I am her caregiver, I do it all. She will not even look at me. I really wish. Her brain would reset. This is killing me

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As a caregiver who has dealt with people with dementia and Alzheimers, I know this situation arises and can be very difficult to deal with, and that's not even with my own family. What happens, is that a dependent relationship is easily triggered - the "I hate you. You are the problem." on their side, "I'm NOT, I really mean well, it's all for your own good" explanations on yours." I had a patient that really liked me for a couple of weeks, and she would agree to go out for walks, etc, with me, and I met with her and her family. Then I went away for one week, and when I returned and acted familiar with her, she exploded and began shouting, as if I was the monster from hell, for she had forgotten the ties that we were beginning to build just two weeks before. I showed up to work with her as planned, and had to sit in a chair outside her room in a facility, as she would not let me in the door! It was embarrassing, along with distressing.

OK - ways to handle. First, focus on the job, not the relationship. Do what is planned, with cheer but not much chat - Good Morning, it's half an hour before breakfast, I'll let you rest 5 more minutes then I'll be back - and leave, and come back in 5 min. and just say, OK, time to get up - or bring her a glass of OJ, and tell her it's there, or wait till she sits up and hand it to her. And if she drinks it, say "good", and in a minute say, here's your dressing gown - or bring the commode to her - whatever cues her to the next task.

If she starts to battle, just say, "I'm sorry, I'll be in the kitchen, I'll come check on you in half an hour.." That may be time enough for her to calm down and to realize that starting a battle doesn't give her an activity for the day, and that she needs help and care. If you can step back, but tell her you'll return, and then show up again, with next task and warning and instructions or materials for that task - you may be able to get her to focus on the task. I had one elder lady who would battle with me until she was clean, safe and dry and lying in her bed to go to sleep - at which point she always thanked me, and recognized that she didn't make it easy for me.

Yes, get help of others, not to explain necessarily, for she will likely not remember, and if she does, you get your hopes up, and then they are dashed again. They should pass you the next task, and just act with your mom, as if your care is valuable and you are the one who is doing it.

Such people don't remember their physical surroundings or where to find even the smallest items for their self care, and that loss of memory can feel scary, so it really helps to develop a routine and help them get to those parts, take care of the business needed, and don't try to chat until the necessary tasks are over, and they are sitting comfortably, and you too are feeling proud or rested and able to just be with them and chat more at that time. Hope that helps!
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Actually my Mother hated me all my life and I her, but when she got dementia, who had to care for Now she only hates me about every other day when she thinks I'm her sister that she didn't like and boy do I get the 'I hate you', I wish you would go to h*ll and burn', you're so stupid....etc and this may go on for hours and hours. I just leave the room because you can't bring them back to reality. In their mind they do hate you and there is nothing you can do about it. To one and all, as long as you are doing what is right by them and not treating them with harm or neglect, don't feel guilty about what we say at times when we are totally, thoroughly frustrated with them. God bless us all and keep us sane and healthy to care for these confused and sick minded people.
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My 87 y.o. Mom was in respite care in a Senior Living facility for 8 months while her home was repaired due to a fire. Her transition home was grueling and did not adjust well.

She was physically and verbally abusive towards me. One day she started screaming uncontrollably. I called the police and asked for Adult Protective Services be called for her and for me (62),

Within the five minutes when the police arrived she was calm, no elevated BP no nothing.
APS has been my lifesaver. A psychologist came to see her weekly, Passport is in place with meals, home care giver giving me a huge relief.

Big believer in Adult Protective Services, Ohio.
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It is the dementia that hates you not her.
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I walked away - she died long ago... It was killing me... She threatened to disown me and so I responded - go ahead - good bye...
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Shortstop-you can see the full gamut of ways to manage; from Castle and wonderful deflection and great communication suggestions, to SeaDoc who had to remove themselves from the situation. It's HARD not to take it personally, this is you mom! We'll sort of...her brain is failing her. I describe dementia as brain failure. It's ability to reason, recognize, comprehend etc are gone. It is the disease not your mom acting this way.
Castle has great points and suggestions as do others with is this a sudden change, have you discussed w a health care provider, have all other possibilities been ruled out and this is the disease progression?

If so, try some of Castle's suggestions and then try this for yourself emotionally. Put a QTip in your pocket, and while I don't like the first word I like the acronym, Quit Taking It Personally. That's the hard part I know, but between the new ideas and a simple phrase to remember perhaps you can find a solution for you and her. It's not her acting this way, it's the disease and your mom is scared, confused and frustrated on the inside and she no longer can express that, her brain does not know how.
Good luck and hope you find some peace in these suggestions.
Helpful Answer (7)

"It is the dementia that hates you not her."

I see and hear this a lot, and even though I guess there is some truth in it, I don't think it is totally true. My mom was always fearful, inappropriate, self-centered, and immature. One of her defining traits is that she never - and I mean NEVER - took responsibility for her actions. Everything cruel thing she said, every mistake she made, was always someone else's fault. And despite having a life full of blessings, she constantly complained how awful her life was (because of other people, of course.). My sisters and I tried many times to get through to her and try to get her to see the damage she did to the people around her, but she would get incredibly angry and start talking about us making her want to kill herself.

So the way I see it, my mom basically made a choice in her life not to work on her issues. With dementia, my mom's negativity - always strong, but now all-consuming - has put her in a h*ll of her own making. Her anxiety, always strong, is now verging on terror. Her lack of gratitude, always strong, is now preventing her from seeing the smallest good thing in her world (and there are many.). And unfortunately, as her caregiver who promised my wonderful dad that I'd take care of her, her world bleeds over into mine every day.

So, yeah, the dementia has made her impossible to reason with, but I've never been under the illusion that my mom is not still in there under all the demented behavior. It's her, and she's reaping what she sowed in terms of the horror that must be her inner world. I've learned a lesson from her, though, and consciously work on cultivating compassion, positivity, acceptance, and trust in God every day. Hopefully if the time comes when I am in her shoes, I'll have some better attitudes and habits in place that might shield the people around me somewhat from the effects of dementia. And, if not, maybe I'll at least have treated people well enough in my life that those people will be able to say, with more sincerity than I can muster, 'it's not her, it's the disease.'
Helpful Answer (7)

It is so very hard to see the person you love not recognize you and then pretty much turn on you. My Mom often thought I was my father and would take out a lot of pent-up anger on me. The first time it happened I was so shocked, and it was impossible to not feel sad and then angry. It took quite a while for me to put things in perspective and to not take it personally, but the fact is that the Mom I knew and loved was simply not there anymore. I tried to switch into neutral caregiver mode, but the sense of loss was always present. You are doing a brave and wonderful thing by taking care of your Mom, and the reality is that she doesn't hate you. The disease hates her. It hates us as caregivers. But that doesn't take away from the fact that you are doing the best you can in an awful and bewildering situation. Try to see her as a difficult child. She won't appreciate what you do, but you will always know that you tried to do the right thing, and in the end, that is worth its weight in gold.
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Contact her county social worker. Get some help.
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Oh dear, I hope I'm not about to follow suit. Mother has just in the last couple of days started saying "you hurt my arm, you hurt my lip" and staring at me reproachfully when the reality is that her arm hurt because she was lying on it and her lip hurt because she'd just stabbed herself with a drinking straw. And kept picking at it with her fingernail, grrrrrr…

I got very annoyed about it yesterday but I've slept on it, grumbled about it to her HHA this morning, and am resigned to not taking it to heart.

If this phase just started for you recently, would it be reasonable to hope it will pass as quickly as it arrived? But in any case, getting in outside support and Castle's tried-and-tested strategies sound good to me. Best of luck, keep posting.
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