Between a Rock and a Hard Place/Stressed Out

Discussion in 'I care for a person with dementia' started by JackieJames, Sep 29, 2015.

  1. JackieJames

    JackieJames Registered User

    Dec 31, 2014
    83
    USA
    #1 JackieJames, Sep 29, 2015
    Last edited: Sep 29, 2015
    Mother is so easily angered. I don’t’ mean to anger her and somehow it gets out of hand and I can’t make any sense of how I made her angry.
    Example: I cook and shop for her. She isn’t eating. Doesn’t get hunger signals.
    I bought Nurtirtional supplement Ensure Chocolate drinks. Called her today and she was enraged with me. Told me that I am pushing her around, bothering her to drink the Ensure (when all I do is ask). Same goes for the meals I send. They just stay in her freezer. No one is living with her so I am concerned. She does not eat. It used to be just me just she got angry, but now I notice that she is getting angry at siblings over what I think are inconsequential things? But to her, they are huge and she screams and gets so angry. I am not in a position to go to her house, and the truth is, if I were she might not let me in. Then a memory will come up from long ago, and she will be angry about an old, old issue. At first I was the only “child” she got angry with, but now it is happening with my siblings as well. One day he is the bad one, the next, he is good and it is me, and so forth. It seems to go from one child to another. Sort of like a blame game. It is horrible to hear that she feels I am causing her to have a stroke, that she is going to be lying in a box and other comments that “sound” manipulative. She was always a sweet, easy-going person.I am trying hard to separate her from the things she says and myself from taking it personally, but it is hard.
    She is not diagnosed (long story short, she passes the short tests) and brother has POA and will do no more as he believes nothing is wrong with her. I cannot talk to her doctor as it has to go through my brother who has POA and he is just not listening and disbelieves me re possible dementia.
    Then I feel so guilty. I feel that I have said or done something to anger her. I feel like I am somehow wishing dementia upon her by thinking I see it. So confused. Deep down, I know there is nothing wrong with my memory but to doubt her is to pronounce her with this disease no one but myself sees.
    She will not have anyone come into the home (home services she qualifies for) based on her heart condition which is almost end-stage heart failure. They send people and she sends these people away. Then screams at me “would you like to have strangers coming into your home? Yesterday, the nurse (whom she agreed to with her own doctor) to have come in once a week and whom she liked, she sent away. I happened to call her while this nurse was at her home. My mother put me on the phone with the nurse and the nurse told me that my mother told her she is coming to live wth me and no longer requires their services. This was a lie to get rid of the nurse. While I was trying to speak with this nurse, my mother was screaming in the background “tell her (meaning me) to stay out of my life. I feel lost and alone in all of this. I am so stressed out. I don’t know what to do. I love her but she doesn’t know it anymore. Sorry for the rant. I am trying to keep her in her own home as long as possible, but she needs help for that, and she just doesn't see it. She does not realize there is any problem at all. The problem is me. Thank you for reading.
     
  2. Margarita

    Margarita Registered User

    Feb 17, 2006
    10,824
    london
    #2 Margarita, Sep 29, 2015
    Last edited: Sep 29, 2015
    Gosh I do feel for you
    As your mother sounds like my mother when my mother was living alone after my father pass away .
    My mother had not yet at that time been diagnosed with dementia .

    Like you I also use to take every thing to heart . such emotional rollercoaster of emotions


    I know your mother not diagnosed with dementia

    So this link may be of help . Maybe Copy print it out show your brother so he will agree with you to have your mother reassessed on her memory .


    http://www.alzheimers.org.uk/site/scripts/documents_info.php?documentID=120

    "Mild cognitive impairment (MCI) is a term used to describe a condition involving problems with cognitive function (their mental abilities such as thinking, knowing and remembering). People with MCI often have difficulties with day-to-day memory, but such problems are not bad enough to be defined as dementia. This factsheet explains the link between MCI and dementia, and the benefits of having MCI diagnosed. It then looks at reducing your risk of developing MCI and dementia

    What is MCI?

    MCI describes a set of symptoms rather than a specific medical condition or disease. A person with MCI has subtle problems with one or more of the following:
    day-to-day memory
    planning
    language
    attention
    visuospatial skills ('visuo' referring to eyesight and 'spatial' referring to space or location), which give a person the ability to interpret objects and shapes.
    In MCI, these symptoms will have been noticed by the individual and those who know them. If the person with MCI has taken cognitive function tests, their problems will be seen in test results over time. Any decline will be greater than the gradual decline that many people experience as part of normal, healthy ageing. There may be minor problems with more demanding tasks, but generally not problems in everyday living. (If there is a significant impact on everyday abilities, this may suggest dementia.)"
     
  3. Vicnor

    Vicnor Registered User

    Sep 26, 2015
    5
    Sad times.

    I am so sorry to hear your concerns, I understand exactly what you're going through as I've been there with my Mum and I'm stressing out too! Seems this old age lark is not for the feint hearted and sadly we live in a time that requires strength to deal with it as little help seems to come from any other direction! I'd great hopes for this forum,but seems to be the blind leading the blind! All I can offer you is sympathy and a suggestion to get your brother involved since he holds POA,it's really his responsibility to get involved and he agreed to that when signing the POA. Good luck!x
     
  4. Chuggalug

    Chuggalug Registered User

    Mar 24, 2014
    8,007
    Norfolk
    You are most certainly not the problem. I have issues with these thoughts as well. More than likely; we all do. It's a part of living with this disease. Even though my husband is now in care, I'm still metaphorically banging my head against a brick wall.

    Now, to the issue(s) in hand. Why is your Mother screaming? Is it true agner, or is it fear of something. To me, it sounds like she's terrified/has some phobia. With any kind of dementia, the person suffering it is usually in denial. My husband still denies he's ill, even though he's had two strokes, and an operation a few months ago that he wasn't even aware of having, the very next day after he'd had it. Good thing he was in hospital as it was all a whole team of staff could do to keep him in bed.

    It looks as if the onus might be on your brother to get care for her, since he holds POA. I don't know what that involves, as I never had it done, but surely, he must ensure your Mum gets the care she so desperately needs. It might simply be a case of getting her on medication to stop the anger or rages. With her heart condition, it's not good for her to be so constantly angry.

    Can either you, or another sibling challenge the POA and have it in someone else's name? At least your Mum's GP needs to be put in the picture. Your Mum needs a care assessment at the very least.

    Think about who arranged the POA and call them, telling them your concerns. That might push some help your way.
     
  5. marionq

    marionq Registered User

    Apr 24, 2013
    5,849
    Female
    Scotland
    Sometimes we just have to accept that there's little we can do. You have got NHS involved and you have tried to help in every way you can. Your mother doesn't want any of this and even though it is dementia driven you will have to let go until some crisis happens that she has to go along with what she needs rather than what she wants.

    You have done your best.
     
  6. Margarita

    Margarita Registered User

    Feb 17, 2006
    10,824
    london
    Sadly in this forum people have had some sort of past experiences "been there before" with dementia .
    So that expression can't apply :) .
     
  7. Chuggalug

    Chuggalug Registered User

    Mar 24, 2014
    8,007
    Norfolk
    That's a sad truth, Vicnor. What happens to one is not necessarily the case for another. Having help given in one place does not mean you'll get that same help elsewhere. I should know! I've lived that truth for long enough. There's buck passing in abundance here, and that's about it.

    Agree with you about the POA since, from everything I've read on here about it, it is a legal document that has to be signed.
     
  8. Quilty

    Quilty Registered User

    Aug 28, 2014
    1,056
    GLASGOW
    I agree with the post above. When someone denues all help and the person with poa is doing nothing there is very little you can do. Stop fighting with her to eat and drink as she can only fight if you join in. Offer her drinks and food. Leave drinks for her and wait for the crisis which will enevitably come. When it does make it clear its your brother who has poa. Get the calls going to him. He does not yet feel the pain of this. He needs to see it for himself. I have been in this exact situation only i had poa and got to take over decisions when we hit crisis point. Best of luck.
     
  9. Shedrech

    Shedrech Volunteer Moderator

    Dec 15, 2012
    8,011
    Yorkshire
    Hi JackieJames
    Yes you are rather stuck between the proverbial ... and sadly it often takes a crisis for everyone to see what is wrong and for something to be done.
    I appreciate that your brother has POA (financial and health & welfare?) but that does not mean he is in sole control especially if your mum has not been deemed to have lost capacity.
    If I were you I would write to her GP and outline all your concerns for her. The GP may act, or not, but at least you will know that you made absolutely clear what issues you think need to be addressed. Her medical situation is between her and her GP - even H&W LPA only gives the right to be consulted (as I understand) not to take over.
    Maybe even write a similar letter to your brother - not accusatory or emotional, just calm and factual - outlining how you see your mum's current state and simply asking that he consider what you have written. Sometimes seeing something in black and white gives a chance to mull over the situation instead of a face to face conversation when we can all respond too quickly and a bit defensively maybe.

    Vicnor - sorry you feel we are all blind - I feel that folks on here have helped open my eyes - we don't have 'the answer' because there isn't 'one' - but we are helping each other through this horrible maze.
     
  10. skaface

    skaface Registered User

    Jul 18, 2011
    108
    Ramsgate
    I went to see mum's GP in 2012 at the advice of my own GP, who had just prescribed me anti-depressants as I was beyond stressed between things going on with mum, and work. Mum had just given out her bank card details to someone over the phone and had had her card stopped by her bank who had noticed large amounts going out of her account. While I was trying to sort out the resulting mess it was all my fault, of course.

    When I spoke to her GP, she was very sympathetic and asked me to try to get mum to go to see her, once I got her in front of her GP (not until mid-2013 though, she wouldn't even go for her flu jab) and explained my concerns mum got absolutely enraged when I took her home and had a go at me for "telling lies" about her. Her GP referred her to the CMHTOP and mum had a visit from a nurse clinician who did an MMSE with her. Mum had got the appointment on her calendar but when I queried it couldn't tell me what it was about as she'd not put any details on it. The first I knew of what it was about was when the nurse clinician rang me. Mum consequently had a brain scan which confirmed that her brain had shrunk, and there was evidence she'd had some small strokes and at the following Memory Clinic we were told she had mixed dementia.

    Once the diagnosis had been made, mum's GP's surgery asked her to sign a consent form so I can now discuss her medical stuff with them, and I can also request her prescriptions too. She still steadfastly refuses to entertain an LPA of any description.
     
  11. CeliaThePoet

    CeliaThePoet Registered User

    Dec 7, 2013
    614
    Buffalo, NY, USA
    I've been exactly where you are. My mother canceled all help I set up, would beg me to do things and then find fault. She gave away all the Ensure I bought. Others are correct that if she will not accept help, you must wait for a crisis. Line up what you can--POA, GP, care home options--and wait for the fall or wandering or health issue to swing the issue.

    My thoughts are with you.
     
  12. canary

    canary Registered User

    Feb 25, 2014
    10,526
    Female
    South coast
    Another one here whose mum wouldnt accept any help - told everyone that there was nothing wrong, and she didnt want anyone coming in. Except that she wasnt washing, or changing her clothes, or doing laundry or shopping or housework and going out in the middle of the night in her night clothes and knocking on neighbours doors in the wee small hours and getting into arguments with her neighbour over the bins and...........

    I was tearing my hair out and although her GP was sympathetic there was actually nothing I could do about it. It took her having a TIA and ending up in hospital before there was any help and then she ended up in a CH. My brother wouldnt accept there was anything wrong either :(

    You are at a most difficult stage Jackiejames. I suspect that you too will have to wait for the inevitable crisis.
     
  13. Chuggalug

    Chuggalug Registered User

    Mar 24, 2014
    8,007
    Norfolk
    It's shocking how many of you agree on the crisis bit. That's exactly what happened to us. It was only after breaking his hip that people started taking notice of my husband's true condition. I'm so thankful for the care that came his way following all that, for he was in a pitiful state. He wouldn't wash or change his clothes. It was a tussle to get him to do it. Now; his swallowing problems are gone. He eats like a horse. He's clean and tidy and comfortable. I couldn't ask for better care than that.

    It took six and a half years of hell before this happened. If he'd have got help even a year before, he'd have avoided the hip fracture altogether, very likely.
     
  14. JackieJames

    JackieJames Registered User

    Dec 31, 2014
    83
    USA
    Margarita, Vicnor:


    I guess I am not the only one to take it personally. Even though I know it is not my mother doing this. It is hard to separate her from this ililness. Margarita, tried to reply to your post with the link which I did read, but it seems like the computer read that I do not have enough posts to post a link and, thus, saw, your link and thought I was posting one. If that makes any sense? In any case, I read on MCI. Actually, one therapist, years ago after one of her falls said she had MCI. At that time, we all were in denial.

    It is a long, sometimes slow, horrible disease. My sympathies with all of you. I have prayed for all sufferers and their loved ones. Lit a candle. I am so grateful this board is here.
     
  15. JackieJames

    JackieJames Registered User

    Dec 31, 2014
    83
    USA
    Chuggalug .. thank you for responding to my post

    You asked good questions. Perhaps "screaming" (as in so loud that the whole building can hear her is an exaageration. For that I apologize. It is more like very loud talking, but it is aggressive. I do not know why. I do know she is suffering depression (she was never depressed in her life) .. now is agitated, angry, is in great fear (but will not talk to me about it. I have offered), and has been traumatized over and over with her heart failure ... repeated hospitalizations, repeated falls, hip (twice), arm, etc. SO, it is understandable to be anxious. She is on lorazepam (Ativan) ... or similar to Valium in UK, I guess and they want her on an antidepressant but she wont take it as she is on a cartload of drugs and fears them all.

    My brother is POA and he is burned out. No question. He will not even speak to me or my other sibling (who is in great denial and does not seem to understand what is going on ... I do not know why) ... so, this one brother with POA is unwilling to listen to me. He will not budge. I have broached the issue and says he disagrees with my diagnosis. I have not made a diagnosis ... more like I "think". So, he will do nothing. As to doctors talking to me, I am in the US and they tell me they cannot divulge information to me becauase I do not have POA. This has happened each and every time I went to hospital ... even in the ER. My brother is being very difficult and allowing the family dysfunctionality to reign. He will not communicate with the other sibling nor myself. Just a bit and a piece. I ask for more. He does not respond.

    So, it is a waiting game. I hate this. I worry all the time that something will happen to her alone in that house now. But, I cannot force her to do anything because they must determine that she is "unfit and not of sound mind". I did call about that. Writing this I feel double guilt again ... as if I want this disease for her. I do not. No one does. I cannot help that Ii see things and have concerns. I wish I were completely wrong.
    Sorrry.
     
  16. JackieJames

    JackieJames Registered User

    Dec 31, 2014
    83
    USA
    Thank you, MarionQ. I think you are right. I hate having a crisis happen. I cannot force her to have people in. She hates people from public services. I cannot afford more than we are already doing. We send in someone to clean once a week, we shop, we help out financially, but every day, would be a fortune. Every time I have sent people into the home, she has gotten rid of them. She feels we are all interfering; on the other hand, she calls all the time with all of the issues that she is having.
     
  17. JackieJames

    JackieJames Registered User

    Dec 31, 2014
    83
    USA
    I am new Marion. I think my response is on the next page. I need to learn how to work this site better.
     
  18. Witzend

    Witzend Registered User

    Aug 29, 2007
    4,295
    SW London
    I think we would have to be robots not to take at personally at least some of the time. You can tell yourself 'It's the disease' until you're blue in the face, but that doesn't stop it feeling like a stab in the heart when someone you love is saying horrible, hurtful things they would never have said before.
     
  19. JackieJames

    JackieJames Registered User

    Dec 31, 2014
    83
    USA
    #19 JackieJames, Sep 30, 2015
    Last edited: Sep 30, 2015
    deleted post
     
  20. JackieJames

    JackieJames Registered User

    Dec 31, 2014
    83
    USA
    Witzend: thank you for saying this. I keep telling myself to "buck up", be stronger, but, then I fall. Perhaps it is part of some denial in us? Denial or wanting them to go back to who they were? She sometimes DOES go back to who she was ... almost ... and, then, this awful "thing" is back. She does not know and is not aware that she forgets.

    We all have it wrong. She is fine.
     

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