1. Mellow Yellow

    Mellow Yellow Registered User

    Jul 10, 2007
    6
    Feeling Hopeless

    My mother is 84 years old . I live very close to her and so I have helped with shopping, doctors appointments etc. We have never been particularly close but since she was diagnosed a year ago she has become increasingly verbally agressive towards me and my husband. She rings me constantly accusing me of stealing her pots and pans and various other things and treats me like a naughty child!
    I have two brothers who are not local but do their best to help and in her eyes they can do no wrong! My husband is very angry about her attitude and so I no longer involve him. She genuinely belives that one or both of us is breaking into her house and moving things around or tidying things or stealing. I feel so sorry for her as it must be so frightening but I am tired of the arguments and it is hard to keep cool with her. I would love to take her out or visit more often but she makes it so difficult.

    My 21 year old son was seriously ill with meningitis two years ago and is now in a wheelchair and so I'm afraid my primary loyalty is with him. I don't know how to proceed with my mother - physically she copes well but for how long? Does anyone else have a similar story?
     
  2. Margarita

    Margarita Registered User

    Feb 17, 2006
    10,824
    london
    #2 Margarita, Jul 10, 2007
    Last edited: Jul 10, 2007
    Mellow Yellow
    Oh yes sound like my mother before I new she had AZ .

    I do like your user name :) Welcome to TP

    Shame really if you new how to put your post in to its own thread in main room , it would get more answers from people on TP .

    Never mind , maybe a moderator could move it for you , if one pop in

    Have you spoken to your mother doctor about your mother symptoms ?
     
  3. Skye

    Skye Registered User

    Aug 29, 2006
    17,000
    SW Scotland
    Hi Mellow Yellow

    Welcome to TP. I think you'll find there are a lot of people here who have similar probems.

    You really are in a difficult position, trying to care for your mum and your son, and keep the peace with your husband.

    Are you getting any help? Social services should be providing some personal care for your mum, and possibly day care.

    Have you had a carers assessment? With both your mum and your son to care for, there should be a lot of help available for you.

    Have you contacted your local branch of Alzheimer's Society, and Princess Royal Trust for Carers? Both of them will help you access local help, and tell you what bebfits are available. For example, your mum should qualify for attendance allowance if you don't already get it.

    Can I suggest you start a new thread (click the New Thread button at the top left of the forum page)? That way more people will see your post, and you can ask any questions you have.

    All the best,
     
  4. Grannie G

    Grannie G Volunteer Moderator

    Apr 3, 2006
    69,879
    Kent
    Hi Mellow Yellow

    Welcome to TP.

    I have started a new Thread for you and the people who have replied, so you don`t get `lost`.

    I hope you will get more support on a Thread of your own.
     
  5. Zadok

    Zadok Registered User

    Mar 15, 2006
    68
    Kent
    Hello

    Hello Mellow Yellow,
    Your post sounds so like my experience with mum.
    I was accused of everything from an affair with the doctor to stealing money. My husband was accused of stealing her hair rollers. (He is rather balding)
    However when its happening it isn't funny and I hope TP is as helpful for you as it has been for me.
    I got an assessment for mum from social services and from there her attendance allowance to pay for carers.
    The GP put me in touch with elderly mental health team who were very supportive and got day caentre placements.
    Have you got Power of Attorney? Mum ran up huge utility bills by 'filing them' under the bed. I had letters sent to me once POA was recognised and all bills on direct debit.
    Keep reading the society's fact sheets and reading TP
    It all helps, Good luck
    Zadok
     
  6. fearful fiona

    fearful fiona Registered User

    Apr 19, 2007
    723
    London
    Dear Mellow Yellow

    Love the name! Your Mum is just like mine, and I live quite near by too. She is always having things "stolen", and of course it is the most unlikely things, and she can be terribly aggressive and violent too if anyone dares to challenge what she says. I can generally do no wrong but she has taken against my brother in a big way, which is terribly upsetting; he and I were involved in stopping her from driving her beloved car last year but she still blames him. I don't think there's any rationale in who AD sufferers chose to like or not like, it's so unfair.

    I agree it is difficult to keep cool and I have cut down the length (but not the number) of visits and get togethers as I find I can keep my cool easier if it is not too long! If I'm driving back from a "bad" visit I find playing really loud classical music in my car very therapeutic.

    Like most others, I have other demands on my time, but I have decided that priorities are making sure my parents have enough food, keep warm and I keep an eye on the carers. If I can't take them out as much as I would like, so be it, one can only do so much in the time we have at our disposal.

    Good luck.
     
  7. Mellow Yellow

    Mellow Yellow Registered User

    Jul 10, 2007
    6
    Thank you for your replies

    It has been quite a relief to read your responses - thank you all. It is reassuring to know that others are in a similar position. I do have Power of Attorney for my mother but feel it is not quite the time to enforce it. My GP has already contacted Age Concern and she did agree to go to one of their day centres. After one visit however she said they were all 'bonkers' there and refused to go again!

    The few friends she has had have long since given up trying to encourage her to get out of the house more often as there is always an lame excuse. She is furious at having to give up driving her car (again this is down to me!)

    I will however contact my local Alzheimers branch and social services but imagine this will again cause an agressive reaction from her. She seems to have the knack of appearing perfectly in control and very pleasant when doctors etc speak to her.

    Thank you again
     
  8. Zadok

    Zadok Registered User

    Mar 15, 2006
    68
    Kent
    hello again,
    We all know that one: mother is fine with 'outsiders'. Usually though they can only keep it together for a short while. The contacts are useful for you so you know who to turn to later. Gradually mum did accept outside help. I used to lie a bit, and blame someone else (usually Tony Blair) for any form filling or difficult questions! As in 'the government say all OAPs have to fill in this form so I'll help you do it/do it for you' and so on!
     
  9. Grannie G

    Grannie G Volunteer Moderator

    Apr 3, 2006
    69,879
    Kent
    Hello Mellow Yellow,

    The giving up driving, seeing other sufferers as `bonkers`, [my mother called them `nutters`] are things you can do little about.

    What you are doing is looking to the future and trying to prepare for possible eventualities, by contacting Age Concern, SS and AS. It`s all you can do for the present, but at least you are preparing the ground.
     
  10. Taffy

    Taffy Registered User

    Apr 15, 2007
    1,314
    Hi, I can relate to all of this, my mum thought people had stole her pots, teapot and door mat.She didn't quite come out with it and accuse me directly, but I knew that she thought I was the main suspect and one day it dawned on me, that the items in question were actually from her past and she couldn't remember the present ones at all. My hubby had difficulties coming to terms with the way I am been treated and I like you,try not to involve him.This is where TP is a godsend to me. I also feel so sad for mum as it must be very frightening, I learn't arguments are pointless and that your the only one left stressed. Just best to walk away for awhile ( I know easier said than done.) I do hope things settle for you real soon. Taffy.
     
  11. Kathleen

    Kathleen Registered User

    Mar 12, 2005
    639
    West Sussex
    Hello Mellow Yellow

    You are lucky to have 2 brothers who are also involved with your mother's care. It's not her fault she is ill and saying the things she says, which actually makes it harder as you can't reason with her.

    With my Mum, my poor sister was always accused of stealing..........that phase did pass, though.

    As your son needs you so much, maybe it would be better to step back a little from the situation and give yourself a breather.

    Your husband is probably worried about you and that is why he gets cross..........not so much with your Mum as the effect the situation is having on you.

    Taffy is right, it won't be easy, but maybe you could give it a try.

    Kathleen
     
  12. Mellow Yellow

    Mellow Yellow Registered User

    Jul 10, 2007
    6
    A few good days!

    I have just been reading your responses - thank you. I was relieved to hear from someone whose husband also finds things difficult to deal with. I am feeling a little guilty at the moment about my earlier moans, as for the last few days mum has been so pleasant! I find this Jekyll/Hyde situation quite unnerving. When mum is like this I feel so happy as I can actually help her. But I know that it won't last and am waiting for the next attack.

    Does anyone else find that their AD sufferer is more aggressive on the telephone than in person? I have spoken to her about having a carer (or perhaps someone to visit and help her in the house) and at the moment she has been quite receptive to this idea. What does worry me is that she could so easily start to accuse this person of stealing etc.
     
  13. Zadok

    Zadok Registered User

    Mar 15, 2006
    68
    Kent
    Accusing someone of stealing things is so common that carers are used to it! they will cope!
    My mum only used to accuse me to my face. She did accuse the carers but only in front of me. I think she had glimmers of the truth and knew she couldn't really blame them!
    My husband seemed a bit distant from all the problems and I didn't think he was supporting me but I think people are right when they say your husband is just trying to protect you. I overheard mine say how well I was doing and I realised he just worried about me coping.
    My mum had those nice/nasty days as you describe. Just enjoy the good days as they help to cope when mum is grotty!
     
  14. Nebiroth

    Nebiroth Registered User

    Aug 20, 2006
    3,511
    Being convinced that "someone" is "stealing" things or "moving" them is one of the most common things you will hear about. It;s because people with dementia put things away and then forget where, or put them in bizarre and illogical places. They are convinced they couldn;t have forgotten putting things away, or would never put things in daft places. Therefore the only explanation is that "someone" is doing it behind their backs. The fact that this is a far more irrational explanation means nothing - for one thing it is a lot less painful than admitting there is something wrong with you.

    Sometimes loved one are the target, sometimes the person will invent mysterious strangers who are just waiting to steal/move things when they aren't looking.

    Sometimes the things are real, sometimes they are old memories, sometimes they are ficticious.

    We have had a mixture of all of this. Dad puts things away, then can't find them so "someone has moved them". He doesn't actually accuse us directly, but the implication is there. He says "someone" but means "you". He still grasps that it;s not a stranger because the doors are locked etc. He will also invent things he never had, turns everything out trying to find them, insists we had them ("you MUST remember them" - it's almost pleading), then says "well someone has had them".

    There's no point in trying to convince. You just have to learn how to lie with a straight face. Like "Oh I remember, but we took those to the charity shop because they shrank in the wash/wore out. didn't fit anymore" etc.
     
  15. Taffy

    Taffy Registered User

    Apr 15, 2007
    1,314

    I know this feeling only to well,one day I would be a godsend, the next, the devils own.You just have to take one day at a time.I found that if I didn't expect anything, I didn't get disappointed.Your mum's truely lucky to have you and it is a very difficult road. I wish you all well.Taffy.
     
  16. Mellow Yellow

    Mellow Yellow Registered User

    Jul 10, 2007
    6
    Bad times are back!

    Thank you again for your responses. After a week or so of respite the bad days are back. So many people are amazing at what they cope with I wish I could be the same.

    I get so weary with the threats, lies and accusations - my husband is at boiling point because she rang his office and accused him of stealing her favourite flower pot! The flower pot issue will not go away and she is on the phone daily accusing or pleading with me to admit I have taken it! My eldest brother has had an argument with her which probably means he won't be coming up to see her, and my youngest brother won't go to see her as she is so nasty!! I have offered to take her shopping today but she is "just to ill to go" (said in a very pathetic voice)sorry if I sound heartless but I have been down this road many times! Her parting shot on the phone was "don't you worry about me -just worry about your family and your nice home and car"!

    I feel exactly just like doing this having been through a low point with my son who although he bears up well is becoming to realise that his disabilities may not improve and this just breaks my heart. Sorry to go on it is quite cathartic to say all this! I will not give up on my mother as I do have a conscience but I just wish there was a way out of this!
     
  17. jenniferpa

    jenniferpa Volunteer Moderator

    Jun 27, 2006
    39,438
    Dear Mellow Yellow

    Sad to say, there is only one way out of this: when the disease progresses to the point where she is, for example, unable to remember how to dial your husbands office, or that she ever had a favourite flower pot. No matter how often we repeat the mantra "it's the disease talking" it doesn't make it any easier to handle. There's a visceral reaction to unfounded accusations that is almost impossible to switch off. Furthemore, it is not unusual for the person making the accusations to forget the entire incident but you are left with your insides tied in knots AND on tenterhooks waiting for the next outburst.

    Do you have any social service or other assistance?

    Jennifer
     
  18. Skye

    Skye Registered User

    Aug 29, 2006
    17,000
    SW Scotland
    Dear Mellow Yellow,

    As Jennifer says, it's the disease that is causing the problem, but that doesn't make it any easier to bear.

    I have huge sympathy for you, and hope that it won't be too long before this phase is over.

    Please keep in touch with us.

    Love,
     
  19. Grannie G

    Grannie G Volunteer Moderator

    Apr 3, 2006
    69,879
    Kent
    Oh that is so true.

    Dear Mellow Yellow,

    You cartainly are not heartless, you definitely are weary, and it`s no wonder. I can only commiserate, and suggest you just do what is necessary, but reduce the `extras` for a while, to give you some time for yourself.

    Take care xx
     
  20. Tender Face

    Tender Face Account Closed

    Mar 14, 2006
    5,379
    NW England
    We don't, do we? Whatever they now throw at us and whatever may have gone before ....... :(

    Dear Mellow Yellow, I have only just caught up with this thread - and it's one where so many responses and observations literally make me shiver!!!!!

    There are lots of things I console myself with re; 'It's just the dementia' whilst I am mindful that my mother has always been a "difficult character" and our relationship rather rocky over the years .... Years back when she would accuse me (because of course it was always MY fault something was wrong/missing/out of place! First rule in life: Mother is NEVER wrong!!!!! :) ) I'd dare challenge her and defend myself ..... now she has dementia ... I have to handle things differently ....

    On a practical level ...... what record does your mum have of telephone numbers? We recognised last year when hubby and I were having a spate of constant calls through the day (nothing too bad - but not appropriate to discuss the fact she'd just seen a sparrow in the garden when you've got responsibilities at work!!!):eek: that it was no longer appropriate for mum to have 'office numbers' to hand ..... in an emergency she could reach us by mobiles.... or her neighbour could alert us ... etc .... By lucky coincidence both my hubby and I changed work numbers in a matter of months and mum simply doesn't have them .......

    Also, no 'fretting' about any Age Concern or other workers ... they are so aware of what may or may not be thrown at them (and specifically trained unlike us mere mortals who have to try to cope without instruction!) .....

    I am not suggesting your mother is as mine - but as soon as I read the words 'parting shot' it reminded me that having finally recognised (as I have) that when you are confronted with emotional blackmail the best way to deal with it is to 'play them at their own game'.......Dementia has changed some of the strategy!!!! But Godammit, I do still love her!!!!!

    Conflicting priorities are hideous to deal with .... and something I have - and still struggle with - but given a choice between my son and my mum - no contest! (and that's without the issues you have to deal with). I will not feel one jot of guilt if in someway putting his needs before hers at some point causes issues ....

    Sorry if that's been rather blunt,

    Much love, Karen, x
     

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