Mother in denial and suddenly become aggressive - now refusing all help

Discussion in 'I care for a person with dementia' started by Misstep, Oct 7, 2015.

  1. Misstep

    Misstep Registered User

    Oct 7, 2015
    57
    South Wales
    Mum was diagnosed with mixed dementia three years ago. I made the decision not to tell her specifically at the time, just said she'd got a few memory problems due to a little stroke she seemed to have had. Her husband had just died and she was deeply distressed by any contact with the memory team. I've gone on supporting her in her own home since, and had intended to split her house and move in to half of it with my husband, but everything has suddenly changed. She started crying all the time & was clearly very lonely. I've just started back at Uni, where I'm a mature student (finally doing a degree that my mother wouldn't let me do when I was young) and therefore am around a bit less - still every day, but not the 2-3 hours I've been spending with her. I called the district nurse in, who recommended slipping in a bit of extra care. She's been having a "cleaner" two hours one day a week, and I got her to agree for the time to be spread over the 4 days I'm at college. As soon as that started, she started questioning why they were there. She got worse and worse, until I got so concerned I reverted to one day a week. She's now accusing me of plotting with my father (who she was divorced from 40 years ago) to get rid of her, is accusing me of stealing from her, is accusing the remaining carer of plotting with me and of stealing. She will now not let me help her with anything and wants her remaining carer out of there. She can't really cook for herself, the fridge is already stinking and she can't manage her medication, but is now saying she's going to sell her house and buy a flat in town. I don't think she can live on her own and I think it'll break down within weeks, meaning all the expenses of selling & buying will be lost. She's convinced there's absolutely nothing wrong with her. I tried to speak to my step-brother, who is a joint power of attorney for finance (I'm the sole one for health) but he won't believe me that she's got diagnosed dementia. I don't know what to do & I'm at my wits end. Anyone been there?
     
  2. Cat27

    Cat27 Volunteer Moderator

    Feb 27, 2015
    10,349
    Merseyside
    Welcome to TP :)

    Has she been assessed by social services?
     
  3. Misstep

    Misstep Registered User

    Oct 7, 2015
    57
    South Wales
    No. If I get them in, she's going to go berserk. I suppose I want to hold on to the vestiges of a relationship with her
     
  4. Delphie

    Delphie Registered User

    Dec 14, 2011
    1,258
    I've been somewhere very similar.

    My mum was also convinced that nothing was wrong with her, despite a freezing cold filthy house, a fridge full of rot and a growing financial mess (no PoA, unfortunately). I tried carers but however we tried to introduce them (cleaners, friends etc) she wasn't having any of it. Accusing me of theft of some kind (teeth, slippers, house) was as regular as clockwork. And she too had unrealistic plans about moving.

    I'd say that the last bit is the least of your worries. Don't facilitate it and it won't happen. Hopefully your step-brother won't step in to help... Maybe ask him to let her sort things out herself, seeing as she's dementia free.

    The bad news is that in my experience as long as the person in question is judged to have capacity, nothing much will happen as far as getting outside help from professional. My mum, for example, continued to live in a freezing filthy house with rot in the fridge for quite some time. I did what I could but everything had to be done covertly and with paranoia in full flow it's very hard to be even a little bit sneaky (such as 'steal' food from fridge).

    Help, of sorts, arrived for us only when things got quite desperate. When it came down to a choice of her being sectioned or conning her into a care home I was given the opportunity to chose the latter.

    The good news is that, after some teething problems, this has been the best thing for her. For both of us actually.

    Luckily for me, I'm an only so no brother or step-brother to negotiate decisions with, so I wish you the best of luck. Maybe direct him to this forum. Or stop doing anything at all for you mum for a while to see if he notices her dementia...
     
  5. Bod

    Bod Registered User

    Aug 30, 2013
    1,182
    Good advise.
    Things need to come to a head, let others see just how she is.

    Bod
     
  6. Misstep

    Misstep Registered User

    Oct 7, 2015
    57
    South Wales
    Helpful answer

    Thank you for this. I have stood back now, which is why the fridge is now rank. It was really helpful to be reminded that she can't achieve the move without me. I'll hang on to that thought, thank you. Luckily, it's the health power of attorney that determines where she lives, so I can make the final decision about that. I just worry that he'll try to facilitate her move and leave me actively blocking it
     
  7. Misstep

    Misstep Registered User

    Oct 7, 2015
    57
    South Wales
    Thanks Bod

    Thank you for saying that. I feel really bad about doing this & scared they won't recognise the problem, but just seeing you say this is supportive.
     
  8. missmarple

    missmarple Registered User

    Jan 14, 2013
    204
    My dad also went through the paranoia and living in a filthy house, eating rotten food and with a broken boiler. He continued driving until his car was toed away by the DVLA for non payment of tax because he couldn't manage the paperwork. Any attempt to talk to him about these issues was met with resistance, hostility and even ended in screaming on several occasions. To add to it he lived with my brother who had a lifelong history of mental illness, which my father had prevented treatment for as he was in deep denial there as well. In the same year they were diagnosed with dementia (dad) and schizophrenia (bro).
    Some issues i just decided to do nothing about (the driving) and let things take their course. Others I had to get involved with (psychiatric assessment and care for my bro)
    For a couple of years I ran myself ragged going over there and doing the housework. Then things hit crisis, Dad was nearly sectioned after he all but punched his way out of a care home we were trying to settle him into, and a big care package was put in nearly 2 years ago. it's still there and has enabled them both to stay at home.
    During crisis time i considered having Dad to live with us, but was advised not to because he would in all likelihood just demand to go home on a daily basis.I'm so glad I heeded that advice.
    Sorry this is long winded, but i think in the long journey of supporting a parent with dementia you need to use your energy wisely and not try and address everything, let some things go.
    I think the advice to do less for a while and let others (mum if she can, step brother, social services) come to their own realisations is good. If you try and carry the whole situation all the time you will burn out. Remember your own needs too. Good luck.
     
  9. Bod

    Bod Registered User

    Aug 30, 2013
    1,182
    If he doesn't recognise the problem, just step right back, and let him get on with it!
    Totally!!
    Tell him, in writing if need be, why your stepping back, and stay back.

    Bod
     
  10. BR_ANA

    BR_ANA Registered User

    Jun 27, 2012
    1,082
    Brazil
    My mom had the same paranoia about me and my father.

    She accused me of moving her from a new place to another; moving furniture around; creating all sort of confusions to make her mad.

    Sadly the closer person are the punchbag.

    I advice read about compassionate communication.

    http://forum.alzheimers.org.uk/showpost.php?p=413710
     
  11. Bessieb

    Bessieb Registered User

    Jun 2, 2014
    108
    Hi Misstep, I've been in a very similar situation to you. Parents no insight into memory issues (or they were in denial - one or the other) and refusing help. Got a 'cleaner' in just like you which moved to be a carer once and day, twice a day etc etc.
    I think you do need to get Social Services involved. I was also really anxious about doing this and their reaction to it. I was given very good advice not to be seen to be involved with the Social Services process and keep my relationship with my parents separate - so they didn't alienate me and associate me with Social Services 'interfering'. It worked well. My parents moaned about Social Services to me...but I didn't tell them that I had instigated the process. They assumed it was the Doctor and I let them think that. It meant that they thought I was still on 'their side' whilst getting the support they needed at home. And things got a lot better for me when I didn't have to shoulder the burden alone but knew that they were on the radar of SS too.
    Re. the moving...I also had this. My Dad put their house on the market with about four different estate agents before forgetting each time he had done this. It was very stressful but I kept an eye on rightmove.co.uk and each time their house was advertised I phoned the relevant estate agent and explained the situation....they were very understanding and took it off the market. Soon the situation was known about and no house move possible! It sounds harsh but need must.

    Good luck with it. Hard decisions. Although I so wish I had siblings to share the burden of my parents care with I know I'm lucky in some ways that I don't have to negotiate. Very tough.
     
  12. Misstep

    Misstep Registered User

    Oct 7, 2015
    57
    South Wales
    Thanks Bod

    Thank you for sharing your experiences with me. It does help
     
  13. Misstep

    Misstep Registered User

    Oct 7, 2015
    57
    South Wales
    Thanks for sharing this

     
  14. Kerryblue

    Kerryblue Registered User

    Oct 4, 2015
    42
    Hang on in there

     

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