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bearcubs 04-01-2010 03:00 PM

Another Day in the Life of Alzheimers and Dementia
I phoned my mother today to take her grocery shopping. She told me once again that she doesn't have any money. She said to me "I need to go to the bank" and I told her I would give her some money and she said "I am going to the bank and I'll pick up some things myself". Now she is upset with me AGAIN!! What a good way to start the Easter weekend. So much for spending time with her. She probably won't want to see my husband and me.:( What am I going to do since she doesn't want me to give her money or handle her money from her bank account which is joint? How can we go grocery shopping, for coffee or anything else? She also told me that she is tired of me telling her what to do. I said goodbye and we hung up. Haven't heard from her all day. I wondering if she went to the bank and shopping. Who knows!!:dizzy:

I hope your day is going better than mine.

Happy Easter to everyone on this Board and may God Bless each one of you!!:angel:


kenbob71 04-01-2010 03:03 PM

Re: Another Day in the Life of Alzheimers and Dementia
Sorry, Elaine.

Just try and not take it personally... Hard to do, I'm sure. And easy for me to say. You just do the best you can and go on with the rest of your life. There are no easy answers. Sometimes it helps just to vent. So, vent away! k

Gabriel 04-01-2010 04:10 PM

Re: Another Day in the Life of Alzheimers and Dementia
The same things are not working Bear. You call her to invite her shopping, she ask about money, you say you have handle it, she blows up, and you get upset. Somewhere you have to break that cycle. I hate to tell you but you are not going to change your Mom. In this she is going to have to get worse to get better. What you have to learn to do is to let it roll off your back and just do what you need to do for her.

My mother griped, complained, yelled, and screamed at me for years. It was about money. It was about not giving her enough help. It was about giving her too much help. It was about the flipping van and her driving privileges. It was about her desire to move back home. There was always something for her to be screaming at me angrily about.

What did I learn? It was NOT about me or what I did. It was all about what she was incapable of understanding. It was NOT her frustration with me but her frustration because she truly didn't understand what she needed to do. It was the fact that in her mind she was perfectly ok. Her reality was just as real to her as mine was to me. We were two immovable objects going head to head. So I stopped headbutting her. I stopped trying to make her understand what she could not understand. I stopped expecting her to agree with my reality and instead stepped into her reality. By listening to her rather than being put off by her antics I figured out ways around her. I also learned that she didn't remember for long. Today she might become angry because she wanted to go to the bank herself but tomorrow it was totally forgotten and she would follow along with me to the bank or grocery store. I let her use her ATM card to pay for items. The other thing I learned was not to talk about things that had the potential for being upsetting. Instead of talking about going shopping which raised red flags in her head about money, I would just show up and say let's go for a ride. We would end up at the grocery store, do the shopping, I would pull out her check card and let her pay, and we would all go home happy. The input processing goes quickly. Mom was NOT understanding what I wanted her to do. Shopping equaled money and she didn't have any. That was as far as her thinking would take her.

So don't argue. Nod and put it off until tomorrow. Bring in groceries. Let her use the check card. Tell her the bank is closed for the holidays. Whatever it takes but smile and become a bobble head as you creatively come up with delay tactics.

If your Mom is that bad.... are you not concerned about her living alone with the ability to come and go as she pleases?

Love, deb

bearcubs 04-01-2010 04:30 PM

Re: Another Day in the Life of Alzheimers and Dementia

I told her I would take the money from her account but she doesn't want me to that. She will not let me use the bank card. There is no changing her mind. Please don't tell me I should do what "needs to be done" because when it comes to my mom, she is the most stubborn person. I'm always walking on pins and needles. This is sooooo stressing for me. I just with someone could help me. There is no one on this planet with any answers. I "need" to know of a solution, not just "wing it". Can someone pleeeaaasssee help me!!!!!

caringsister54 04-01-2010 08:53 PM

Re: Another Day in the Life of Alzheimers and Dementia

You want an answer when there is none. there is no concrete solution to what you desire. She's not that bad that you can medicate her into stupor nor is there any other solution.

We're not harping on what it is you should do. We're offering suggestions. many suggesting the same thine.

I can tell you one thing: We're sorry there is no set, one-stop- answer that you want. We can feel your pain.

You came to us. We have the experience as we've been through it. I was fortunate. My mother -- in her early stages -- let me boondoggle her into getting the house and her accounts into an irrevocable trust. My sister and I had power of attorney over her and her accounts. We also had the lawyer make up a living will/medical directive for her at the same time. All of this turned out to be a God's gift.

Your mother is demanding, fine. We're telling you to just do the bob and weave. if that suggestion doesn't work for you and you're still stressed, then the only option is to 'walk away' -- what that doesn't work for you either?
Well then you need to find the answer that works for you because Bearcub there aren't too many suggestions we can offer.

Unless you want to have your mother declared incompetent, she can stop you from doing a lot. Why not bite the bullet, take her to the bank, walk in with her, let her take out whatever she wants to take out. When she's not looking take most of the money out of her purse and return it to the bank.

Not sure this suggestion will work for you.

Please read your post again. You are begging for an answer and unfortunately none of us here has the "magic" answer you want to hear only suggestions because at some point we were all there where you are. We just either got control of the finances (like we did), or do the bob-and-weave dance that others here have done.

You may have to walk away from it for now until your mother gets worse but as someone else said. If she's this bad, can she really be left alone to come and go as she pleases?

your CaringSister54 who cares about you very, very much

My prayers are with you.

Gabriel 04-01-2010 11:45 PM

Re: Another Day in the Life of Alzheimers and Dementia
Bearcat... I am sorry I can't tell you what you want to hear. There is no magic cure. Your Mom is the way she is and until she gets worse... this is the way it is going to be.

We had to take Dad's van away from Mom and Dad because neither of them were capable of driving. As long as the van was with them... they drove. I listened to both of my parents harp about that van on a daily basis. Where are the keys? Where is the van? If you don't bring it back I am going to disown you. Mom had Dad write us ugly letters telling all of us girls how horrible we were for stealing their van. Mom even called 911 and reported the van stolen!! Bear... this went on for TWO years!!! Every day!!

And what I told you was what I learned from that two years. Yes it is frustrating but I could not back down and I could not take the rants personally. They were not thinking rationally... that is what dementia is all about. If I could convince them that it was the right thing to do I would have but that is just not possible. They were funnel focused on that flipping van... it was their independence. Obviously the money is your Mom's independence. They will try to hold on to independence long after they are unable to be independent because they don't understand that there is anything wrong with them. Mom and Dad never thought they had a problem... I was the problem because I wouldn't let them do what they wanted to do. I would not let them drive and possibly kill themselves of somebody else. And that is why I say you have to do what you have to do whether you Mom likes it or not. It is not about pleasing Mom or Dad at this point. It is about keeping them safe!!... and keeping their finances safe.

The reason I took over the check book and financial accounts (Mom could no later take money out without MY approval) was because she tried to give $250,000 to a B rated insurance salesman that she met in a restaurant. I fixed it once, they called back, and she approved it again. She insisted that it was a good financial move when in fact it would have cost her thousands of dollars if it had happened. Did she give me grief because I did what I did... YES SHE DID. Is she one of the most stubborn ladies every... YES!! But I did exactly what I have said to you. I bobbed and weaved and promised tomorrow until tomorrow finally came and she forgot what money was.

So the answer to your question is... it will not get better until she gets worse (or medicated) and you have to figure out, as the rational thinking adult, how to be evasive or assertive enough to get her past this stage in her disease. Most of all you need to remember that Mom is not rational thinking. She is in angst because her world has been turned upside down by this disease and she doesn't understand what is happening to her or why you are trying to do what you are trying to do. She is not going to understand because you can't explain it to her. No, it's not easy. It's terribly frustrating. But it is what it is and we can't change it. We just have to figure out how to live through it one day at a time.

One of the most difficult things I had to rationalize was that I was the rational adult. I could no longer please Mom and Dad because what they wanted was not rational. It was my responsibility, not to please them, but to do what was necessary for their well being. Once I figured that out... I got off the pins and needles and did what needed to be done which included taking over the financials, taking away that flipping van, and moving them out of their home. None of those were easy and I got enough grief to fill a small town.. but it had to be done. I wasn't sure I was up to the job but I had no choice. It just has to be done....

love, deb

meg1230 04-02-2010 02:39 PM

Re: Another Day in the Life of Alzheimers and Dementia
Deb.. every time you type the word "van", it is preceeded by the sword, "flipping". That makes me laugh everytime! That "flipping van"!

And Bearcat, there is no one on this planet with answers but there are plenty on this planet with experience...and here we are.

We own gold plated t shirts that read "Been There, Done That".

It is all a game...a frustrating game. They bob? You weave. And Deb is right...stop asking her if she wants to go shopping. You are picking at the sore everytime you do it. They won't/can't change, so you must! If something isn't working the way you are doing it now, then stop it. Change tactics. There....THAT is your answer.

My mother will not shut up about money.
Is she driving me absolutely batty..Oh yeah!
As Deb also said, money is my mother's independence. Right now we are playing the .."I will take care of it tomorrow" game. And a new tactic suggested by my brother is to drop change around her apartment...she is thrilled to find money. So, now, when I leave her apartment, I sprinkle pennies and nickels around her apartment like fairy dust. It probably won't help the overall problem but it helps her temporarily and in the moment.

And believe think your mom is the only stubborn and bull headed one?? mother was miserable!!! Miserable! And mean!! If there was an award for stubborn and miserable and mean I will bet you she would win everytime. In case you don't mom didn't speak to me for almost two years because she thought I was stealing from ruined holidays and affected every bit of our family life..I couldn't be anywhere she was or it would cause a big ugly mess...that was when my step dad was still alive...once he died we swooped in and took over. She was shocked and eventually docile. We DID NOT give her an option. She did not get a vote.

Now, I am sure none of this makes you feel any better but you are not going to find the easy answers here. They don't exist. You are only going to get suggestions on how to get you through til the next it 5 minutes or several hours.

So you are worried if she has food? Doe she not have any if you don't get it? Does she still go to the bank and is that neighbor still giving her rides and if so why have you not talked to her yet about it?

Is your mother on meds to control her behavior yet? She needs to be..once we got mom on meds, her behavior certainly improved. Call her doctor. If that doctor doesn't offer help then find another doctor. Doctors are not gods and there are ones who don't understand this disease...find one who does!

If your mother depends on you for groceries then do what I suggested before ..take them in a few at a time. Is she gonna b-itch at you? what..she's gonna b-itch at you anyway. MIght as well have it be for something that counts. Drop off the groceries and then leave!!!

Here's some milk and cookies and soup, mom...see ya. I have a dentist apointment.
( I can't tell you how often I tell my mother I have a dentist appt.! )

Look, kiddo, we are all suffering because of this damned disease. We do understand...honest. I know what it feels like to constantly fret and constantly worry that she is going to call and carry on...I deal with it as best I can ....somedays better than others. Bob and weave...bob and weave.

Love, Meg

Martha H 04-02-2010 03:24 PM

Re: Another Day in the Life of Alzheimers and Dementia
Listen to all this good advice. It really works. Nobody is here because they gave up. Don't give up either.

The good news is that as the disease progresses and the person becomes more and more helpless, there is much less resistance to getting helped.

Meanwhile, do the best you can and do not blame yourself if anything happens ... you tried. You did your best.



kenbob71 04-02-2010 06:39 PM

Re: Another Day in the Life of Alzheimers and Dementia
and we ALL know what "flipping" REALLY means!

kenbob71 04-02-2010 06:40 PM

Re: Another Day in the Life of Alzheimers and Dementia
Remember, my friends.

this will all pass. And you will forget the frustrations and stress.

ST. KEN has said so.


meg1230 04-02-2010 07:52 PM

I DO know what flipping really means! :D

And if what doesn't kill you makes you stronger then I am gonna be one helluva strong woman!

Let me tell you what my mother's new thing is...when we call her after dinner every night to just check in and say hi...(which we have been doing for over two years now..routine routine routine) she now answers the phone as though it could possibly be her last breath.. :dizzy: .or she pretends to have a deathly cold...but if we get her talking long enough she forgets to keep the act up and sounds normal by the end of the conversation..which is usually very short...5 minutes perhaps. She's a doozy.
If I didn't know they were checking on her I would be worried ...but I know better. One of her nurses called me this morning to say mom is doing just fine.

Bearcat, this is one example of if it isn't one darn thing it is another. :dizzy:

Love, Meg

Gabriel 04-02-2010 09:01 PM

Re: Another Day in the Life of Alzheimers and Dementia
::nodding::: yep it was a flipping van.... It was a nice van until I heard it multiple times a day for a little over 2 years and somewhere along the way it flipped... or was it me that flipped :)

Bear... my mom would give your Mom and Meg's Mom a run for the most stubborn title. Throw in the fact that I had a stubborn and determined Dad backing up that stubborn and determined Mom... YIKES!!! You think one is bad? Try being double teamed :eek:

We do understand and we are giving you the best advice we have!

Love, deb

Martha H 04-03-2010 05:32 AM

Re: Another Day in the Life of Alzheimers and Dementia
Isn't it great that all those stubborn parents produce even MORE stubborn children! How else would we manage?


BlueAtlas 04-03-2010 01:54 PM

Re: Another Day in the Life of Alzheimers and Dementia
Meg, that's hysterical that you drop coins like fairy dust for your mom to find! What a great solution, albeit temporary. We do what works!

:) Emily

Grumpyathome 04-07-2010 06:35 PM

Re: !
Wow - I just found this part of the website - I have been on the knee and hip problems section since January, when I had a total knee replacement. It has been my therapy. But somehow I happened on this section and it is almost like coming home.

My father died at 93 in 2003 after 20 years of dementia and short term memory loss. My mother was his caregiver and after he passed, I thought she would be able to start to enjoy life. Apparently, she had kept herself together by caring for dad. She started going downhill almost immediately. At the time, I lived 5 hours away. In 2005, things started getting much worse and I started making monthly trips to help her with finances etc. In 2007, I finally convinced her to get evaluated by a gerontologist, to get her a baseline and meds if needed. The results of the tests were shocking. She was very good at covering up her disease and had an excuse for everything and still was great at social chit chat - a lot of it total BS. About that time, we convinced her she needed some help and we hired a wonderful lady to drive her several times a week. Everything was a fight and we were ruining her life and spending her money needlessly. My brothers were concerned, but not helpful. When the car kept going to town (10 miles) after Gwen had already taken her to town that day, the car was borrowed and taken 5 hours away. My husband and I moved to FL and now I was flying up every 6 weeks. Mom went throught the manic, mood swings and anger stages. March 2009 it had gotten so bad that we (my bros helped some) moved her to an assisted living apartment near me in FL. Over the last year, she has gone downhill even more and is somewhere around stage 6. Yesterday, I had to move her into the "memory-care unit" which is a locked unit. She is now in a complacent stage, in diapers and barely can walk and needs help with everything. Sometimes, I'd like to be able to talk to her back when she was cantanerous, but at least could talk to me somewhat.
So much of what I have been reading here is so familiar. The advice to get the POA and advanced medical directive is so important. I had to do a lot of stuff behind her back, or with her screaming at me. This is a horrible disease for family members, the only saving grace is that through much of it she thought nothing was wrong and life was running as usual. Now she is fairly complacent and her eyes actually light up when she sees me. I am about the only family member she still recognizes most of the time. We have good days and bad. I used to say that mom's conversations were part long past history, a little reality, a little of other peoples conversations and a little of CSI Miami or what ever show she had recently seen. Now it's the weather if that.

So now like many of you I can say been there done that. I wonder what will be next and for how long. Juggling her finances to make them last, so that she can stay in the facility where she now lives, is a job. l look forward to hearing from you all.

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