Follow
Share

My mother is so old and frail, bent over and sad (yet, perfectly healthy, never sick). Its her negative outlook on everything that has ruined her life (and often ours). As long as I can remember she has been unhappy, negative and a "victim". She never seemed to take pleasure from anything. Meds didn't help, and she won't take them anyway. No matter what, she has always seen the glass as half empty. Yesterday I changed her bed, did her laundry, shopped and took her to lunch (my sister and I do it all because she is in independent living, should be in assisted but refuses). Her dementia is getting worse,and now she imagines things, lies, doesn't eat or bathe, doesn't remember anything after a few minutes. Other times she seems normal, but never cheerful or smiling. I want to hold her, make her feel better, but we have found it has the negative effect. When I left, I hugged her and told her I love her - AND SHE CRIED. I asked her why and she said she hates being old (its always about her). There is no sense trying to reason with her at all, so I don't know whether being tender is helpful or hurtful as hugging her is like hugging a stick, no response and she doesn't return it with any real feeling.

This question has been closed for answers. Ask a New Question.
Hi Soozie,

I'm sure that you felt terrible when your mom cried while you held her, but with dementia, tears will often come with any emotion. I truly believe that she was grateful to be held and to hear you say that you love her - so grateful that it brought on tears. Tears of joy and gratitude can be confusing, but think of this as a breakthrough as far as her emotional negativity is concerned.

She told you she hates being old. That's not at all uncommon. People lose so much independence as they age to say nothing of added pain and frailty. She cried out of gratitude that she’s loveable anyway.

What I'm trying to say is give yourself a pat on the back. You did something wonderful when you held your mom. Her tears mean that you touched he heart. Please continue to do this. Listen to her even when she's negative or doesn't make sense, and remind yourself that you are doing the right thing. You will always remember what you gave.

Keep up being such a wonderful daughter under hard conditions, and do try to take care of yourself, as well.
Carol
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

I agree with Soozie!! My mom is similar and cries or gets teary when I hold her or tell her I love her. And for the same reason as your mom, she's lonely, old and everyday life is a struggle and lonely -- loss of friends, loss of husband, families move on, and life seems more of a struggle than joyful. She may deep in side wish you were there all the time but would never ask because they don't want to give up their independence or feel like any more of a burden.

Keep hugging, keep telling her you love her no matter what. Those words stick even if your life hasn't been a bed of roses. Remember, everyone wants to know AND HEAR that they are loved.

Keep up the good work!
Helpful Answer (2)
Report

Keep at it Soozie. It hollows me out to think how few times during her nearly 90 years my mother has been made to see that she is loved and cared about; and to be sure it gets socially awkward for us repressed types! But it's worth it. Love and approval should make us all feel better, shouldn't they? The terrible thing is when they come as a shock to the person receiving them.
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

My mom was NEVER a crier but at 94 she cries pretty regularly now. She cries when she feels like a burden and has cried when I've been nice to her (her words). At first I was shocked, because I'd never seen her cry. I think with seniors, their emotions just come out more. I don't hug my mom because my family doesn't show physical affection...but I do get to help her shower at times and set her hair, so I get to touch her in that way.

I agree with everyone else keep hugging whether there are tears or not. Oh and my mom forgets her crying within a couple of hours, so it's here and gone. I also think it's good to get those emotions out. Nothing better than a good cry!
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

Brittle emotions are part of depression. Her MD can prescribe a very low dose of antidepressant and you will see a world of difference.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

This question has been closed for answers. Ask a New Question.
Subscribe to
Our Newsletter