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Mum in care home crying and angry - need advice

Discussion in 'Middle - later stages of dementia' started by Glitzy, Mar 28, 2018.

  1. Amy in the US

    Amy in the US Registered User

    Feb 28, 2015
    Glitzy, you are very welcome, and please don't hesitate to post anytime.

    Difficult visits are so upsetting, and I'm sorry to hear you have had a recent challenging visit. Please do try to hang in there and to be kind to yourself. Easy to say, not so easy to do, I appreciate that!
  2. Glitzy

    Glitzy Registered User

    May 19, 2015
    Hi Amy, I posted a second longer response as it wouldn’t let me post it all at once. I hope you can see and see how helpful you have been. Many thanks.. x
  3. Amy in the US

    Amy in the US Registered User

    Feb 28, 2015
    Glitzy, thank you for letting me know about your other post (I did miss that) and I'm very glad if I have I have been able to help you. I have gotten so much advice and support from TP. I truly find it a lifesaver.

    How are things with you at the moment?
  4. Witzend

    Witzend Registered User

    Aug 29, 2007
    SW London
    I'm so sorry you are going through this. I went through similar with my mother - again she had been in urgent need of 24/7 care so there was no alternative - but it was terribly upsetting while it lasted, which was for quite a while.
    Visits were so stressful for me - my stomach would be in knots - I would have to psych myself up to go and I don't mind admitting that sometimes I chickened out altogether. And since they only seemed to upset and make her angry, I did cut them down for a while, despite one reason for having chosen the very nice care home was that it was a short drive from my house.

    I know it's no comfort now, but it did eventually get a lot easier, so I do hope you will find the same. After a while she seemed to forget about the home she'd left - if she talked about home it was usually a long ago childhood home.
    In order to pacify her I came up with every plausible 'love lie' (as we call them here) I could think of, that would work at the time. Her short term memory was so bad by then that she never remembered that I'd said much the same before.
  5. Hazara8

    Hazara8 Registered User

    Apr 6, 2015
    What a positive response, embracing so much which is true about dementia/care. One of the hardest things is leaving someone alone in a care situation, to allow a 'settling' process to come about. And if and when paranoia presents, it can be seemingly so personal and cruel and engender that heart-rending guilt. You so often find folk acting out a relatively calm daily routine (in Care Home facilities) able to engage in activities or conversation, devoid of family contact. If the Care Home is good, that counts for a great deal. None of this is easy and appertains always to each specific case, i.e. we are ALL different. But I can say here, that the suggestions you have made here are eminently prudent and I simply wished to endorse them as so, having constant contact with dementia (in a Care Home) in all its guises.
  6. canary

    canary Registered User

    Feb 25, 2014
    South coast
    Thank you @Hazara8 I can only say that this is what worked for me - and a lot of it was gleaned from this forum
  7. Glitzy

    Glitzy Registered User

    May 19, 2015

    As you know after that last upsetting visit with Mum not wanting anything to do with me ever again I decided not to visit over Easter which was very hard. I thought I would wait until at least next weekend to see if some time apart and the new tablets might help her settle and calm down a bit. However, this morning I had a call from the care home saying that mum wanted to speak to me, when she came on the phone she still kept calling me 'the dragon' and said that she was not going to take any more of her tablets until I turn up in front of her. I tried to explain that we were on our way to visit my son but she just kept on calling me 'the dragon' and not listening despite making that request so I said if she kept calling me the dragon I would put the phone down. She did carry on so I did end the call. I phoned the care home straight back to apologise to them but they said that mum wanted to speak to me again to apologise. When she came on the phone she was saying something like ".... is she there now, the drag........" but stopped herself and then laughed with the care staff saying something like "oops I nearly said it again". That is the first time I have heard my mum laugh in months (even from when she was still at home). Anyway, she did apologise to me and asked if I would come to see her but I explained that we were not in the area as we were travelling and she seemed OK with that. It was a couple of very strange phone calls and now I am not sure whether to go in to see her tomorrow or wait for a bit longer as I had planned. I am thinking that maybe she will have forgotten what she said about not taking the tablets when tomorrow comes. I'm so confused, but a little less upset, if that makes any sense.
    Love, Helen. X
  8. canary

    canary Registered User

    Feb 25, 2014
    South coast
    Dementia is always confusing, but Im glad you are less upset. I think you are right about her forgetting about the tablets.
  9. calden

    calden New member

    Feb 10, 2018
    Hi Glitzy,
    you sound like my mirror image!
    All of what you have expressed is pretty much what I'm going through also and therefore I
    truly do understand the frustration that comes with feeling like you're doing your absolute
    best but it never seems good enough! My mum is now 95, fit as a fiddle from the neck downwards but sadly struggling terribly from the neck upwards! Hates being in a home, tries to escape, calls me relentlessly even though she has no phone... (asks other residents), cries every day, shouts and blames me for everything, paranoid about all her belongings being stolen from her room, and from time to time, hits me. She tells me daily she wishes it was over, and no matter how many times I take her out and we do lovely things together, nothing brings her any pleasure. It is exhausting but at the end of the day, we return and go through it all over again because we love them, and they've been invaded by this illness which they have absolutely no control over. Do what you feel is right for YOU, visit.... or don't visit so often, you'll know what you can cope with, but at the end of the day, she is being well cared for and everyone keeps telling me we must to the same for ourselves in order to keep doing what we're doing!!!
    Good luck.... and share/shout/complain/laugh/cry whenever you want, we are all listening.
  10. Ellaroo

    Ellaroo Registered User

    Nov 16, 2015
    Would it help if a friend fid a joint visit with you. When my mum was in emi repite when i had a cancer op, had tomtake friend with me as couldnt face it. Mum 92, attacking staff when trying to wash, dress, toilet her etc.all these stages/ habits pass but no fun while youre involved in them. Thinking of you xxxx
  11. Jojo4444

    Jojo4444 Registered User

    Oct 27, 2017
    Thank you so much for posting your thread. It is EXACTLY what I am going through with my mum. My mum keeps saying she never thought I would put her away and she thought we loved each other but she can see I don’t have feelings for her any more, and loads of other things. My problem is that I find it hard to contradict her as I am just numb. I don’t feel angry or sad or anything. I have included her in my life, seeing her at least twice a week and taking her out and about every Saturday for over 20 years, since dad died. But over the last 4/5 years she has become more and more miserable and poor company. I wonder if that was the start of it? For the last 18 month I have visited every day and cooked and cleaned while she has refused any care or cleaner etc. This was not a hardship it was more the mental stress of going and listening to her moan on but wouldn’t do anything about it and wouldn’t let me either. It all came to a head at Christmas when she started going out looking for her mum and wouldn’t lock the door because her mum didn’t have a key. I put a carer visit in but she wouldn’t take medication for them. Then she stopped drinking so that she didn’t need to go upstairs to toilet as her knee is too bad, but wouldn’t have a stairlift. I got social services involved and now she is in respite while I was away with husband and son for Easter and I have now been told to look for a permanent dementia placement! It’s all happened so fast now but with hindsight it’s been coming a while. The things she says are terrible that I’ve planned it all. I need to find a way of deflecting her as I often cant find the words to disagree because even though they are horrible they dont touch me! I just don’t feel anything so when she says I don’t love her I don’t know what to say.
    Sorry for hijacking your post but it is so like my situation.
  12. Hair Twiddler

    Hair Twiddler Registered User

    Aug 14, 2012
    Middle England
    #32 Hair Twiddler, Apr 6, 2018
    Last edited: Apr 6, 2018
    Oh @Glitzy....how this post has resonated with me. I haven't posted for a long time (my mum lived with us, went to live in a care home in August and passed away in November) but I just had to reply. You've had some really good advice from Amy, Witzend and Canary (all names I also had valuable replies from when I hawas struggling).

    May I suggest that you try visiting mum at meal times, particularly if she sits in the dining room. My mum was much more pleasant towards me when others were around, so I capitalised on this. Sometimes this plan would backfire as DementiaMum would refuse to eat....I guess as a punishment aimed at me, so I'd leave. I visited twice a week in the early days. The staff were supportive and I enjoyed being a helper, fetching ketchup bottles and busying myself. Ofcourse I had to be careful not to engage in too much conversation with another residents...that would not have gone down well with mum.

    I too had phone calls from the home in the early days, mum wanted me there, wanted her jewelry back which I'd stolen, demands to tell her parents where she was, mum wanted them to tell me what a terrible daughter I was, she would "put them on the spot". It got to the point where my husband would answer the house phone and lie. (A love-lie for my benefit) telling the staff (or mum) that I was out shopping or at the garage with our ailing car...somewhat amusing on more than one occasion he would be berated for not doing all these things himself. I never went in under these circumstances, it wouldn't have made mum more happier or more settled.
    The phone calls did stop - I think that in the early days the staff at the home weren't too sure what sort of relative I would be. Would I expect constant updates and input or would I leave the hands on day-to-day DementiaMum to them? I was the later. They were a whole team of carers, better able by then to look after DementiaMum than I was.

    As others have said be kind to yourself. Your mum will have good times, sometimes when you are not there and sometimes when you are, enjoy the good times.

    Best wishes. Twiddler x
  13. Glitzy

    Glitzy Registered User

    May 19, 2015
    Hi, thank you so mcu for taking the time to comment on my post and for your suggestion. I have tried taking someone with me and that does slightly stop the ranting and shouting but still doesn't help with encouraging mum to join in a little bit in the home as I know she would fee better if she had a little bit of company. I will keep trying and that you for your kind thoughts. X
  14. kindred

    kindred Registered User

    Apr 8, 2018
    I hope you don't mind me replying. I'm new here. Just want to say that since my husband was admitted to a nursing home nearly a month ago, I have spent hours in the home with him and feel one of their family. I go at different times and observe a lot of the kind of angry, crying behaviour you mention, whether anyone is visiting the person or not. The episodes often pass very quickly and the staff handle them expertly, usually by distraction or encouragement to an activity. It really is part of dementia although it feels horribly personal, I know.
  15. Glitzy

    Glitzy Registered User

    May 19, 2015
    Hi Kindred, thank you so much for your reply. It is helpful to know that this behaviour does not continue after I leave as it is always the last few minutes of the visit that stay with me and I feel awful and sad for ages whereas mum has probably forgotten it all and is OK again. Thank you again for your comments. Best wishes, Helen.
  16. Glitzy

    Glitzy Registered User

    May 19, 2015
    Thank you so much for taking the time to post in response to my problems, I am sorry I could not reply earlier but have been having a bit of trouble with this site. It is reassuring to know that I am not alone with this and that mum's behaviour does seems to follow some sort of pattern in the dementia journey. We have visited today and I think mum's new tablets are beginning to take effect as, whilst she was still angry and wanting to go home, she was not as bad as she has been and our visit ended up reasonably OK. It was just distressing that she said all she wants to do is die and that a lady had died there this morning and she wished it would have been her instead. I have improved in the way t I just let most of her comments flow past me now and just agree with what she says. I feel that a lot this has come about through hearing other people's stories on here. Thank you again and best wishes, Helen. X
  17. Glitzy

    Glitzy Registered User

    May 19, 2015
    Hi Jojo, thank you so much for taking the time to reply to my post (I'm not sure if I have answered you before as I have been having a few problems with this site). I feel the same as you about dealing with some of the horrible things mum says to me. I can let most of them go past me but then one thing just hits the spot and I find myself arguing or trying to reason with her even though I know there is no point. I don't if anyone else feels this but my head is saying don't bother to try to explain or reason with her as she either cannot understand or cannot follow the logic, but my mouth just keeps speaking even though I know I should stop. I had a particularly bad visit the time before this one when mum ended up virtually screaming in my face and repeating 'get out'. So I chose to leave as it was obviously too distressing for her, however, afterwards I then got upset because, like you said above, I was numb to the shouting and screaming and that felt wrong. Honestly, I feel that I just don't know what to do any more. Thank you again for taking the time to reply and best wishes, Helen. X

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