My Mother is getting worse by the day! Any advice? - AgingCare.com

My Mother is getting worse by the day! Any advice?

Follow
Share

my mom is 92. She was hospitalized for bronchitis about 4 years ago and came home from the hospital a different person. It took me 4 months to get her back to reality, but she never really recovered fully. She has been getting progressively worse and in the past 6 months she has become extremely forgetful. She insists on telling everyone that she is dying, although her doctors tell her that it's not true and that she will live to be 100! She says and does things and when I tell her what she said or did, she insists that I'm lying and making things up so I can put her away.i have told her over and over again that I would not do that to her, because I know that it's her worse fear. I have some in home care for her, but I'm not sure it's enough. She complains about the people that come in. She will say that they eat her food, which she will offer to them. She falls asleep when they are there then says that they were only there for 10 minutes, when it was hours. Sometimes tells me that they weren't even there at all. I recently took her to visit an assisted living facility. She made a face the whole time we were there. Other guests of the facility tried to engage, but she wanted no part of it. Then once she saw the apartments that they had to offer, she completely shut down and insisted on going home. You see, it wasn't large enough for her liking! She expects a 3 room apartment, with a kitchen, so that she can cook. I tried to explain to her why they don't have kitchens, but she didn't seem to understand. I've already told her that she should not be cooking when there isn't someone with her. She had an incident a few weeks ago, when she was cooking, where she couldn't figure out how to turn of the oven and after being there all morning, I had to return to her home to make sure the oven was off. It takes me 20 minutes each way without traffic, 30 to 40 minutes with traffic. She was in a complete panic and couldn't even breathe. When I got there the oven was off, but she was confused because the clock on the stove was reading 3:34, and she assumed that it was the temperature, when I explained that it was the clock, she insisted that there was never a clock on the stove. Ever since that day I have seen a quick decrease in her ability to remember things. She calls me and when I ask her why she's calling, she says that she didn't call me, I called her. She says that I'm making up the things that she says and does. She will ask her companion if she really did what I'm saying and when she tells her yes, she gets angry with her. She yells at me, curses me out and tells me to shut up, while covering her ears. I am T my wits end at this point.

This question has been closed for answers. Ask a New Question.
8

Answers

Show:
It's great if she is receptive to getting help, but if she does have dementia, then her brain may not allow her to remember your previous conversations. She may not be in a position to use good judgment. Getting a nasty behavior is also quite common. It's not her fault though. It could be the disease that's talking. If that is what she has, I would imagine it's very frightening as you don't know exactly why you are feeling out of sorts.

I hope you get some answers after her complete neuropsychological evaluation.
Helpful Answer (2)
Report

Thank you for your responses. I am currently in the process of finding a geriatric psychiatrist or neurologist that can see her. Both my brother and myself have sat down with her and explained what we need her to do or not do. She seems receptive one minute then she turns and gets nasty, saying that what we're saying is not true.mwhen we call her out she claims that she doesn't do that. I think she realizes that she's stuck in a corner right now, and is willing to talk. I explained that there is nothing wrong with her and that she needs to stop saying and thinking that she's dying. That she needs to stop sitting around doing nothing, because it's just making her worse. We'll see.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

Like Babalou and Lindaz, I simply don't accept that your mom does not have dementia -- or some cognitive impairment. What you are describing is not normal aging. Has she seen a specialist?

It seriously sounds like she cannot live alone, and that the in-home help you have arranged is no longer enough. Can she afford around-the-clock care in her home? If not, or if that does not seem a feasible solution, then the next step is an appropriate level care center. Could she afford an AL with bigger or more lavish apartments than the one she looked at?

Because, realistically, her days of living on her own and cooking for herself are over.
Helpful Answer (2)
Report

I think I would agree with Babalou, in that your mom should be seen by someone who specializes in dementia and/or geriatrics. My mom could pretend to be OK for awhile when with the doctors and then fall apart right afterward. She was then seen by a neurologist who specialized in Alzheimer's. His questions seemed easy but she was not able to keep up her 'I'm fine charade'; he then had her undergo a MRI and was able to definitively diagnose her with Alz. My mom died this past January at the age of 92, and when she died she was unable to do anything. When she was in the initial stages of the disease she acted very much as you describe your mom. Please get her re-evaluated by a specialist. Blessings to you, Lindaz
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

I'm very curious who evaluated your mom for dementia and said that that wasn't the problem.

Was she seen by a neuropsychologist who would have done 2 to 3 hours of pencil and paper testing in conjunction with a neurologist who would have done an hour test better of her own, testing memory, reflexes, coordination balance and perception.

Unless THAT protocol has been followed, I think that you are being sold a bill of goods that she just has a bad attitude.
Helpful Answer (3)
Report

Crazytown, your mother is of the generation, same as my Mom [97], that it is her job to do all the cooking and cleaning no matter what. There is no two ways about it, it's a job they will refuse to retire from. Thus, who wants to move into something the size of a motel room that has a small kitchenette.... heck it wouldn't bother me as I hate to cook so never turning on a stove again sounds like a slice of heaven :)

You probably already realize that your can't change the mind of someone who has memory issues. Through trial and error you will eventually find what works and what doesn't work to make a parent not do something that isn't elderly friendly.

My parents turned up their noses to a large retirement village that had 6 room apartments. So where are they now? Dad has full time paid caregivers in their single family home, and my Mom is currently in rehab trying to recover from a bad fall. If she ever recovers, she and Dad will continue in that large home after Mom asks all the caregivers to leave :P

Sometimes we have to wait for a medical crises before our elders finally see the light that they need someone to care for them or for them to move some place more elder friendly.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

She has been evaluated for dementia, and this is not the problem. She needs a better outlook on life itself. She thinks that she is dying and will not listen to anyone, including her doctors, that there is nothing wrong with her and that she will live to be 100. Her doctor told her that she needs to be around people her own age and the assisted living would do her a world of good. She is lonely, but when people are around her she refuses to engage. She sits in her chair and goes to sleep. When they leave, she says already, you just got here. Then she can't sleep at night. She knows right from wrong, it's just her memory that is a problem. She will say or do something, then deny it.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

First of all. DO NOT leave her unattended. If she has already had a close call with not knowing how to turn the stove off, that'a warning to not leave her unattended at any time. At least turn the circuit breaker off so the stove can not be turned on. Still, you have other dangers like toaster, dryer, etc.

Do you already have a signed Durable POA, Healthcare POA, Healthcare Directive? Is she still competent to sign them? It's important if you don't already have them.

I would make a list of her behavior and take it with you to see her doctor. They can evaluate her to rule out infections, medication side effects, or something else. They might do an evaluation in the office for dementia, since her symptoms certainly sound like that might be what is going on.

If that is what it is, then I would read a lot about dementia and see how family members deal with it. If that is what she has, then you can't rely on her to be safe on her own. She may suffer delusions and not know her condition. She may resist care and not heed advice on where she needs to get care.

Can you afford to hire a caregiver to come into the home and be with her during the day? I would seriously make arrangements. You have to also consider that she could ingest nonfoods, cut herself, let a stranger in the house, etc.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

This question has been closed for answers. Ask a New Question.
Related
Questions