She's screaming at top of her lungs non stop. How to cope?


My MIL returned home yesterday from a 5 day hospice respite (for me.) Ever since she got home she screams for me at the top of her lungs. When I rush into the room she swears at me. I nicely ask her to stop screaming but of course that doesn't work. She's really on my nerves. I know she's aware of what she is doing. I try to ignore her..................and am subject to the booming screeching screams every 4 seconds until I respond. Then it all starts over again. I gave her Haldol which usually helps but - nothing. I guess she is punishing me for sending her to in-house hospice for 5 days. It's really hard to adjust to her return. Ugh. BTW, she is not in pain...........I know when she is and this is not it. Anyone else experience this? SIGH

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Yes I wish I new,i don't want a sum to make matters bad,but I think it's guilt,cause I can see she always thinking I'm cheating are involved with anything have to do with cheating...I'm going to pray
Helpful Answer (0)

Hospice does change the whole ballgame. I didn't see that part.

I hope there is some kind of solution to the screaming one way or another!
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Have you tried Lavender? Johnson and Johnson makes a body lotion that is calming with lavender. You can out it on you if you can't get it on your MIL. Same scent is available from airwick and downy....good calming...for all involved.

Get Hospice folks involved.

Have you yelled back? Any reaction? Try talking softer so that she has to pay more attention. Make sure

Have you tried singing or humming or some other melodious sounds?

Have you talked to your MIL PCP about med change? perhaps something has changed or should be changed?

Sleepy time tea?

Ear plugs are available at the drug store - or dollar store cheap!

"I am sorry you seem angry, but I can not care for you with your screaming. I will return when you stop screaming" then leave the room...See what happens? and repeat as needed. Like dealing with temper tantrums in 2 year olds...

Best wishes and quiet soon!
Helpful Answer (2)

sandwich42plus, did you notice that MIL is on hospice care? That she has visiting hospice nurses and a social worker available to her?

A number of years ago I was in ICU for a life-threatening condition. My family was busy taking care of my husband with dementia (as they should have been) and I felt absolutely abandoned. Absolutely no one in the huge medical complex knew me. If I did die, they would have to look up on the admittance sheet who to contact. I can't tell you how desolate that made me feel.

I knew and understood the situation. My family was doing what I wanted them to do. MIL may or may not have understood the situation, that her caregivers needed some time to themselves in order to be able to continue to provide good care. But I can tell you first hand that it can be very scary to think you might die and to be surrounded totally by strangers.

I didn't scream and swear when I got home, but I can empathize with that fear and frustration. I know it is hard to hug a porcupine, but I think Marialake has made the right choice to try to comfort this poor woman.

(Which is certainly not to say that what you did was not effective and helpful in your situation, Sandwich. I just think the situations are entirely different.)
Helpful Answer (3)

You know her best but.....

You can test something. Next time she starts screaming, pretend to call 911 in front of her and talk to a "police officer". Explain what is going on and that you need the police to come take control because she won't stop screaming. See if she stops.

I had to do something very similar with my mother, who is a Narcissist-Borderline Personality Disorder person. She would threaten suicide over just anything and hold me & dad, then just me after dad died hostage to her snits, her tantrums, and occasionally her violence.
I reached for the phone and pretended to dial 911 to come get this woman who couldn't control herself. Boy did she snap out of it in an instant and became a contrite little thing for the rest of the night.

As my mom's dementia progressed, her tantrums came faster and more frequently over literally anything she didn't like. "Hello, police? Can you come get my mother and take her in? She's out of control and won't stop."

To protect yourself from an APS or 911 call by the neighbors for elder abuse, you need to get a social worker involved to come do an assessment. You cannot continue to live with this kind of behavior for your own sanity. She may need a neurology consult and some different accommodations in the not distant future.

And if she keeps this up, or it gets worse, you really should call 911 for real.
Helpful Answer (2)

Thanks all.
Yes, MIL's been on hospice for 15 months and they are always helpful. Actually, they told me she screamed a lot at them too and general consensus was that she didn't like the temporary move to in-house.
She has finally fallen asleep and I am no longer on my last nerve. Great idea to lavish her with attention and I should've just done that.
She just gets so mean and it's well........."hard to hug a porcupine."
But I will.
Again, thanks all.
Helpful Answer (7)

How was she in respite care? Did she scream there? How is her son handling this? Does she do it when he is home?

She probably is "aware" of what she is doing, but perhaps not in the sense that she feels in control of it. And I suspect you are right ... this has to do with the respite care. She may be "punishing" you or just expressing her severe fear and anxiety that she could be abandoned to strangers.

That doesn't solve how to deal with it, does it? What if you responded immediately to each scream, and lavished her with reassurances? "Oh Mom, I missed you when we were away and I'm so glad to have you here again. Shall we have a nice soothing cup of tea (glass of beer, cupcake, whatever)" "What can I do to make you feel better, dear?" No reasoning, no asking for explanations, no scolding, just acceptance that she feels miserable and reassurances that you are there in the house. Don't promise to never go away again, just promise to always come back and always care for her. I issue no guarantee that this will work, but I'm pretty sure it wouldn't make things worse.

You say it was hospice respite. Is she on hospice? Call the hospice nurse line. It is answered 24 hours and I found it very helpful on a couple of occasions.

My heart goes out to you. Hugs to your entire household.
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Marialake, just hope the neighbors don't call the police because they hear someone screaming.
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She's had UTI's before and I detect them quickly but this it different and it comes on the heels of her return which is why I believe she is mad that I "left her" at hospice facility and as a result she feels insecure etc so she is acting out in this manner. I know her so well and this is not a physical pain etc. Thanks for the advice to - reply calmly. And I'm gonna let her tire out and fall asleep. Just don't know if the respite was even worth it at this point.
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I would call 911 and have her taken to the ER. Something is wrong, maybe a UTI.
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