What is the best way to respond when a parent with dementia when they become very hateful to you, should you walk away? - AgingCare.com

What is the best way to respond when a parent with dementia when they become very hateful to you, should you walk away?

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example, my mother was in the bathroom and i went to the door and asked if she needed help. she responded very mean no, not from you. I asked her what was wrong she responded "what is wrong with you?" I replied "nothing but why are you being so hateful?" She replied you are the hateful one and you are no longer my sister. (by the way I am her daughter)...... I said I am sorry you feel that way and left the room.

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I have this problem with my Mom, she just yells at me at times... She is confused and very unhappy... It breaks my heart and I do try very hard to be kind to her. I usually do walk away when she is unkind!!!
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Same thing happened to me last night with my husband. He is the flower & I am the bee. I have to remember that, I just forget at times.
It can be so difficult when we forget that it is about the one needing assistance &
and not about "ME". I support any care giver, as am I, who stumbles & falls or FORGETS & takes things personally. You know those wings that you have and can't see?? Like the Light we reflect back to those we care for, no matter what they say. Like the GOD we believe in but can't see ,but so feel the presence of.
Do no harm; Keep the faith ; Keep talking & asking questions.
I walk away a lot. I pray a lot. I play the guitar a lot.
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When they get frustrated by what they can't do anymore, that loss of independence, they turn it around to the caregiver, as if YOU are taking it away from them. Think about the example you used. She has trouble in the bathroom, and you ask if she needs help. In her mind, by you asking that, it's YOUR fault she needs you, in her demented mind. Once you understand that, it helps you to NOT take it personally. That has been my experience. Follow assanache7, she is full of wonderful advice and support.
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I have the same problem often. This quote from assanache7 has gotten me through some rough days.

assandache7 posted 3/10/2014 at 6:05 am
Quote for the day: The dementia patient is not giving you a hard time. The dementia patient is having a hard time...
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I experience this with my Mom a lot. It is hard for me to keep my mouth shut at times, but the best thing todo is walk away. It is not her talking and I know it is hard to realize that. But boy is it tough. Good luck
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My brother and sister and i care for our 88 year old Father, my sister has experienced most of what is posted here..she gets way too emotional though. I keep telling her to not let it get to her the way it does. Just take a few breaths and let it go. My Dad was NEVER like this before, however his entire life changed overnight and he is finding that it is very hard for him to adjust to his life now. He is after all still my Father despite the fact that he is now having difficulty.
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I am only human...and I do everything for mom...she gets nasty and I try to hold it together..but then I answer back....my dad was the same way with mom....I am so frustrated...I have no life....
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I do understand your concern. And I think you need to lengthen your patience because of her condition right now. All I can say is stay strong I know it is painful to hear those words from her but it is beyond her control.
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I do understand your concern. And I think you need to lengthen your patience because of her condition right now. All I can say is stay strong I know it is painful to hear those words from her but it is beyond her control.
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Maxwell, your situation has changed. There were three of you providing care to Mom, and now there are only two. That can make a huge difference. You need to re-think how best to care for Mom.

As the previous posts point out again and again, a person with dementia is not in her right mind, and the things she says should not be considered the "real" her talking. It is the disease. That doesn't make it pleasant, but it should help your ego and feelings. For years my mantra was "It is not Coy talking, it is Lewy!" (Coy was my husband and he had Lewy Body Dementia.)

Try not to argue with her and don't defend yourself. To the extent possible, try to sympathize with her. "Oh Mom, it must be very, very frustrating not to be able to drive. I am so sorry that has happened, but Dr. Carlson says it is not safe for you." "Gosh I'm sorry if the toilet paper is disappearing so fast. I'll be sure to buy a large supply when I shop this week."

I hope you can control your attitude to make her comments less hurtful.

But the bigger issue here is that you absolutely MUST have some respite, some time away from her, weekends to do your own thing. I doubt that you can count on your brother. Start looking for in-home help, so you can leave on a regular basis.

One way to start the process is to call social services and ask for a needs assessment for your mother. (Or ask her doctor's office for a referral to a social worker.) The person doing a needs assessment will be able to identify services your mother needs and ways you might get those services. If she is eligible for any financial aid, that process can be started. For example, would she qualify for Medicaid? Various in-home help is available through that program. Even if she does not need financial aid at all, Social Services can help you identify what services are available for her to pay for herself.

One great resource available in many communities is an Adult Day Health Program. It is a "social club" that persons who need supervision can attend 1 to 5 days a week. They provide hot lunches, and usually cold breakfasts. Art, music, crafts, cards, and many other activities are available. Most provide services such as helping with a shower or cutting toenails to those who want those services.

It is clear that you and your husband cannot continue to be the only caregivers. Maybe some in-home help and some out-of-home day care will be enough to make this work for a while. Eventually (maybe soon, maybe later) it will take more than that. By starting the research now you will be in a better position to turn her day-to-day professionals when that time comes.

Best wishes to you, Maxwell, and to your husband and to your mother.
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