Follow
Share

Is it bad for mom?


I have had caregivers for my mom when she has had surgery and when I have needed respite. One of the ladies is incredibly good. She does everything. She has a beautician license and gives us mani pedis. She bathes mom and does her hair beautifully. She talks to mom all day long, never getting tired of chatting constantly which my mom loves. She dresses her and does her makeup. She makes her meals and special snacks and waits in her. She helps her stand up every time and doesn't have her lift a finger all day.

But the problem is that the next day my mom becomes completely helpless and extremely demanding. Suddenly she says she doesn't know how to get dressed. She can't stand up without help. She can't be alone watching tv while I work on something else. My mom and I start to argue about her demand level and she says that she wants her lady everyday. Even if we could afford it, I'm not sure I could handle it.

Has anyone else had an experience where one caregiver has such a strong impact or makes an elder dependent so quickly. Is this common? Or just a unique dynamic the two have developed? The lady is incredibly capable, talented, knowledgeable, hard working, kind, fantastic cook, warm, funny and loving. But when I think about having her come on a regular basis again, I dread the change in my mom.

On the one hand I feel lucky that my mom is so happy to have help, and blessed to have found someone she has such good chemistry with, but on the other hand I feel like my mom backslides when her favorite lady comes. I'm wondering if anyone else has had an experience like this and how you handled it?

This question has been closed for answers. Ask a New Question.
Thats the trouble for a lot of us Lil the memory decline comes and goes almost flaming whimsically so. Two days ago total lucidity yesterday and today nightmare do I need to do this that and the other? shall i go to the toilet? is my pad wet? Do I have to wash my hands? Do I have to eat? Well lets try yes, probably, I don't know is it? yes, and yes respectively!

There is no rhyme nor reason to the way it goes for each of our LO - there will be similarities but there is n to one us who experiences the exactly the same so we just have to pick and choose the bits that apply to us and try recommendations and just see whether they work. If they do brilliant, if not then you may have to just try other things until you get a hit!

I know that's no comfort but sadly it is the reality that is dementia and during the phase when they know they are losing their faculties then that is the most frustrating for them too because they are scared and which of us wouldn't be?
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

Thank you for all of your thoughtful comments. You all have given me a lot to think about. Yes, it makes sense that she resents me the day after her favorite comes. The lady is not available now but we are staying in touch because I want mom to remember her attachment so when things go downhill in the future she will have some comfort from having people she has a close relationship with helping her. I have a long term plan for being able to afford more care as she ages but it will take awhile to get there. In the meantime I've noticed that the less anyone does for her, the more capable she becomes. The other night I was ill and she did everything that I normally do. But her memory decline comes and goes and I will need a lot of help eventually.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

Even if she has mental decline and by heavens Mum has it vis a vis her thinking she wanted a hula hoop for Christmas even though she can't stand or walk without aids, she can still do a lot. Yes I have to sit with her and constantly encourage her. Yes it takes 10 times as long as doing it myself, yes I want to step in and say for heavens sake let me do it, yes it is frustrating but she can do it with lots of prompting. She loves ornaments - I hate then so I bring in a bowl of warm water and she washes and dries each one carefully and very very slowly. Do I know about them oh god do I know about them where - each one came from (although it is often a different person and place every time!) but she feels useful for doing them. She even does washing up if I bring in the bowl of water but to be honest I do that rarely because it is such a pain. I asked my daughter to get a few trinkets at a car boot sale that needed polishing the brass or copper things and Mum will sit for hours cleaning those - I think it is cathartic for her in some way - whether it reminds her of her past I haven't a clue but she is quite happy doing that. I have to say it is a real trial and error (more often a blinking trial if truth be told) but the hits make the effort worthwhile.

I did think we could do so spray snowflakes using a paper doily (no idea what you call these) and spraying through them - no deal - mum can't press down the spray button so miserable fail but she can stencil through them and so that will be our next task
Helpful Answer (2)
Report

Let me add that the reason I question her mental decline is that before my cousin got dementia, she broke her foot and had in-house healthcare workers come into the home. They bathed her, took her vitals, chatted with her, etc. She refused to get out of bed and even took to wearing diapers, even though that was not necessary! She loved being waited on. The healthcare workers told me that she was lazy and unmotivated, BUT they were wrong. It was early signs of dementia. Later on, she was diagnosed. She now has severe dementia. So, when I see odd behavior, I try to look at what could really be causing it. Sometimes, it's not just the patient being lazy or demanding.
Helpful Answer (2)
Report

We just admitted my mom to memory care. The caregiver who has been w her for 4 years is continuing to come 3 days per week. However, my mom uses the caregiver as a "crutch" in so many situations that i am wondering if i am wise to keep the caregiver on. And mom will be fine all morning but as soon as the caregiver has to leave, she starts getting angry and agitated and goes downhill from there. I wanted the caregiver there to provide comfort and familiarity but am now wondering if her presence is doing more harm than good in getting mom to acclimate to her new surroundings. Not to mention the fact that i still pay her on top of the memory care cost. Thoughts??
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

Are you sure your mom is able to do things for herself? If she has mental decline, maybe she has forgotten how to do some things for real.
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

Lil you will have a problem if the carer is doing everything for her. Moreover the problem will become your problem totally because the carer is 'nice' and 'kind' and 'she' will do things for me. Before you go one moment further you have to use the tool I do.

You tell your Mum (and make sure you bloody tell the carer and that she understands) that the doctor has said ......... They will often do things if the doctor says it. You tell the carer that doctor has said she must be encouraged to do as much for herself as she can to maintain her muscle strength and her cognitive and motor skills. It's not a lie any doctor worth his salt would tell you that. So looking at what you wrote

You said
One of the ladies is incredibly good. She does everything.

Actually that's not good far from it

She bathes mom and does her hair beautifully.

brilliant thats fine

She talks to mom all day long, never getting tired of chatting constantly which my mom loves.

Now thats worth its weight in gold

She dresses her and does her makeup. She makes her meals and special snacks and waits in her. She helps her stand up every time and doesn't have her lift a finger all day.

This is the bit that has to stop immediately. She can bring in the bread and butter and ingredients and get your mum to make her own sandwich or bring the cake in and a knife and get your mum to cut it but she cannot be at her beck and call 100% of the time for the trivial stuff that your Mum can do for herself

It might be an idea for you to find some exercises for your Mum and ask the carer to do them 5 times a day with her and record how many of each she does - that way there is an actual record of improvement. Or get your mum an armchair exercise bike and get the carer to make sure she uses that three or four times a day for 5-10 minutes.

Even throwing and catching a ball between them is a good idea - anything that will stop the carer from being a skivvy - for that me dear is a different pay scale!
Helpful Answer (4)
Report

Ashlynne I can see why you say that. My mum however has a dependency personality disorder and boy can that be a pain in the rear sometimes. She won't do anything for herself at all if I am in the same room as her and that includes everything (unless its sweets - she can reach that tin all right - hang on being called again) OK back again. However she is perfectly capable of doing a lot more than she will do. So the doc said make her do it for herself. Oh yes brilliant idea. The first time I made her wash herself I had to change the water twice because it got cold. If I didn't dress her she would stay in her pyjamas all day in the dark with the curtains and blinds drawn and the light off. My mother doesn't WANT to be independent and that is a huuuuuge problem. Hold fast back in a sec. OK now she has just asked me to brush her hair - now she can do this for herself and I only washed and dried it this morning so I have refused. In a minute she will call me back in to brush her hair and I will refuse and so the saga will go on.....OK so less than a minute! She is now in a strop (AKA cross in your lingo) and I am an ungrateful .....well I better not say and she wants me to get out. Now if I should take her up on this and I have before and packed (as far as she knows) a suitcase then we have floods of tears and don't leave me you can't leave me but she will NEVER apologise. It's something I have gotten used to but it's bloody hard to live with.
Helpful Answer (2)
Report

Classic Narcissism.
Helpful Answer (2)
Report

This is a tough one. You have a great caregiver, but she may be violating a central caregiving rule -- to let the client do things for themselves whenever possible. If your mother had a caregiver who did everything for her, then pretty soon she wouldn't need to be doing anything at all. That wouldn't be good for her. I would let the caregiver know she is doing a good job, but have her encourage your mother to do what she can. This will help her to remain independent.
Helpful Answer (2)
Report

Your mother is enjoying the attention and wants more of it. And she resents you for not having her favorite caregiver more regularly. You're going to bear the brunt of her resentment unless you have this woman every day, but the basic problem is that your mother doesn't want to do these things for herself.

I encounter that occasionally, and depending on whether I'm tired or not, I may or may not comply with the request. But you have a more consistent situation.

The only thing I can think of is to present your mother with a budget for what it would cost to have her favorite caregiver on a more regular basis, perhaps daily, every other day, twice a week, etc., and also include what financial compromises would have to be made so she can see that it does cost to have this woman attend to her.

Another thing you might try doing is a few of the special things your mother likes, so that she doesn't see you and the caregiver as direct opposites.
Helpful Answer (2)
Report

I haven't had that experience, but I wonder if you could talk with this lady and explain the situation and see how you could work together to moderate her behavior of doing everything for your mom? Try that for a while and if your mom's behavior continues to worsen the day after. If it does, then maybe just pay to have her visit occasionally to do a mani-pedi or do your mom's hair and not have her there for the whole day. That's what I'd do...good luck! It sounds like she's stellar, but doesn't understand the effect she's having on your mom overall.
Helpful Answer (3)
Report

This question has been closed for answers. Ask a New Question.