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At wits end(2)
Lori S.
Posted: Sunday, February 10, 2019 1:43 PM
Joined: 2/8/2019
Posts: 1

My mother recently moved to Ohio from Florida a couple of days before Christmas. She was homeless in Florida because of her mental issues. She has been in and out of trouble and lost her apartment because of irresponsibility.Anyway she moved up here next door to me.In the beginning she was ok, asking for my help as she is 72 years old.It then because to increase and started to aggravate me as i felt like my time was being robbed between my mother, my husband and my job. She talks in circles, talks about the past, doesn't remember a lot of things, blames everything on everyone else and screams at me quite frequently. She doesn't want to give me POA because no one is going to control her.She called the police on me the other night saying i threw an ashtray at her. This was at 1130 at night and I hadn't been in her apartment since 230 that day.I avoid her calls and don't go over to check on her like I know I should be doing. My brother refuses to have anything to do with her as well as my aunt her sister.So it all is falling back on me. Financially I as well as her cannot get an additional help.she will be getting some in home help a few hours a week but we don't know when that will begin. My biggest need for help is how do I learn to not take things personally and not get mad and scream back at her or walk way or avoid her period.She needs me.
Posted: Sunday, February 10, 2019 2:01 PM
Joined: 12/15/2011
Posts: 3908

One technique for taking control of this type of situation is when your mother starts in on you, simply reply "OK."  Don't defend, discuss, excuse, explain.  Just say "OK." and nothing else at all. Then just stand there calmly with an impassive expression on your face.  If you don't react, your mother will have nothing to react to.  The word "OK" will make your mom think that you are agreeing with her.  My mother used to go into crazy angry tirades at me and I learned this trick. I would say "OK."  mom would look at me, then after a few seconds walk away to do something else.  

I think the thing about this is to remember that your mom's brain is broken and you can't relate to her like a normal person anymore.  There is no point in trying to discuss something with her as it will only get her all upset.  So remember, to be in charge, you just say "OK" and nothing else.

Posted: Sunday, February 10, 2019 5:08 PM
Joined: 1/10/2019
Posts: 70

I agree with MacyRose. You are the one who has to be in control of the situation. The "ok" did not exactly work so well for me. My mother felt like I was patronizing her. So someone on here suggested reading The Validation Breakthrough by Naomi Feil. I haven't read it yet but I did find some helpful tips on about the validation method created by Naomi Feil. After just reading basically the cliff notes, I am now able to steer her away from any problem that she thinks there is. The main thing that I'm pretty sure everyone who has been in your position will tell you don't argue, don't go back and forth. It's not only for your mom's well being, but yours too. That is just pointless. Like MR said, her brain is broke. She will sound rational and believe everything she says is true or actually happened because it's broke. I Hate that this disease makes them so combative. It's like tug of war with everything. But as you deal with it more you'll come up with your own little tricks and coping strategies that you'll be sharing on here as well. I hope that reading up on the validation method and checking back here helps you get through this journey. 


Posted: Sunday, February 10, 2019 7:00 PM
Joined: 2/9/2019
Posts: 114

Oh LorieS, you are dealing with so much!   Like you, I have a mother whose natural stubbornness increased with Alzheimer’s.  I’m so so sorry.

I have been learning about “triggers.” Certain objects, situations and people can trigger agitation in Alzheimer’s sufferers.  Your mom could be having a bad memory that involves you.  The thing to remember it is NOT your fault!

Saying OK helps in some situations with my mom and not in some others—it depends on the time of day and the subject.   I have found that having a neutral person around to diffuse the situation has been helpful.  Others have been able to calm her when I couldn’t. Start with the 1-800 number (1-800-272-3900).  Try to find professionals who can offer their expert advice to you and your mom—social workers, nurses/docs, geriatric psych professionals.

Know that you are doing a human, compassionate sacrificial labor of love. 

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