How do I respond to my Mom being angry over a bunch of terrible things at her AL that are not terrible, just her confusion? - AgingCare.com

How do I respond to my Mom being angry over a bunch of terrible things at her AL that are not terrible, just her confusion?

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My mom recently moved to a nice AL facility and is in memory care. Every time I go see her, she is angry about some terrible thing they are or are not doing. She uses all the wrong words, so it is hard to figure out what she is saying, but when we do, it is not something terrible. It is just different, or she is confused. She is always angry about the horrible food, but it is not horrible. Just not exactly what she wants at every meal. She does not understand that they are feeding a lot of people who like different foods from her. She thinks it is terrible that they give her her meds with a plastic water cup with lines on it. She is angry if they put something on her nightstand, like a bottle of water. She says she hates the toothbrush there and can't use it, but doesn't understand it is the same one she had at home. She says the phone and TV never work, but she no longer understands how to use them. She doesn't understand when she is told we are going to have the doctor come see her that he doesn't come right away. She complains over and over about a thing that happened one time, weeks ago, and has never happened since. If something wasn't done that day, she says it has never been done. She wants me to have her cremated and put next to my Dad's ashes, but is angry that I am not taking care of that right away. She actually wants me to kill her and doesn't understand why I can't. She has no concept of the difference between something bad and something unfamiliar or not what she wants at that moment.
I know you are not supposed to try to convince an Alzheimer's patient where they are confused, but I am naturally not a patient person, and her constant spewing of anger and dominating demeanor just gets me so angry I can't help myself. Today, when we tried to explain that the words she was saying we're not making sense, so it was very hard to figure out how to help her, she threw my husband and I out. She was so ugly. How do you deal with this? Distract her, like a kid having a tantrum? Any advice is welcome.

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When my mother-in-law gets angry at ... life .... I do like the other person wrote here. I change the subject or say 'your hair looks great' or talk about a time she loved. Anything to change her angry ways.

Your Mom: you are trying. My husband stays so positive but does have his limit. A few times he answers her back angry also, but this only makes her angrier. So I tell him to just let it go. And as someone said here, go only for an hour instead of a longer time. Maybe BRING NEWS: ie... a movie, a magazine, something to take her mind off stuff. But then again, she gets mad when someone puts water on her nightstand :(

Do you have any good photos of you with her? Family fun photos? so that she can view it daily?

What you have is really hard. You try your best to be positive and are shot down each time. It takes its toll for sure.

Hopefully someone else will write what they do.
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Although antidepressants do not work for everyone, they are at least worth a shot. They have totally changed my mother's life. I only wish she'd been willing to try them before she had a stroke.
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Many people have advised that we try antidepressant meds. I didn't want to go that route, but I am beginning to think it might be best.
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Dealing with this kind of behavior does require patience and understanding. Some people are better at dealing with it than others. First, I would make sure that she is safe and being well cared for. She may be off base, but I would still confirm that it is the dementia that is talking.

The next thing is that I would recognize my limitations and limit my visit. If she goes on and on, then just stay for a half hour. The longer you stay, the more likely you are going to get exasperated. That will not help anyone. Don't try to appease her or explain. It's a waste of time and won't work.

I would also read a lot about dementia and it's behavior. There are also videos on you tube about it. The more you learn, the more you can accept it without getting irritated. Consider that you wouldn't get upset with a person who was in a coma if they would not talk to you, because you know they are not able to talk to you. The dementia patient is the same way. You can't get annoyed with them for not behaving properly and being polite, because they have brain damage and they aren't able to do that.

I used to have an issue with the constant repeating. I would internally have a contest in my head. The contest was to see how long I could calmly repeat what I had said to my loved one. Once I lost count, I started the game over.

I would read a lot about how to redirect you mom's attention. Something like this: When she says, I hate this place, nothing here works. You say, I have spoken to the people in charge and everything is being repaired and fixed to your needs. It's all been taken care of and you will be so happy tomorrow when everything is working. Let's celebrate! What kind of ice cream do you want? Show me where the dining hall is. You look lovely in that shade of pink. What is the name of that nice women who works here. She told me how much she liked you and how you were the most special resident here. Etc. When she complains, say, it's been taken care of and change the subject.

Some people say don't tell them anything this not true, but if they have no memory, they won't recall this conversation tomorrow anyway. You may have to repeat this conversation over and over every time you see her. It's what works in the moment, because that is all they have in there mind.

I would also discuss medication with her doctor. Often it's anxiety that is out of control and even OCD that prevents them for relaxing and being open to their environment, the staff and other residents. Cymbalta really helped my loved one and she became much more content after going on this med. The difference was amazing.
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Can you say things like "I'll check into that", "I'll tell them about that at the desk, mom", "I've had a word with the chef, things should be better tomorrow"?

If her words are garbled (my mom has aphasia, so I'm used to this), I say, let's try that again, I didn't understand what you said. I don't make it about her language, it's MY understanding that's off.

Lastly, is she on meds? For depression, anxiety? Moving to AL is a big adjustment for someone with dementia. Have her seen by a geriatric psychiatrist, if that's possible .
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