Mum's fear when I leave her

Discussion in 'ARCHIVE FORUM: Support discussions' started by steve54, Nov 30, 2007.

  1. steve54

    steve54 Registered User

    Nov 30, 2007
    41
    Leicester/Nottingham
    My Mum has vascular dementia and recently caught a virus which caused agitation. This led to admission to a local hospital where she was transferred to a psychiatric ward. This was awful for her and she has just returned home. But the nightmare of that stay and a fear of returning seems to be agitating her, especially when I'm not around. Does anyone have any suggestions as to how I might calm her fears? I am a single carer who lives in another town and am exhausted by the events that culminated in her admission to the hospital.

    Thank you.
     
  2. christine_batch

    christine_batch Registered User

    Jul 31, 2007
    3,388
    Buckinghamshire
    Hope this may help.

    Dear Steve,
    Welcome to Talking Point. Although it is through a horric time in our lives but everyone is so supportive.
    Do you have any family living near ?
    It is a terrible thing - the fear. After the stay in Hospital, your Mother is probably doubley confused. If there is a Social Work she should help. Other forms of support are: The Local Alzheimer's Branch, Princess Royal Trust, Help the Aged and Age Concern.
    I do hope this may be of help but in due course you will find other members come on line and add their help and support.
    Best wishes. Christine
     
  3. jenniferpa

    jenniferpa Volunteer Moderator

    Jun 27, 2006
    39,417
    hi Steve and welcome to TP

    It's very difficult when someone who has dementia and can't seem to remember most things can remember traumatic experiences - you can't use the sort of logical processess that you would do with someone who has no deficeits. I know this is going to sould slightly strange, but have you considered trying something like a stuffed animal? Some people have reported that their loved ones find stroking something like that calms their fears. I assume you've consulted her GP? There is fairly benign medication available to deal with anxiety, and after all, although her anxiety may be centred on a real fear, she is anxious.
     
  4. steve54

    steve54 Registered User

    Nov 30, 2007
    41
    Leicester/Nottingham
    jenniferpa.

    that's an interesting idea. Would something like and item of clothing help? A smell? or would that make things worse. Part of Mum's anxiety comes from her dependence on me since my Dad died. She has always been a bit clingy even before dementia was diagnosed. My own anxiety is that I don't want her to have to return to the psychiatric ward.
     
  5. jenniferpa

    jenniferpa Volunteer Moderator

    Jun 27, 2006
    39,417
    I think it depends very much on your mother's personality (well duh) and in fact, the stage of her illness. Some people might be grossly offended to be offered what is, in effect, a security blanket. For my mother, the closest she came to it was her handbag, and I think a lot of women are like that (not me - I never know where mine is). I think it's a matter of trial and error though. You'd have to try various things and see how it went. Also you need to think about whether the object, whatever it is, is calming in itself, or if it's more a promise that you'll return, or that she'll be safe or whatever. And to get that right you're going to have to work out if it's generalised fear, or fear of abandonment or... well you fill in the blank, and that may not be possible to do.

    Smell is an interesting point - smell is one of the most memory evoking senses, so if you wear a particular aftershave (I'm sorry - I'm assuming you're male) maybe that smell on whatever it is might help.

    Just tossing out suggestions here - no guarantees I'm afraid.

    regards
     
  6. Margarita

    Margarita Registered User

    Feb 17, 2006
    10,824
    london
    #6 Margarita, Dec 1, 2007
    Last edited: Dec 1, 2007
    my mother also fear when I leave her even to go upstairs in our house , so it could be also part of the disease as in I am my mother security blanket , when I am not around my mother panic

    the shock of being in the psychiatric ward. could of push her into that stage of the disease , becoming clingy to you wanting you around as it make her feel safe, if she was not like that before being admitted to the psychiatric ward or if she was like that mildly it could now be 100 time worse

    Only taking from my experience of my mother .

    lots of reassuring as it only gets worse in her needs in needing someone they with her to make her feel safe

    why that because of her needing someone with her
     
  7. steve54

    steve54 Registered User

    Nov 30, 2007
    41
    Leicester/Nottingham
    why that because of her needing someone with her[/QUOTE]

    Margarita. Not because of her needing someone, just out of an awareness by her that it isn't a nice place, especially if you are only in a mild state of the disease.

    Thank you all for your help. It is so reassuring to know my Mum's anxiety isn't unique.
     
  8. Margarita

    Margarita Registered User

    Feb 17, 2006
    10,824
    london
    #8 Margarita, Dec 1, 2007
    Last edited: Dec 1, 2007

    yes I also saw that place in my mother even in those mild state of the disease.

    They say on TP its Part of the disease , but when your living in it like I was back then I would of never believed that, but being on TP so reading that it does happen convince me , but it still not nice when they show you that place, when all your doing is helping them , with AZ late stage medication my mother could then could see reason logic so it help me cope , but she going back to that place as medication slowing down now



    but as lest now I understand her disease more, so know where its coming from a place that is such a confused mind that she expressing it all wrong , hate to be in my mother shoes her mind
     
  9. Margarita

    Margarita Registered User

    Feb 17, 2006
    10,824
    london
    Ps

    have you had an care assessment from anyone like social services to give her support at home or does she or would she not except help but from you
     
  10. steve54

    steve54 Registered User

    Nov 30, 2007
    41
    Leicester/Nottingham
    Mum has a cpn and an OT has visited her in her flat. Her care package dates back to the summer when she broke her wrist and couldn't perform certain tasks. The vascular dementia has only recently been diagnosed although she has been increasingly confused since about September.
     
  11. gigi

    gigi Registered User

    Nov 16, 2007
    7,788
    East Midlands
    Hello Steve-just a thought. Age concern in Leics run a "sitting" sevice. we have 8hrs a week which I take and use. Either the siiter stays with my husband, or takes him out if he wants to go out. It's funded by SS. May be of some help. Worth giving them a ring-we seem to have a good system in this area. Best wishes-hope you find some answers - Gigi
     
  12. Margarita

    Margarita Registered User

    Feb 17, 2006
    10,824
    london
    #12 Margarita, Dec 1, 2007
    Last edited: Dec 1, 2007
    sounds to me steve54 that your mother care package needs a review , as she now been diagnosed with vascular dementia her needs are more higher .

    talk to CPN as every local authority is different , so your mother may come under the mental heath team that has a social worker or Key worker as they call it in my area of mental heath that really is a social worker .

    In my LA [Local authority ] mum come under the elderly social worker team not mental heath .

    anyway talk to who set up her care packet asking for a review in her needs support so you can get what gigi said

    In my experience it you leave it up to them don't keep on they case pushing about getting more support they leave you to it , till they a crises that your so stress out with your mother needs that she ends up in psychiatric ward.

    It has happen to me , but my LA put mum in a emergency respite dementia care home not a psychiatric ward
     
  13. steve54

    steve54 Registered User

    Nov 30, 2007
    41
    Leicester/Nottingham
    Margarita, Gigi and everyone who has replied to my post.

    thank you so much. It is so nice to have someone to talk to about this problem. Mum is in Leics so I will get on to Age Concern and Social Services. I will also get a review of her care plan which was originally put in place when she broke her wrist in the summer - pre the dementia diagnosis. And the dementia respite sounds a lot better than psychiatric ward.
     
  14. gigi

    gigi Registered User

    Nov 16, 2007
    7,788
    East Midlands
    Hope you find some help-keep asking ;Best wishes -Gigi x
     
  15. steve54

    steve54 Registered User

    Nov 30, 2007
    41
    Leicester/Nottingham
    I know I'm not alone in this but I feel terribly weighed down by the responsibility of being my Mum's only closest relative. I live 25 miles from Mum but work in the city where she lives and try to visit her regularly. I feel she wants me to visit every day but I don't want to go to see her every day but feel guilty about thinking that I don't want to go to see her every day. But it is wearing me down and I'm worried about the effect it is having on my own health and my own life. It's very difficult dealing with her disappointment and anxiety when I say I won't be coming today. But how do I tell her without hurting her? That just makes me feel guilty and depressed. How do carers cope with the stress of caring for someone whilst at the same time living their own lives. There doesn't seem to be any escape from it. You probably think I'm very selfish but the responsibility really is wearing me out. Does anyone have any suggestions about where I can get help to deal with my dilema?
     
  16. Dave W

    Dave W Registered User

    Jul 3, 2005
    268
    Bucks
    Hi Steve

    Hi Steve - and welcome to TP. I hope it'll be as helpful to yoas it has been to me, and to many others.

    I had a long period of being in much your situation - only child of someone living alone, except my Mum was a hundred miles away with the whole of London inbetween us - a three hour trip. I cant take away the exhaustion and the stress, but I can at least say that there are many, many of us on TP who've experienced and will aways be there to listen (if that's the right word for the Web). This is a place when you can come online and let off steam if you need to - please don't feel you can't. We're all only human, and sometimes that's exactly what you need to do.

    A few things to add to what others have said: if your Mum, like many, uses hand and face creams, try one with some lavender oil in it. Not only will she smell nice, but the lavender s very calming and soothing. (A nice tip passed onto me on TP, and it seemed to help). Does your Mum also have friends and neighbours around her? (I was lucky in that Mum still lived in the house I grew up in, so I knew most of them.) Keep in close contact with them - if you can cultivate half a dozen, they can take it turns a couple of times of a week to give you a night off if they'd be ok to pop in and see your Mum for a bit so she gets some company - even if it's just a cuppa and a chat. My Mum's neighbours were my eyes on the ground when I couldn't be there, and I was able to get them in touch with the CPN so they could raise the alarm if they were particularly worried about anything.

    And another thing I learned from TP: you have to shoulder up to what someone here christened TE Guilt Monster. Of course you care about your Mum and you're worried about her, but - as you've already said - it's wearing you out/down. Of course it is - you're not a machine or a superman, and you need respite too. More importantly, if you don't look after yourself you won't be able to look afer her properly when you are with her. Most of the help you can get you have to accept you're going to have to ask for, demand or cajole/encourage/charm out of others, but don't try to cope with everything - it's not the way forward for you or for her.

    Please keep posting and letting everyone know how you're getting on.
     
  17. steve54

    steve54 Registered User

    Nov 30, 2007
    41
    Leicester/Nottingham
    Dave W

    Thank you for taking the time to reply, especially at such a difficult time for you. I saw that your own Mum is in hospital. I hope she is okay. I'm sorry that's a bit limp at a time when you must be going through it. I know from my own experience when my Mum was in hospital last week that it's not easy.

    Thanks too for the practical advice about lavender oil. A friend also mentioned that. I'll give it a try.

    Best wishes.
     
  18. gigi

    gigi Registered User

    Nov 16, 2007
    7,788
    East Midlands
    Hello again Steve! You have your life to live and have to make a living-that's a practicality. Is your mum safe/cared for/does she have input from social services or similar-ie;a care package-or is she deemed capable of looking after herself? Her health and well being should be (I think) your main concern. Try to look at it objectively-you could visit every day and she'd probably say the the same things. You can only give what you want to give-I think if you can reassure yourself that she is cared for and set yourself times when YOU WANT to visit and accept that -or even do a "duty" visit if it makes you feel better-but please don't do guilt-the fact that you are concerned shows that you care. Try to sort out the practicalities if you can. Do what you feel or know you can-but live your life too.
     
  19. Margarita

    Margarita Registered User

    Feb 17, 2006
    10,824
    london
    #19 Margarita, Dec 6, 2007
    Last edited: Dec 6, 2007

    I Cry my stress out


    That a hard one to answer ride with it guilty and depressed .

    I never understood my emotion back then and move mum in with me, but new mum made me feel guilty then learn that still she felt hurt, disappointment and anxiety when I would go out have a life God it took mum years to except that I need a life and still when she go to respite now she try to put me on a guilt trip , but I cant afford the energy that guilt give me , as it go down the road to give me depression been they done it don't like the feeling .

    Because of mum disease she never fully understand my needs , but I can, i Say to myself emotion can't kill you so what don't kill you make you stronger .

    I would go back in time and tell myself that when mum was living alone if I could , so as I cant go back in time as I had to live though it to learn , :D :), so now share it with you all hope it help
     
  20. steve54

    steve54 Registered User

    Nov 30, 2007
    41
    Leicester/Nottingham
    Thank you. It has been so helpful to me since I joined this forum. To know that my situation isn't unique and that people are coping every day. Time to be strong for me and Mum.

    She is moving to a new extra care housing development at the weekend which has 24 hour care available on site so hopefully I can feel that she is safer in that environment.
     

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