Mom's name came up on the list for a Nursing Home so she was moved about a week ago. The home is near my sister and she has been going there everyday to visit, takes her to her home for supper and out for coffee. Because there is great distance between us and having to clear up some things before we plan a long trip, we still haven't been to see mom, afterall it is only a week, but we've been in phone contact a couple of times.
My sister said in the last few days mom has become very angry that we haven't come and said her children including the sister that is there, are good for nothing and is badmouthing us.
I understand that she is going through a transition, is most likely scared and is very angry about it . She feels like we locked her away. She has no sense of time, or distance and wants us there on demand, and doesn't understand that we did make a long trip to visit just a few weeks ago. We've been trying to be there for her as much as we can. My sisters all have jobs that they are trying to keep and can't take off whenever. I myself am not that well and I'm dealing with medical issues and this stress with mom is affecting my health, because she makes us all feel so bad. We are doing the best we can. She tried living in all of our homes and wasn't happy. I feel upset because there is no way to please her.
Transition is difficult for AZ, and they have to focus on something. Even if you did go and visit her, she may not remember and still keep wanting to know when you're going to visit. Don't take it personally. It's so difficult in today's society when people work and can't take off or other things come up that we can't just do everything at the drop of a hat. A week isn't that long. Please understand as you said that "there is no way to please her". When you do get a chance to visit, it will all be good and she'll be happy for that time. Don't stress when you do what you can and that's all you need to think about. Plz take care and take a deep breath.
Thanks, I will hold unto that. Right now I'm feeling angry, I have no right to be angry but I am. I'm angry at myself because I have lost control over being able to help her. I'm angry at her for making me angry even though I know this is not logical because she no longer can control what she does. I'm exhausting myself emotionally and at the same time think of the hell she must be going through.. Lately I can't even help myself let alone her. I'm upset that her demands include situations that I can't do anything about or so it seems at this time. It's not supposed to be this way. Family is supposed to be there and help one another, I feel so helpless and it just seems so wrong.
She's flipping out but we don't want you to flip out. So stop, breathe and let's look at the situation. She can't rationalize. Her mind doesn't work like ours anymore. She wants what she wants no matter that it is impossible. We know it, she doesn't. You can't fix it. You can only try to make it as comfortable and safe as possible and you have done that by placing her where she is safe. You are doing what I have done and at times still catch myself trying to do. You are thinking you can fix it. We can't. We are just banging our heads against a brick wall. We can only be there when we can be there and we can only do what we can do.
She is taking it out on the people she know and loves..."where are my children"?? She wants to be saved. She wants her life back. We can't do it no matter what words are thrown our way. Hopefully she will calm down. This is a major upheaval for her. She only knows how to deal with it in one way...by striking out. You can't blame her. It is what it is. Talk to her if you can. Remain calm. Don't argue with her. When my mom would be at her worst I would try to slip in conversation of her grandchildren. I had to find anything I could to try to divert her attention. Or we would try to give her something to look forward to...I never leave my mom without telling her that I will see her on such and such a day and we will go ..somewhere. And then when I talke to her I remind her and remind her of what will be coming up next. SHe doesn't always remember but each time we remind her she is excited all over again. It may not work for you ..we all have to find some way to deal with it the best we can.
At my mom's worst I developed an ulcer. So I know what it does to your health. I was broken hearted by her cruel words but then I finally figured it out. She doesn't mean it, the disease does. My mom adores me...the disease not so much.
Thanks, I needed that. I spoke with mom a few days ago when my sister brought her to her place so we talked by phone. I reminded my mom that we will be coming to see her soon. My mom shot out " Yah, I'll probably be dead by then!"
I reminded her again that it won't be that long.
When my sister walked into the NH today mom was screaming at Dr.'s and nurses saying that we locked her up. She is being verbally abusive not only to her family members but to the staff and to the residents as well. I know she is scared and is acting out in anger and that it is not her fault.
Mitsy and Meg1230 are spot on. As is all the other advice we receive here. I felt for you and your sister when i read your post. I've been through that phase. Even now, as incapacitated as mom is, she still tries to bite, punch and swear when i am helping her.
It's just a suggestion, but until you can visit and your mom passess through this transisitional stage. Could you not send little messages in cards and post them to her. I did this for a few months between visits. Mom seemed to give them pride of place and could look at them at will. Anyway hang onto the towels that are being sent your way.
Love and respect for what you are doing.
Last edited by mentalmum08; 04-24-2009 at 01:40 AM.
Reason: mistakes again!
Perhaps it time for your Mom's doctor to prescribe a little something to help your mom get over this rough spot. Often a low dose of an antidepressant will help calm them down and make it easier for them to adjust to their new surrounding and to their new life. You might want to call her doctor and suggest it. It certainly can't hurt, IF she is making you this miserable, think how bad she must feel.
One other thing you need to remember. You mother doesn't go around this angry all day. She will have flare ups, but she doesn't go all day in a spiteful mood. It will be triggered by something So at least you don't have to think that this is a day in and out sort of thing.
My Mom said the same thing when I told her that we were coming in two weeks-that she would be dead by then. I had had enough of her attitude by then so I just shot back"really? I didn't see that on the calendar for the home, did you tell the staff?" She didn't know what to say, but it turned her off for a few minutes...
Keep your sense of humor and keep reminding yourself that you have done the best thing for your mom-and that's what is important. But I would check into getting her some meds.....
That's a great idea of sending her little notes and I was thinking of sending her some flowers as well. I'm scared to write on the card that we will be coming to see her soon because if we aren't there when she wants she may go through this same rampage again.
My sister was going to talk to the staff to see if they could give her something mild to calm her.
I have to wonder when the staff says she is very angry if it isn't all the time? Her anger is also directed to the resident's as well and she is verbally abusing them right to their faces calling them names and saying unkind things.
my mother went through her angry period around late August through December with the highest amount of abuse to sister happening around October. the punching, biting, kicking, slapping, etc.
Thankfully because my mother couldn't talk she wasn't verbally abusive on top of it all -- at least Sister could walk away from mom or keep out of arms reach but it wasn't easy on her.
Sister didn't want a strong sedative that would "make mom a zombie" so they gave her .5mg of Ativan only it wasn't enough to stop the sundowning issues at night and even two of them wouldn't do it. Unfortunately Sister didn't want to give much more even though the doctor said we could go up to 4 of them at night. So right up until she fell the very last time and spent the remaining 4 weeks in bed, she'd get up every 15 - 20 minutes to go to the bathroom and woke sister up each time to take her.
Iíve gone through the same thing with my dad so know how you feel. After he was diagnosed with bipolar though he lives a few hundred miles away I drove every month to be with him for a couple of days, mediating with his psychiatrists and social workers to try and keep him at home in the community where he wanted to be. But he got so bad he wasnít feeding himself properly then fell down the stairs when I was at home and was hospitalised before being put in a nursing home. He had been sectioned so there was nothing I could do about it and in the end it was a relief to be free of all the stress which was nearly killing me. He has settled now into the nursing home after not talking to me for weeks - a huge upheaval for anyone when they are at their most vulnerable feel alone and frightened and lash out at family who care most about them. I know what you mean about guilt dorri so try doing what I did - and still do sometimes. When it overwhelms you sit down and make a note mental or otherwise of all the things you have done to help your mum, really think about it and know that you could have done no more, that circumstances and life are to blame not you. I agree with everything everyoneís said particularly about posting on little presents which help them feel loved and important. I post a box of chocs/ biscuits every month with a note and some photos. Please take advice from someone who knows and ditch the guilt which will make you really ill, you sound like a lovely caring lady who like me has done her very best Ė you canít do more than that so be at peace with yourself an good luck.
Bless you Dorri.... I so know where you are at with the angry parent. Mitzy and Meg gave ou excellent advice. Ibake as usually did as well.
You have to remember that there is no way to please Mom. She has no perception of time or distance and doesn't understand why her wishes are not instantanious. They have no feelings for others. There world is all about them. With their limited memory and disfunctional thought processes the world around them makes no sense. Move them to a new surrounding and it amplifies the chaos in their world because there is nothing familiar to hang on to.
I agree with Ibake on the need for medication to get her through the transition period at least. It might not make it all go away but the right meds or combination of meds can help.
I so understanding your feelings of helplessness. That's how we are when we have little or no control over a situation. We can't fix what is wrong with our loved ones. There is nothing we can do to make their world right. You are there for your Mom and you are helping!!! Is it enough for her, NO! But is anything enough for her? If she is like my Mom... nothing you can do would ever be enough. What she wants is the chaos in her head to go away and nobody can make that happen for her. You have to remember that what you are doing is in Mom's best interest. Give it time, stay calm, ask about medication, and know you are doing the best you can.
I agree with IBake about the flare ups. Mom can turn on a dime from little miss sunshine to a hostile diva. She can go from laughing to pursed lips to tears in a matter of minutes. I wish I knew how many times I have been warned that Mom is going to chew me alive only to walk in and find her pleasant. On the flip side she might be fine until I walk in and she blows a cork at me. There is no rhymn nor reason to why....
So yes, I have heard all those things you are hearing. I could leave on a Sunday and be chewed out on a Monday because I had not been there in so long. Recently I left the facility at 5PM and was chewed out at 7:30 PM. Not only do they have no concept of time or distance.... they just can't remember!!
So know you are doing all you can. Send cards, notes, flowers, or make phone calls to reassure her that you love her, care about her, and enjoy the time you spent together. Her comments back to you are only showing her fear not a reflection on what you are doing!!!
Thanks Deb, my sister brought mom out for coffee to her house so I was able to talk to mom on the phone. Mom will be getting one hooked up in the Nursing Home soon I think.. When we set up a phone for her before in the hospital she wouldn't use it, and when we called our rings disturbed the patient in the next bed, mom seldom picked it up.
Deb, you are so right about them going to one extreme to another, yesterday on the phone mom was as calm as a lamb and I actually had a civil conversation with her without any outbursts. LOL, I was expecting her to yell and carry on as she had been doing, but she didn't.
It means alot to me that you all understand..it eases the frustration. Thanks again to all and Martha thanks, you are right, we don't need two flipping out. I am trying real hard to remain calm, cool and collected.