Is it possible to reason with a person who has Parkinson's Dementia?

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My mother was diagnosed a year ago with PD. Since that time she has steadily gotten worse. She is VERY stubborn, hardheaded and gets around like a 60 yr old. She still wants to run things like she did when she was 60. She can no longer handle her finances. She can not do much of anything as she gets distracted, or forgets what she was doing. Can not take care of my father, who also has dementia, 5 yrs ago diagnosed. And he also has CHF. She can't do medications straight, so I am doing that now. I live there 5 days a week and my daughter is there watching her the remainder of the time. My other 2 sisters are also involved 1 handling the finances. She has had fires on the stove, walks away from the stove forgetting food is cooking. Demands that she can drive, after the neurologist told her no more driving unless a daughter goes with her.
Problem is, she is telling everyone that her kids are trying to take her independence away from her. She doesn't like anyone in her house telling her what to do. We are there to watch her only. We have tried to reason with her, bu that is like talking to a blank wall. Is there anyway to get thru to her as to why we are there and why she shouldn't be doing things she wants to do?? She always says that she thinks she has the mental capacity to do these things, even though we have explained a milliion times why we are there and why we are doing the things we are doing. We haave told her about the near misses while driving and she says all her friends are still driving and she is a much better driver than them. When we told her of the fires she has had on the stove, she says she has always done that. She makes an excuse for everything that has gone wrong. Can someone please tell me how I can get thru to her. She has 3 of her kids helping her out and 1 granddaughter. She has all of us CRAZY. We don't want to hurt her feelings, but being nice has not gotten us anywhere. She is getting just plain mean. Can anyone help??

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Jeanne, Thank you for your advice. It is very unsettling to all of us as we are trying to do what is best for her and my father. She has just dug her heels in the ground and will not budge. She fights us on everything.After her last trip to her Dr. he told her to get in touch with the Social Worker in her area to see if she is able to live in her house without us. We know she is not able to do so. Her neurologist is terrific, but I believe he has done all he can. She just will NOT listen to reason. Period. My heart aches for you also. This is the most unbelieveable disease. I guess we just have to keep tellng ourselves it's not us that is losiing our minds. Some days it sure feels that way.
Thank you so much for your input!!
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I feel for all of you, I really do! To answer the topic question, no, it is not possible to reason with someone who has Parkinson's Dementia (PDD). Their reality does not match your reality, so reasoning is futile.

She cannot drive. Do everything you have to to see that that is enforced. Remove the car from the premises. Sell it. Disable it. Whatever it takes. She cannot safely drive and to do so risks other people's safety as well as her own. This will really piss her off. Sorry. It will make her sad. Sorry. When I sold my husband's new special edition Miata eight years ago it broke his heart. It took him at least a year to get through mourning for that car. I was sad. I was sympathetic. And I absolutely was not going to let him behind a wheel. (He has Lewy Body Dementia, which is the same pathology as Parkinson's Dementia, with the name depending on which symptoms come first and are most pronounced.)

If she can't understand/accept why she can't do certain things, so be it. But she still cannot do them. This is very, very painful for all involved. Believe me, I know!

Your mother and my husband both have Alpha-synuclein protein deposits in their brains. These were discovered more than a centruy ago, by a Dr. Lewy and are called Lewy Bodies. My husband has accepted this (took a couple of years, I think) and we call our common enemy Lewy. I can say things like, "Yes you are very good at doing that. You always have been. But we can't count on ol' Lewy. I know YOU could do it, but I'm afraid of what Lewy might do, so please let me help you with it this time."

The sad thing is, your mother is probably right. She does have the mental capacity to cook or shop alone or even to drive -- IF the pathology in her brain wouldn't interfere. But it will. And she won't remember when it does and learn from it. She is very, very lucky to have all of you looking after it. Please know that, and take pride in what you are doing for her, even if she resents it. It isn't really your mother that is being mean. It is those darn ol' Lewy Bodies messing up her brain.

Perhaps your mother will come to accept her limitations and understand and accept that she has a disease, as my husband has. That will make your role a little easier. If I knew how to make that happen I sure would share the secret!

As for what she tells other people, don't let it get to you. My husband used to go across the street and ask the neighbors to call the sherrif to report that I was holding him captive and/or stealing his money. Sigh.

I strongly recommend joining a local caregiver's group for dementia caregivers -- specifically PDD or LBD if possible. It is hugely helpful to know that you are not alone and to hear how other caregivers cope.
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