1. MrsChristmas

    MrsChristmas Registered User

    Jun 1, 2015
    115
    Hello there

    Please can I ask for some more advice?

    I have posted before but not sure how to start a new thread so I have done it this way.

    My mother is nearly 90 and has the usual signs of early Alzheimer's forgetful, suspicious, vague and confused.

    My family have organised an LPA (thanks to this forum...).

    My mother has been to the doctors for all her physical tests - bloods, urine and ECG and all okay and now the doctor wants to refer mum to the hospital for memory tests. Mum has cancelled two appointments already because she does see the need to go as she thinks she is perfectly okay and that her memory is old age.

    This morning I called to take mum to the drs for 9.10 but she was in her (heavily stained) dressing gown and curlers saying that she was not going to go but that she was going to go her friends for a coffee morning at 10.00. We then had an argument because she refused to go to the drs with me. I pointed out her memory problems with examples but she wouldn't believe me. I then went to call the Dr's from mum's phone but mum cut me off several times and tried to wrench the phone out of my hands. She got extremely upset and angry. When I tried to take the phone from her to call the Dr to explain that mum was not coming, mum took the phone away again, I pushed her out of the way and she nearly fell over. I caught her just in time.

    Mum then accused me of dominating her, interfering in her life and to leave her alone. She said that she will go to the drs when she thinks its right to. I told mum that I was going to call the doctor from my home and will arrange for the dr to come and see her. Mum told me that she will never speak to me again if I did that. I explained again about her memory and that I was worried but she told me to leave her home, to get out basically and that she will never forgive to speak to me again.

    The doctor contacted mum later this morning because mum did not arrive and the Dr has now made an appointment for mum to go for memory tests at the hospital. Mum has made it clear that she does not want me to go with her and the only other alternative is a social worker but someone has to go with mum. The appointment will not be for two months.

    I have spoken to my brother (who is now being quite supportive) who says that we must just try and bridge the next two months until mum is assessed. In the meantime, my brother tells me to leave mum alone because that is what she wants.

    However, if anything goes wrong (like she's run out of milk/bread regularly) Mum will come to my door (I live next door) for these things.

    At the moment, I am feeling bruised, raw and very hurt by the things mum said to me today and I know it is the disease but I just don't want anything to do with her at the moment.

    I was wondering if anyone else had experienced this and how did you handle it? I don't think I acted well this morning but I was frustrated, fed up and annoyed because, as always, I battle with mum on my own. My brother cannot come and help because he lives so far away.

    What do I say to mum when she knocks at my door wanting a carton of milk, a lift somewhere? I don't like bad feeling and will do anything to avoid confrontation and mum knows this.

    The doctor has been lovely and very supportive.

    To make matters worse, I have been in contact with some of mum's friends to find out some dates for when mum will needs lifts (christmas dinner, coffee mornings, social gathering) and made the mistake of opening up to one of mum's friends (whose husband has Alz) and this 'friend' has now told mum everything I have said. So last night, I had a vicious phone call from mum accusing me of interfering in her life and her social life, implying that she was 'senile old woman', how dare I contact one of mum's friends without speaking to her, blah blah blah. Now this argument this morning has totally ruined our relationship.

    What happens after the memory clinic assessment? If she is diagnosed does she receive care? What if she doesn't want it?

    I wish I lived miles away!

    Any advice or experiences would be most welcome right now.

    Mrs C
     
  2. Cat27

    Cat27 Volunteer Moderator

    Feb 27, 2015
    9,765
    Merseyside
    What a nightmare for you.
    I'd try to take a step back to let her calm down. Let her come to you if she wants something. Be polite & try to defuse the anger. Far easier said than done I know.
     
  3. loveahug

    loveahug Registered User

    Nov 28, 2012
    1,071
    Moved to Leicester
    I'm with cat on this one, leave her be for a while, she's close so she can come to you for things and you can quietly keep an eye on her.

    I had the same from my mum, fiercely independent, even in the CH she resists even the tiniest bit of help and they find her quite challenging. She might be 91 but she's very strong willed. Not that she's nasty or violent but just refuses quite politely that she 'can manage, thank you'. The one thing they don't accomplish is getting her hair washed, so it's a good job the hairdresser visits every week, she's quite content to have it washed then lol! We didn't ever manage to get her to the doctor for her memory so the doctor had to visit to do her an 'old person's MOT'. Once the hospital referral came through we just said it was to make sure it was only forgetfulness and not a brain tumour or anything. Oh the lies, the lies :rolleyes:

    Good luck!
     
  4. reedysue

    reedysue Registered User

    Nov 4, 2014
    4,563
    Scotland
    Sit tight and things will settle down, my mum is very similar, she calls me an interfering know it all every other day and gets angry at all kinds of things that I say. Her consultant told her that she has Alzheimer's but she does not accept this even though she has been prescribed donepezil, her favourite phrase is you don't know what you will be like at 81. Don't engage your mum in a fight that you can't win it will cause stress all round, unfortunately I have become very devious when dealing with mum, I only tell her what she needs to know. Try getting her to doctors appointments by implying that you are taking her somewhere she likes, it might work.
    Good luck
     
  5. Delphie

    Delphie Registered User

    Dec 14, 2011
    1,242
    I got my mum as far as the memory clinic (largely by lying to her as there was no way she would have gone otherwise) and although she refused to cooperate when the consultant wanted her to go for a scan, she was still diagnosed with Alzheimer's. Medication was available to her, but she point blank refused it. She was in complete denial as far as her problems and considered herself to be entirely well. Any suggestion otherwise, and she'd become furious in seconds. I tried to arrange carers, but she refused their help too.

    I tried doing what I could for her, mostly covertly, but she was absolutely foul to me most of the time we were together and it got to a point where if she started on me I'd leave, even if I'd just arrived and even if she really needed something doing for her. Allowing her to be angry with me was doing neither of us any good. She'd whip herself into a fury and if I stayed to try and reason with her I ended up very upset and stressed.

    And that's how we stumbled on until she got bad enough to be sectioned due to self neglect. At that point I conned her into a lovely care home where she's been... must be about 3 years now.

    She's medicated now and our relationship is much, much better. She's doing very well too, after a bit of a shaky start.

    My heart goes out to you Mrs C. Angry mothers are hard to deal with.
     
  6. fizzie

    fizzie Registered User

    Jul 20, 2011
    2,740
    I am aware that many others will not agree but................ my mother was fiercely independent and she was never diagnosed to the day she died at 91. We looked after her at home which was what she wished for the four years of her ever increasing memory loss and it was jolly hard work lol. She had vascular dementia and i knew from my background (and spoke to the doctor about it too - we have a lovely supportive doctor) that there was no medication and it seemed unnecessary to me to put her through testing - she would have been distressed and it would have been a terrible fight. Had she had Alzheimers I would have fought her because the drugs would hopefully have made at least part of her journey less painful.

    I used the compassionate communication (which is an art form but it really works) strategy http://forum.alzheimers.org.uk/showt...emory-Impaired and i found it very helpful.

    Until the very last day my Ma would have told the world that it was a shame I had memory loss :) and that she found it very difficult to explain things to me because i just forgot!!!!!!!!

    It was really unfortunate that friends repeated conversations to your mum - that must have been very distressing for her. I think if we put ourselves into the person with memory loss shoes then it is easier to understand just how difficult we seem to be to them - my mum often told me my behaviour was bizarre! It sounds as though your mum does understand but is (as I would be) in denial and so from her perspective you are being a nuisance (which of course you are not, you are putting her needs first) - but my guess is that she really will not 'get' that because she is clinging on for dear life to the independence that she has and perhaps she doesn't want to hear anything about a diagnosis.

    I was speaking to another carer today whose Mum is in early/mid stages and she was saying - if only people understood how it is to be me, how I know when people are talking about me, how I am still me but you just forget and talk about me as though I am no longer a person and I no longer have rights. It was very poignant and humbling to hear these words from the person with memory loss.

    I do really sympathise and I hope that you can work together to make life easier for both of you and that family and friends support whatever decisions you make - you know your Mum best and in the coming days and months she will likely depend on you more. I'll stop rambling now. Take care and keep posting. Thinking of you
     
  7. MrsChristmas

    MrsChristmas Registered User

    Jun 1, 2015
    115
    Thank for taking the time to reply

    Thank you very much for your help!

    I do appreciate your advice and I will try to step back. The irony of it is that I don't really want to be involved but, because I live next door, ultimately there is no one else to call on.....! It is me that mum turns to help in emergency, what friends she has do not get involved and my brother only visits every few months...who else is there?

    I was advised by my brother to get mum to the drs because he could not be there to support me today and it backfired royally.

    I guess that is my frustration, I am involved in something that I am ill equipped to deal with, I am way out of my depth and there is no else to help me.

    Of course I would love to step back, not get involved, lead my own life but there it is...!

    Thank you again for your kind words though...

    Mrs C
     
  8. MrsChristmas

    MrsChristmas Registered User

    Jun 1, 2015
    115
    Thank you for taking the time to reply to me...

    Thank you for your advice.

    I don't think that I have a choice in leaving this for a while because there is no one else but me....!

    As I have said to cat, I am ill equipped to deal with mum as she is and I would dearly love for some else to take over the burden but there is no one.

    But I will try to be patient even though my heart is not in it.

    Thanks anyway.

    Kind regards

    Mrs c
     
  9. Cat27

    Cat27 Volunteer Moderator

    Feb 27, 2015
    9,765
    Merseyside
    It's a huge learning curve for all us carers. The goalposts change so often it's very hard to know what to do for the best.
     
  10. Quilty

    Quilty Registered User

    Aug 28, 2014
    1,056
    GLASGOW
    I have been exactly where you are and know how hard it is. My mum was assessed at her own request and had a social worker and things ticked along fir a couple of year. As the dementia got worse she got more difficult and hostile. Not eating or drinking, refusing to walk, miss mefication or taking double doses. I too tried yo readon with her and make her see sense. Its never going to work as her brain is damaged. Her social worker said i had to think of thingd in terms of risk. Dont take action unless there was risk. So, gas off the hob, knobs off the boiler. Pills hidden and carer to give them (blamed that one on doc). I stopped arguing or telling her. Took her bank card away. Hid her mobile phone( 3am calls). We lasted another year until she started having falls and could not get up. She is now in a care home.
    Try agreeing with her as much as possible. The doc cant cure her. Get a socisl work assessment on the fly. Dont tell her its hsppening. Deny any involvement if she accuses you and take each day as it comes. Best of luck as its the hardest job in the world. Keep your chin up. We are all behind you.
     
  11. Lawson58

    Lawson58 Registered User

    OH was in total denial. There was nothing wrong with him, it was all in my mind etc etc etc, a story so many of us have experienced and of course he fought valiantly not have a neuropsychological assessment.

    My GP and I worked together and GP got him there by challenging OH to prove that I was wrong, that by having the assessment he could get me off his back. It took a few weeks of careful manoeuvering for it to work but we got there in the end. OH was adamant that he didn't want me there when he got the diagnosis but this was familiar territory for the geriatrician and he handled the situation very well.

    I cannot stress how helpful and supportive our GP has been and if you can work with your GP, you might get the help you need.
     
  12. MrsChristmas

    MrsChristmas Registered User

    Jun 1, 2015
    115
    Thank you for your help

    Thank you for your help and advice which is very much appreciated.

    I fear it is going to be a long road to get Mum to the hospital for memory tests and, even if she is diagnosed, I am guessing that she will not accept any help.

    When my father was dying of brain cancer a care package was organised with carers coming twice a day. Unfortunately, Mum and Dad refused all help and mum looked after dad solely (she was in her late eighties at the time) for the 4 months before he died. This almost killed mum. She lost 2 stone in weight and has never really recovered from it.

    She sold her house and moved next to me in within a year of dad's death. Things have been okay (ish) for the first 18 months but in the last year but mum has declined. She relished her freedom from a rather stereotypical marriage and loved her independence. Unfortunately, it all came too late for mum. Dad left her financially comfortable, she had her health (just) and still drove her car. Now, it seems she has been struck by AD and all the fears that she learnt from Dad (white coat syndrome) are all coming to the fore.

    I have real fears for the future and can see a rocky road ahead. Mum now has a bunker mentality which will very hard to free her from.

    Thanks again for listening...wish me luck..
     
  13. MrsChristmas

    MrsChristmas Registered User

    Jun 1, 2015
    115
    Thank you

    Hello Quilty

    Thank you for your lovely positive post, full of advice.

    I fear that mum will be like your's, denying any problems, any help.

    One part of me just thinks 'well get on with it' but as she lives next door to me I just see a lonely old lady spending day after day on her own. Her friends don't visit her and I am the only family that she has got. At the moment, I am giving myself time and Mum a wide berth. She will have to come to me for help.

    It's the feeling of guilt that gets me every time. I am retired now and have a lovely partner who I met after being divorced for many years. I was a single parent of three children for 30 years and bought them all up single handedly. They are all off doing their own thing. I am experiencing my first taste of freedom for years and I feel guilty if I go to the gym, see my friends or partner instead of seeing mum less than once a week. She complains that she doesn't see enough of me but when I have seen her all she does is complain. At first I got fed up with the same stories, repeating myself and so on.

    Then things starting go wrong around mum's bungalow and I was being called regularly to sort things out but mum would not let me sort them out on my own. She wanted to control it and was starting to treat me like a hired help instead of her daughter. I started getting resentful and tried to get my brother to help out a bit more. After speaking to mum, Mum and my brother decided that mum wanted her independence and that I should 'back off', which I duly did, quite happily!

    Now mum is not coping, her memory's failing....

    Sorry, I've run on..just needed to get things off my chest!

    Kind regards

    Mrs c
     
  14. Quilty

    Quilty Registered User

    Aug 28, 2014
    1,056
    GLASGOW
    You are doing the best you can. Try to enjoy your life and dont let this consume you. If you agree with her she might stop arguing. My mum did. Her front door was broken and it would not open. I argued with her for 2 weeks about it and got nowhere. She just kept telling me she "loved that door ". I started agreeing with her. Everytime she had to get up and unlock the back door i said " but you love your front door so will all just have to use the back!". After 2 days of agreeing she got a company to put a new door in. I had a silent chuckle to myself. Give it a go. Its easier as you try it.
     
  15. MrsChristmas

    MrsChristmas Registered User

    Jun 1, 2015
    115
    Hello Fizzie

    Thank you for your help and advice around my 'angry mother'.

    Things have calmed down after our argument last Tuesday as you and all the other kind people on here have advised.

    Yesterday was my mother's 90th birthday and we all went out for a meal together which was lovely. I got mum a cake and she blew out her one candle (tact!).

    I was wondering if I could ask some more advice, sorry to be a nuisance.

    I have been trying to get my brother on board as support and have been marginally successful, thus far. He supported me in trying to get my mum to see the dr, although I did not succeed this week. Thankfully, the GP has arranged a referral to the memory clinic without seeing mum again. However, since Tuesday's argument, my brother has now backed off again and seems a bit doubtful there is anything wrong with mum. At one point, mum told the dr that she didn't want me to go with her to the memory clinic and the dr suggested my brother as second choice, he is really reluctant to go with mum to any appointments and would rather I went. My brother (who six years older than me and lives 100 miles away) seems a little vague and has focussed on the fact (from his point of view) that now a referral has gone to the hospital it 'the problem is now with the NHS'...his words. He says that there just has to be a 'bridge between now and the appointment with the NHS'.

    Yesterday, he joined us for mum's birthday and I asked him if we could have a chat about what to do next but my brother just said that 'it would open old wounds' and did not want to talk about mum's potential diagnosis. He then just left to drive back home with his wife.

    Of course, Mum has forgotten all about our row on Tuesday and the birthday treat yesterday.

    Now, I feel that I am no further forward than before. I don't know when mum's appointment is, whether I am going with her, or my brother or social worker. I have been asking for more help and support from my brother but none is forthcoming. He tells me that if Mum calls me for help I am to tell her to get in contact with a list of people that he told me to prepare for her and leave by her phone.

    This morning, mum has just called me to tell me her heating is not working and, as agreed with my brother, I told her to contact a heating engineer tomorrow (today is Sunday). Mum refused, telling me that it was not worth it and that she'd use an old heater for warmth. 5 minutes later mum calls me again to tell me the heating is now working.

    It is always me that mum turns to because I live next door. I have suggested that she call my brother sometimes but she just refuses. My brother is retired and has more time than I do but he will not come to see mum more than once every three months.

    I feel I am taking on mum's problems single handedly and that no-one wants to help. I am concerned that mum will refuse to go the memory clinic because she is in denial. Today, I saw her driving her car! Yesterday, she had no teabags in the house and has started asking me for milk and bread.

    Mum is showing all of the signs of dementia (from what I have read on this forum) but is in total denial. She is unsteady on her feet, she has Glaucoma and arthritic hands. She is terribly underweight and just eats ready meals from the freezer.

    What you advise I do?
     
  16. canary

    canary Registered User

    Feb 25, 2014
    9,308
    Female
    South coast
    I have a brother like that too - head firmly in the sand :rolleyes: im afraid that I just leave him out of the equation now and phone him up every now and then for a progress report.

    If mum has to go for a hospital appointment I dont tell her until the day. I tell her that I have come to take her for her appointment and then perhaps we can have lunch/tea and cake after. If she complains that I didnt tell her about it before then I just apologise and say it must have slipped my mind. Because she hasnt had a chance to think about it and object I usually manage to get her there - especially with the promise of lunch. I talk about where we might go to eat and this distracts her all the more. If she does object, dont try and reason or argue. I have heard of someone who said to their mum that it was their chance to prove everyone wrong!

    When you go for the appointment it might be helpful to write down everything that you would like to tell the doctor (things that she does etc) and hand it to the receptionist to give to the doctor, just in case you arent given the opportunity to talk to the doctor without your mum. I would also pass on a tip I got from here - when your mum is seeing the doctor try and sit to one side and behind her so that she cannot see you. That way, when the doctor asks her something you can can either nod or shake your head silently and she wont know - eg if she is saying that she goes for a 5 mile walk every day you can shake your head!
     
  17. Mrsbusy

    Mrsbusy Registered User

    Aug 15, 2015
    356
    What you should do is:

    Ask when you go shopping if she needs anything or wants to go with you. If the answer is no to both, fine you have asked you can do no more. Perhaps keep spare milk in etc just in case to save her from driving.

    Disable the car if you don't think she's a safe driver. Don't have to even let her know, just find a way of detaching a spark plug etc so it doesn't work rather than have a row with her.

    Ask the GP if he can tell you when the hospital appointment is so you can phone your brother in plenty of time to attend hospital with you and mum together. He seems to be in denial too. If he needs to face facts instead of brushing it onto you then all of you go.

    Brother has no business to expect a person with no proper logic to arrange heating repairs, so he obviously has no concept of the disease or the situation. Maybe his wife could be spoken to over Chrustmas on a one to one phone call and see if she can get through to him.

    If brother refuses to attend then GP or social worker should contact brother with results of memory clinic findings.

    Has your mother arranged a power of attorney yet, as later on you may find yourself at loggerheads with brother in what to do?

    If you are concerned about mothers ability or safety in home CCTV can be fitted to keep an eye on her in the house without actually having to go in each day. Maybe worth looking into. May also help to show brother the footage to confirm your thoughts.

    In desperation would any of her friends go with her to appointment? Don't rely too much on the appointment as once we had diagnosis we were just left to sort it out had no support from anyone and just muddle through. If you want carers in before diagnosis plenty of people do that without ever getting it officially. You can maybe claim for carers allowance for you and Attendance allowance for Mum to pay for carers.

    Maybe try and get a 'friend' of yours in to clean through once a week, to keep an eye on her and say this person needs the cash so I thought you could help her out too so you can rest up more. Easier to accept than a carer as such. She maybe glad of the company too.

    Keep fighting your corner, keep your health and independence for as long as you can, but stand up to brother too. Good luck.
     
  18. MrsChristmas

    MrsChristmas Registered User

    Jun 1, 2015
    115
    Hello Canary

    Thank you for your kind advice, much appreciated.

    My mother is a 'tough old bird'! I have taken mum to appointments before (she has agreed, reluctantly, to let me take her) but she refuses to let me go in with her, telling me, in no uncertain terms, that I'm to stay outside. You will see from my previous posts that we had an argument last Tuesday because mum refused to go to the drs appointment and when I arrived at her door to take her she answered me in her filthy dressing gown and curlers. Short of physically picking her up and manhandling her into my car, there is no way mum will do anything she doesn't want to. I guess all mum's a different - mine's as stubborn as a mule and would not care what anyone thought, in her head she's right!

    However, IF EVER I get mum to the hospital for tests then I will prepare as you suggested and I am very grateful to you for that great advice.

    Kind regards

    Mrs C
     
  19. MrsChristmas

    MrsChristmas Registered User

    Jun 1, 2015
    115
    Hello MrsBusy

    Thank you so much for your excellent advice and for sparing the time to respond to me, your post sort of stiffened my resolve, I was feeling really p...d off.

    I have emailed my brother telling him that I that it's unfair that the burden lies with me because I am closest and he has responded most positively, which is such a relief. Thanks to the lovely guys on the forum here, I got my brother to persuade mum to agree to an LPA which was signed last month. My brother tells me that once this finalised then we can go ahead to take over things for mum, IF, she agrees but there lies the problem....but we'll cross that bridge when we come to it. My brother is very aware that our mum is stubborn woman but he seems to understand her better than me and can probably handle her sensitively. I am different and probably irritate hell out of both of them! He is going to arrange for a cleaner for mum, shopping to be delivered and so on....watch this space.

    I just feel a great big burden has been lifted off my shoulders, for now but my brother could not resist in saying (in effect) that living 5 yards from mum is the cause and effect..easy to say that when you live a 100 miles away....

    Thanks again for your kindness and support.

    Mrs C
     

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