I shouted at my Mum today


Registered User
Jan 15, 2008
Not proud of this - not proud at all...

This week's obsession is "paperwork". This is how it goes:

Phone rings:

Me: Hello?

Mum: It's Mum, dear. (no hello, how or you etc). I want my paperwork back

Me: What paperwork, Mum? (this is the fifth time this week we've had this conversation)

Mum: The gas paperwork. The boiler's not working and I need to get the Man from the Gas (who?) to fix it

Me: Mum, the boiler works fine. We've had this conversation. I can come over tomorrow and show you how to use the timer - it's easy. There's nothing wrong with it, though.

Mum: (not listening) I want my paperwork. You and R (bro in law) have taken away all my paperwork and I can't find any of it. I want to be in control of my money, I'm perfectly capably of managing it.

Me: Mum, R and I kept finding old bills and stuff like that stuffed into cupboards and nothing was being done with them. Also, I found an insurance schedule for your house contents insurance in another cupboard and you hadn't done anything with it. We are helping you with paperwork and money etc etc.

Mum: I want my paperwork back

Me: Mum, did you just listen to me: I've already explained this

Mum: I'm perfectly capable of managing it. I used to file it all away when I had your Dad with me.

Me: No, you didn't, Mum. Dad filed it away.

Anyhoooo, it goes on like this for some time - and this is the fifth time this week we're having this conversation.

Eventually I snapped and lost my temper. I told her that she was no longer capable of managing paperwork as she keeps losing it (this at the top of my voice). She put the phone down on me. I called her back to tell her that putting the phone down on the ONE person who is more than willing to help her with managing her life is rude, ignorant and nasty. Did she think I was an idiot?

Mum: Yes, you certainly are an idiot (in a nasty patronising voice - she's good at this)

She puts the phone down on me again. Slams it down, more like.

Quite frankly, I hate her at the moment.

Never the nicest person in the world nor the sharpest tool in the box, dementia has brought out all the qualities that my sisters and brother hate in her.

Anyway, rant over.

Anyone else feel like this?


Registered User
Aug 9, 2007
Hi Susan


Been there, done it and got the T shirt. It is only human and don't get too upset about it. It can drive you to cpmplete and utter distraction. I think that one of the worst things is that dementia appears to accentuate all of someone's negative character traits rather than the good ones! When you get it day in day out you cannot help but snap. I know I did occasionally too and like you I wasn't proud of it either.

I suggest that when you get the next call you invent someone at the door and say you have to ring back. Also give your Mum a bundle of paperwork, non essential, to file away. For Mum it wasn't the boiler that ceased to work it was the cooker as she kept sticking it on automatic and turning it off at the wall. The obsessions do disappear but it can take a few weeks.

We're here for you if you need a rant to get it off your chest.



blue sea

Registered User
Aug 24, 2005
Dear Susan
I think most of us who have cared for someone in this phase of dementia have felt the same frustration and anger. I know I did. You would not be human if you did not feel expasperated and worn down. I would try to avoid getting into logical, reasoned argument when this happens. It sounds as though your mother is past the stage of responding to this. Try agreeing, with some bland words ('yes, it is annoying isn't it'), then changing the subject. Make an excuse that someone is at the door and put the phone down before you lose your temper. Doesn't always work, I know, but then neither does arguing. Your mum has lost the ability to understand what is happening to her and to make sense of your logical arguments.
This stage will pass, though, sadly, it is replaced by different problems. Take care of yourself - you are doing your best and your mum is very lucky to have you.
Blue sea


Registered User
Nov 16, 2007
East Midlands
Hello Susan,

I would try to avoid getting into logical, reasoned argument when this happens.
I'd agree with this..sorry you're having a bad time at the moment..things will change but you've got some good advice to help you deal with the now.
It's a learning curve for us all..and you are entitled to lose your cool sometimes..you're only human.

I try changing the subject..diversionary tactics..:D..it takes some practice to get it right and not feel guilty when you know you are avoiding the truth..but it's good when it works!!

Take a step back..and a deep breath..:)

Love Gigi xx

Grannie G

Volunteer Moderator
Apr 3, 2006
Anyone else feel like this?
Many times Susan, many, many times.

I would suggest, as Blue Sea says, that you try to avoid any rational, logical discussion. It is pointless, it solves nothing, it`s a waste of energy. Your mother is past the stage of being able to understand your reasoning.

The next time she phones, if she refuses to accept your first explanation, just tell her quietly and calmly, that because you can see she is not listening to resaon, there is no point in discussing it further. Tell her you are going to put the phone down and you will talk to her again when she has calmed down. If necessary, leave the phone off the hook for a while.

Because I live with it, I walk out of the room. It`s strange, Dhiren has never followed me to continue the aggro, but has waited an hour or so before coming to find me.

Please try to rise above it. However ill you know your mother is, she is draining you. You are not compelled to take so much hassle from her. It is not in your contract.

Love xx


Registered User
Jan 15, 2008
Thank you for your support and advice, everyone.

I think your ideas are sound and I will try them. I know that she is no longer capable of following logical argument (I know this in my heart and brain) but she SEEMS so lucid and "normal" in many ways so the dementia tricks me...

On another but related point, she continually upsets her neighbour and friend by behaviour similar to that described in my first post. Also, Mum is rude and aggressive to this lovely lady, without whom we would be up the creek without a proverbial paddle. She upset W so much last weekend that this poor lady was ill and took to her bed for a day. I was horrified and upset by this, as you can imagine. Mum's neighbour is never less than a true friend to my Mum and always helps and supports her. You wonder why people with dementia hit out at those who truly understand and care for them...OK, I know why but my logical mind doesn't compute this.

Grannie G

Volunteer Moderator
Apr 3, 2006
I would try to explain to your neighbour and give her some guidance.

My husband began to pester our neighbours when he was fed up with me. He would knock on their door, and ask them to help him get his own pension and buy a ticket to get away from `the woman next door who is taking all his money.`

I told them to stop answering the door to him. They were upset about this as they felt so sorry for him, but I told them he is not their responsibility but mine. It`s OK to have kind and helpful neighbours, but it`s not fair if it gets them down too.

Tender Face

Account Closed
Mar 14, 2006
NW England
I may not be proud - but at least I know I'm human!

Anyone else feel like this?
Oh, by the bucketful at times ..... :eek: No, surprisingly I don't often 'shout' at mum but when I have and I see that wounded face ....... :( or she tells me 'You were a bit short on the phone with me' (How on earth does she remember THAT???!!!!) .... then on top of your own despair creeps in the Guilt Monster ....

I agree with the advice already given - having an idea of the diversionary 'tactics' you might be able to use (before I go away and shout and scream elsewhere in my case:rolleyes:)is good exercise anyway - even if you never have to put them into place ...

Last year I spent hours (it seemed) trying to convince my mum that it was the rain not her tree which was flooding her garden .... when the obsession threatened to resurface again earlier this year I had learnt to 'dodge it' ("Yes, I'll ring the council" (fib, fib, fib) .... "Now is there anything special you want me to bring tomorrow?" etc ....

On mum's neighbours .... yes, I am blessed - and yes, I make a point of giving occassional token gifts to let them know how much I appreciate them (the sort of thing my mother would do previously) ..... but also try to find the time to call on them to just chat about how THEY are ..... keeping up the 'reciprocity' that existed before mum was ill seems to be another role we maybe have to undertake....?

Karen, x


Registered User
Jan 1, 2007
Newcastle upon Tyne

Yes - paperwork was a big nightmare with my Dad. He wouldn't let us look at it, but then wanted help. I told him if he wanted help he would have to let us look at it. He would spread bills and statements out all over his bed and then sit and stress about them all because he couldn't understand anything. He would get stressed and try to make phonecalls to people who had put fliers through the door (I managed to get the junk mail stopped because that confused him no end). I gave him a shoe box with "POST" written on it and asked him to put all the incoming post in it for me to see - but he couldn't. And yes - I lost it with him more than a few times.

Now he is in a home and I have all his and Mum's paperwork here. I sorted it all out and though it was in a bit of a mess, it was all there - every single thing he must have received for years - including the envelopes. He had started filing away the newspapers as well. Bless him.


Registered User
Jul 10, 2007
Susan we have all been there Im sure.
The worst thing for me was wondering if the behaviour was just mum at her worst or the ilness, and yes I used to hate her too when that happened. :(

Latest little episode was 3 days ago when I took her lunch round.

Mum " Someone has stolen the cable from my toothbrush and the TV thingy (remote she means)"

Me " Perhaps you put them somewhere mum?"

Mum "No you or Lianne (grandaughter) Stole them! You are the only ones who come in. Im gonna chop your fingers off! Fancy stealing from a 70 year old widow! (shes 74)I hope whoever stole them dies! Im going to ring the police and tell them you steal from me"

Me "ok Mum theres the phone please ring the police. (Mum walks to phone I leave the house)

I try once to make her see sense then dont try again.
I did put a call into her Mental health nurse as last time Mum started to act like this it culminated into violence from her and the MHN after coming to see Mum and chatting to her and with consultation with Mums AD consultant has agreed to increase the dose of anti psychotic.

The best thing I can say to help you is;

There is no logic in an illogical situaton. In other words its like trying to explain to a wall, neither listen. :(


Registered User
Jan 15, 2008
Crikey, ishard

Your description of your Mum's behaviour makes me cringe...how horrible for you (and for us all, really) to be accused of these things. I wonder what the police said to her (I imagine a bemused desk sergeant answering the phone) if she did actually call them? "Yes, well, we'll send round a pc to arrest your daughter."?!!!

Funnily enough, I had yet another phone answering message left at 5pm this evening not mentioning this morning's shouting match at all and certainly it had no apology in it. She's forgotten again.

No logic to illogical behaviour, as you say


Registered User
Jun 3, 2005
Anyone else feel like this?
Oh Susan, only all of us at some time or another.
Speaking for myself, I not only feel like it but, sad to say, act like it also.

You/I/one CAN'T always continue to bottle up the frustration and anyway, it may be beneficial to 'bring her up short' and make her think about her actions and behaviour sometimes.
I don't mean to give offence by this comparison, but think of it as if you were training a puppy. Its attention span is short (as is that of a person with Alz/dementia) so if you correct it as soon as 'misbehaviour' happens, it links cause & effect. However, it is no good expecting the pup to remember the action an hour later - he's forgotten. So YOU have to forget too, otherwise you are just going to continue to boil up your blood inside. Easier said than done I know, but you have to look after your own mental well-being too.

Best wishes


Registered User
Feb 17, 2008
I feel like screaming lots, yesterday I realised if we agree with her she doesn't know what to say and shuts up. her main thing is - are you talking about me - if we say no she shouts at us yes you are and try's to cause a arguement but if you tell her yes we are she shuts up and walks away today has been good as any thing she has said w have agreed on wether true or not but it has avoided confrontation,
you could say yes I will bring the paperwork round tomorrow and hope tomorrow she has forgot or take some old paperwork round to keep her happy.


Registered User
Oct 13, 2007
hi everyone, i'm new on here. have been reading through the posts and this one struck a real chord with me. my mum has vascular dementia and lives with me so i know exactly where you're coming from, it can be extremely frustrating. i've found the best way to deal with it in my case is to jolly mum along with an "i have the papers/whatever here (or upstairs), i'll give them to you soon". result: a satisfied mum who's had her fears acknowledged and who feels happy that she'll be getting her belongings back soon. 9 times out of 10 she forgets all about it after that. isn't it strange.

Margaret W

Registered User
Apr 28, 2007
North Derbyshire
Oh Susan, what do you do? It is dead obvious that your mum is not at all capable of dealing with her finances, but thinks she is. I have never been in that position, so I can't advise. I always thought mum did great with her finances until she was found wandering in the street at night at hospitalised. Then I found the evidence. Bills not paid, bills paid twice, or three times, important communications not even opened, but as she was in hospital we never got to the stage of getting her to accept help in managing things, we just sorted it for her.

Power of Attorney is one thing you must get. You do not have to exercise it at once, you just have the power to do so (I might be a bit out of date, there is a new system operating now).

But if your mum is resistant, I don't know what to say. Maybe someone else on here will have some idea.

Thank goodness she has a kind daughter looking out for her.


Kate P

Registered User
Jul 6, 2007

I too can empathise with this.

My mum gets a bee in her bonnet about something and there's no moving it. Unfortunately as her speech is practically non-existent now her mithering tends to be in the form of taps and nudges that increase in frequency and force as we try to figure out what is bugging her.

My sister, dad and myself have all lost our rags and it's never helped at all but we're human and frankly somedays you can only take so much. Only Easter Sunday we had such an incident - we were having a little "tea party" for the kids in the family and mum just went off on one for who knows what reason. In the end my sister lost her rag with mum and shouted at her saying she wasn't going to spoil the kids day. This resulted in mum howling her head off hysterically and making the whole situation a hundred times worse - but we are not robots - we can't always stay in control. I tell my sister not to feel bad about it but then I always do when I've done it!

We've found a combination of trying to somewhat give her what she wants along with distraction. Somedays it works, somedays not at all.

Mameeskye's suggestion seems a good one - can you give her some completely irrelevant paperwork to mind so that she feels like she's doing something?

I think dementia has certainly brought out all the unpleasant aspects of my mum's personality and to be honest all the nice ones have totally gone, which is the way of it with FTD. I feel like I don't know her at all anymore - hard as it is to admit I have days when I hate her - usually when a long planned for or special occasion is being ruined. I always try to keep at the front of my mind "this isn't my mum but the dementia talking" but it's easier said than done.

I think that all we can all do is continue to do our best and beat that guilt monster away when he comes knocking - he achieves nothing, helps nothing, contributes nothing. I personally find my punch bag a huge help (that's an actual punch bag not my hubby!).


Registered User
Aug 21, 2007
Hi Susan

Lots and lots of sympathy to you from one who's often snapped at Dad and sometimes screamed at him in frustration. I still cringe at some of my reactions to him, am still very very ashamed of how I yelled and shouted, it was always after a very long day when he'd handed me the very small straw that always broke the camels back! Even though he's not long gone into a care home I sometimes have to grit my teeth and try to stay calm because of course he doesn't realise that I'm not totally in charge of his life now and there's other people there to help him. He's still very clingy and dependent on me.

Poor old Dad, I'm surprised he didn't take one of his highly treasured and fabulously sharpened chefs knives to me - though he did throw a stanley knife at me some years ago pre AD days! All I achieved was to distress him even more but I just kept right on going despite knowing that every cross word was totally out of order.

You can't help your stress, frustration and upset, the disease is such a hard thing to handle.
I started to admit to people that I shouted at Dad, it's the first thing I told Dads doctor when I finally cried for help. Admitting it somehow put me in perspective and made me a bit more aware of how to handle myself, I probably should have gone for counselling but just never found the time.
Sadly Dad seems to remember the times I shouted at him quite clearly though he never seems to hold it against me bless his cottons.

AJay xxx


Registered User
Feb 27, 2008
I thought I was the only one

Have logged on today for the first time this week. I know exactly how you feel. My mum had an accident last week (she fell in the drive) and has badly damaged her hand. I have been at the hospital three times with her to get it dressed ( as she keeps removing dressings at night time when no one is there) and she has now been given penicillin which I left in the house for the carer to give her at tea time ( Stupid me left the whole pack and not just the four tablets for that night) Went in this morning to find she had removed them all from the blister pack and put in the bin.When I questioned her about it (before I found them I thought she had taken them) she started getting very abusive accusing me of taking them and referring that she was stupid!! She then told me to leave
I then had to go to doctors surgery and get more tablets
If nothing else I have learned to dish out things on a daily basis
Like you I felt that I hated her this morning


Registered User
Jan 15, 2008
Thank you, everyone

For your support and kind words, above all some excellent advice. We already have power of attorney and on further research have discovered that it's a bit "brutal" - Mum wouldn't even be able to issue cheques without our say so, so we need to go back to the drawing board on this one. Regarding her pension, we can apparently have an arrangement with the PO that she could continue to withdraw her pension in cash each week.

Yesterday was bad. Today is better. No phone calls - in fact, she has gone to stay with my older sister for the weekend and (get this) thinks I'm "away on business" for two weeks in the States. This was recommended by the CPN as a way of giving me a break and the rest of the family has gone along with it. Phew. Tomorrow - I will wake up with NO WORRIES that the phone calls will start.

It's hard to talk about Mum. I don't love her (I never have) and to be honest, a lot of the time I don't even like her very much. She's judgemental, a racist, a snob and totally lacks social skills and empathy. And that was before the dementia set in. Now it's making her even worse. To top it all, she has never really bothered to use her brain properly as my Dad did all the "thinking" for her - organised bills, trips, situations, you name it. To top it, she's very stupid. Has no interest in current affairs of modern culture, hates "other old people", says nasty things about everyone and has always been very boastful about how wonderful she is. Define "wonderful".

Hhmmmmm....I expect that last paragraph is going to go down very badly indeed.

Sorry - I can't help it. I loved my Dad dearly and miss him every day but the same feelings of love and loyalty just can't be applied to my Mum. My two sisters and brother feel the same.

Maybe this is why we're all child free.


Registered User
Mar 22, 2008
Oh Susan, it sounds as if your mother is a clone of mine.

Power of attorney can help - but with my mother it has meant that she now accuses me of taking money out of her bank account as well as all the other thing she is horrible about.

Yet this person is considered to have enough "capacity" to refuse home care or an assessment from Social Services, so there is nobody else to take any responsibility except me!

And I'm fed up of it - I fear that the rest of my active life is going to be like this. She's fit physically and could go on to be 100!

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