My Mom has Dementia and She Hates Me

My Mom has Dementia and She Hates Me

The person who has replaced my mom does not like me a lot of the time. It is not every day but a couple of times a week. She does not like my cooking, my bossy demands or my punctuality.  I feel love for her all the time but dislike some of the things she says to me.

How to Deal with a Parent with Dementia

Mom was diagnosed with dementia one year ago.  One of the first signs was double-paying bills and sending multiple birthday cards to her grandchildren.  I shrugged it off for a while. Then I started noticing she was forgetting things that just happened. My brother and I were concerned.  We decided to mention it to her physician.  She was then tested and confirmed to have dementia.  We experienced severe sadness at first but then wanted to learn more about her condition and how to help.

 

PIN IT! Mom and I at the Beach

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How to Talk to a Parent with Dementia

Number one and right off the bat is Do Not Correct. I did this so many times and kept hitting a brick wall and to be honest, I still do it.  A person living with dementia gets things mixed up easily.  It does no good to correct. Her brain is doing the best that it can.  Try to work on changing this habit as soon as you can.

Leave Out Details

Leave out details.  I have been told to keep my sentences very short.  Giving my mom details in advance causes her severe anxiety and she will worry for days.  I cannot give her choices either.  I have to pick for her or give her two things to choose from.

 

Mom and Daughter

PIN IT! Mom and Daughter

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Stop using the word “Remember”

I still mess up and do this.  She does not remember and she will never remember.  It is sad but true.  She might recall years ago but not what she ate for breakfast or who called her that day. I have to do the remembering now. One of the most difficult things during this process is learning how to change the way I communicate with her.

 

 

Dementia with Negative Behaviors

Most negative behaviors are from an unmet need such as frustration, fear, pain, a disagreeing medicine, or their environment. Try to figure out what might be the cause of their aggression or negative behavior.  It is not easy but sometimes you can figure it out.

 

People with Dementia need Reassurance

My mom is not trying to be difficult.  Her brain does not work like it used to.  She is looking to me for reassurance.  I have to be that for her even if I have to walk away and take a break from her same questions over and over. She is desperately trying to keep up and she realizes something is wrong with her.

My mom has Dementia

PIN IT! My mom has dementia

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Continue to see her as Whole and Complete

I admit that there are times when I do not see her as a whole and complete human being.  If I am busy working on something and she is asking me the same questions over and over I am not nice all the time.  For that, I am so sorry.  It keeps me awake at night!  The only thing I can do is get up the next day and try harder.  The good news is she does not recall that she was even mad at me.  I remember but she does not!

 

Kitty shows up at our house

PIN IT! Taking care of a Feral Cat

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Role Reversal when caring for a Parent with Dementia

Having to be the bossy one in control of a parent is the hardest thing to do. I am getting better at it but there are times when I am such a wimp.  She cries several times a day.  I hear her crying as I am writing this now. I stopped and asked, “what is wrong?” She says “I am sorry I do not cook anymore” I reassure her that we do not need her to cook.  I then ask if she is hungry. She is so I give her an orange. She might be happy for a few minutes and the same conversation may come up again.

 

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People with Dementia want to feel Productive and Needed

It bothers my mom that she does not feel productive or needed. At age 86, she has leukemia and dementia.  I can see that she tires after lunch more than usual.  She still uses her broom and sweeps the floor. Routine is very important to her even now.  She apologizes a lot about not being able to do the things she used to do.

Finding a Note she wrote a Couple months Ago

I found a note she wrote a couple of notes ago in one of my composition books. It starts by telling where she lives and how old she is.  She continues by stating she is watching TV and it is 945 am.  The next sentence kills me. She says, “I feel lost and alone right now.  I am the only one retired.  This is not a good feeling.  I need support. Help me. ” I read it over and over to let it sink in.  She is telling me how she feels. I need to do better and make her feel safe and happy.  I feel so helpless.

Memory Care Support

We have had our first appointment at Memory Care.  We know there is no cure for dementia but have heard there are some meds that might keep her from not getting worse. I start a Caregiver Education Program in a few weeks.  It is called “Caregiver College” and I am excited about that. I have so much to learn.

 

My mom and Pippa

PIN IT! This is my mom and Pippa. She is the great-grandmother

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Dementia and Rude Comments

This is a challenge for me.  I try to keep in mind it is the disease talking! It is challenging and not easy.  Walk away, take a deep breath, take a break, read inspirational quotes, call a friend, read the Bible, and do whatever it takes to shake off your hurt feelings.  Do not even attempt to argue or talk back no matter how hard it is to hear rude comments or accusations! It does not work.  Remind yourself you love this person!

 

Resources for Dementia Help

I have a few favorites on YouTube that I would love to share with you. Teepa Snow https://www.youtube.com/user/teepasnow/videos, Dementia with Grace https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCFJ1a2l0rc28KYUTHvSQ5LQ/videos and Careblazers https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCVgK5-w1dilMx7bPVB5yNug/videos

 

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Take Care of Yourself

Make sure you take at least 10 minutes per day to do something you love to do. I love DIY crafts at the moment.  I do that when I can. It is something she can watch me do.   I hope you have more time than that but just in case you do not may I suggest one product that I love.  It is a splurge item. You are going to need some relief and I wish you all the best in this journey!

Here is my 15-minute Stress Tamer

Shiatsu Foot Massager Machine with Heat – Electric Deep Kneading Massage Air Compression Stocking Stuffer – Circulation, Feet Legs, Plantar Fasciitis, Neuropathy Chronic Nerve Pain Therapy Spa Gift

INFRARED HEAT FUNCTION (might take several sessions to heat up) - Improve blood circulation, relieve muscle tension, tired feet, neuropathy, chronic nerve pain and plantar fasciitis by turning on the heat function.
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SHIATSU MASSAGE & AIR COMPRESSION - 2 independent foot chambers provide a wonderful combination of shiatsu kneading and rolling massage therapy, while the air pressure applies pressure to all parts of the foot.

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