Mum is 83 and has vascular dementia. So far, it is mild, she still lives independently, but is a bit forgetful and easily confused. I am her carer and visit most days, sort her meds, order meals, arrange doctor's appointments, pay bills etc. She still has a little bit of a social life, regularly attends church, sees family and has visits from friends.
The problem is she has started bursting out crying whenever she gets confused about something. It's quite dramatic, tears, sobbing, "I'm stupid, I can't do it, I'll never be able to do it" etc. I have been very patient with her, assuring her she's doing very well and trying to calm her down.
However, I'm starting to suspect that this is in part at least, a deliberate attempt to get sympathy/get out of doing things she doesn't want to do. Eg she does it when we visit her hearing nurse - she doesn't want to try to learn to use her new hearing aid. (She often uses her deafness as an excuse for not knowing things eg she will say she didn't hear me telling her something, rather than admit she's forgotten what I said). She is also meant to do some gentle exercises each day to help her joints, but there is always an excuse why she can't do them (the doctor said she can stop them now, she did them when I wasn't there etc), when I try to get her to do them, I get the tears again.
I'm starting to feel as if the tears are fake or maybe exaggerated and I'm not sure how to deal with it. I don't want to end up being unsympathetic towards her, but I feel like I'm being manipulated (along with her nurses etc). I realise she must find her new limitations very frustrating and she does suffer from anxiety. In some ways she has dealt with things very well, but she refuses to go to the doctor to discuss her feelings - I have no idea if she would benefit from medication to help her anxiety.
Does anyone have any experience of this? Could she be trying it on with the tears? I know this is very early days, so I want to try to get things right from the start, otherwise I have no idea how I'll cope further down the line.