My 91yo mother with dementia recently broke her ankle. She's always been anxious and afraid of things that could not possibly happen, but now with the dementia there is no reasoning with her. She doesn't want me to transfer her (for instance, from bed to chair) because she's afraid I'll drop her. I have no trouble doing it, but lately she has started clinging to whatever she's sitting on for dear life. The first time she did it, we both almost fell before I realized what she was doing, and I ended up wrenching my back. She whimpers and cries out in fear, and tries to stall endlessly. I've tried to be patient, but I'm nearing my wits' end.
Mom has also starts whimpering when I go to change her diaper. She says she is afraid I'm going to roll her off the bed, but there's almost no way that could happen. Nevertheless, she spreads out like a starfish and hangs onto the sides of the bed. I've tried to change her without rolling her, but she cries out constantly and it tears me up. She goes on and on asking why am I doing this to her and threatens that she's going to go into assisted living (if only she could:-).
I guess what I want to know is, should I try to calm her fears (I've tried to do this for more than an hour at a time but it doesn't seem to make her more at ease with the process) or should I just go ahead and do what needs to be done as gently and quickly as possible and ignore her protests? I know from experience that she will not stop protesting no matter what, so should I just try to save my sanity and get it over with?
It really bothers me that mom acts like I'm doing these things purely for my own sadistic enjoyment, and I'm really starting to build up some resentment about the things she says to me. I think it would be easier if she had just gotten this way since the dementia, but she's always been very childish, manipulative, and unempathetic, and afraid of stuff you'd expect a child to be afraid of. I sometimes wonder if her development got stuck at a very young age. She once told me, in all seriousness, that although she looked older, she is actually six years old.
Anyway, I could go on and on. Just having a really rough day. Any advice about ways to calm her fears would be appreciated.