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New, help with how to approach angry LO
Hello everyone. I am new to this board. My mother, 78 years, is in Stage 6 Alzheimer''s. She lives with my stepdad who has severe physical issues and restrictions on lifting, etc. My sister, a nurse, moved in with them but she works during the day. I have another sister who helps when she can but she also works during the day and has other family issues which take her time. I have the most flexible schedule as I am self employed. I have been spending most weekdays at my mom''s helping with her care and giving my stepdad a chance to get out of the house. My mom doesn''t understand his physical limitation or the stress she causes him. He''s wonderful with her. Fast forward: Mom got the flu, ended up in the hospital for 5 days, developed a kidney stone, oxygen levels wouldn''t stay up. She''s now home on oxygen, is very weak, refusing to eat. We believe her body is getting ready to pass. She takes only bites here and there and drinks very little. A home care nurse is coming in and monitoring. Problem: my mom suddenly thinks I am stealing from her. My sisters, stepdad and myself have tried to assure her that I am not but, of course, she does not understand. Mom gets so extremely agitated and angry when I''m there that the home care nurse suggested I stay away for a while. So my mom is dying and wants nothing to do with me, this hurts so very much. And, on top of that, I cannot provide the help my stepfather so desperately needs. We cannot afford home care all day every day, and my sisters are doing what they can given their work limitations. Any suggestions on how to approach my mom about her anger towards me? Or just let it be? Thank you so much.
Welcome, jj. You've definitely come to a good place to find help and support. Besides these message boards, there is a 24 x 7 free help line (800) 272-3900 that can help with ideas, information and support as well. I'm sorry you're going through this. It's rough and circumstances are definitely making it harder on you right now.
I would suggest you talk to Hospice for your mom. Interview several to find one that's comfortable. She might benefit from some medication to ease her anxiety and you would benefit from her being calmer so that you could be around to help both her and your dad.
You are in the middle of a very difficult situation but there will be ways to make is as easy as possible...not great but better.
First of all I would interview several Hospices. They will be helpful with you mother, your father...all of you.
As for "getting along" there are some guidelines. Do not reason, do not argue, do not say no, do not explain. No of these things are going to help.
What you can do is listen. Quietly listen...acknowledge her thoughts and feelings which are 100% real for her. After listening you can gently move her in another direction.
I can not imagine how you feel with your mother dying and not wanting to have you around but I would hang back for a while and hope that her anger towards you passes.
Hello JJ and welcome to the forum.
I'm so sorry this is happening. Paranoia is not unusual in dementia. It's sad when our LO blame us for things we have no control over. I have a suggestion for you. Validation is a technique that is used a lot in dementia care as a way of avoiding or reducing a LO anger and upset over the types of things your mom is accusing you of.
Validation simply means validating her feelings. Put yourself in her shoes. If she really thought you were doing those things what would she want to hear? Try something like:"Oh mom, I'm so sorry your purse is missing. It's possible one of us mislaid it. We can look for it for you." Then move the conversation on to something else she might enjoy hearing about. "Did I tell you your grandson won an award?" Substitute anything that makes sens to you and to her. The idea is to not constantly try to change her mind. That will make her angry. Acknowledge how she feels, offer to try to make it better, and move on to another topic.
Your mom deserves to have you at her bedside. You might also try bringing her something she might enjoy. Try her favorite music, or a perfume she likes (put some on her wrist, or put a few drops on her pillow. How about giving her a hand massage with some nice hand lotion, or if she wears nail polish, do her nails. These are just suggestions. You do what she would like.
Please also understand that with dementia, things change quickly. She may forget this in a few days. Meantime, it sounds like you are a loving daughter. Hang in there. She is blessed to have a wonderful family around her.
jj, this is a very difficult and painful time for you and your family. The suggestions offered are well worth exploring.
Her delusions are singling you out. It is the disease not your mom. When my DH would get that way with me, I realized he truly believed it and to try to explain that it wasn’t true was a lesson in futility. So I agreed with him, told him it wasn’t on purpose and tried to divert him. Foot massages were the diversion he liked the best.
Your mom is blessed to have a loving family and you to care for her. ((((Hugs))) to a loving daughter.