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mum is refusing to take meds and hitting staff and residents

lushr

Registered User
Sep 25, 2020
95
0
so, i’m going to visit on saturday, in the hopes i can make mum happy though i’m sure she will just be angry at me for abandoning her, i haven’t seen her since christmas day, no phone either.

they have moved her to the memory wing so everything will be different.

im really scared. i want to go to let her know i haven’t forgotten her, but i don’t want to go because the reality of the visit will be difficult and upsetting and i’ll get frustrated and leave very quickly....

i thought i’d come armed with the wedding photo album, and a fashion book of the same era that she had, she might like....

but i’m guessing she doesn’t remember much about the wedding now and is in her earlier days but there aren’t many photos of then, not enough for me to keep a conversation going of more than 10 minutes....

im scared because i know she won’t be the mum i love and miss, she will either be angry and blameful or clingy and whiney trying to make me take her home.

i feel like they should be locking her up in a padded room the stories they tell me....

and my own feelings of selfishness for not seeing her will.. surface. but i know i needed the time. it’s been really hard but i’ve gotten enough of her stuff sorted that i can see and vacuum my floor! there’s still much to do though.
 

Grannie G

Volunteer Moderator
Apr 3, 2006
72,654
0
Kent
Hello @lushr

When you arrive at the home, if it`s possible try to observe your mum before she sees you. If she seems contented you can rest assured.

If she reacts to your visit in a negative way at least you will know it is just her way to get attention from you.

I wouldn`t expect too much from her, nor would I show her the books until you feel she will understand what they are about.

If your mum is allowed sweet stuff, maybe she will appreciate a small chocolate bar or cake or even some nice fruit or flowers. None of these will put any expectations on her to show interest or remember anything.

I hope you don`t mind these suggestions. They worked for me so I thought I would pass them on.

I hope your visit goes well. Forget the guilt. There comes a time when care at home by a single carer is just too much to cope with.
 

Lynmax

Registered User
Nov 1, 2016
700
0
I am also uncertain about visiting my mum as she has changed so much since she went into the care home last April, both physically and cognitively. She can be rude to the carers when they want her to do something she doesn’t want to, awkward about taking her medication and has been in “fights” with other residents - although those seem to have stopped now she is more settled.

I had a pod visit yesterday which was a bit difficult, mum now struggles to find words and rambles on about nothing. But there were moments when her old personality came through, she is still able to laugh at herself for saying daft things. I take a couple of small cakes for her to eat during my visit, mum eats hers on her side of the screen and I eat mine at the same time on mine. It’s something familiar to mum as many of my visits to her house centred around food.
 

canary

Registered User
Feb 25, 2014
14,631
0
South coast
((((((((((((((((((((((((((((hugs))))))))))))))))))))))
Such a difficult time

Chocolate and cake worked for me too. Could you take a couple of slices and both eat them at the same time so that she can see that you are both eating. You can also get int a conversation about what your favourite cake is, what other things you like to eat, perhaps reminisce about what sweets you liked as a child.
 

Helly68

Registered User
Mar 12, 2018
764
0
In the later stages of her mixed dementia, my Mum became very angry with staff, hitting, spitting etc during personal care. It is very hard to know what to do. The staff were great and tried a variety of approaches. We also tried Lorazepam, but this made her so much of a zombie that we stopped it. Fortunately, she still seemed to enjoy my visits. I am afraid this sort of behaviour, scary though it is, is very familiar to the staff of EMI units.
 

lushr

Registered User
Sep 25, 2020
95
0
@Grannie G @canary @Lynmax @Helly68 thank you for the tip about chocolates, mum does love sweets maybe i’ll bring a range of biscuits.

last time mum really liked photos of a fashion book through history, it gets in touch with who she is, she loves fashion and loved seeing the ild photos... i just don’t have that book.i wish i kept her audrey hepburn books... she would love those.
 

lemonbalm

Registered User
May 21, 2018
1,219
0
Visiting can be very difficult at the best of times. When I was visiting mum every day, she could be anything from smiling and calm to screaming and trying to scratch or punch anyone going near her. The only way is to take a deep breath and hope for the best. Mum could often be distracted with magazines with lots of pictures in and chocolate. If you are allowed to take food in, sweet things do seem to work well and you can talk about how nice the cake/biscuit is, favourite cakes/biscuits, and just be in the moment.

I probably wouldn't take the album but the fashion book might be good, as she doesn't have to remember any people and will like the clothes anyway. I've spent a lot of visits saying "ooh I like that one" "oh I'm not so keen on that one" "that's a pretty collar/hat/hairstyle". I hope you get a good calm and happy visit. They are such a joyful relief.
 

SKD

Registered User
My Mum also became quite violent and intransigent at one stage in her dementia and staff in care homes do have ways of dealing with this. But it is very hard to see a parent so changed in temperament and behaviour - Mum has now calmed down a lot, though still resists personal care. Sadly I have been unable to visit my Mum for some time as I live at a distance but I found magazines of all kinds great for helping our visits along - Mum could look at the photos and I would read parts aloud to her. The home also had some books which had photographs of our city in the past which Mum did respond to.
 

lushr

Registered User
Sep 25, 2020
95
0
@lemonbalm and @SKD thanks for the tip! yes she was easily distracted by pretty things in books so that’s a great idea for ebay. thank you!

i’ll leave the album home and bring biscuits, they have a cafe which would be ideal but i don’t know if it’s open...
 

Helly68

Registered User
Mar 12, 2018
764
0
Mummy also liked recipe magazines. Lots of pictures of food and on a good day a "what are you cooking for tea" conversation. Very familiar and safe conversation (usually).
I also used books with lots of pictures and large simple text, which I either read aloud (sometimes she loved sometimes she would shout over me) or occasionally on a good day she surprised me by reading herself, out loud. Poems are good as can be short and funny and are often remembered. Music can also be good.
 

Canadian Joanne

Volunteer Moderator
Apr 8, 2005
16,896
0
67
Toronto, Canada
My mother had several extremely violent and agitated phases. Twice she was sectioned out of the nursing home. She would go into rages for no reason that we could see but there was some reason in her head. I think part of it was because she was so frustrated about not being able to speak properly and also I think she was very frightened at what was happening to her.

This didn't help when she was hitting and attacking other residents and staff. She had one memorable day when she attacked 4 staff and 3 residents. This was one of the times she was sectioned.

We kept trying different combinations of drugs. We would eventually get her evened out. In 6 or 8 months, she would start getting agitated again and we would have to tweak the drugs again.

But as her disease progressed, the violence diminished and eventually stopped. I'm sorry, this is not very encouraging but I know exactly how you feel, having been there myself. It was so painful to watch my reserved, civil, polite mother change into a screaming fury. It was like Jekyll and Hyde.
 

Helly68

Registered User
Mar 12, 2018
764
0
@Canadian Joanne - I so agree. My Mum had always struggled with her mental health, but watching her go from confused to eccentric to screaming harridan was very hard. I ended up wearing her dinner on one occasion and the care home staff had to be careful about hugs, which she loved, as she bit so many of them. I do think it was extreme frustration. Mummy was a clever and determined woman, who had loved walking, reduced to a shell of her former self and having to be hoisted in and out of a chair.
Her "agitation" as it was termed, politely by the staff, really related to two areas - medication giving (eventually, with my health POA for her, we did this covertly - i.e. in her food) and personal care. She hated both, which I think is not uncommon. Some staff, with whom she got on well could sometimes "jolly " her, which sounds patronising, but she loved attention and a joke and this could sometimes diffuse a melt down. As Joanne says, medication can help, but you have to get the balance right, which can be difficult.
We were lucky as Mummy's home had good activities, and these did help to distract and engage her reducing her frustration.
I found I tried (very hard in current circumstances) to liaise with the care home to ensure I was aware what was happening and could attend best interests meetings with an OT and psychiatrist where we discussed medication changes and behavioural interventions.
 

Jaded'n'faded

Registered User
Jan 23, 2019
1,225
0
High Peak
My mum also went through the hitting out at staff, banging on walls/doors and shouting, usually in the middle of the night. Congrats to the staff who managed to handle it all and keep smiling! It did pass though she remained pretty feisty till the end.

I tried the photo albums but she really hated them. I dreaded visiting her (we'd never had a good relationship) and really struggled finding things to talk about. Eventually I discovered she liked me asking her advice! I would take in paint charts and ask what colour I should paint my bathroom. My bathroom is still undecorated but mum always had very strong opinions on such things :) Or I'd ask her how to cook a chicken. Mum was a lousy cook and hated doing it but in her dementia mind she was a Masterchef! Good thing I never followed her cooking instructions - they were extremely bizarre! ('Hang it on the shelf at the top before you pull the thing down. Then put all the water in. You won't like it. It comes out all bent. But that's how I've always done it with the windows in the bottom.' Etc.)

The point is, I quickly realised there was no point asking, 'How are you today?' because she really didn't know. 'Did you go to the lounge this morning?' she couldn't remember. So such questions made her feel bad. But being asked to share her knowledge about something made her feel useful.
 

Bikerbeth

Registered User
Feb 11, 2019
1,801
0
Bedford
My Mum is very similar too but currently taking her medication. She is unfortunately hitting staff and occasionally other residents. The conversation on our visits are much as @Lynmax describes and certainly the conversation that @Jaded'n'faded mentions is exactly my Mum too.
I am fortunate that Mum initiates a lot of the conversation so I only need to do the right replies.
 

lushr

Registered User
Sep 25, 2020
95
0
i chickened out of seeing mum, my allergies have flared up again god knows why do i feel like i have a full on cold and no energy... it turns out a family friend is visiting weekly, she’s actually taking the only time i can go...

im feeling guilty about not seeing mum but mums friend doesn’t get the scary incident reports and i know mum pretends a lot with her careful not to say anything upsetting... she doesn’t really even remember the friend i men she thinks i’m her sister not her daughter half the time.

i just can’t take it... i have to talk to this friend some time about me not visiting, it’s just more guilt. i had to warn her about the bruises mum had from the incident thiscweek though,mi don’t want her making a complaint when it’s mums own behavooud.

badjcslly i’m just feeling guilty all over again and i’m just detatched from mum, i need to get some mental space back i cant cope eith bring dick and trying to work and all this mum stuff. it’s way too much.
 

lemonbalm

Registered User
May 21, 2018
1,219
0
Not to worry @lushr . From the sound of it, I wonder if your visiting would have unsettled your mum further, so probably best all round. When was she moved to the memory wing? Is she settling into the new environment perhaps? (she has been checked and re-checked for urine infections, hasn't she???).

If you were that anxious about visiting, your mum may have picked that up, so you were wise not to go.
 

lushr

Registered User
Sep 25, 2020
95
0
so today i’m seeing my mums friend, the one who took on care of mums dog. i haven’t visited since september when mum moved to the nursing home. i need to explain to them why i’m not visiting.

mum has not settled in, and while she seems to behave herself when friends visit (she doesn’t really recognise them) i’m the one that hears all the reports of her bad behaviour, and i’m being manipulated all the time by mum doesn’t understand why her family don’t want her. and thinks her parents have been brutally murdered.

on a personal note, my home is much improved, i have a nearly working kitchen, and floor space, it’s amazing how much difference this small thing makes. i was well enough to do all this for a two week period and am dick again now, it seems to be allergies, i feel like i have a cold all the time.

i just don’t know what to say to this friend about why i’m not visiting mum when she IS visiting her. the guilt is back and the dread. i’m nit do angry at my mum any more but i dread seeing her.
 

lemonbalm

Registered User
May 21, 2018
1,219
0
I hope seeing your mum's friend goes ok @lushr . I would probably tell this friend that you feel that your visits are unsettling your mum too much. It's a perfectly good reason not to go.

Are the nursing home staff reviewing mum's medication?
 

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