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Hi I'm new to DS, and support groups in general, I have been browsing your posts and they have been so helpful to me.

About me, my husband and I care for his mom who is almost 84, she has dementia, not sure how long she has had it as a doctor told us she had it after her first stroke 20 yrs ago but once she healed from the temporary memory loss she seemed like her old self, so we have cared for her needs for 20 yrs, thru strokes, heart surgery, diabetes issues, we moved in with her each time she needed live in care and about 10 yrs ago we decided to buy a home with her so we were on hand when a health issues arose instead of moving in with her for a short period and moving out again.

Her dementia symptoms were evident at that point but as we were use to her quirks we just thought it was old age and her not liking to give up independance of living alone, about 5 yrs ago hubby and his mom had a blow up over accusations she kept making about us, stealing , hiding things, us being mean to her, so we decided to take a break - we moved her into an adults only building next door to us so she was still close by and could come over anytime she wished (but never did) .

While she was at her apartment she was visited by the Dementia team, its a medical team that assesses her mental functions to make sure she is able to live independantly. They said she did have dementia but was fine living on her own especially since we were next door and checked on her daily.

So we asked mom to move back in after our daughter moved out, mom and our daughter fought a lot over little things like chores (we'd ask my daughter to do something while we ran some errands and mom would step in and do it for her and scream at her for being upset that she was doing it - my daughter was 13 at the time. One of the other reasons we asked her to move next door - we have come home many times to find my daughter in tears and her grandma screaming at her.

we purchased a stairlift so she didn't have to sleep in the livingroom like she had previously, she seemed like her dementia was still manageable, we were use to the accusations and paranoia part of the dementia but glad to know there was a reason for it and she wasn't just a mean person.

Now the current issues - sorry i've been so long winded lol - last summer mom was told by her "son" (he was a foster son who continued some contact with her over the years) he would be coming to visit that summer and he would call her when they were close by to get address and directions to come see her - now she hasn't seen this "son" in 13 yrs, never met his 2 children so you can imagine how excited she was - everytime the phone rang she would rush to answer it (9/10 times its just a telemarketer) but one day she was on her way down the stairs (on her lift) and the phone rang, she got all agititated that it was ringing and unbuckled and got off the lift about 4 stairs from bottom and lost her balance an fell breaking her hip. She was in hospital for 3 weeks (not long enough) aftercare people were asking us how we manage her on our own - they were having issues with her not following instructions - like asking for assistance to use washroom, getting out of bed without aide, they were concerned about her coming home but she wouldn't go into home even just to recover with trained help. So once she's home - I will spare you the horrors of her screams of pain and torn bowels from first post hospital movement - once she got back into her routine an pain had become managable - she now suffers from arthritis in her leg, I started noticing her dementia had gotten more severe, her paranoia is out of this world, and she won't accept that when she can't find something that its not because we stole it - she is insisting on living in the home like its 2 separate families, she even asked for her own fridge and microwave, second set of cooking utensils and dishes, she has her own phone (that only she can answer) she has admitted to starving herself to save money - money is her obsession - to the degree that her doctors have threatened to hospitalize her to feed her. When a bill comes in or its time to pay the morgage (we co-own house with her so everything is split 50/50) and utility bills she starts raving that we are lying about the bills and stealing her money - I make a detailed bill showing bill amount for each utility and then put how much her share is, she says i lie about the amount - even after i give her a copy of the actual bill for her to compare. She then spends the next few days saying she is not gonna pay anymore and doesn't care if the electric or gas gets shut off, she also threatens to call lawyers to see about moving us out because we are using her, she does all this talking while in bed at night - sometimes all night and doesn't settle until 3am.

i'm sure you have heard it before many posts I have read sound exactly like mom. She refuses to let us have any POA - we haven't asked for financial POA because we don't need her money to care for her and so far she's not having money issues, she's actually very protective of her money - won't spend it even for food . We have suggested a medical POA so we can make medical decisions for her - she gets confused when we discuss medical things because she doesn't understand her medical conditions - especially her diabetes.

So after a screaming freakout (over not being able to find a package of pens) - she's usually not aggressive when she gets mad but she almost tossed her walker this time - I decided to find some support. I called the Dementia team because I thought that's what they were for - to help us care for her but apparently they are only there for HER needs, she can get councelling and support from them but we can't - I think that is silly since the program is suppose to help keep them in thier homes as long as possible.

So here I am - I do apologise for the very long post but promise it won't be so long in the future, figured I'd get it all out there on the first go and 20 yrs is a long time to care for someone. Lots of baggage and horror stories to choose from.

Take care everyone and thanks for reading this far down :)

Tina
Posted on 05/15/12, 07:44 pm
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Reply #1 - 05/16/12  7:53am
" Wow you do have a lot on your plate.
Is your MIL on any type of medication to help with the paranoia and confusions.
Second you will absolutely have to get POA, if necessary against her will, because if you don't have that, no one will talk to you or do anything on her behalf. You will have to declare her inapt through the courts and the doctors assistance. This might sound harsh but it's for her safety and welfare.

I was lucky with my Mom, when she was admitted to the hospital, I managed to get her to sign everything even though she did not understand what she was signing and it was not a minute too soon, She could not go back to her appartment and we had to make everything happen for her. Not an easy task under the best of circumstances.

Good luck and let us know how things work out. "
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Reply #2 - 05/16/12  8:39am
" Thanks for responding, its nice to have someone listen and understand, Mom isn't on anything for her dementia - during her first visit with the team they offered her a medication to help her memory - they won't listen to us when we try to tell them she is paranoid and agititated all night - she even tells them she has bad nerves but her past records show she abused Lorazepam before her first stroke so they won't give her any now.

Since thier second visit they reoffered her the memory meds which hubby managed to get her to agree to take and apparently they also told her that nobody can put her somewhere she doesn't want to be - so she is now rubbing that in our faces, she gets a lil grin on her face thinking she won that battle but in the next breath says she wants us out - not realizing she can't live alone so kicking us out gets her sent to the home she dreads being sent to - but I don't let her know that for obvious reasons - the freakout that would follow.

My husband doesn't have the confidence to go get the POA by "force" but he wishes she would see how helpful one would be - banking with her is horrible - she yells at him at the teller, she gets tired at the lineups and once when she was sick she wrote him a note to get money out and thought that would be enough - obviously we had to explain it wouldn't fly at the bank.

She is actually only half our plate - we also have 2 special needs children still at home - both older teens but still needing some assistance - Hubby and I agreed that I deal with the kids he deals with mom but he works midnights so I end up being her 24hr carer and wake him when she needs something or for meals - she refuses to eat my cooking as she thinks I'm trying to poison her - even though its same meal I was serving my family ....

anyway thanks again for the support, I will be back soon for a shoulder to lean on, she has been particualrly trying lately. "
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Reply #3 - 05/16/12  12:36pm
" Hang in there, girl! You are truly one strong woman. Is there a doctor that your mom goes to that might help with the meds? Is there a Senior Services branch in your area that might be able to provide some help?
Keep coming here to vent, ask questions. or let us know the latest! "
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Reply #4 - 05/16/12  7:15pm
" Mom has a great family doctor and sees 2 specailists for her heart issues and her kidneys, she also has the dementia team who are suppose to act in her best interest, meds, support... but she lies to them about what is on her mind - she thinks they will think she is crazy and also gets upset when we tell on her so she can get the help.

today has been rough - she gets up at 5-6am most days, but since she doesn't like getting assistance from me and my huband is at work we have set up a baby monitor in kitchen so I can hear her get her breakfast - she's still able to do this without assistance, I get up just to listen to her in case she has a fall. So obviously I can hear her raving & accusations - yes it starts the moment she gets out of bed, today though I was in a lil grump of my own and when she came back upstairs to have a nap I poked my head out and thanked her for pointing out she's perfect and gave her a thumbs up - I know bad idea, she has been on a rant all day, spewing all her usual rants out - Hubby was in awe of her level of grump when he got home 2 hours later - told him what I said so when she told him he wouldn't be surprised and would know if she twisted it to sound worse - she didn't say anything just raved about phone books and pens and the money were are suppose to be stealing from her - she gives us noting directly - just pays her portion of the utility bills and morgage and that's at the bank so we never handle her money.

right now she's ranting about how we are not helping her at all, how we leave tv on all night - I was up at 5 waiting for her to get up so I was watching tv in my room - its beside the bathroom so she noticed the tv on but since "I'm lazy" she thought i was sleeping.

She hates my dishwasher too - says I'm lazy for using it, I say if it gives me time to do something else then why not - even if its time to relax before bed, She grew up on a farm so always rubs in that she worked from dawn to dusk and never sat around watching tv - I tend to do my housework before bed - that way kids, hubby and mom are out of my way if I decide to wash floors or need to clean in a room she spends time in. If i clean when she's up she grumps about that she can't help so that's why i clean at night but she doesn't see me clean so I'm lazy - *SIGH*

The things we do for family eh?

I don't think she's stopped ranting - she's a marathon ranter - 7pm here an she's been at it for 12 hours as far as i know - I took a nap this afternoon, Hubby keeps going in to assure her we are not doing anything and telling her she needs to settle down and get some sleep. She won't until she is done ranting. He can't fall asleep whith her ranting - they are at opposite ends of house and he can hear her.

Anyway time to start my nightly chores, not that she will notice I cleaned lol

Hope everyone is having a better night than I,

TTFN! "
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Reply #5 - 05/24/12  9:36pm
" I'm so sorry to hear all this, sounds just like my mom without the diabetes. Money is her everything and she won't take any medication or give POA. I feel I have to just take care of her, but I do leave her apartment when she accuses me of stealing. She never leaves her apartment, but apparently people, including me, are stealing while she sleeps. I work full time and am having a hard time with all this. "
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Reply #6 - 05/25/12  9:33am
" Thanks for responding, I noticed a lot of your posts are simular to our issues. Its tough isn't it knowing you have done nothing to deserve the "abuse" but take it because you are trying to help a loved one.

Even after we find the items she misplaced and accused us of hiding or stealing she then turns it to sound like we found it cuz we knew where we hid it - sigh. Just can't win.

A few years ago before she moved out she was accusing me of stealing income tax papers, even after explaining "why would I steal them when you are going to give them to me so I can do your taxes" she continued on accusing me - when she moved we found the papers under her dresser - they must have fallen off the top.
She of course wouldn't consider this as a reasonable explaination - Obviously I had put them under there to make her look crazy - sigh

Sometimes I think she must know what she's doing because she will lie to my husband when I tell him she accused me of something and he goes to ask when he can do to help her find whatever she lost. Once she was all worked up about missing money - she claimed to have saved it to rent a chainsaw to get rid of a tree in our yard - anyway all morning she was screaming about calling police (this was of course after my then 14 yr old left for school so she couldn't back me up when grandma denied it later - she did this often) So I told her to wait until Hubby got home to call police. so she went to lay down and wait an hour. When hubby got home I met him outside and told him what was going on so he went to discuss it with her and she totally denied wanting to call police, said I was lying - when i heard that I flipped and confronted her with hubby right there - after about an hour she finally admitted she did threaten to call police - Hubby was so shocked she that she could lie like that and upset me on purpose over money he knew she had spent last time she was out shopping with him.

The accusations bother me a lot because I was raised to respect my elders and not to steal - all the traits good parents instill in thier children but yet her daughters - who have nothing to do with her now that we are always around to watch them, have stolen from her for years - since thier father passed in 1980 - she never did anything to stop them (she had a small store and they would help themselves to the goods) and they still steal from her when they get a chance - now they "borrow" things but never return them. She won't say no to them. Very frustrating.

Thanks again for responding

Hope everyone has a good weekend.

Tina "
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Reply #7 - 05/26/12  8:41pm
" Boy I know exactly what you are going through. I am trying to keep mty 91 year old mother in her home. She does everything you have been talking about, today I took her to decorate my dads grave and it was just a string of foul talk, then we enjoy ourselves a little, get her home and she is constantly accusing me of something or this or that needs to be done NOW in her yard, which I also take care of, I say mom it is 46 degrees and raining out I can't work in your yard today. I retired last year to spend more time with her, but sometimes I WANT TO SCREAM!!! I watch these post to help me know that I am not the only one with talking care of a parent. Thank God years ago she gave me POA so I don't have to deal with that. SMILE and have a good weekend!! "
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Reply #8 - 05/26/12  10:47pm
" Oh i envy you - mom won't tell me anything she would like done, just holds it all in til bedtime and rants about what she wants done in her bedroom - guess she thinks I'm a mind reader - so we tend to take a few minutes when she starts to listen so we know what she wants done and tackle as much as we can when we have time. I don't know if I would be able to handle caring for her if I was retirement age - I'm in my early 40's and the stress is too much!!

mother has actually been on a good behavior so far this week, maybe because I've been avoiding conversations with her or she's just out of things to complain about. lol. Tonight she did have a confusion moment - thought she slept thru supper (she does this a lot) so after showing her her food diary, and assuring her she took her insulin already I managed to get her back to bed without a fight. Moments like these scare me - if she had pulled this at say 12 am instead of 9pm I wouldn't have been up to keep her from helping herself to her meds, and yes I have brought this up to hubby but unfortunately we can't hide the insulin because it has to be refridgerated :( pills we give her on a daily basis so she doesn't over medicate with those.

I love this forum, bunch of great people here. Thanks for the support!!

Tina "

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