Advice for coping with mother

Discussion in 'Welcome and how to use Talking Point' started by Bossy boots, Aug 8, 2018.

  1. Bossy boots

    Bossy boots New member

    Apr 29, 2018
    2
    hi there all,

    First time posting although I have been reading your posts everyone and wondered if anyone out there can offer some advice.

    My mum has Alzheimers diagnosed 18 months ago now in medium to later stages. She lives at home with my father, both in their late 80s. Looking after mum is taking its toll on my dad and it’s his sanity and stress levels my sister and I are concerned about. We have just started her at a day centre twice a week and getting some help with sitting service for a few hours a week. What is really the most difficult to deal with is mums continual insistence with seeing her mum, my Nan, who died more than 25 years ago and her trying to go home to her all the time. It’s driving us mad!!! She can also get really aggressive very quickly after being really quite calm. Does anyone else recognise this is it normal? Any tips on how to cope best?
     
  2. canary

    canary Registered User

    Feb 25, 2014
    7,190
    Female
    South coast
    Hello @Bossy boots and welcome to Talking Point.

    Yes, Im afraid this is indeed very common. People with dementia frequently think that relatives (especially parents) who have actually died are still around. This compulsion to "go home" is almost characteristic of this stage too.

    Dont try and argue with her, or try and convince her that she is wrong - you can never win with dementia and it usually makes them either very distressed or very angry.

    The best thing is to try and divert them in some way. Some people can be distracted, others you have to use "love lies" Something like "its getting too dark/hot/wet/whatever to travel now. We can take you back home tomorrow. How about some tea and a slice of cake?"

    Some people can be satisfied by walking or driving them round the block and as you get back say "Oh look - we are home now"

    Use what ever ploy will ease her distress.
    You might find this thread helpful
    https://forum.alzheimers.org.uk/threads/compassionate-communication-with-the-memory-impaired.30801/
     
  3. Malalie

    Malalie Registered User

    Sep 1, 2016
    273
    Female
    Hello Bossy Boots - sorry you have had to find yourself here, but a warm welcome.

    I do recognise this sort of behaviour, and I agree that it it just does your head in and it leads to you feeling that you don't want to visit. I got to the stage where it was making me feel physically ill on the way over to MILs. Goodness knows how your poor Dad feels - how brilliant that you have arranged some daycare and a sitter though.

    I can only point you to Canarys link about compassionate communication and her advice above. Aggression - I would just turn my back and walk out for a minute or so - you know that there is no use arguing or replying. (Obviously this is not pertinent when PWD are being aggressive during personal care etc etc...) Just something to give the idea that you are not going to engage in that sort of thing. Return with a happy face and a cup of tea or an amusing thing to say and possibly Mum may have forgotten what was causing her anger. On the few times it happened with us that seemed to work. It is a horrible thing to cope with - my MIL was the calmest sweetest person you could wish to meet during the 35 years I knew her before dementia came calling.... XX
     
  4. Bossy boots

    Bossy boots New member

    Apr 29, 2018
    2
    Thank you for your reply. Certainly helps to know that we are doing all that we can
     
  5. karaokePete

    karaokePete Volunteer Host

    Jul 23, 2017
    3,045
    Male
    N Ireland
    Hello @Bossy boots, welcome to TP from me too.

    I was wondering if you might find something of benefit in the AS Factsheet about changes in behaviour and you can have a read, if you like, by following this link https://www.alzheimers.org.uk/sites/default/files/migrate/downloads/changes_in_behaviour.pdf

    The Publications List is a wealth of information so you may decide to take a look to see if there is anything else there that may help you. You can find the full list by following this link https://www.alzheimers.org.uk/get-support/publications-factsheets-full-list
     
  6. Hair Twiddler

    Hair Twiddler Registered User

    Aug 14, 2012
    879
    Middle England
    Hi @Bossy boots welcome to Talking Point.
    As you are a new member I wonder have you discovered Teepa Snow yet? She is an American nurse very experienced with caring for people with dementia. She has made several videos (see them free on YouTube) which cover conversations and situations many dementia carers come across. Her videos are positive and I find them "full of life", she is a very good and effective communicator - take a look you might pick up some new tips.
     
  7. Szaitisja

    Szaitisja Registered User

    Jul 28, 2018
    89
    Female
    Hertfordshire
    Hi @Bossy boots
    I would also like to recommend Teepa Snow. I have learned a lot from her videos and they helped me a bit in my situation at home.
    TP is also a great source of knowledge and support from other members coping with different situations.
     
  8. Canadian Joanne

    Canadian Joanne Volunteer Moderator

    Apr 8, 2005
    15,601
    Toronto, Canada
    My mother also would want to go see her parents. I would quickly agree and say "We'll go the day after tomorrow because I have a dental appointment/ work / etc" This would satisfy her for a while then rinse & repeat.
     

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