My mom's care home just opened on 7/1 for visitors. I've been down a few times and have finally been able to get in her room to see what she has and doesn't have. I took her the couple things she asked for (mouthwash and lotion) and a pound of sweet cherries that she loves. She was in a bad mood when I arrived. During the visit I found 7 tubes of polident adhesive ("it doesn't work, throw them away"). She's goes through mouthwash like nobody's business. After finally seeing her up close and personal I saw that her dentures were quite stained and asked if she was using the effervent tabs in the container when she takes them out at night. She said she put them in the mouthwash (it was barely enough to cover one plate, let alone both - I guess that's why she's always needing mouthwash). I reminded her that she has to use the tablets as well. She said no one ever told her. Of course, she this did this for years on her own before going into the care home. And then she starts crying saying that I don't understand what she's going through. I try to be patient and realize its frustration and tell her that I can't fix things unless she tells me (said her dentures have been worrying her for months, but has never mentioned to me or the aides). Mom was always independent and she believes she can do more than she can. Also, the aides tell me that whenever I visit - whether now in person or even before when they were window visits, that mom's behavior would change (for the worse) after I left. Two questions - is there a good product to remove denture stains? I already tried baking soda and vinegar, and why is it that my visits trigger bad moods? I was so excited to be able to visit whenever I wanted and to pick her up and take her out without an act of congress. I left her today sitting in her room in tears. The aides said they would make sure that she's using the tabs in her denture container at night.

Find Care & Housing
Hello! First of all let me say you are a good daughter and I know how it feels to be doing your best only to be berated by your mom. Please try to realize so many of us have been in your shoes. It’s hard to not take it personally isn’t it? It tests the patience of a saint!!
I’m a retired dental hygienist and my dad too had stained dentures and Stainaway which is available at Walgreens worked pretty well. You don’t use it every night though. Iam glad to hear that the aides will put her dentures in with the Efferdent at night. Just so you know my dad hated denture adhesives. If your mom's denture is loose, you can take her to a dentist to do a re-line. But only if she can tolerate an appointment. If you don’t think she can, then don’t take her.

Your mom realizes she is not the same and losing control. Loss of control causes anger with dementia. Go ahead and cry…it’s good for us..often I would get in my car and scream and curse until I felt better! It’s ok!!
Helpful Answer (14)
Reply to Harpcat

Stain-Away is a great product to use on dentures; here's a link to it on Amazon but you can get a single bottle of it at Wal-Mart:

Dementia is tricky; she may not be able to use the product properly which is combined with the Efferdent in the denture bath at the same time with very hot water. Tell the aides in her facility what you'd like to accomplish, and perhaps you can get them on board to help.

Why are her dentures 'worrying her'? They could be too loose now (the mouth shrinks up which is why dentures need to be re-made every 5 years max) and why the Poligrip is now useless and not holding them in her mouth properly. She can combine Poligrip with a bit of POWDER Poligrip for a better hold, but again, with dementia at play, IDK if she'd be able to do it herself.

Many dementia patients get upset when a loved one visits. They seem to save up all their frustration and angst for when we are there to listen to them vent, you know? My mother is 94+ and lives in Memory Care Assisted Living. She treats the caregivers like solid gold and me like dirt under her feet. She carries on and complains non-stop to me while we're on the phone or while I'm there in person; it's awful. She doesn't have ONE decent thing to say, and she cusses everyone out like a sailor. So my visits are short, needless to say.

Your mother may want you to agree with her vents and to just sit there and nod. That's what my mother wants from me. To tell her Yes Mom, the Place is Horrible, the Caregivers Suck, the Food is Disgusting, Nobody Loves You or Cares About You, etc. etc. She doesn't want me to fix anything for her, she just wants to complain and moan and curse in general and have me as an audience to listen to it, which is difficult. What she's saying is a bunch of lies so it's hard TO agree with her, but that's what she WANTS me to do. Do you think that's what your mother wants from you? And if so, can you do it?

If your visits are going to cause your mother grief, then you may want to rethink going there. If she's not looking for you to be her scratching post, then your presence in general may upset her b/c that's how dementia works sometimes. No rhyme or reason to it, just chaos and senselessness. You can visit from afar........go into the facility and watch her for a while, w/o her knowledge, just to satisfy yourself that she's ok by laying eyes on her. That can work. Or call her on the phone before you go to gauge what type of MOOD she's in......if she wants to go out for lunch or if she's too irritated to consider it. I think it's a stretch to suggest you may be 'pressuring her to think & behave in a way she's no longer capable of.' If you need more info about dementia in general, I suggest you get the book The 36 Hour Day which is an excellent reference type book on the subject which I've found to be very handy myself.

Wishing you the best of luck with a difficult situation. I hate dementia with every ounce of my being and the never knowing WHAT to expect aspect of the damn condition. One day my mother is pretty lucid and with it, the next day she's talking pure gibberish and calling me her mother. Sigh. It really is the hardest thing I've ever had to deal with, and I'm sure it's the same for you. Sending you a hug of understanding & empathy, my friend.
Helpful Answer (12)
Reply to lealonnie1
Maggiemay1971 Jul 6, 2021
Thank you so much! I'm working with the aides now to abate this problem and in the meantime, I'll make an appointment to see about getting her dentures relined. She's 95 and said she's not paying for more dentures!!! LOL Thanks for the book suggestion, I'll check it out. Also, I can be very agreeable with her but she senses the patronizing tone. (Funny how dementia can be lucid with one thing and totally incomprehensible with others). The Aides really do go above and beyond. There are only eight patients there so they really do get specialized care. My mom is one who insists on doing things herself and they were willing to let her take care of some of her personal needs, but honestly, until they reopened, I wasn't aware of the lack of oral hygiene. I'll pick up some of the StainAway tomorrow. I hate dementia too, and I pray to God I die before my kids have to deal with me.
Well I never gave it a thought that I may trigger memories of years past, but I guess I do. I am definitely going to be more absent. I was so excited that they reopened and assumed Mom was chomping at the bit to see me more and to get out once in a while. But I know she's come to love her routine and the other ladies at the center and understand that change is not always good for dementia patients. Thanks again!!
Helpful Answer (9)
Reply to Maggiemay1971
disgustedtoo Jul 8, 2021
"I know she's come to love her routine and the other ladies at the center..."

THAT in itself is a relief and very welcome news! As lealonnie1 can attest to (as can many others), the complaints and non-stop diatribes about how awful the place is, the food stinks or they don't feed us, etc are usually saved for us when we visit! Meanwhile staff reports they are fine, enjoy time with others, eating well, etc.

Reducing your visits with mom might help, but probably only minimal for her and less so for you (given you were excited to go back!) While there, you certainly can try to agree with her complaints and assure her you'll look into them, but also try to distract/redirect her focus onto something else. Bringing something she really likes, such as a nice bouquet, some kind of treat, other items she likes might get her mind off her complaints. It doesn't always work, but worth a try.

To help you, is it possible for you to "visit" and observe without being seen? It will help you to see for yourself that she's well cared for and doing just fine when you aren't there. All too often their mixed up minds do tend to "take it out" on those who are really the closest to them, esp those who are providing the care.
The cognitive decline in my mom since lockdown was dramatic. I would suggest you’re dealing with a mom who can not preform the same hygiene tasks she did.
That someone esp you sees that now is humiliating. My “why” questions ended and my mom didn’t feel as judged. Many things changed during lockdown, and I had to meet her where she was. Whatever she did is enough.
Helpful Answer (9)
Reply to AT1234

Seems her dementia has progressed. She is upset because life is more confusing for her, She appreciates your visits but probably sees that her life has changed and feels sad about the changes. Help her stick to consistent routines. Partner with the aides to make sure her needs are met. If she has many more episodes of crying and frustration, she may benefit from a mild anti-anxiety medication.
Helpful Answer (8)
Reply to Taarna

You'll have to be the strong one to get you and your mother through this! I'm sorry for your difficult situation. You did the right thing by enlisting your mother's aides, and if the aides change, you may have to do it again. Try to make every visit happy and loving quality time. Spend the minimum amount of time doing chores for her when you are visiting. I found that it was easier for both of us when I visit my mother if I time it so that my visit is ending when she goes for lunch (or it could be dinner). This way, she is distracted and looking forward to something she likes.
Helpful Answer (8)
Reply to NancyIS

So, your mother says, "you don't understand what I'm going through." Absolutely true. She's been through 12 months of isolation from you, and, as you get older there is so much internal pain, thinking of your past, present and future. She doesn't need you to "fix" things. This is not like a lightbulb that needs to be changed. Give her a hug. Hold her hand. Just be with her. Yes, take her on a ride.
Now that you have assessed the situation up close, you can have more updates from the aides and the nurses. And of course she's sad when you leave, she loves you. And you know, when you are sad it often turns into mad---hence her post-visit behavior.
Love on her.
Helpful Answer (6)
Reply to Bethanycares

Your post is tagged alzheimer's and dementia, if that's the case then you can't expect her to remember how to properly care for her teeth! Improper oral care is another one of those things rampant in facilities, I swear my mom's dentures were rarely cleaned unless I did it and they were often left out altogether 😠. The aides SHOULD be making sure they are in the proper solution AND rinsing them off before putting them back in her mouth, but don't count on it.

As for the stains - ask your denturist, if it is possible to clean them without damaging them they will know how.

editing to add - I agree with funkygrandma about the reasons she's in a funk after your visits, especially if you are pressuring her to think and behave in a way she is no longer capable of.
Helpful Answer (5)
Reply to cwillie
Maggiemay1971 Jul 6, 2021
As far as her oral hygiene I guess it's one of those things that I assumed she was doing all along. In fact, it's not even something I ever thought about because she had always done it. She never complained about pain until the Care Center reopened after COVID on 7/1. I've been reading stuff all day so I think I have a game plan. Thanks for your input!!
See 1 more reply
With dementia you can not expect her to remember all the steps to soaking her dentures.
The facility should (it is required) do some oral care every day. They should be help her. They should also brush her mouth, or swab it for food particles using a swab and mouthwash. (By the way I hope the mouthwash is alcohol free, alcohol can be drying)
As to moms behavior ..could be any number of reasons.
She might be upset that you are gone. Try saying "I will see you later" or "I have to go to work, I will be back" rather than saying "goodbye" Also see that she is engaged in an activity before you go. Lunch, a snack, dinner or a game.
If you are upset during your visit for any number of reasons she can pick up on that and echo it after you are gone.
Helpful Answer (5)
Reply to Grandma1954

I can’t help but wonder if she is just letting go and venting when you are there because she feels comfortable and safe expressing herself with you. And the aftermath when you leave could be her emotions from it all. I don’t quite understand why the aides felt it necessary to tell you how she is after you visit. The least they could do is give you some suggestions to go along with it. What was their purpose in telling you?
Helpful Answer (5)
Reply to IamAmy
Harpcat Jul 9, 2021
I agree with you. It’s as though they are blaming her!
See 1 more reply
See All Answers
Ask a Question
Subscribe to
Our Newsletter