since your mom has seen her doctor who is treating her dementia? I wonder if it is time to consider anti-anxiety medications. Do discuss her behavior with the doctor.

Try to argue with her as little as possible. The dog says she is not important enough to eat? "Well, Dog means well, but really, she isn't very bright about figuring out people things. You are the most important person I cook for, and you certainly can eat this snack." Reassure her, redirect her, go along with her, and try not to argue.

I hope some medical intervention can at least reduce the stress levels in your house!
Helpful Answer (2)
Report

That's a lot of pressure on you.

What would your mom do if you just stayed in the kitchen making dinner and didn't go to her as she became increasingly upset? Would she reach a point of no return and you'd have a train wreck on your hands? Or would she just mutter to herself while you cooked? If she would just mutter I think it's ok to leave her so you can make dinner. Turn the tv on, encourage her to watch the news (or whatever she likes to watch).

However, if your mom will work herself up into a tizzy can she sit at the kitchen table while you make dinner?

Yes, you should be able to steal some time away from your mom to cook dinner or take a shower or use the bathroom but if she'll get hysterical without you it might not be worth it if you have to spend an hour calming her down.

The note was a good idea but because she turned it into a huge thing about the dog not wanting her to eat I'd lay off the notes from now on.

Is it just cooking dinner that you have a problem with this?
Helpful Answer (2)
Report

This question has been closed for answers. Ask a New Question.
Subscribe to
Our Newsletter