My Mom who has moderate vascular dementia, is being mean to my Dad. Any ideas how I can stop this? - AgingCare.com

My Mom who has moderate vascular dementia, is being mean to my Dad. Any ideas how I can stop this?

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She has gotten worse in the last two years. This year was particularly stressful because my father became ill and it has been a long recovery. He is finally doing much better, and thankfully he does not have dementia, but it is hard on him spending so much time with my mother. I go over every day for several hours, but it even gets to me. Has anyone out there experienced this situation? I love both my parents, but I don't even want to be around my mother most of the time and it makes me feel very guilty.

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My mother-in-law went through vascular dementia (she had type 2 diabetes) and passed away last year. She was really mean to my father-in-law as well. They ended up hiring someone to come in a couple of days a week - she hated having the woman in her home, of course - but it gave my FIL a chance to get out of the house a bit. She finally had to be placed in a nursing home and passed away soon afterwards. You could have a frank talk with your dad and discuss what lies ahead and form some strategies to help everyone get through it with their sanity intact. Also, ask your mom's pharmacist if there is any way to have an antidepressant compounded to where it could be added to her food without her knowledge. Pharmacists can be very helpful if they know what's going on.
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When I was 22 my mom was 50 and according to her she was still too young for grandchildren. But, mom did love my daughter to pieces. Mom adjusted just fine. I think her statement was more to try to get me to consider an abortion.
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Thank you both so much for the advice. I will be talking with her primary care physician again this week so maybe he can convince her to try a "mood" drug. My mother is still very physically active - mowing the grass, cleaning, cooking (simple things) - so I encourage her to take a walk with her neighbor. They walked together for years but she needs more encouragement now to go. Gladimhere, I was 22 as well when I had my first! So my mother was still relatively young (47) and like me at 50, didn't want to be tied down, like I am now, unfortunately.
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If she is basically a pleasant person and she formerly had a good relationship with Dad, I really wouldn't give up on the possibility of help from an antidepressant or another drug. Explain to her doctor about what is happening at home before her next visit. A "mood" drug might be presented as a way to help her treat Dad the way she really wants to.

A bad marriage, lifelong inappropriate behaviors, disrespect -- these are not going to be solved by therapy or a drug when dementia enters the picture. But since Mom was "always so sweet" I think it is worth a lot of effort to try getting her personality to surface. The right drugs can often help with that.
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WOD, it is a journey for sure. Funny my Mom told me the same thing, she would not be a babysitter. That was mostly because I was only 22 when I had my oldest and Mom did not approve of the man I married. Now, I don't either, have not heard anything from or of him for 30+ years now.

Maybe Mom when she begins to agitated can just go to her opposite corner? Or call someone on the phone? Some way to get her thinking about something else when these things happen. Maybe she needs an iPod to listen to relaxing music all day?
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Thank you. When my father was very ill, we started him on antidepressants and they really helped a lot. I don't think he realizes he's still on them - I just call it a mood pill. (They both already take "memory pills" lol). My mother isn't so far gone yet that she wouldn't realize she's taking an antidepressant. She even tells my dad she doesn't know why she's so mean to him, and I know she feels bad about it on some level. She was always very sweet, so this is so hard for all of us. I'm so sorry you are going through this as well. I really feel like my parents don't understand what I go through - and my own family as well - trying to manage two households and keep all the balls in the air. They never had to do this for their parents. I feel almost resentful sometimes. My mother told me when I had my first son, "I will not be your babysitter, but I will help out in emergencies." I never asked her to babysit for me, or ever expected her to-she raised her children for 20 years. But that's what they expect me to do for them. Amazing.
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Do not tell Mom what they are. Tell her they are a vitamin or some other supplement ordered by the doctor. A memory pill?

Yes, this is hard on Dad and it will come a time when it is necessary to place your mother for her and your Dad's welfare. She could become aggressive, combative and possibly hurt him. This is a difficult situation and I understand. Have a similar situation where it will become necessary to place my Mom, away from the love of her life, but she, quite frankly, probably will not remember. Thankfully my Mom is not ususally disagreeable, but does have her moments. Those are Xanax days.
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She refuses to try them! I've asked her several times if she thinks she needs something and she says "no, I'm fine". And she's not fine. She doesn't realize it.
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Get mom on antidepressants ASAP
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