My mom is going crazy and I'm losing my patience. What do I do with her? - AgingCare.com

My mom is going crazy and I'm losing my patience. What do I do with her?

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I realized that in the past few weeks my mom has been acting strange. First of all shes 75 years old. She keeps asking me the same question like 2,3 times every minute and i tell her i just answered your question 1 minute ago and she starts shouting at me saying "but you didnt answer it" Also once i saw her eating from the dog's plate.. What do i do with her? I know she has alzheimer but it has never been that bad..

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I think one of the hardest things to do, at least emotionally is to separate the condition from the person, especially if the person with the progressive nightmare was once strong, loving, kind and independent (as my mom was). Now she is fearful, accusatory, in pain, confused and sometimes so hard to keep my temper as she insists she has her drivers' license or chews me out for saying something I would never say, or says my brother is abusing her or that my father was abusive or any number of other things. I have to constantly remind myself her brain is broken and filling in the blanks with whatever is on TV or concocted by her convoluted memory of non existent events. Lots of deep breaths, and sometimes I do laugh out loud at what she says. She gets upset sometimes but usually if I repeat what she said she will get it and say that is ridiculous. Trying to keep it in perspective of the illness is not the person you knew and is the cause of the changes is doubly hard because we can't SEE the BRAIN changes occurring, we only get thrown a new behavior out of the blue to contend with. My mom responded well to hug therapy--whereby we got frustrated or she appeared agitated one of us would ask her for a hug. Diffused the situation and she LOVES her hugs. :)
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Coditp, You've gotten some really great answers here and I agree with them, especially about the UTI's and the fact that changes (or losses) often seem to happen quite quickly. My mom would be able to do something ( like walk) and then (for her) she just lost the ability - from one day to the next! I did notice that when she did have a UTI she always lost some ability...she never was, as she was before the UTI. In the mid-stages of her Alz. she would often become verbally or physically abusive to my dad and I and, sometimes, it almost seemed as if she was crazy....but it was just part of the progression of the disease and you have to just accept it. I think, that this is one of the reasons that it is so hard to be a full-time caregiver of a LO with Alz. Blessings to you, Lindaz.
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My late mother was similar. She never answered my question or repeated the same statement 1,001 times over, BUT AND A BIG ONE-SHE did not have Alzheimer's. If this person is eating from the dog's dish (eww-triple gag!!!), it's time to move her level of care up.
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I have a little wooden sign that says, Lord give me patience RIGHT NOW!!

If your Mom has some type of dementia and you are her caregiver you are going to need lots and lots of patience in the coming years. Don't feel bad that being patient isn't coming easy. It can be learned. Hang in there!
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My mother has dementia and her behavioral changes happen in spurts. She went from leaving everything on all night (TV, lights, etc) to unplugging things and not knowing why they weren't working, and unable to work anything with buttons--remote control, microwave, alarms, settings on the oven. The questions being repeated is one of the phases. Much like the 5 year old constantly asking why she can't connect that question to the answer given, so she repeats it in hopes she will "get it". My brother gets to a certain point and answers her with something outlandish and funny, and she comes back with "That isn't what you said before!" When asked what he said before USUALLY she can answer that with the correct answer. It turns it around and it somehow makes sense to her-and stops the repetition of that question for some time. Rather than just repeating the answer, we usually will say something like "remember earlier Rich said that you have an appointment on Thursday? Today is Tuesday, so you have to wait two more days and we will take you." Sometimes if you get creative in answers or guide her to the answer (already in her mind) it makes it a little easier.
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All good answers. I would add, that not all dimintia patients have Alzheimer's. My mom had Alzheimer's and was totally different than my mother-in-law who had dimintia. I cared for both of them. I took them both to the same neurologist and he treated them with the same meds but at different intervals.
Also, it is important to treat a UTI as quick as possible. Their memory and behavior never goes back to exactly where it was before.
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Coditp You say You know Your Mom has alzheimer's so then if She asks the same Question 25-times, just answer as if Your Mom had never asked before. Believe me it's so much easier, focus Your mind as when You remind Your Mom that She asked You that same Question one minute ago, it's almost the same as saying to Your Mom " YOUR LOOSING YOUR MARBLES. Alzheimers is a disease of the brain, and keep reminding Yourself that it's not Yout Moms fault. Lots of patience and kindness.
As for Your Mothers confusion, consult with Your Moms Doctor. It sounds like a UTI.
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Yes! check for the UTI first. I learned the hard way that was often mother's "source" of sudden outburst of anger or strange talking.

If you see your mother a lot, you may not even notice these slippages...I see mine weekly, so I do notice she's being "odd"...it's harder on the 3 sibs who never call or visit. They get upset (well one sister does)..but it's their choice to not be involved.

Try not to take it personally (I'm saying this to myself). Mom can get so mean and it's not really directed at me, but it still hurts.
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This is a sad situation - for the patient with the mental illness but mostly for you. The person is no longer who she was before and that hurts. But now YOU have to decide, can you put up with the constant "crap". Some people can and do but others are just simply not able to tolerate that constantly. And it is never going to get better. So, after consulting with the medical people, you have to make a decision if you want her around you 24-7 and drive you to the point of insanity - which I assure you will destroy you - or do you put her somewhere that she can be properly cared for and you maintain your sanity and peace of mind. Do not feel guilt - some of us can do some things and others can't - so start thinking of yourself now. You deserve a respite.
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UTI sticks can be gotten at your pharmacy now.  Near the yeast infection stuff.  Get her to pee on the stick (if she will), and when it turns purple, she has a UTI and may be more easily coaxed into seeing her Dr. My Mom is a lot like yours, minus the dog food incident. Remember to use BODY language and look her in the face to answer, in case her hearing is impaired. Remember she is not doing these things to annoy you (they sure feel like they are on purpose, but they are not), and have her Dr call her, if she won't go in. This worked for me. I hope it helps you. The answers you got are the best replies! All from people going thru this same thing!
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