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My 83-year-old mother is in mid to late stages of vascular dementia. Each time my dad or I go to leave from visiting her, she starts to sob hysterically and grab hold of our wrists, begging and pleading for us to take her along. Just keeps saying she wants to go 'home'. When you ask her where 'home' is, she usually refers to her childhood home. When we leave, we tell her we will be back soon and give her a hug... and try to leave quickly yet respectfully. Any suggestions on how to make this easier for her (and us)? I worry her crying is going to cause her to have a stroke or something as it is so intense sometimes.

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Dear Dana,

I'm very sorry to hear about your mom's crying spells. I know its very hard to see. I would try talking to the doctor or nurse and have her meds reviewed.
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My mom, who also has vascular dementia, has bouts of weeping hysterically over things like having leprosy, thinking that she didn't pay income taxes in 1939 and something "terrible" that she supposedly did years ago.

When this happens, I get in touch with the geriatric behavioral group that works at her NH and they adjust her meds. We know from experience that no amount of reassurance or redirection helps. In fact, it makes her angry.
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My LO, who also has Vascular Dementia, used to worry a lot and cried a lot to.   She would be very anxious most of the time and wanted me to be with her at all times. She was placed on Cymbalta, for anxiety and depression. It was a tremendous help and she stopped being that way and is content most of the time now.

Each case is different, but, I'd discuss it with her doctor to see if she is anxious at other times, other than when you leave. I might also check with the staff to see how long she cries after you leave. It may be that she recovers quickly and the crying is limited. If not, I'd let her doctor know.
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