Follow
Share

My parents, both 92, moved from an independent cottage to assisted living this past spring. Mom is mild/moderate dementia, with severe hip arthritis. Limited mobility, using a wheelchair. Dad started having serious mobility issues this summer, finally becoming unable to bear weight. So he was transferred to the skilled nursing facility in the next door connected facility. He has declined at a very rapid pace, and is pretty much confined to bed or recliner. He has developed some concerning neurological issues, including speech and swallowing difficulties, confusion, incontinence. He has a consult appt with a neuro next week. It is pretty clear that Dad's life is winding down. He is scared, and has such trouble speaking...very difficult to understand him.


Here is what I could use some advice with. My Mom, with her dementia personality, has turned into a different person. She is not especially concerned about Dad...in fact she gets very angry with him, mainly because she can't understand him, he gurgles and chokes. I understand her mind can't comprehend what's happening with him...and her sense of empathy or compassion is gone. But she insists on wheeling herself to his room each day to visit him (admirable!) get the daily newspaper (ulterior motive) and then berate and humiliate him for his weakness. I go up each week for 3 days (GA to NC) so I can referee and moderate. But between my visits, I can't control her. It really upsets my Dad, and he's starting to have nightmares about her. I suppose I could talk to someone on staff, but so far I have not seen much interest in helping with family issues of this nature.


Any advice is appreciated. And just being heard is very appreciated. Thank you much.

Find Care & Housing
Mom needs to be banned from seeing dad. Plain and simple. Talk to admin and tell them it needs to stop. If you are there and mom starts berating dad she gets wheeled right out of the room. Do not put up with it. I would tell mom dad had to be moved to another facility or hospital so she can't access dad. I feel terrible for your father to have to be terrorized by his wife. Do you want what little time he has left to be like this? If this was another resident doing this it would be stopped pronto. And with her dementia why is mom being given free reign to go wherever she wants?
Helpful Answer (10)
Reply to sp19690
Report
BeagoBarb Nov 1, 2021
Hi, thank you for your advice. Mom doesn't respond well to "you can't..." but I agree that's what be pretty effective. I asked Dad if he wanted to prevent her for coming at any time, and he said no, he still wants to see her. So we talked about him pretending to sleep if she got mean. He actually doesn't have to fake sleep, he nods off very easily. Mom actually rolled herself down today...it wasn't a good time for Dad, but she was pretty nice and pleasant.
(1)
Report
Thank you everyone for your thoughts, ideas and compassion. Things have changed dramatically since I got here Sunday. Dad has taken a real dive... they have done bloodwork, tests, ekg, xray, and nothing is showing up. His doctor is telling me that his body his simply shutting down. I had sensed this was starting a few weeks ago, but now it is here. Hospice is coming tomorrow, so we should be getting him as comfortable as possible. He is not in pain thankfully. But he is so afraid. He can barely talk. I brought Mom in for a few minutes, after I had explained to her what is happening. She seems to be understanding what is going on and was actually very sweet to him...so grateful.

I saw a rainbow this morning in the sunrise clouds...a sun dog. Brought me comfort. Thank you all for bringing me comfort too.
Helpful Answer (8)
Reply to BeagoBarb
Report
Geaton777 Nov 2, 2021
92 is a "ripe" old age...Perhaps the facility has a chaplain that can come in to speak words of comfort to him? I wish you great peace in your heart as you stay near to your parents during this time. Thank you so much for the update. It's very helpful to so many people who are giving and reading advice.
(1)
Report
See 2 more replies
Would it be possible to get the newspaper taken to your mother’s room? Or even get her a separate subscription? It would remove the ‘ulterior motive’, and might drop the visits down to a less distressing level. Best wishes in coping, yours Margaret
Helpful Answer (7)
Reply to MargaretMcKen
Report
BeagoBarb Nov 1, 2021
Thanks for the practical advice! I am going to do just that, start her own subscription. But she is so cheap, I will not ever tell her its a 2nd one!
(3)
Report
Seems that both of your parents are not handling their visits well. I can really only see 2 options. Get mom a subscription for her own newspaper - so she won't visit your dad or berate him. Another option, talk to their doctor about mild anti-anxiety medication for both of them so they will be less anxious and act out less.
Helpful Answer (5)
Reply to Taarna
Report
BeagoBarb Nov 2, 2021
Thank you.
(0)
Report
You should ask your Dad if he would rather not have mom visit unless you are there. Or maybe he doesn't want mom to visit at all. Find out, if you can't understand him, use short sentences when talking and asking questions. He can answer yes or no or he can point to a big yes or no written Big use black marker on white paper. Or he can shake his head Yes Or No.

I imagine he is lonely and scared.

Also if he can still write, he can write what he thinks.

Ask other questions too regarding his care.

Older people do start having trouble swallowing but also in a Care Facility, they are all understaffed and they really don't have time to spend one on one feeding someone or doing anything much.
Please make sure he isn't hurting.
Don't believe anyone, check things out for yourself.
Make sure no one else is around when you question him as he migh5 be scared of saying things in front of Aides, Nurses and your mom.
Check for Bed Sores on his butt.

My 97 yr old Dad that was in his bed or recliner 24 7 had gotten a bad big raw sore on each butt cheek. I had them use organic Coconut Oil then a Butt Paste with Zink on the sores.
Same thing happened in my Dad's private area, as the Diapers keep the area warm and moist and diaper changes are far and few between so the loved ones do actually sit in their urine and poop til the changing cycle.

Also check between his inner leg and his testicle s because both sides, my poor dad had a fungas rash, very raw.

Sad but true, you can holler all you want but they come when they come.

The Nurse Patient Ratio in a Nursing Home is like 12 patients to 1 Nurse.

Just so you know, if patients are deemed too needy, too loud, trouble then they are medicated.
They tell you that your love one is anxious, depressed, acting up, ect to get your permission to giive him the meda but in reality, it's just to make things easier on them.

They sedate him and he ends up Zombie Like.

Prayers for your Dad
Helpful Answer (4)
Reply to bevthegreat
Report
BeagoBarb Nov 2, 2021
Thank you so much for your helpful advice. This facility is very good, I trust them completely. I am a hospice volunteer, been in a lot of facilities, so sadly I know too well what you mean.

Dad won't be struggling much longer, but this is good advice for when my mom starts declining.
(1)
Report
I'm so sorry for this distressing situation. If you are the PoA for either your mom or Dad, you could prevent your mom from going there (by letting the admin know) or by being your Dad's advocate and having her blocked by the staff. I don't really know what other alternatives would be in this situation, except maybe contacting the chaplain for the facility to see if he/she can bring her to the room to visit but redirect the conversation if it turns sour.
Helpful Answer (3)
Reply to Geaton777
Report
BeagoBarb Nov 1, 2021
Thank you for your suggestion. The staff is set up at mom's side separate from the staff at dad's side, so I talked with the mom's care coordinator and explained what I see happening. We decided not to prohibit her, but rather encourage very brief visits with a CNA pushing her wheelchair over to his place for the visit (and moderating). Plus, I was able to catch Mom in a very lucid and compassionate mood today, so I think/hope she heard me say that dad is only able to do very short visits because he's so tired. And I told dad to fake sleep if she's being mean. We'll see how this goes.
(9)
Report
I agree with the others. Yes, sadly, she needs to be kept away from Dad.
Helpful Answer (3)
Reply to MJ1929
Report
BeagoBarb Nov 1, 2021
It is sad, I agree. Because there are some times where she can actually be quite sweet. And I know he misses her. I guess discreet supervised visits is the compromise idea.
(3)
Report
See 1 more reply
Yup dementia takes away the ability to feel compassion for others. They only think of their issues and needs. Tough to wrap my brain around this also. Dad needs to have very short visits with her. The facility I worked in were able to help control those visits. If her visits upset your Dad…that is not fair to him. Talk to facility manager and let them help work out a better plan..her wheeling over may benefit her but what about him? Just saying………..good luck..
Helpful Answer (3)
Reply to Sadinroanokeva
Report
BeagoBarb Nov 2, 2021
Thank you
(0)
Report
I wouldn't blame mom, she is not herself anymore. Any chance dad could be moved to a different facility?
Helpful Answer (2)
Reply to SeanGA
Report
BeagoBarb Nov 2, 2021
Thank you.
(0)
Report
Oh god im in the same boat. My mom has onset of dementia and hvg yelling episodes. My dad had a heart attack. Hes out and weak. Mom is also very controlling and jealous when I help dad. He has to secretly call me! I decided I cant help him or her so im here in my own space trying to accept it. It’s brutal on my heart. Im angry and sad.
Helpful Answer (2)
Reply to Kimyashi
Report
BeagoBarb Nov 2, 2021
I'm so sorry. Thank you for understanding...its a difficult time.
(0)
Report
See All Answers
Ask a Question
Subscribe to
Our Newsletter