She has dementia, and fiddles with everything. I tell her we have to leave 1 hour before we do, and were still late. It causes a lot of stress. She is so easily distracted, that she constantly moves from one thing to the next, and forgets what she is doing. I have tried everything!!! No matter what I do, we end up arguing. It is very stressful for both of us. She has been living with us for 18+ years.

Find Care & Housing
I believe that your expectations need to change. Your mother does not do this intentionally she is not able to do it herself. She needs assistance with everything and that means you will need to help her step by step. My husband has dementia and he is now needing assistance with step by step instructions when he dresses. He is still dressing himself but I need to help him. I have learned that I have to walk into his world and not expect him to do the things as he used to. I know that it is difficult for us to see our Beloveds in this state.
Helpful Answer (17)
Reply to Tammy53

If you are going to try to keep her at home, you need to sit with her and get her dressed on step at a time; here are your panties. Here is your bra. Here are your pants, etc.

Do this in a place where there is nothing to fiddle with.
Helpful Answer (15)
Reply to BarbBrooklyn
dedicatedtomom Aug 30, 2019
Thank you, Barb. You are right!
As my BFF likes to say when she's on a mission to get out the door: "Do not pass GO. Do not collect $200". It's a reference to the game Monopoly. Your mother's concept of time is warped or gone. Stop telling her you're both leaving in an hour because you're the only one who understands what that means and the expectations that come along with it. When you're ready to get her ready, first step is for you to organize what she needs in a pile or row: underwear, top, bottom, socks, shoes, etc. When she's ready you lead her out the door and do not pass go and do not collect $200!
Helpful Answer (15)
Reply to NYDaughterInLaw

I'm sorry, I know it takes some getting used to, but you really can't expect a person with dementia to plan an hour ahead and keep on schedule. It just won't happen. If you have to be somewhere, figure out how much time it will take to be ready, double it, prompt your mother step by step as BB explains, and then you have a fair chance of being out of the door when you need to go.

Unless your mother then announces that she needs the loo/is going to be sick/didn't want to see her friend anyway, of course.
Helpful Answer (13)
Reply to Countrymouse

18+ years...WoW! Have you considered moving her into AL, so that you can get on with your life? Otherwise, I have no ideas, she will not get better....only worse...not my rules, just how it works.
Helpful Answer (10)
Reply to DollyMe

I'm sorry but it appears that her condition has deteriorated enough so that your old expectations of her behavior can no longer be met.

I'm sure it is VERY stressful. So, the thing is, I think that the only that can change are your expectations. She appears to need much more help than in the past.

I would strongly consider hiring an aide for a bit of time, hopefully every day, to help her with her ADLs.

Do you think this has been a slow, steady decline or did it just kind of downslide quickly? If it was very quick, you might want to look into it with her doctor?
Helpful Answer (10)
Reply to againx100
justgettingby Sep 4, 2019
I agree. Especially if it gets in the way of your job. I convinced my father to allow a caregiver to help mom in the morning through lunch. So that ends up 5 hours a day. I make dinner and deal with bedtime, and then the entire deal on weekends. Yes, it exhausts me. And yes, things will get worse for the OP and the person he/she is taking care of. Nursing homes are incredibly expensive, and even the ones with "OK" reviews are frightening. This is what keeps me taking care of my mom for now. She was sick and hospitalized in January then in rehab then home. Less than what she was. But coming out of 2.5 weeks in rehab with skin issues, that soon led to a pressure ulcer ... is what keeps me taking care of her.
I would consider a nursing home or assisted living, or memory care. If she needs that much attention, assistance, and care all the time, one person can't keep going on like that... I would talk to her doctor privately without her in the room, and consider other options for her.
Helpful Answer (8)
Reply to Mikuhatsune01

We would plan a dinner for Dad at 5PM. But we would tell him it was at 4PM. That way he would show up by 5PM!
Helpful Answer (6)
Reply to Walterjay

Leave early. My mom is the same. So I leave 3 hours before any appointment. Sometimes we are still a little late. If we are early, we got sit at a coffee shop for a while. Leave early. Remove the stress. Hang out at Starbucks if you get their early.
Helpful Answer (3)
Reply to needtowashhair

When my mother's dementia got really bad and she had an appointment, I actually wouldn't tell her about it until we got in the car. I would help her get ready assisting with bath, getting dressed etc then I would ask her to go for a ride with me somewhere and we would get in the car. I then would casually bring up it was time for her to see such and such doctor. Worked pretty well most of the time. Also, I would try to determine which appointments were necessary and which were not. Saved everyone a whole lot of stress that way. Good luck to you it can be very frustrating I know.
Helpful Answer (3)
Reply to Countrygal55

See All Answers

Ask a Question

Subscribe to
Our Newsletter