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Caring for my mum who has vascular dementia

Hugh1981

New member
Apr 4, 2021
6
0
Hi,
I need some help but don’t know what kind of help or where to go.
my mum was diagnosed with vascular dementia several years ago and I feel it’s now taken over my life.
my mum lives alone and can cook and clean independently. However, she is constantly on the phone. Every minute of the day and if I don’t answer she gives me the worst abuse ever. This has been going on for years and is wearing me down. She has no friends and she only has me. The doctor tried a befriended a few years ago and she refused to cooperate. She is terrified of people going to help. I’m not even sure what the help would look like as she is independent. I just k ow I can’t go on anymore like this. I have no life. Any suggestion?
 

anxious annie

Registered User
Jan 2, 2019
795
0
Hi @Hugh1981
Sorry to read what a difficult time you are having. I have read of other people being phoned constantly by their family member with dementia and expect it has been even more difficult because of the restrictions. I expect others will be along later with advise about the best way to deal with this . I think some have blocked their phone number and instead called themself at a regular time, or others have a recorded message sayin "I'm busy but will call back when I'm free"
I wonder if your mum would go to a day centre ( hopefully they are opening up now restrictions are easing).
Perhaps she may be more likely now to accept a befriended service now, and it's worth trying this again?
 

D3bra

New member
Apr 4, 2021
1
0
Hello Hugh, I have come on this forum for the first time tonight and you have literally written what I was going to ask. My mum also lives alone and rings me constantly demanding that I go help her with something. She manages to clean her flat but is not always able to cook for herself, I bought her an induction hob but she forgets to put her food (usually bacon) into the pan and puts it straight on the hob. I have tried to suggest carers for her, but also to help me out a little, and this has really annoyed/offended her. I can't offer you any advice but I know exactly how you feel. I am at my wit's end and hope that between us we can find some advice on here. D3bra
 

Buskitten

Registered User
Dec 10, 2018
115
0
hi both, I have told lies and got mum some cleaning help and lunches delivered saying it’s a ‘Covid scheme’ to help elderly people; it’s not perfect, as she follows cleaner around and says nothing needs doing 🙄 mum is unaware of covid - but the cleaner manages to remove mouldy food from fridge - sometimes! She also manages to give the loo and microwave a clean - two things which are yukky. It’s better than nothing ( I live miles away but also get the phone calls).
Very hard to get them help when they won’t accept it 😢
 

lollyc

Registered User
Sep 9, 2020
207
0
Pre Covid my Mum went to various groups, run by Age UK, Mind, and a local community group. When I first suggested these, or indeed anything else, she was very resistant. In the end I made her a promise - try the thing once, and if you don't like it, you don't need to go again. Suprise, surprise, she did actually enjoy some things, and happily continued to go. In fact she now misses them. Not everything was a success, but at least she gave it a try before dismissing it. I had to drive her to everything, so she couldn't back out at the last minute!
I would have a search for what might be available in your local area (once life returns to some sort of 'normal' ) - there should be lists on her council website, and Age UK website. Not everything has to be dementia specific, Mum went to an over 65's club, who could cope with moderate dementia. Age UK also offer personal assistants in some areas, who will provide company, light cleaning, shopping help etc. Churches and community groups also run many groups. @Buskitten 's idea of a 'Covid scheme' might be a good way of introducing someone , maybe on the pretext that it's a government scheme for those who have lost their job. Whatever lie works best!
I think the default setting for dementia is "no" - it doesn't matter what you suggest, they don't want to do it . Eventually I went from asking to telling - but my Mum is, relatively, compliant.
 

Hugh1981

New member
Apr 4, 2021
6
0
Hi @Hugh1981
Sorry to read what a difficult time you are having. I have read of other people being phoned constantly by their family member with dementia and expect it has been even more difficult because of the restrictions. I expect others will be along later with advise about the best way to deal with this . I think some have blocked their phone number and instead called themself at a regular time, or others have a recorded message sayin "I'm busy but will call back when I'm free"
I wonder if your mum would go to a day centre ( hopefully they are opening up now restrictions are easing).
Perhaps she may be more likely now to accept a befriended service now, and it's worth trying this again?
Thank you for taking the time to reply. I’ve tried to schedule call times in the past but she’s just ignored it. I’ll try it again with the call blocking and push for some consistency. She’s used to going to the day centre twice a week but it’s been off for over a year. Hopefully we’ll get back to some normality soon. I think I’ll try the befriending service again and wrap it up in a COVID scheme as someone else has suggested 😀
 

Hugh1981

New member
Apr 4, 2021
6
0
Pre Covid my Mum went to various groups, run by Age UK, Mind, and a local community group. When I first suggested these, or indeed anything else, she was very resistant. In the end I made her a promise - try the thing once, and if you don't like it, you don't need to go again. Suprise, surprise, she did actually enjoy some things, and happily continued to go. In fact she now misses them. Not everything was a success, but at least she gave it a try before dismissing it. I had to drive her to everything, so she couldn't back out at the last minute!
I would have a search for what might be available in your local area (once life returns to some sort of 'normal' ) - there should be lists on her council website, and Age UK website. Not everything has to be dementia specific, Mum went to an over 65's club, who could cope with moderate dementia. Age UK also offer personal assistants in some areas, who will provide company, light cleaning, shopping help etc. Churches and community groups also run many groups. @Buskitten 's idea of a 'Covid scheme' might be a good way of introducing someone , maybe on the pretext that it's a government scheme for those who have lost their job. Whatever lie works best!
I think the default setting for dementia is "no" - it doesn't matter what you suggest, they don't want to do it . Eventually I went from asking to telling - but my Mum is, relatively, compliant.
Thanks for all the great advice. I’m definitely going to try the COVID scheme stance. I’ll have a look around and see what’s on offer. Thank you.
 

Hugh1981

New member
Apr 4, 2021
6
0
Pre Covid my Mum went to various groups, run by Age UK, Mind, and a local community group. When I first suggested these, or indeed anything else, she was very resistant. In the end I made her a promise - try the thing once, and if you don't like it, you don't need to go again. Suprise, surprise, she did actually enjoy some things, and happily continued to go. In fact she now misses them. Not everything was a success, but at least she gave it a try before dismissing it. I had to drive her to everything, so she couldn't back out at the last minute!
I would have a search for what might be available in your local area (once life returns to some sort of 'normal' ) - there should be lists on her council website, and Age UK website. Not everything has to be dementia specific, Mum went to an over 65's club, who could cope with moderate dementia. Age UK also offer personal assistants in some areas, who will provide company, light cleaning, shopping help etc. Churches and community groups also run many groups. @Buskitten 's idea of a 'Covid scheme' might be a good way of introducing someone , maybe on the pretext that it's a government scheme for those who have lost their job. Whatever lie works best!
I think the default setting for dementia is "no" - it doesn't matter what you suggest, they don't want to do it . Eventually I went from asking to telling - but my Mum is, relatively, compliant.
Thanks for the reassurance. I think I’ll definitely try that promise that worked with your mum.
 

Hugh1981

New member
Apr 4, 2021
6
0
Hi @Hugh1981
Sorry to read what a difficult time you are having. I have read of other people being phoned constantly by their family member with dementia and expect it has been even more difficult because of the restrictions. I expect others will be along later with advise about the best way to deal with this . I think some have blocked their phone number and instead called themself at a regular time, or others have a recorded message sayin "I'm busy but will call back when I'm free"
I wonder if your mum would go to a day centre ( hopefully they are opening up now restrictions are easing).
Perhaps she may be more likely now to accept a befriended service now, and it's worth trying this again?
Im going to try your advice. Thanks so much.
 

Jaded'n'faded

Registered User
Jan 23, 2019
1,353
0
High Peak
Tell her your phone is faulty. Record a message on it that says, 'I'm sorry - this phone is unable to take incoming calls right now but the fault has been reported and XXX will get back to you as soon as possible'. Decide on a couple of periods a day when you are prepared to take calls from her (and turn the message off during these times) and keep repeating the tale that your phone is faulty but you're trying to get it fixed. Tell her that for some reason it usually works ok between x and y time...

Meanwhile, sneakily arrange some care - a cleaner perhaps. Saying it's a free government scheme and isn't it brilliant might help! If she is still demanding you go to help, you might want to 'do your back in' so unfortunately you are unable to come... but that nice lady will be there soon so she can do it (whatever it is.)
 

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