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Tomorrow we are moving my 100 yr old mother to assisted living. She has spent the last two days with my sister while we move her things. She has gone off the deep end, since being removed from her "safe place". She is nasty, hallucinated a little, thinking she was in her own house, totally impossible. Until now, in IL she has been so so, at least she controlled herself, odd, but doing most of the things she should. Her memory is really bad. The doctor and the IL said she has to move. Based on the way she has behaved the past two days, we're afraid she will be kicked out of AL the first month! She doesn't even know she is being moved. We're telling her tomorrow! Is there some sort of medication (beside a tranquilizer) that can be given to her to settle her down. She is always stressed, worried, negative and is now acting a little aggressive. We have known she needed some sort of med, but hasn't been on anything simply because she could not be trusted to take it. We don't want her in memory care yet as she is still capable of getting up, getting dressed, making her bed, doing makeup, making coffee, going to meals, getting her hair done, communicating, etc. There must be some drug out there that can mellow her out? Oh please, help. We are at our wits end.

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emjo23, yes we do know those phone calls! The other night it was her thinking my brother-in-law died! That resulted in three calls to my sister, two to me between 9-10pm. The next day she was still on it. The day before, it was missing social security checks (which the govt hasn't sent in years). They live in a private h*ll of bad thoughts that spin around in their heads and won't leave. It upsets my sister much more than me. She gets twice the calls I do, but she enabled Mom for the last 20 years and created for herself the role of "mommy" to Mom. What upsets me the most about all of this is the fear I will go down the same path. Is there anything more frightening than losing control of your mind? Even physical problems are at least manageable if one can comprehend what is happening! Everyone wish me luck, going up there today to the audiologists. I know what I will find. It is so sad. I just wish she would help herself a little - but that is not her. She has always liked being the "little girl" for some things. For others, she does what she wants no matter what. Its a tough combo!
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amy - the few months before my mother went into hospital and finally onto medication, mother called three times a night and they were crazy calls - paranoia mainly. I finally stopped answering any of them as they were very stressful for me and let them go to voice mail. I listened to the messages to be sure there was nothing really wrong. It was a terrible time for everyone - her and me. I expect you are right that she forgets about the calls.

I agree with lizawren that our mothers' feelings and experiences are theirs to process and deal with, not ours. I found I had to detach and distance to a degree emotionally. I was working, as you are, to get her the help she needed. Getting upset by her calls and her attitude didn't help me or her. It stressed me so, I tried to reduce the stress on me, and still work to get her what she needed. That makes it a win win. I know it isn't easy.
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Thanks Lizawren and Babalou, you are right. I just hate it that she is alone in her room stressing. (She will never reach out to the aides, she keeps all her obsessions secret from everyone except my sister and me - except for the time she slipped and complained to the housekeeper that her clothes were stolen!) Most of the time when she calls, its to my sister who screens calls and often doesn't answer but it still wakes her husband up. I screen also and I hang up when she keeps saying "what what I can't hear you". I figure 90% of the time she will forget she called me in a few minutes. I was thinking of getting one of those phones that spells out the conversation, but I'm not sure she is cognizant enough to understand it.
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To Amy Grace - my mom is hard of hearing and when my sisters call to talk to her on the phone it's a nightmare. However, I realized she is moving the speaker of the phone off her ear. Since phones these days are nearly flat, old people have a hard time keeping them in the correct position. You might want to get one of these - for us it was a lifesaver!
amazon/Native-Union-Phone-Retro-Handset
Or even one of these:
amazon/ShipFrea-Princess-Classic-Antique-Reproduction
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We all hate it when our loved ones get upset, especially when this upset goes as far as verbal, or even physical, abuse. We want them to be happy and calm, because we love them. If medication can help, that's great, but sometimes for whatever reason, our loved ones are going to be upset, and the number one thing that a caregiver must remember is that we can only do what we can do. It sounds as though her distress is causing you a lot of stress. I encourage you to strengthen your boundaries - when she is distressed, it is HER distress. As a decent human being, you will feel empathy, and that's healthy. But be wary of crossing the line into taking her distress upon yourself. If you can master that skill, it can save you a lot of wear and tear. I hope this makes sense:).
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Amy; You do realize that you don't have to take her calls, don't you? If she's in distress, the staff will help her. That's why she's there.
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I'm taking her to the hearing aid place tomorrow. We know its a waste of time and money because most of her problem is comprehension (she hears one sentence, and then the next she can't) but we have to try to help her at least hear well enough to understand people. Maybe that will get her out of the room once in a while (but doubtful) so she stops obsessing constantly. Last night she called my sister three times and me at 10pm continuously asking if my brother-in-law had died. He hadn't, he is ill but is recovering. Doesn't matter how many times you tell her he's ok. She talks, we answer, sometimes she hears and then 1 minute later its WHAT? WHAT? Sometimes she calls 5 times in a day. She has no other thoughts in her head except family and finding things to stress over. Lordy, I pray the antidepressants work. We thought moving her to AL would improve things and takes some of the responsibility off us, but instead she is even more demanding.
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hi amy - I know about it getting worse as dementia sets in. For years mother had excellent health, a very decent income, and was as critical as always and then the paranoia set in and it all went down hill pretty fast. Mother wrote notes about all the stuff she that upset her too. Glad you heard from the doctor, and that she will get some meds. Presumably they or similar ones will work. I saw you wrote you hoped to have some quality time with her again. I hope so too. Can't say I ever had quality time with my mum, but some was better than others.

Let us know how it plays out and meanwhile keep venting as you need to. This time of transition is very difficult and stressful time for you. I understand. ((((((((hugs)))))))
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amy - ((((((hugs))))) you don't sound uncaring at all. I have a bad sinus allergy reaction so kind of groggy but will post later.
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Amy, those of us who follow you know how much you care! You're allowed to vent; praying that this works.
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Re-reading what I wrote I guess I sounded mean and uncaring but that is not true. I care so much it has taken over my life and I'm tired and frustrated trying to balance things. I just heard from the doctor. They will put her on Aricept and antidepressants. I am praying that once again I will see Mom smile, and maybe even spend quality time with her again. Fingers crossed!
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Hi Joan! Thanks for the hug. Actually, I don't think Mom is doing that well. They tell us she is very stubborn, especially in the morning. She refuses to shower, won't socialize, stays in her room, refuses to use the walker and is writing little notes (about stealing, working on her imaginary finances, obsessing where her social security check is because she didn't get it this month, saying she hates it there). I'm hoping the doctor will give her something soon - anything to make her more cooperative. We are at the end of our rope. She is just downright difficult, complaining and self absorbed (nothing new there) and stubborn (always, just worse now.) The doctor didn't want to prescribe anything until he ran blood tests which he did last week. I'm going up there early next week to take her to get a new hearing aid since she lost one of them. Trouble is, half her problem is comprehension and she keeps putting new batteries in the other and then putting the old ones back in the box, then putting the old ones in the hearing aid, so of course she can't hear. Also, I thinks she only hears when she wants to and hasn't "listened" for years. She is really her own worst enemy and I hate to say it - a real pain. Its hard to feel sorry for someone who has always been happy being unhappy. I don't know where we will put her if they think she can't adjust there. She has always been a malcontent, even though she has perfect health and never had to work a day in her life and had someone to take care of her needs (my Dad, then my stepfather, and then my sister and me) If I sound bitter, I guess I am. I have health issues, will never be as fortunate as she is - to live so long and want for nothing, and to have children there for you (mine are thousands of miles away). I'm sick of it. I know she has dementia, but she is not much different than when she didn't, only now with dementia on top of it. My daughter and I tried living with her in 1986, she drove us so crazy we had to find our own place after a year. Guess I'm just frustrated today! I have to sit down with the staff up there and find out if they can communicate with her doctor to get her drugged!
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Hi Amygrace - is your mother doing any better in the AL? If she gets really paranoid and /or hallucinating you might discuss a antipsychotic with her doctor. This year with mother is so different from the past few years and much less stressful for me and for her. Let us now how things are going. ((((((hugs)))))
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Joan, that sounds like a great drug. I have told my children that if I become like my mother, please make sure I am given drugs to help me to be happy. There is no sense living that long if life is emotionally painful and there is no joy. I have not seen my mother laugh in 20 years. She loves being unhappy. I don't want to be like that!
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I should add that the drug is injected every two weeks so there is no fear of her not taking it. I have told them to give it to her whether or not she wants it, as she needs it. Her quality of life without it is terrible - her mind is tortured.
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Hi amygrace - emjo (Joan) here. My mother is 102, has Borderline Personality Disorder is narcissistic and has developed paranoia and vascular dementia and is pretty healthy physically.

I had to cut off all phone calls for several months about a year ago as she was plain crazy and it was very upsetting. I have POA financial and medical and also a narcissistic sister who interferes and causes trouble. Mother was way out of control and suicidal. She had been prescribed an antipsychotic but did not take it for long She was in an ALF and had help with meals, laundry and cleaning.

You are absolutely right that no matter what you say she will not feel better, and a new problem is around the corner anyway They don't want solutions, they want problems. Things started being managed when geriatric psychiatrists got involved. Mother was admitted to a geriatric psychiatric hospital and was there just about a year. She went voluntarily but they would have taken her anyway. While there she was thoroughly evaluated and eventually agreed to taking the antipsychotic - risperidone. It treated the paranoia though not the personality disorder, but she became calmer over all. We just moved her to an assisted living facility which specializes in seniors with mental health issues. Even then I had a call a few days after she got there from an LPN saying mother was on a hunger strike and could I call her. I said no as I have never been able to reason her out of anything. Mother forgot about it the next day and accused them of not feeding her!!! She has a phone, but since being on the drug she doesn't call much. I may or may not answer if she does call.

As far as your sister is concerned, she will have to realize that you telling your mum not to call will not stop her. I let all calls go the voice mail and listened to the voice mails enough to find out if there was anything real that needed attending to. Mostly they were crazy and upsetting Your sis will have to let those calls go to voice mail too. You cannot reason with someone in the condition your mother is in.

I moved mother 4 times in 5 years and I am now 77. Thank goodness for my sig other who helps me. The stress has affected my health, With her problems, every place became "dreadful" to her. Six years ago, we had hired a senior nanny who was live in 24//7 when mother was in her beautiful 2 bedroom apartment. The nanny quit after 9 months and I realised that we should have had someone with mental health training. Mother would have also needed the meds and without the hospitalization, would not have taken them.

I am in Canada so the system will be different, I am sure, but no doubt she needs a geriatric psychiatrist, and you should make full use of the case worker and social worker in the facility. Hire a geriatric case manager if she has a decent income. In short, do all you can to put yourself at arm's length. Pauline Boss a psychologist says that in the case of abusive people, be humane but do no further harm to yourself. Go no contact if you need to and arrange for others to do what is necessary.

I saw mother about 2-3 times last year, and a couple of times as we moved her the end of January. I will go down for a case meeting in a few weeks and did not agree to her being present - it would be a zoo. I will visit her when I am down, but if she gets abusive, I walk out and do no more for her that visit. I keep my visits down to about a hour, if things go well. If she was not on the meds, I woud not see her - that was my boundary when she was in the hospital.

Hope some of this helps. Number one - look after yourself. These old people are very resilient and your mum will be as fine as she can be, no matter what you do or don't do. It comes down to protecting yourself. I was about going out of my mind a year ago - now I have relative peace. Get the professionals involved and let them look after her, ((((((((((((hugs))))))))))
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They might. Was she seen by a geriatric psychiatrist? Is there one who calls in at the AL? You might get that person to see her. Amy, the idea here is that wherever mom is, they need to be able to handle her without your constant attention. Tell the powers that be at the facility that you and your sister both have pressing family health issues and that unless mom is needing to be transported to a hospital, they are not to call either of you.

If you are not connected with a geriatric psychiatrist, find one with admitting priveleges at nearby teaching hospital. Put your mother in that person's hands and follow their advice.
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Well, I could except my sister's husband is not well and she keeps asking me to tell Mom not to call her because it upsets her and she has enough to be upset about. Someone has to be the grown-up and business person who figures out the finances, etc and that would be me and no one else as it always has been. At this point, and this is cruel to say, but I don't really care about what is upsetting my mother at this very moment. She is going to forget whatever obsession it is and start on a new one tomorrow anyway. No matter what I say to her, it won't do any good and she won't remember it any more than she remembers the 50 times previously that I said it. I don't want to be around her because at their point I am angry and short tempered and I'm sorry about that, but I have no more patience left. I thought this place was the answer, but not if they expect $9000 a month. I'll put her in an apartment and hire a 3/4 time aide for less. Do you think anti-depressants will make any difference at all in her paranoia and obsessive thoughts?
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Amy, can you tell the facility that you need to take a week off from this, give them a number to call only in a true emergency and not answer mom's calls? A lot of folks here recommend that with parents who are bottomless pits.
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Thanks Babalou, that's good to know. I will look at Emjo's posts. I am becoming a stressed out mess. She is taking up so much of my time, both physically and mentally. I get no help in doing all the research, making all arrangements for everything, making appointments, and usually taking her there too. I'm tired of having all the responsibility. Just when I think I am off the hook a little, it looks like we can't afford where she is. She's a Dr. Jekyl/Mr. Hyde. I know she is slowly getting worse, and I'm quickly aging! I hope we can find an affordable place to put her and, sigh, I will again have to make all the arrangements etc.
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Amy, I'm praying that the antidepressants kick in soon and that she'll mellow out a bit. Yes, I'm afraid that eventually she will end up in a psychiatric placement. You can look up posts by Emjo, one of our stalwart posters here, whose mom is currently in a psychiatric placement because that's where she needs to be.

Her mother is a classic narcissist and I believe has been diagnosed with a personality disorder. If I recall correctly, Emjo has basically gone "no contact" with her mom who is also 100, for her own sanity. She makes sure that her mother has good care, but does not entertain phone calls.

It would be heartbreaking for you to have to do that but MUCH worse for your mom if you were to die.
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I don't think she is going to make it there. If she has to have full services, she can't afford it. From what she could do in IL, we assumed some assistance, but she is not cooperating. I paid $3600 for the room and they just added $3000 for full services for 2 weeks. That means $9000 a month if she doesn't start helping herself, just impossible for us to pay and she has too much income to qualify for VA assistance. What a laugh. Even though her income is about $36,000 a year (which just broke even paying for independent living, it disqualifies her from VA help for AL which is 3x more expensive) The trouble is, part of her problem is dementia, the other part is she is a spoiled brat. I hate to say that about Mom, but its true. She has always been a manipulator. She had someone else do everything for her, would never listen or help herself, and always dumped doom and gloom and problems on me and my sister. Today she is obsessing about her social security, calling and wanted to know why she is not getting a check. Funny, she can hear just fine on the phone when she wants, when she doesn't want to listen "I can't hear you". I've been paying her bills for 6 years and now this. I told her she was going to get herself kicked out of this place too if she didn't stop finding problems. She is not that far gone - she said "they don't listen to me on the phone". I said "Mom, you are driving me crazy with this (I've explained it at least 50 times to her). And guess what - she hung up on me. If we can't get the cost down, if she is going to behave like this, refusing to help herself, we will have to find a cheaper place and move her - and this time, to a mental home. We are still working on clearing out the old apartment and she is calling saying they have taken her furniture. But last night she called and she was fine and happy. She sits in her room and broods (because she has no interests, never had any interests) until she thinks of something to complain about and then here we go again. this has been going on for years. I can't keep doing this.
To all of you out there - whatever your parent's personality is when young - that is what it will be when old except 10x worse.
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Amy, it IS sad. But she'll settle in, I hope, with the aid of some meds and staff who will manage them. She's in a place with supervision now and you can grieve a bit. Be good to yourself.
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Of course, this morning it was back to same old same old. Phone call to my sister and then one to me - "I hate this place, they have taken all my furniture. I want to leave, etc" Both of us just hung up on her because 1) she can't hear us on the phone anyway and when she does, if she doesn't like what we say she says "what?" (very selective hearing) 2) she won't remember she talked to us in five minutes anyway. Sigh.......... its so sad not to be able to reason with the person who was once my best friend.
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God bless, amygrace! I'm glad things are looking up. Now, book a cruise.
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Doctor appointment went well. He seems so much better and actually examined her (as opposed to the last one!) Mom seemed to like him (she is partial to male doctors - that's the generational thing) He's doing blood tests and then will decide what to do. Bottom line though is you can't fix dementia or memory at 100, but can maybe give some antidepressants to increase appetite and interest in things around her. Mom was still confused (always will be) but she did say some nice things about the AL. Her only interest besides her family has always been clothes shopping, makeup and how she looks. So she is liking people paying attention to her, even had her hair done yesterday. I think we will be ok for awhile but we know eventually the dementia will get worse until she does not know where she is. We will sign a DNR for her and let God decide when it is time. I wouldn't want extreme measures taken for me at that age, especially if I'm not aware of what is going on and it causes my children emotional stress.
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Same problem here. Mom didn't take a shower for at least 2 years. My sister forced her before we took her to the AL. Today they were supposed to get her to shower again. I'll find out tomorrow how that went! Problem with collecting a specimen is that she is so dehydrated. But, now that she is in AL, I'm sure they can get one easier than I can. Tomorrow is her doctor appt. Hopefully something can be done to help her.
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Docs and labs have hats that fit onto the rim of the toilet to collect a specimen. There is also the catheter route if that is required. Even with hats to get specimens from my Mom we always get the specimen with a cath because of problems with contamination using the hat. Nothing wrong with the hat, mind you, but Mom's cleanliness routines.
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Amy, you are in my thoughts and prayers! You'll get through this, promise! good luck with the new doctor tomorrow :-)
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Thanks everyone. Mom is all moved in - absolutely wonderful lovely place. She is confused and for the next 30 days she is getting full care, escorts everywhere because she can't find her room etc. I'm taking her to a new doctor tomorrow and hopefully he can put her on something to help the depression and confusion. She is very unhappy (of course, she has been unhappy wherever she is for the past 40 years) and the first 24 hours she tried to call my sister 12 times! Oh Babalou, I do need two weeks away from her, you are so right. Once I get the doctor thing taken care of and then the hearing aid issue, I plan to disappear! She hasn't been checked for a UTI because we can't get her to go in a cup. Maybe the doctor can figure it out. She is basically uncooperative and stubborn. She refused to use the walker they gave her. Oh man, this has been some awful month!
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