upsetting/hurtful things


Registered User
Jul 3, 2006
Right Folks .
Please could all ye experts advise me .....
My friends mother is at home looking after her very frail 92 year old mother.
This particular gran is so frail that last year when she almost fell in a petrol station her son in law grabbed her arm ....and you guessed it the skin just came right off. Unfortunately they were on the way to a family holiday . Fortunately the skin healed with a simple bandage rather than stitches......
She walks with a Zimmer , lives at home with her daughters family and needs help with toilets and much encouragement to eat ., and drink . She can feed herself ....extreemly slowly.
She is still very much at the centre of family life and i was quite moved to see how attentive her family were to her needs .
There is one big problem . ............ she keeps saying things that cause extreem distress and upset to the family.She complains a fair bit ....I,m never included , nobody cares about me , i never get to see MY friends . That sorta thing .Then she can say really hurtfu PERSONAL comments directly to some of the family .
From my point of view its just a wee old lady who is obviously getting a bit confused . I have encouraged the family to see her as someone who isnt well .Maybe that way they can cope better.She has dementia.
However it just keeps happening over and over again .
Now i think the carer ( my friends mum ) is really at her wits end .
Somehow Guilt comes into it .............I think as a carer you never feel you are doing enough or doing it right.

But how is it that people can be so upset by these kind of comments from someone who clearly isnt well. I hope Im not sounding to harsh here. Clearly they all love their gran very much . In her prime she was a formidable woman .
Is it to do with respect for her , or letting go , or What .
What to yoou say to someone who is really struggling emotionally with this kind of thing ???


Registered User
Jan 4, 2006
Hiya Lisa, welcome to TP. Imagine you are tired, you are worried, you are hurting,you are putting other relationships under pressure, you are doing your best, then the person that you are doing it all for turns round and accuses you of thieving, of not caring, of having an affair, of never visiting. You are stretched to such a point that emotion overtakes rationality. You know that it is the illness - but it still hurts.
No experts on here Lisa; just lots of us, muddling on, doing our best for the ones we love.
Best wishes,

Canadian Joanne

Volunteer Moderator
Apr 8, 2005
Toronto, Canada
Hi Lisa,
I think you're right in thinking the fact she was a formidable woman in her prime has a lot to do with it. It's very hard for us to break the habits of a lifetime so a person we always looked up to and feared a little (I'm guessing) will continue to dominate us, until we learn it's the disease and learn to act & not react accordingly.

Does your friend's mother have access to the internet? Is there a support group in the vicinity she can go to? There's nothing that helps so much as talking to other people in the same boat.



Registered User
Jul 3, 2006
Thanks Helen and Joane .
I can see how turning to others in the same position might help. Its helped me just to hear your opinions .
My only family experience of dementia is of my gran . My mother handled it really badly .She had no patience with my gran . she had grown up in a remote area in Ireland , very rural . She just got impatient with my granny when she started to forget things . Even though i was young i remember being surprised at the way my mother treated her . I guess it was just her way of dealing with it....she got angry . I knew at the time it didnt seem right .

Whats upsetting about my friends situation is that firstly my friend has been in an accident in Canada 2 weeks ago on holidays . Shes gonna be OK but has a broken pelvis . She will be flown home in a few week s . Her Dad is there with her . Her mum cant really leave cause of the full time granny job at home .
I suposed all this extra stress for the family has just highlighted the stressful situation they already have at home .
But I still do find it hard to understand how families can take these comments so personally(on the other hand i am afraid that i am just a hartless b like my mum ). It may be because you are constantly looking for reminders that the person you care for is still you try to consider their opinions carefully and give them the benifit of the doubt.And you get so used to doing that ....that it blurs your own opinions. Then you start thinking ....maybe theyre right !

I will try to encourage her to look for support , online or otherwise.

Maybe not online!:(