How to keep a mother/daughter relationship

Discussion in 'Recently diagnosed and early stages of dementia' started by jude1223, Nov 25, 2018.

  1. jude1223

    jude1223 New member

    Nov 14, 2018
    My mum was diagnosed with unspecified dementia last week and she is very mad with me as she has been told she can’t drive anymore and it’s all my fault.
    I am the family member who has to sort and take her to appointments as she is unaccepting of her condition. How can I still keep my daughter / mother relationship when more and more she blames me.
  2. canary

    canary Registered User

    Feb 25, 2014
    South coast
    Hello @jude1223 and welcome to Talking Point.

    The inability to understand that you have something wrong with you is actually a symptom of dementia - its called anosognosia. Its not denial and they will never be able to understand and accept that they have dementia, so dont try to persuade them or keep reminding them. My mum could not understand that she had dementia either and would get very angry if I used that word, so I just talked about her "memory problem", which she would accept.

    You might find Compassionate Communication helpful to know how to talk to your mum, but Im afraid that the nastiness and accusations is part of dementia, so try not to let it get to you.
  3. Fullticket

    Fullticket Registered User

    Apr 19, 2016
    Chard, Somerset
    Unfortunately this is so common and, again unfortunately, is something you just learn to deal with in your own way. You are the person she sees on a day to day basis and so you are the person she will 'hit out at' partly because she is angry and, maybe, to regain some form of control when her brain is becoming less in control.
    Black humour got me through it - Mum in hospital after a fall and a very patient nurse trying to take some bloods. Nurse: So are you here with your daughter; she takes good care of you I can see. Mum: That's what you think. When I was a child my dad told me what to do; when I got married my husband told me what to do; now my xxxxx daughter tells me what to do! No xxxx peace.
    You develop the skin of a rhino and learn to take none of it personally. It was not what I would call a mother/daughter relationship as it used to be, just a different sort of relationship. But still rewarding in its way.
  4. karaokePete

    karaokePete Registered User

    Jul 23, 2017
    N Ireland
    Hello @jude1223, welcome to the forum, which I hope you find to be a friendly and supportive place.

    It is common for both a person with dementia and their family to suffer a grief response when a diagnosis is received. It’s called anticipatory grief and relates to the loss of the life that existed but is forever changed. It could be that this is causing some of the anger and denial. My wife refused to accept her diagnosis and riled against being unable to drive but came to accept these things within a few months. However, Canary is also correct in saying that some people are simply unaware that they have a problem. I hope it’s a matter of anticipatory grief as that will be easier for you in the long run.

    When it come to relationships I have to say that you should be prepared for a role reversal as time goes by and your mum loses her abilities. I find that with my wife the relationship is increasingly parent and child rather than man and wife. It’s a strange thing but it happens slowly so you adjust to it.

    Now that you have found us do take a good look around the site as it is a goldmine for information. Reading old threads can be an education and then there is the Society publications list that can be reached by clicking this link
    In the publications list you will see factsheets on things like the grief response and getting things like Wills, Power of Attorney etc.

    If you would like to check for support services in your area you can use this link to do a post code search

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