I was mom's caregiver. She's now in memory care and only gets upset with me not my siblings when I visit. What can I do? - AgingCare.com

I was mom's caregiver. She's now in memory care and only gets upset with me not my siblings when I visit. What can I do?

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She says I stuck her there without consulting her. She constantly packs up her things. She wants me to take her to her home. She says she doesn't want to stay there all winter. Yesterday, my son and I went for the Mother's Day brunch and she said she thought I was there to take her home. When I said I wasn't-that she lived there now, she refused to go to the brunch and went to bed crying. Even when my older brother and sister-in-law visited the day before, she was angry with me, because she said that my dad (who's been deceased for 17 years) and I went to the beach without her. I love my mom and want to visit her often, but I get her so upset when I do...I don't know what to do! If anyone has any suggestions, I'm all ears!

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How long has your mom been in the memory care unit? Has she always been a negative personality? I ask because my mom has always been negative, combative. We moved her to assisted living on April 20. She can live on the assisted living side but she is in memory care all day, everyday. My mom asks every time I visit how long she will be there, I tell her 4-6 weeks, I tell her I need some rest ordered by the dr. Of course this is not true, but she momentarily accepts it.If your mom has just recently gone into memory care, you might want to consider not visiting for a few weeks. I know this is hard to do, but by her not seeing you so often in the beginning, will give her an opportunity to adjust. It has almost been a month for my mom and I still cry, not because of guilt...because I know how dementia/Alzheimer's plays out....my dad also had it and passed in 2003. My mom being my only living parent (84), I am finding it much harder to deal with I change the subject when she brings up when can I go home, have you seen Theresa lately...(mom's sis who is on a feeding tube in PA due to Alz). I have never met my aunt Theresa, we live in CA, but 3 of mom's sibs have had Alz.Find out positive things from the caregivers, nurses about your mom's adjustment and talk with her about it, encourage her in those positive things. The one thing that has helped my mom to adjust is...we chose an assisted living/memory care community that allows pets...so mom has her beloved toy poodle with her in her one bedroom apartment. Is your mom's living space private or is she having to share with other residents? Maybe you can go to the memory care unit and participate to encourage your mom. When I visit, I take mom to the assisted living side for lunch in the dining hall. We then go back to her apartment, leash up her dog and go for a walk. I spend anywhere from 2 -5 hours with her depending on if I am doing her laundry or just hanging out. Once my mom has been there a couple months, then I will take her out shopping. etc. I still take mom to all her dr. appts, Maybe you could take your mom to a cinema showing at the community or some other form of entertainment...my mom is mentally incapacitated but she is still somewhat independent because she can dress herself, feed herself, bath herself and is not incontinent, plus she is not a wander risk, that is why she can live on the AL side. I hope this helps you, I know it is an individual adjustment period so hang in there. Hugs!!
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How long has she been in memory care? It can take quite a while to settle in.

How is she when you are not there? What is the staff's impression of how she is doing?

I think that MishkaM has some good advice. Above all remember that it is the disease causing her outbursts.
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Hi judithg, sounds like a rough Mothers Day. ((((hugs)))))
I think you need to keep reminding yourself that it is not her talking but her disease. Also, I think that the elder picks on the one they are MOST comfortable with. So in a way that is a compliment. She feels more secure with you to tell you how she is really feeling and not trying to " show off"- is that the right term? Where the elder with dementia tries to act "normal".
My advice is to totally tune out the negative statements she says and return them with an I love you. Or a compliment. For example:
MOM: " you and Dad went to the beach without me!!!!!"
YOU: " you look very pretty today. Is that a new blouse/nightgown/ socks/ ? "
MOM: how could you do that?
YOU: I love you so much Mom, do you know that?
MOM: NO.
YOU: well , I do, I love you. I remember when I was little and we....(fill in with a good memory)
If she chooses to cry in bed I would let her. I would say "well we came for the Mother's Day brunch so we are going down there. We would love to have you join us. Just call a nurse if you want to come and we will see you there. "
I am sorry you are going through this. Did you have a good relationship with your Mom prior to her diagnosis? It is hard when you are caring for a parent who did not make the best decisions when caring for you.

Just some suggestions. Good luck!
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