1. Expert Q&A: Protecting a person with dementia from financial abuse - Weds 26 June, 3:30-4:30 pm

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How do I cope with the anger

Discussion in 'I care for a person with dementia' started by Kezzamac, May 23, 2015.

  1. Kezzamac

    Kezzamac Registered User

    Apr 28, 2015
    31
    Somerset
    How do I cope with the constant packing of bags and waiting by the door for someone to pick her up?? Mil has lived with us for the last 10 years but almost every day she asks 'When am i going home?' or 'What time am I being picked up?' Or I think I'll be off home tomorrow'
    Today when I patiently told her for the 100th time that she lived here with us and she doesn't have another home anymore she called me a liar. When I asked her why I would lie to her she said because I've lied to her before! This really made me angry. I have been nothing but patient and understanding with her even when I feel like ringing a taxi for her!! I know it's the dementia talking and half an hour later she forgot all about it, but I can't!
    Please someone advise me - how do I remain calm? Is now the time to really start the little white lies??
     
  2. Spamar

    Spamar Registered User

    Oct 5, 2013
    6,838
    Suffolk
    Oh yes, surprised you haven't already.
    I haven't faced this particular problem, but don't forget she's living in the past. Was there ever a time when she was picked up to go home? From school, or from a job? Then that's the time she's living in and you have to adapt your answers to that. Plus, where is /which home?
    And don't forget she has a very short memory span, she not retaining ' you live with us'. As a consultant said to me of my albeit late stage OH, every time he goes into a room, it's new and strange to him.

    Others will be along with more specific help soon, I'm sure. Good luck!
     
  3. Kezzamac

    Kezzamac Registered User

    Apr 28, 2015
    31
    Somerset
    I'm just too honest, I find it so hard to lie to her.
    She's now having a conversation with my husband about walking to Glasgow - we live in Somerset! He's being very patient, not something he finds easy :rolleyes: I'm staying out of it on this occasion.
    He's patiently trying to explain to her that we're moving to Scotland soon so she can go 'home', but it's not going in. He's getting a feel for what I have to deal with 10 times a day, sometimes more :p. Is it wrong of me to feel smug??!!
     
  4. AlsoConfused

    AlsoConfused Registered User

    Sep 17, 2010
    1,958
    We're always being advised "enter their world, dementia means they can't live 100% time in ours".

    I think you might feel happier dealing with your Mum if you avoided comment as much as possible or returned a bland reply (eg replying " not yet ...later" etc to the "when am I going home?" question. The constant packing at least keeps your Mum occupied.

    As someone who hates telling fibs, my own practice is to say the least dishonest thing I can which makes my Mum feel happier and calmer.

    I find I have to listen very carefully all the time because Mum's understanding of reality can shift quite dramatically in the course of a single conversation lasting no more than minutes (eg at the start Mum's sister is alive but sulking so she hasn't got in touch with Mum; in the middle, her sister might be unwell; and at the end, Mum thinks she might have died).
     
  5. Witzend

    Witzend Registered User

    Aug 29, 2007
    4,282
    SW London
    Could you just tell her e.g. 'Tomorrow'? with maybe some add-on, like the roads are too busy today, or the car's being serviced, or the taxis are busy, or the trains are on strike, or anything else that sounds plausible and that might work. (I am assuming that her short term memory is bad enough that she won't remember if you repeat as necessary).

    I know some people do find it very difficult from a moral POV to fib, but the fact is that it can save an awful lot of stress and hassle both for you and for the dementia sufferer. Personally I never felt remotely bad about any fib, as long as it kept my mother happy instead of fretful or agitated or upset. When she was going through a long phase of wanting to go and see her long-dead parents, I would tell her 'Yes, maybe we could go tomorrow' with a 'but we can't today' add-on as above. It always kept her happy (or at least as happy as she was ever going to be) and she never once remembered that I'd said much the same before.

    I do hope you find a way that keeps her happy and cuts down your own stress - it must be so hard for you.
     
  6. marionq

    marionq Registered User

    Apr 24, 2013
    5,559
    Female
    Scotland
    Frankly it's not her anger I'm puzzled about but how you manage not to be angry! She's angry about a world and a set of circumstances she can't control or make sense of but I in your place with my husband fight the rage at ending up in a life of nonsense and delusion. It is tiring, wearing, upsetting and uses up my reserves of patience every day.

    My husband probably like your mother has no insight into the worry he causes and treats the whole thing like a joke when I have just collected him for the umpteenth time from outside the house he lived in fifty years ago!

    It's tough and you're not alone!
     
  7. Rageddy Anne

    Rageddy Anne Registered User

    Feb 21, 2013
    5,990
    Cotswolds
    I recognise just what you describe, Also, and have also found the best way to keep my husband calm is to " go with the flow"... Yes,good idea, will be going home tomorrow, later, in a couple of days..whatever seems right. He forgets immediately, but might ask again in less than a minute. And that's the first time, for him.

    I had the idea yesterday to casually ask him to remind me where home is...saying I'd forgotten. He tried, but couldn't quite remember, but after a little casual prompting he seemed to be describing the house where he lived when he was a child..Yes, there are some shops on the corner, and part of the road has fields and part is built up...there's a front garden etc etc. he seemed to enjoy ""reminding" me, and the questions stopped.
     
  8. jaymor

    jaymor Volunteer Moderator

    Jul 14, 2006
    12,237
    Female
    England
    If I had two choices, one being upsetting and causing my husband distress by telling him the truth or two being telling a white lie then I take the white lie road.

    My husband did not recognise me as his wife for two years before he went into nursing care. So every day was who was I, where was his wife, why was he here and not at home. He was anxious and agitated already, telling him the strange lady standing in front of him was his wife would have only made matters so much worse.

    So I told him his wife was at the dentist, shopping, hairdressers and while we waited for her would he like to help me. We prepared veg. ready for when she arrived or weeded the garden. It did distract him and he was content to wait. Yes he would ask again in another half an hour but he had forgotten he had already asked so no problems him accepting again that I was somewhere or had been delayed by the traffic.

    When he saw people in the house I would just say yes I saw them as they were leaving and then change the subject. Entering their world is the only way because there is one thing certain with dementia, you can't drag them back into ours.
     
  9. Kezzamac

    Kezzamac Registered User

    Apr 28, 2015
    31
    Somerset
    Everything everyone says makes sense and I know that I need to start doing the white lies and distraction. We are fairly new to all this, before Christmas she was right as rain, but the last 5 months has seen a rapid decline, with new behaviours and problems appearing all the time.
    Thanks everyone. She's gone for a lie down. She is normally much more confused when she's tired.
     
  10. Beate

    Beate Registered User

    May 21, 2014
    11,489
    Female
    London
  11. Dooners

    Dooners Registered User

    May 23, 2015
    6
     
  12. Roses40

    Roses40 Registered User

    Jan 25, 2015
    473
    manchester
    A lovely man on the mobile library said to me that his advise would be to enter my Mums world as she couldn't function in a logical or reasoning world. TP introduced me to compassionate communication and it worked so well for Mum and I. It didn't, at that time work with my Dad, however, now it does. Such a relief to have tools that work in the particular circumstances. Love Rose x
     
  13. Kezzamac

    Kezzamac Registered User

    Apr 28, 2015
    31
    Somerset
    Beate, I'm well aware that she can't help her illness and that she can't change her behaviour! And I know that it is me and my husband who have to change ours!!
    That's why I asked 'how can I cope with my anger'. I don't want to get angry with her, but in reality my anger isn't directed at her, it's directed at Dementia. Unfortunately it comes out when I've had a long day - I work and have a 10 year old to look after, my husband works full time and sometimes I just cannot be Mrs Nice, Kind and Polite any more.
    Thanks for the link - I've already read it. It doesn't make it any easier knowing how I should respond to her when it's the 10th time in the space of half an hour that I've had to deal with it.
    I'm soooo aware that it's not her and she can't help it, but sometimes it's too much for me to deal with.
    Today has been a very trying day for us all and I knw there will be worse to come.
    Thanks to everyone for their suggestions and support. That's why I joined this forum.
     
  14. southlucia

    southlucia Registered User

    Dec 19, 2011
    166
    A lie is only a lie in our logical thought process. Once someone's thought processes are diminished, there slowly becomes less and less of a reality between ours and theirs. Lies are no longer lies; they become kindness and compassion. It takes time to learn this. It took me a while.
    I wish you well.
     
  15. canary

    canary Registered User

    Feb 25, 2014
    9,336
    Female
    South coast
    Kezzamac - please dont think that we are all saints on here and never loose it. I suspect that we all have (I certainly have), but it helps enormously to have a tool that works. If you can head off your MILs stress by using little white lies, then it will make it easier for you too and you will both be less likely to reach the anger stage.
     
  16. Kezzamac

    Kezzamac Registered User

    Apr 28, 2015
    31
    Somerset
    Thanks guys :)
    I'm usually pretty good at dealing with her in a non-confrontational way. I just have the odd time where I find it really hard to bite my tongue!!
    Hoping tomorrow will be one of her good days ;)
     
  17. Tara62

    Tara62 Registered User

    That's a really beautiful way of expressing it. Oh, how, how, how I wish I had been a member of this forum when my poor mother was alive. I knew nothing of love lies. I'm afraid I just told my poor mother the absolute truth ("How can your mum still be alive? You're eighty and your mum died in 1951") - and reduced her to tears. I had no clue. That's one reason why places like this are so important.
     
  18. Kjn

    Kjn Registered User

    Jul 27, 2013
    5,835
    Ive copy pasted that , I shall show my mum, she is so tired and frustrated she still corrects dad I just go with the flow as it's easier when don't have it constantly .
    Your doing well you know , coping . Xx
     
  19. Chemmy

    Chemmy Registered User

    Nov 7, 2011
    7,593
    Yorkshire
    Many of us (me included) wouldn't move our MIL in with us, with or without dementia added to the mix, and you've shared your home with yours for ten years.

    In my view, you're a star, so give yourself a break if you have the occasional bad day. Heavens, we've all had those bringing up teenagers....:D
     
  20. Kezzamac

    Kezzamac Registered User

    Apr 28, 2015
    31
    Somerset
    Thank you Chemmy :) Mil is just preparing me for those teenage years of my daughter ;)
     

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