• All threads and posts regarding Coronavirus COVID-19 can now be found in our new area specifically for Coronavirus COVID-19 discussion.

    You can access this area by going to the Health and wellbeing forum >here< or you can directly access the area >here<.

Ready for the hills!!

Head Wrecked

Registered User
Feb 15, 2016
10
Hi

My mum has recently been diagnosed with Vascular Dementia, although I have suspected this for 2 years. She has been attending the memory clinic now for the past 2 years, although upset at having to attend! Mum has always been "always right" and very head strong so even though the consultant, nurse and myself have explained what is happening she will just not accept it and is fighting us at every angle. My dad is her main carer and can do no right. He has decided to go to Australia for 6 weeks to visit his brother. I think its his way to escape. He isn't coping now so I don't know how he is going to cope later. I am an only child and work full time and have my own family so I am so worried at how I am going to cope with everything. Mum is constantly fighting with me over her tablets. I had to control them as she was taking too many or not taking them at all. She is disgusted with me taking her tablets and says she isnt stupid. I have tried to explain I am trying to look after her and help her but she says she doesnt need my help and can look after herself. She is so stubborn and hard to deal with but gets really upset over it all. I am just trying to do my best. We have fallen out a few times now over things and my own health is suffering with anxiety and stress. I am not looking forward to what is to come or how my dad and me will cope.
 

Amy in the US

Registered User
Feb 28, 2015
4,617
USA
Hello, Head Wrecked (like the user name!), and welcome to TP. I hope you will find it helpful to be here, and remember, TP is always open.

I'm very sorry to hear about your mother's diagnosis, and the struggles you are having with your mother's care.

Someone from the UK will post better information, but what sort of support do your mum and dad currently have. Carers coming in, day care, lunch club, et cetera? Can you increase the amount of support while your dad is on his trip? Maybe have the carers give her medications?

Another idea would be to arrange for a respite placement while your dad is gone. I know this is easier said than done, depending on your area, but if your mother needs supervision and you are not able to provide it (and I'm not judging or blaming you, you have your job and your family and your life and you are entitled to that!), then perhaps a residential placement would provide the best care for your mother. It would ensure she is safe, receives the correct medications, and would provide the most company for her, short of hiring 24/7 carers to stay with her at her home.

As far as the stubborness and refusal to accept help, I am sorry to say you are not alone with that. Many of our relatives with dementia are, or were, like this. Part of this may be that your mother is not able to understand her diagnosis (Google "anosognosia") and part of it may be anxiety and part of it may well be sheer stubbornness! Sadly, many people with dementia are not able to understand their condition and that they are not safe to do things like regulate their medications, be on their own, et cetera. It makes an already challenging situation, even more challenging.

Instead of telling your mother that you're trying to help her, you might try a different approach. Remember that you cannot reason with dementia, and logic does not work. A good rule of thumb in a potentially upsetting situation, is to always blame another person, an authority figure who is not present is a good one to try. So, instead of saying, Mum, I need to help you with your tablets you might say, Mum, I know you don't like me giving you your tablets and I know you'd rather do it yourself. I am sorry you don't like it and I'm very sorry you are upset. However, the doctor says we have to do it this way for now. Shall we have a cup of tea/watch a programme/go for a walk now? Or tell her it's a new NHS rule, or anything you think she might accept, but leave yourself out of the equation.

It might or might not work, but it might be worth a try if it could spare you, and your mother, some upset. I don't know about your mother, but with my mother (73, Alzheimer's and no short term memory) I work very hard to make sure we avoid anything that might distress her or cause her to "kick off" and get upset and anxious. It's a lot easier to avoid it, than try to calm her down afterwards. I was taught the "empathise, blame someone else, distract" method at a workshop I attended, specifically to deal with delusions (false, fixed beliefs) but I find it can work in other situations as well sometimes.

I'm sorry I don't have better advice for you and hope you are able to sort out some care for your mother while your father is on his trip. Best wishes to you.
 

stanleypj

Registered User
Dec 8, 2011
10,707
North West
Welcome to TP Head Wrecked though I'm very sorry to hear about what has brought you here.

No wonder you are struggling! Anybody would in these circumstances. Your dad is not coping? How on earth does he expect you to cope while he's on the other side of the world for 6 weeks? This is not reasonable.

There are two places where you can find a listening ear and people who will understand how you feel and talk you through the options.

Admiral Nurses exist to help us care for people with dementia. They will listen to your problems and offer advice:

https://www.dementiauk.org/how-we-help/admiral-nursing-direct/

The Alzheimer's Society branch nearest you will be able to tell you about local activities and contacts:

https://www.alzheimers.org.uk/localinfo

I hope other members will be along with assistance.
 

Aisling

Registered User
Dec 5, 2015
1,806
Ireland
Hi

My mum has recently been diagnosed with Vascular Dementia, although I have suspected this for 2 years. She has been attending the memory clinic now for the past 2 years, although upset at having to attend! Mum has always been "always right" and very head strong so even though the consultant, nurse and myself have explained what is happening she will just not accept it and is fighting us at every angle. My dad is her main carer and can do no right. He has decided to go to Australia for 6 weeks to visit his brother. I think its his way to escape. He isn't coping now so I don't know how he is going to cope later. I am an only child and work full time and have my own family so I am so worried at how I am going to cope with everything. Mum is constantly fighting with me over her tablets. I had to control them as she was taking too many or not taking them at all. She is disgusted with me taking her tablets and says she isnt stupid. I have tried to explain I am trying to look after her and help her but she says she doesnt need my help and can look after herself. She is so stubborn and hard to deal with but gets really upset over it all. I am just trying to do my best. We have fallen out a few times now over things and my own health is suffering with anxiety and stress. I am not looking forward to what is to come or how my dad and me will cope.

I don't know what to write but am responding to support you. Am sure you have discussed everything with your Dad
and explained everything to him. Am confused about him going to Australia. Is your mum well enough to travel with him? You need to talk to him honestly as you can't take full responsibility. You can't do everything. Doctor may be able to advise your Mum and Dad.

Regarding tablets! I could write a book. Would your Mum be able to use the special daily pack which chemist do for people? During the years I have encouraged, bribed, crushed and Now put them into yoghurts. That can change any day when T decides he doesn't like yoghurts!

My heart goes out to you.

Virtual hugs fromIreland,

Aisling
 

Martin099

Registered User
Nov 13, 2012
53
Dorset
Really sorry to hear this, it's very difficult when your loved one is so stubborn and defensive. I had similar experiences with my mother - she was only in her late sixties at the time.
Try to build up a network of support, you can't deal with everything on your own and you'll be amazed how supportive people can be once they know that help is needed. This will increase the care that your mum is getting and it will help your spirits - a problem shared is a problem halved!....well maybe not quite but you know what I mean. Are there any trusted neighbours & friends that can help, maybe innocently so that they are accepted by your mother. You say that you've been attending the memory clinic for the past two years so that makes me think that your mum may accept having a carer come in maybe three or four times a week? It's worth a try and will hopefully be a comfort to your dad to know that he is also not alone.
Unfortunately there's no right or wrong here, you're doing your best because you love your mum and in her right mind I have no doubt she would thank you from the bottom of her heart, good luck & take care, martin