Mom's in rehab and cries she wants to go home and wants to kill herself. Any advice? - AgingCare.com

Mom's in rehab and cries she wants to go home and wants to kill herself. Any advice?

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This is the third time in a year that my 92 year old mom has had some sort of medical problem and then landed her in rehab to get stronger on her feet. Each time she cries and carries on and says if she had a knife she'd slit her throat. She gets mean and angry and says some awful things. Last time she had her own phone and would call me constantly in the middle of the night saying no one will help her. Then getting mad at me because I couldn't fix the situation in the middle of the night. I eventually turned my cell phone off at night as I couldn't deal with all her drama. Well today she is to be transferred to rehab and she already called me this morning with the nurses phone to ask why am I doing this to her and how she wished she was dead. I've always wanted to do my best to keep my mom at home and try and take care of her so she wouldn't have to go into a nursing home because I know how horrible it would be for her. She's acting like this just being in rehab. I fear not being able to afford to have more help come in and just being able to take care of mom at some point. I don't know how I'd ever forgive myself if she had to go in to a nursing home. It's just so hard.

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I feel the same way, I hope I don't act like her when my days come. You know growing up she had a lot of hang ups and very much "in the box" regarding different things. I am not going to be like that... and I stuck to it. It's probably very hard being her with being so negative and can't go with the flow. I love her not matter what, and couldn't changer her then, won't be able to change her now. lol
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Like everything else, with nursing homes there's the good and the not so good. My mother is in a family owned and operated NH with fantastic staff - some have been there over 30 years. It's small, about 60 residents, and they really do treat everyone like family. With Parkinsons, stroke & dementia, unable to sit up or stand alone, she is safe and well cared for 24/7.

I too was on the other end of daily screaming phone calls for months until it was making me ill and I changed my phone number. I told hr the phone was playing up I got rid of it which she accepted. She's at the stage now where she believes fibs. She's deteriorated drastically in the last couple of weeks and I doubt she has much time left but I visit, ensure she has all she needs and find comfort in knowing she is so well cared for.
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Our mother is like that. She always see the glass as half empty also. The threats are a control act with her. She needs to go to assisted living, desperately, but won't. She says if we make her she will kill herself and we will have to live with the guilt. We know she won't - she enjoys being a victim too much and would never kill herself, our fear is that she would play the blame game and crying etc to the hilt and we would pay by listening to her sobs on the phone every day. And after a while it would be an act. For eight years she has been in independent living and we still hear about her wanting her house and car, how she hates it, etc. Except that when she sees one of her friends or an activity come up - she doesn't want us around! Its all an act she reserves for her family only. Oh I pray I will not be like that!
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Thanks.. I appreciate your writing. I understand mom is worried she is stuck in a nursing home, not in rehab. We went through all this when she broke her hip back in October, but it took a month before she started acting like this. It's only been a day and half. I hate hearing her get so upset... and I try to console her but she will not listen. I know she is very head strong and used to having things her way and when she wants it, so she can not tolerate that she has no say and the aides won't jump "instantly" when she needs something. She made it sound like her call was about not being able to get out of bed. I told her ask them.. they'll let you sit in a chair. I know she does this on purpose (to a point) to make me feel bad so I'll get her out. I brought her a calendar last time and marked down the days but she'd ask every day, do I go home today. Never paid attention to the calendar. I may print up some big signs and post on the wall that she is in rehab for a short time to help her walk better. Sometimes the signs at home help her not ask the same thing over and over.
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Cheryl, I am sorry you are going through that. Your mom is "feeling trapped" thinking she is there forever. Rehab is to get someone stronger so they can come home and avoid another hospitilazion. Hang a calendar mark off each day and tell her she has to do her part so she can come home. You have to set boundaries and tell her you can not be called at work or middle of night and you will not accept the calls if she does so. Don't feel guilty... she is in the hands of the rehab..... try and enjoy this needed break as much as you can.
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This morning the nurse put mom on the phone so she could "talk" (NOT) to me. She screamed and cried about killing herself; that I won't take her out of there and I that I don't care, etc. It was very upsetting to deal with, especially at work. I mentioned to my sister last night that mom has a phone in her room and wanted to call out but couldn't get it to work. I asked if I could giver her number to mom so she could call her. I could tell she didn't like that idea as she was very quiet. She then said, well she wants to talk to you, to ask "you" when can she come home. I said you could answer her the same way I do, when you get back on your feet again. She then got upset and said I DON'T WANT HER CALLING ME IN THE MIDDLE OF THE NIGHT. She's retired and I still work 40 hours a week. Well when the nurse called this morning, I asked could she please call my sister, I am at work. The phone rang again from the rehab center and I turned it off. I feel horrible not talking with my mom and trying to calm her down, but I feel like I am going to loose it. When she acts like this I don't want to be around her or talk to her. I don't know if there's any way to reason with her.
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No I don't think mom would kill herself. Its just a way to get my attention that she is unhappy. Again today at the rehab facility she mentioned she is tired of going through all this. I told her there's not much she can do about as she is both going to die soon and to make the best of her time. Needless to say memo has never been a positive person and always sees the glass half empty. Hard to change her thought process at 92. Lol
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pstegman, seriously, I need to copy all your answers and save them for future reference, ha-ha. I hear mom talking to Jesus all the time. I told her the other day she needs to give Jesus a break and just ask me what she's looking (usually it's Jesus, sometimes my dad or her mom).. I think she enjoys tearing up my kitchen and making constant messes since when I come running, she snaps out of it and usually says she's looking for Kleenex. I know she "can't help it." Don't you guys love that phrase?
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Go with Psteg's suggestion. Let her go to rehab and reinforce this is drs decision not yours.

While she is in rehab, enlist dr and care teams help in finding options for her. This may be some financial or insurance paid aid to help her manage in her home with assistance so many hours per week. If it looks like she will need more care than she can afford then by all means consider placement as this can be cheaper than 24/7 home care.

I know this must be very hard and you don't want to make her unhappy by placing her...but if it's for her own health and well being then it is necessary. Hopefully drs and care team can help reinforce with her the time has come.

In the meantime can you have private conversations with her care team and see what level of care she will need and long term prognosis? Can you visit a few appropriate NH or AL facilities nearby and learn about their offerings.

I don't think mom will kill herself. You wouldn't be responsible for that decision...that is on her. You cannot take responsibility for your moms happiness. You can only tell her you love her and will help her without sacrificing your life and self for her care.
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Once she's through rehab, is there a chance she's a candidate for assisted living, which is more like a hotel than a nursing home? And some nursing homes are very nice - I volunteered in one on Christmas Day. I'd put my mom there without feeling bad about it. Very clean and lots of activities and the staff all knew each patient and their likes and dislikes from what I could see.

I think your mom is just unhappy at being so physically unstable/weak and is taking it out on you, as the nearest and closest person to her. You just have to set some limits around how much you'll put up with, so that you take care of yourself. I'd certainly try some anti-anxiety or anti-depressant meds to see if those helped calm your mom down. Good luck...it's not easy whatever you decide to do.
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