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Jewels12558 10-24-2011 12:20 PM

Help, my Mom is scaring us all!!
Hi, my name is Julie and this is my first post.

I thought I had quite a bit of knowledge converning Alzheimer's and Dementia...till it began happening to my own Mom. BTW, I am fully disabled now and am unable to be a caregiver to her-even if she would accept it and accept her deteriorating condition.

The real issue is not only her own denial, but my Dad's. She has become an almost evil person-causing pain, hurt and disruption in the entire family!! We all love her, but it is so very hard to take and deal with, again in light of the fact that my Father will not do anything!

I understand about POA, Guardianship, etc., but I also know that my Father is the only one who can make any decisions for her. In the case she becomes even more harmful and so forth, and my Dad refuses to do anything still, is there anything we (the remaining 3 in the area who will do anything) can do to intervene?

It is so hard to love and understand her behavior, as she has always exhibited the same type of behaviors, only more blunted and less frequently.

Any advice will be appreciated-and I also understand that it is only advice, not medical diagnosis or anything of the sort.

Please help!!


ninamarc 10-24-2011 12:36 PM

Re: Help, my Mom is scaring us all!!

You need to understand that your Mom will never admit that she has dementia. You said she denies it. Of course she denies it. My FIL denied that he has Alzheimer's although he admits his brain has something wrong and he has some memory loss. He refused to believe that he is sicker due to Alzheimer's. Now he is in stage 7. It does not matter if she denies it or admits it. She won't understand what is wrong with herself.

Certainly your Dad's denial does not help as he is the main caregiver.

Although many people understand dementia, it is still hard to believe or see it in real life. At least you know that you cannot argue or reason with her. Maybe that is why she is mean because none of you is able to tell her gently what to do. This happens. In the beginning before we knew that my FIL had Alzheimer's, he had funny behaviors or attitude and my husband once in a while would argue with him saying he could not be so mean and etc. Gradually we know we should not do that. You see, she may understand your blame or anger, but she won't understand why because she has faulty logic. She will never see it. So the caregivers have to back down to please her or gently guide her in toileting, dressing and eating and etc.

If she really has some anger issue, ask the doctor for antidepressant or antipsychotic drugs.

Your Dad needs a part-time helper who can come to care for her so your Dad has a break.

You may ask for a professional from home care co. to come to talk to your Dad and family. (not with your Mom who is very confused.) Hope your Dad can be educated about this issue. She will get worse and he cannot continue to be the same. Some plan has to be set up as she will need 24 hours home care in the future and evetually ends up in the home for dementia when she gets sicker.

Take care,

Jewels12558 10-24-2011 04:43 PM

Re: Help, my Mom is scaring us all!!
Thank you for your prompt reply.

We are not showing anger toward my Mother, and she is still able to bathe, dress, etc.
She is reverting back to childhood/early parenting roles; she is hoarding things, and she is paranoid and jealous and being very unkind in her words and attitudes. We have hidden all of our feelings about this from her.

I do not know if my Dad will step up and confront her doctors or anyone else. His whole pattern has been to be passive and subservient to her. He is not a strong man. She always has been-and still is-in control! The Matriarch.

It is a challenging situation, as circumstances have forced two of my siblings to move back home. Now, my Mom won't let them leave without an unholy verbal assault on everyone!!! I wanted my sister (she just lost her husband suddenly in his sleep two months ago) to move in with me, till she could get on her feet. We are so having to do this in a sneaky and quiet way-till she finds out. Then it's going to get ugly-again!

She is on Cymbalta, which may be the problem, as Bipolar Disorder runs in our family. She acts like she has Dementia, but also acts somewhat Manic. She would never admit to this, either.

Yes, I know exactly what you are makes perfect sense. The problem is, my parents do not! And her demeanor is affecting many others around her.

Maybe there are no answers right now; I don't know...

Gabriel 10-24-2011 10:52 PM

Re: Help, my Mom is scaring us all!!
Julie, I do understand. Many think the memory issues are the first symptoms of dementia but in many cases it is the behavior and judgement that changes first. They do become paranoid, self absorbed, and seem to lose their social filters. Nothing seems to suit them and they will accuse you of the most amazing things. We went through all of this with Mom.

I also understand that we think we know but when it is our loved ones it's different. I worked in long term care with dementia and thought I was clued in. Then my Dad was diagnosed with vascular dementia. He was so easy going and cognitively aware for many years. Mom on the other hand, with her Alzheimer's, has been a hand full from the beginning. I missed her diagnosis for too long. We want it to be something else.

As for Dad, you just have to keep talking to him, explaining to him, and trying to convince him. It could be something else that is treatable. Only a physical examination with blood work and test along with an evaluation of her medications will give you those answers. Instead of saying Mom needed to be diagnosed with Alzheimer's I went under the pretenses of a good physical. Use a birthday or other event that you can use to convince her it is time for the doctor to take a look at her. Even a sore shoulder or knee will do :) Then I ask the doctor to do a MMSE (Mini Mental Status Exam) that will give you an indication of her cognitive abilities. If there is reason then you can let the doctor refer and be the bad guy.

If Dad does refuse and the situation become unsafe for her you can do one of two things. You can call adult social services and ask them to do an evaluation. If you indicate that the living situation is hazardous to either of your parents then they will investigate and take the necessary action. Or, if your Mom becomes combative or out of control you can call EMS and have her transported to the ER. They can asses and make recommendations. If she is bad enough they can do an involuntary commitment for evaluation despite your Dad's wishes. These are extremes and I do hope you can convince Dad to have her evaluated... even if it is to prove you all wrong :)

Not having the ability to make the decisions is difficult but you have to keep trying... for both of their sake. And just remember that you are their best advocate!!

Love, deb

PS... demented behavior can be manic. When the confusion fogs the brain there are behaviors that mimic other behavioral problems. Mom was depressed, manic, hysterical, anxious, paranoid.... She is not on anti psychotics for her behavioral issues and chemically content :) This despite the fact that she had absolutely no psychiatric issues until after she started showing symptoms of Alzheimer's .

aras 10-25-2011 04:26 AM

Re: Help, my Mom is scaring us all!!
:confused: Julie, with my mom who has vascular dementia and turns 91 Friday, her personality became magnified as she clung to her reality. The neighbors were against her, people were stealing from her, she saw people in the house when she was alone etc. She was always right and everyone else was wrong. It is very hard to contend with some phases of this disease. Sometimes you just have to keep a watchful eye on the situation and act when the situation is right. Like Deb said a doctors appointment or when she is having a meltdown. The only good and terrible thing about this is that they change as time goes along and somehow the situation becomes more manageable. Your father will definitely have to have help in the future. If you have to less than honest with your mother do it. Sometimes it is the only way. Keep posting and feel free to vent your feelings we are or have been in the same boat.

Gail :wave:

ninamarc 10-25-2011 08:39 AM

Re: Help, my Mom is scaring us all!!

One way to do it is to wait for your Mom's memory to get worse. I am not kidding. My FIL had good memory back in 2004/2006 and we were fighting with him about his living will and his late wife's will. He misunderstood the lawyer and thought we could change the will and all that. Ridiculous! We had to reason with him and all that. Finally he gave in.
Later on as he forgot more and more, we don't have to worry about him wanting the will or the checks anymore. Once the memory is off, it is easier to deal with the reality (not caregiving). Now my FIL does not care about his bills or finances anymore except that he wants some cash once in a while. A fake paper money can do the trick.

Your Mom seems to still have lots of memory intact as early/moderate stage.:(

Patience is the key. Still, try to tell your Dad he needs to act. Also sometimes the professionals can do wonders. The patient would listen to the outsiders. e.g., my FIL listens to his caregivers and he is angrier with us the family. I think it is like 2-face thing or it is like he is very familiar with us but he is polite with the professional caregivers in the NH.


Gabriel 10-25-2011 10:04 AM

Re: Help, my Mom is scaring us all!!
Gail, those paranoid delusions seem to be a hallmark of Vascular Dementia. I thought I was reading a post about my Dad instead of your Mom :) There was no way to talk Dad out of his reality so going with him into his reality and then finding a solution that satisfied his reality was necessary. I got good at being the General's messenger! He was the one person the Colonel would listen to hehe :dizzy:

You are very right in that it changes. Sometimes it has to get worse to get better. I truly didn't understand that when I first heard it... but it is so very true!. As soon as you think you have a grasp on what to do... it all changes again.

Jewels... hang with us. We understand and it is a great place to vent. Each of us has a different experience yet it is much the same. Take what you need from here and leave the rest.... and ask questions as you need :)

Love, deb

Jewels12558 10-25-2011 11:18 AM

Re: Help, my Mom is scaring us all!!
Thank you all very much for your insights and stories-I feel so much less alone and stressed than I did when I first posted!!

I now have some strategies and am hoping to enlist my sister especially in some sort of intervention-be it reminding her she needs a doctors appt and helping her set one up, or doing our very BEST (not shouting) to get my Dad involved and into the reality of the situation.

I am sorry that each one of us has to deal with this issue, but, like you said, it is much easier when one has a place to vent and obtain new strategies.

I am so appreciative toward each of you for your suggestions, and for your extended hands in helping me through this. I am also a giving person. As I progress further on the board, I will also do my best to offer suggestions and comfort to others.

Hugs and thanks to all,


TC08 10-25-2011 02:43 PM

Re: Help, my Mom is scaring us all!!
Hey Julie -

Just catching up on this thread and wanted to say hi :wave:. The suggestions already posted are great so I don't have anything to add right now. Just wanted to let you know I'm also one who is dealing with this horrendous disease with my stepdad - so I feel your pain!

Please - visit - vent - post - ask questions - as often as you need to. This is a great bunch of folks who really care and have alot of great knowledge and experience to share.

Sending you big ****{hugs}}}

Gabriel 10-25-2011 05:13 PM

Re: Help, my Mom is scaring us all!!
Julie... the double post is nothing!! I have done it before and it is usually just a quirk of cyber space. So no worries. Most of us appeared here in the mist of an emotional crisis brought on by the stress of this disease. Usually late at night when the day is done and our nerves are frayed to the breaking point. Yep, just to find somebody that will listen, understand, and care is a life saver. I was there... we all were... and now we have each other and the world is a little brighter place! So drag up a chair, put your feet up, and stay a while :)

Love, Deb

kenbob71 11-04-2011 05:04 AM

Re: Help, my Mom is scaring us all!!

Glad you found our HB family. We are all on the same road that goes around Planet Dememtia. Some of us have finished our journey, but we always are here to help pull others out of the ditch along the way.

You have found a great support group here, and though none of us have actually met in person, I feel they are some of the best friends I've had.

There is life after dementia, so just take it a day at a time right now. K

Jewels12558 11-04-2011 01:46 PM

Re: Help, my Mom is scaring us all!!

Glad you found our HB family. We are all on the same road that goes around Planet Dememtia. Some of us have finished our journey, but we always are here to help pull others out of the ditch along the way.

You have found a great support group here, and though none of us have actually met in person, I feel they are some of the best friends I've had.

There is life after dementia, so just take it a day at a time right now. K[/QUOTE]

Thank you all for your responses and support!

My Mom isn't as scary in the way I first expressed, as I now understand her better. I am still very sad and concerned, of course.

She is coming over next Thursday to scrapbook with me-one of our mutually much enjoyed hobbies! She is very pleasant right now and I am so looking forward to this!!

I am glad I found this community; you all seem like genuinely caring people and I hope I can help someone else who needs it down the road!

kenbob71 11-04-2011 06:47 PM

Re: Help, my Mom is scaring us all!!
Hey, Jewels

glad that you are putting it in perspective. small world. My wife's twin sister lives In Kalamazoo. right in your back yard! You hang in there. K

Jewels12558 11-05-2011 08:49 AM

Re: Help, my Mom is scaring us all!!
Yes it is much easier to deal with now than it was before.
It truly is a small world. I am from Kalamazoo...moved to BC to be with my sig. other. WE live way out in the boonies...not in town, thank goodness!!


Gabriel 11-05-2011 09:11 AM

Re: Help, my Mom is scaring us all!!
Jewel, understanding does take some of the scary out of this care giving thing. When we know their behavior is normal for this disease and learn a few techniques for dealing with the behavior it makes it all go a little better. It is the not knowing that is scary. By knowing we have a better view which gives us a bit of comfort that we are doing what we should be doing :) Hang with us and we will all get through this together.

Love, deb

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