1. ChrisD

    ChrisD Registered User

    Jul 22, 2007
    My mum aged 87 was diagnosed just over 2 years ago but was showing signs for a few years before that. My father, also 87, was her carer but sadly he died 4 weeks ago following a short illness. Mum is adamant she wants to stay in the bungalow on her own and therefore social services have provided a pop in service twice a day to check that she has taken her tablets, eaten etc etc. She also has meals on wheels and attends a memory club. She has only been on her own for a week but there have been several disasters already and unfortunately she has become aggressive towards the carers and they are threatening to pull out. Her GP wants her in a home but her Consultant feels it is early days as she is having to adapt to life without Dad, plus carers going in. He feels the Carers need to be more tolerant at this early stage. My parents have always been fiercely independent and would not accept any offers of help from anyone. I am concerned about Mum's safety, as are many other people, but I want it to be her decision to go into a home and not forced upon her. Apparently I am only after her money and she is going to change her Will, so that I get nothing.

    I work 4 days a week and am a 2 hour drive away from her so can only really visit on my day off. My problem is the verbal and emotional abuse that I am receiving from her. I am to blame for absolutely everything. I have tried to say that people care about her and are concerned for her safety (she is involved with the local church) but I am making it all up. She has a 75 year old cousin who is able to stay with her occasionally and she repeatedly tells me how wonderful he is, but how stupid and useless I am. Much of the time she has difficulty expressing herself and gets very confused, but when she wants to say something nasty it is amazing how fluent she can be!

    I know this is all part of the dementia, at least I hope it is, but am finding it increasingly difficult to cope. She has reduced me to tears on several occasions but it appears to have no effect on her at all. I am sure I am not the only one to go through this. How do others cope???
  2. Grannie G

    Grannie G Volunteer Moderator

    Apr 3, 2006
    Hi Chris, welcome to TP.

    All the behaviours you describe relating to your mother are so real, so common and so difficult to live with. In addition to Alzheimers, your mother is grieving, and as she is so fiercely independant, and probably trying to contain her grief , it is being directed at you.

    All I can suggest is you make the most of her cousin, but when she is abusive to you, just tell her you are not prepeared to be spoken to like that and walk away.

    Take care xx
  3. Canadian Joanne

    Canadian Joanne Volunteer Moderator

    Apr 8, 2005
    Toronto, Canada
    It's the disease

    My oh my, that is so familiar. Yes, it's definitely the disease. My mother was not particularly abusive to me in the beginning but she certainly made up for it later on. It's best to develop as thick a skin as possible. If you can emotionally detach yourself while the abuse is going on, that's good too. Incredibly difficult, but good.

    And yes, isn't it amazing how nasty, foul things are SOOOOOOO easy for an AD sufferer to express :confused: while nice things seen to be impossible. Chris, it's just the nature of the disease. It can enhance nice or not so nice facets of a personality. It can cause reversals in personality. It really is astonishing what happens.

    When my mother was particularly nasty, I would simply say "Bye" & walk out for 5 or 10 minutes. Usually I had to count to 100 or 1,000 myself. There were a few times that I nearly bled to death from biting my tongue & a few times I wished I had bitten my tongue. Since I live only a few miles from her NH, I could leave & go home. Much more difficult for you. But try going for a coffee or tea. Bring her favourites chocolates or biscuits - there's nothing wrong with bribery, you know. Change the subject completely before she has a chance to really build up steam. I used to ask my mother in a slightly louder than normal voice if she wanted a coffee. It often worked. Not always though.

    You have to try different tactics & remember that what works today may not tomorrow & vice versa. Even if you think something would never work on your mum, try it anyways. You'll never know until you do & sometimes you can be pleasantly surprised.

    Do you have power of attorney? It's very important to get these legal matters settled as soon as possible.

    Keep us posted and keep your chin up. You will get better able to cope, I promise you. When you have bad days, come here. Come here when you have good days too and post your triumphs.

    Take care,
  4. cris

    cris Registered User

    Aug 23, 2006
    I am sorry to hear that your dad died recently. I am sure it is the illness that causes your mum to be rude to you. Lots of mums (and dads) are like this without the illness. I think very often parents seem to think that their off-spring should only be there for them. The loss of her husband will take time to "sink-in" i guess. I think she will be at risk, so is there anyone at the church group she belongs to that could look in on her without her knowing the reason. It maybe that she will realise that company and a nice "home" would be good. I will say that you will be reduced to tears on many more occassions. We all are. Would this 75 year old cousin be able to guide her ?
  5. ChrisD

    ChrisD Registered User

    Jul 22, 2007
    Thank you so much for your comments. I have asked Mum on several occasions not to talk to me like that and she denies saying anything and usually says "don't be so stupid". I usually have to walk away because I'm so upset. People at her church are supportive but do feel that she shouldn't be at home, which makes me feel guilty. She can come across as being very quiet. In fact when Dad was around she very rarely used to say anything, although would occasionally get cross with him. I think he was exhausted but still would not accept any help. He unfortunately took away the last of her independence and she is fighting desperately to get it back. He was very protective of her which it now appears she resented.

    Mum lives on the Isle of Wight and her cousin lives in Worthing, so unfortunately there are no relatives nearby. I am an only child. Her gas cooker has now been disconnected for safety reasons, so for anyone to stay it will now be difficult as there are no other cooking facilities.

    Enduring Power of Attorney was set up two years ago, much to Dad's disgust. He never forgave the Solicitor for doing that. I need to talk to the Consultant about now registering the EPA.
  6. Norman

    Norman Registered User

    Oct 9, 2003
    Birmingham Hades
    Hi Chris
    My wife was the sweetest person that you could wish to meet.
    In the latter stages of her illness she was verbally aggressive to me,called me all sorts but I did as you say"walk away"
    It is not them it is the disease so try not to take it too much to heart
  7. Nell

    Nell Registered User

    Aug 9, 2005
    Hi Chris,

    Welcome to TP. You'll find lots of support here. My condolences on the loss of your Dad - it is such a difficult time already, and now made harder by your Mum's behaviour.

    Excellent advice and suggestions from everyone so far, so nothing to add there.

    Just want to re-assure you that your Mum's abuse is not personal, even though it surely feels like it is! I'm a teacher of people with disabilities, in particular of behavioural disorders. Abuse is part of the deal, unfortunately! I have needed to separate the abuse from myself by trying to imagine I'm in a clear plastic cage and the "arrows" of abuse are not touching me, just bouncing off my "cage". Might sound ridiculous, but it certainly helps to avoid the personal pain that abuse inflicts.

    Continue to say to your Mum (something like) "I won't let you speak to me like that" and walk away. If she argues that she doesn't say anything abusive, just ignore her. (Easier said than done, I know!!)

    I truly admire your desire to keep your Mum in her own home but I think you may soon have to re-evaluate this decision. Your work commitments and distance from her prevent you from doing more for her, so it remains to be seen if the Carers work out. The consultant is probably correct that they need to be more understanding, but the question is, will they be??? What does your Mum's 75 year old cousin think about all this?

    Whatever happens, please remember we at TP will be here to support you. It is a long and hard road and you have my deepest sympathy.
  8. Skye

    Skye Registered User

    Aug 29, 2006
    SW Scotland
    Hi Chris

    It does sound as if you have a worrying situation on your hands. I'm sorry you've lost your father, and as well as grieving yourself, you have the problem of your mother to cope with.

    Yes, the abuse is part of AD, and though it's painful to cope with, it really isn't personal.

    I do think that perhaps you should be considering care homes for your mum. You are two hours away, and there is no-one who can keep an eye on her, apart from carers, whom she doesn't like.

    In the interests of her safety I would be very worried about leaving her alone. She has a lot to cope with at present, the loss of her husband, loneliness, carers, and AD means that she is unlikely to be able to adapt.

    I'm sorry if this is the wrong thing to say to you, but I know that if I were to die tomorrow, I hope someone would have the courage to make sure my husband was in a place of safety.

  9. ChrisD

    ChrisD Registered User

    Jul 22, 2007
    I fully understand what you are saying about looking at homes, and am aware that we will have to start doing that soon. It is very early days and although I know the dementia will become worse I feel I need to see how she settles down in the bungalow, with the support going in and members of the church keeping a watchful eye on her. I spoke to the Social Worker today and apparently Mum was really nice to the carers at the weekend. I am not sure how long this will last, but perhaps something of what I was saying to her has reached her. She needs time to get used to the carers and they need time to get used to her. We are seeing the Psychogeriatrician next week so will see what he says.
  10. forgetmenot

    forgetmenot Registered User

    Jul 6, 2007
    Hi Chris

    the outbursts of bad language, accusations etc are not unique. Yes this is part of dementia - one day my mother can be very very sweet another day very angry and aggressive. It is nothing personal it is just because you are there. If someone else was around they would get the earful. It is very difficult, but the best way to deal with anything is to walk away - she will calm down tomorrow. Never argue with a person with dementia, as that is what they believe is happening, has happened.

    When you leave have a good cry if it helps, write things down in a journal - it does help. Are you a member of a carers support group? You are not alone in how you are feeling.:)

  11. Zadok

    Zadok Registered User

    Mar 15, 2006
    Hello Chris,
    just wanted to add my support. I hadn't realised how common the feelings were that I experienced. TP really helped me to understand why mum was being so horrible to me!
    Hang in there, try to make the stay in her present home work but also use this time to visit , research and consider local care homes. Then if and when you feel you need one you will be prepared. It also helps you to be prepared for such a change because you'll have been thinking it all through. You can read inspection reports and also lists of what to look for when you visit.
    I found mum did get used to her carers and look forward to seeing them , and she had never even had friends to visit her in her house! Investigat all help available from technology: alarms, heat sensors, flood sensors (in case taps are left on etc!) The GP can refer to an elderly mental health team or ask social services for advice on these aids.
  12. ChrisD

    ChrisD Registered User

    Jul 22, 2007
    Many thanks for all your comments. I'm so glad I joined the forum. Mum rang me last night, the first time for months. She wanted to know how to switch on the water heater, which only a few weeks ago she knew how to do. It's amazing how quickly things can deteriorate. Anyway, we had a lovely chat which made me feel guilty about all the things I was saying about her. She said she had tried several times to ring me, so some other people probably had some interesting conversations with her. Anyway, it reminded me of how she used to be.

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