I've had mom with me for the last week. I found her much better to deal with in comparrison to last winter, but still I'm emotionally tired. I never realized how much until she left my place. Mom is dependant on someone to sit with her almost all the time. When I sat with her and listened to her over and over again about the same thing, she was happy. She told me more than once that she was so relaxed and happy at my place yet I know I could never do this for long because little did she know that I went more than a mile to please her, putting my needs and other priorities aside to make her visit the best possible.
I often think no one understands, even some family and friends who say she is so much better, that she appears very normal to them. No one (but one) had her for more than an hour or so and I was with them the whole time. Only those who do spend a lot of time with her and those she gives a hard time to can fully understand. Has your mom or dad behaved differently around family and acted normally around others?. I know the people on this board know the challenges of dealing with an emotionally needy demented loved one.
Thanx for listening...I think I need some sleep.
Yes Dorri, that was one of the painful things as Mom's caregiver. Other people who saw her for an hour or two found her perfectly normal. A person in the early and middle stages of dementia knows there is somethng wrong with them -- and they do everything in their power to hide it from the world. But I lived with Mom, so she could not hide it from me. Eventually she started to feel as if I were the enemy, telling my sister that she feels like a prisoner in her own home. It was immensely painful because I was there to care for her, not to hurt her.
By the late stages, everybody knows. They don't even try to hide any more, in fact they do not even know there is anything wrong by that time.
Dorri, my mom is a champ at making people think she is normal...not as much now but she can talk on the phone to her grandchildren or my brother and they would never know she is on the floor and under her bed searching for her treasures...my niece called her this past Monday and mom told her she was relaxing in front of the TV...HAH! NOT! It was an awful day for her but my niece's call to her was the calm in the storm. That was the day she woke up and swore that someone had broken into her house and stolen ALL of her stuff.
It takes all we can to not scream when they tell us the same thing for the 100th time but God Bless 'em, they don't know they have already told us the same thing for 100 times.
Today I took her to get a pedicure and she was great...if I am cool she is too. I learned on this board that they mimic our moods. BUt then when the time came for her to sit with her toes under the table where the fan is it was a stressful moment to be sure..
here's what happened.
ME...mom , sit here and let the fan dry your polish.
Mom...ok (she wiggles her toes and lifts them up and smudges the polish_
ME...MOM! stop moving your feet.
MOM...ok (moving her feet some more, smudging the polish somemore.)
ME...ok...this isn't going to work...c'mon, let's go to the car.
MOM..why? What did I do?
MOM...I can't move
ME...(trying to lift her)
MOM....I can't move
ME...(lifting her up-) C;mon Mom lets's go to the car...(I lead her out of the nail place with all the customers looking at me as though I was guilty of elderly abuse)
Aye yi yi...Later I thought about it and had to laugh.... I'm sure those people thought unkindly of me but I didn't yell or anything...I was just a bit abrubt with her...for a split second I did feel some guilt but nope, pretty good that I even took her to get a pedicure, huh?
So, Dorri I understand, we all understand, completely.
So sit back and realx...you did good having your mom there for so long...24 hours a day. Above and beyond!
You bring up a good point, Meg. Something I used to receive - often. And I am speaking of the dirty, accusing looks you get from perfect strangers as you are trying to corral your out of control loved one.
More than once I told daddy to "pick up your feet" as he loved (and still does!) to take his feet off the foot thingys on his wheelchair. It's starts out so gently:
Me: Daddy? Pick up your feet please.
Me: Dad. Let's put your feet up here, k?
Silence, now with grimace. Takes feet off immediately.
Me: Ok. Dad. Here we go. Feet up here.
slid feet right back off.
Me: Dad! I cannot push you if your feet are down. Let's pick 'em up!
Silence, dirty look, swat and slides feet right back off.
Me: That's it. We're going home.
By now, people are looking. Daddy is hard of hearing, so it's necessary to speak a little louder.
I appreciate the fact that so many fine upstanding citizens are watching out for elder abuse. But in our cases, nothing could be further from the truth.
Gee whiz guys, you're all so patient. As I read both these posts I was expecting CAPITAL LETTERS at the end. ha ha..
With mom I listen repeatedly while mom says
"sit down and talk to me"
"no mom, I can't right now"
(pan is starting to smoke on the stove)
Again mom says " sit down and have coffee with me"
"no mom, can't do it right now, I'm busy"
Mom says "SIT DOWN WITH ME!"..her fists banging on the table!
"MOM, I CAN'T SIT DOWN WITH YOU, MY PAN IS BURNING ON THE STOVE.. I DON'T WANT TO BURN THE HOUSE DOWN"
Lol, sometimes it takes capital letters to get through to them.
Who mimics who? Normally I'm a very positive and patient person, I usually don't raise my voice until she has raised hers several times.
I try to encourage her with positive suggestions over and over again but she has a negative answer for every positive that I put out. If it were true that they mimic us, she's be a comedian and a happy one. I'm beginning to feel really defeated in that area and I'm beginning to think my positive influence is fruitless. There we go again...I'm starting to mimic her again.