Help!! Mum is 88, I am 68 and she only wants me!!

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Hello Joan

Glad to hear that you are now getting some "me" time :)

With regard to the visit to the consultant - all I can say is that when you next see your Mum she will probably have forgotten all about it; if ever there was a 'plus' to dementia surely the ability to not remember unpleasant events must be it.
One thing led to another and I am afraid I let rip and did shout at her...what a mess...I feel ashamed of myself. My poor mother does not deserve this but she just annoys me so much at times. Is there anyone else out there who "loses" it like me. I know I should walk away and somtimes can do, but at other times I just don't seem to be able to.
I could have written that myself when I was caring for Mum ! Just remind yourself that you are not Superwoman, you are only human and have your limits the same as everyone else. It's not really your Mum you're angry with - it's the situation you find yourself in. Sometimes just walking out of the room for 5 minutes is enough to clear the air, other times it might take a walk round the block.
Yup, I think weve all lost it at times. I have posted a long section on here that Id C&Ped about compassionate communication. I cant say that that is how I always talk to mum - I think Ive done every single one of the donts :? , but I have found it helpful.
Its in this topic

http://www.carersuk.org/forum/specific- ... ease-22499
Yes, I lose it! BUT, I lose it in my head, not actually at my MIL (and since she's gone into a home I lose it a lot, lot, lot less!!!!!)

OK, back to the memory bit - I say straight off, you did what the GP asked of you - took her to a consultant/memory clinic.

The purpose of this was NOT to convince your mother she has memory problems - it was to convince the medics! And it has. That's the important thing.

No, your mum probably doesn't think she has memory problems - firstly it's scary to think that, and secondly she doesn't think she has memory problems BECAUSE she has memory problems!

So, my take on this is - you did what was necessary for her better long term care (ie, she was checked by an expert, the consultant).

Your mother's reaction is, from that point of view, the medical one, I would say, completely 'irrelevant'!

The dreadful thing about memory loss/mental impairment/dementia is that the ability to reason with the patient becomes de facto impossible! So I belive the best advice is usually NOT to attempt to reason with them, or convince them, etc etc.

Your mother, I would argue, is probably blaming you because (a)she's scared and (b) it's convenient and (c) it's part of her (probably unconscious) 'power play' to get you to look after her.

It's GREAT that you are backing off spending so much time on her and leaving more of her care to outside carers/careworkers.

I'd say, right now, stay away for a day or two, get your breath back, do NOT beat yourself up about this spat. You did what was necessary for her better treatment, and that is that!

Please please please develop a thicker skin about her - she is going to be 'difficult' for you for the rest of her life (sad but probably true), and because of her mental impairment, if for no other reason, is not going to be reasonable or understandding about his, let alone show any sympathy to you.

Leave well alone for the next few days, and even better, take some time out with your husband, change the inside of your head with 'nice things' that have nothing to do with the difficulties around your mum!

And please 'vent away' here all you like! It's a safe place to offload!!! (We all do it - Iknow I do!!!!)
Hello everyone, thanks again for your replies...it really helps!

I am enjoying have two days respite and in fact last week I booked a short break to Prague for hubby and I. Told Mum that we are going and at first she seemed accepting of it, saying things like "well, get me plenty of shopping in and I will be O.K./the carers will look after me ". However, to-day she kept on asking me when we are going/how long for/etc. and became a bit agitated. Anyway, the trip is all booked and we are really looking forward to it.

To-day I told Mum that I wouldn't be going back to see her tomorrow night (Friday) as I usually do. (I have Tuesday and Friday's "off", but go back in an evening to see her). I explained that we were going to St. Anne's for the day and then going to meet my daughter, son in law and grandson for a meal out at tea time as they are going away on holiday on Sunday and I wanted to see them before they go.

Mum not a happy bunny......saying "so you're not coming tomorrow..you're seeing them but not me.....you're putting them first??!!!!" Arghh........!!!!!!! My reply (trying to keep calm)....."No, I'm putting my husband first tomorrow, seeing as that I visit you each day!!!!"
(I had thought of nipping over to see her in the morning before we set off, but then thought....no.......I rush round enough and need to enjoy my day without driving backwards and forwards to Mum's house.)

She will probably ring our house in the morning, but I won't be answering the phone..in fact think I'll switch the thing off!!!!

Anyway, thank you all again for listening.

Joan xx
P.S. Still don't know how to put a smiley face on to all this typing,....you will just have to imagine that I am smiling at you all!!!
Joan, it's very common, I fear, for them to appear to 'accept' something like a 'withdrawal of services' (!) but then, when the moment comes, they realise it's real, and you mean it, and you are indeed going to 'withdraw your services' for a period, and then they go into total rejection of it, and complain, and accuse and do the emotional blackmail stuff like your mum has just done.

Well done though for not succumbing to the blackmail, both by arguing back with her that actually, you put her first an awful lot of the time, and now, yes, it is someone else's turn to come first in your life (which is what she's kicking up about of course!). My MIL similarly 'appears' to agree with me when I say, as is the case now, that my son coming home from uni for his Easter Vac means that he comes first ....but actually, no, she doesn't give a toss about him, not if he is taking me away from her!!! It's another horrible example of the utter self-focus they develop all too easily when they become dependent and fixated on a single carer (we muggins!).

And well done indeed for booking a break with your husband (Well deserved!), and for sticking to your guns.

One word of warning, do not be surprised if your mum suddenly has a 'turn' or 'feels ill' or whatever, at the last moment, to try and stop you going.

Remember always you cannot be the good carer you are, if you don't have recharge breaks, and think of your holiday as a recharge to enable you to pick up the burden of care again when you return.

All the best and have a GREAT time away!
Have a wonderful break. As a carer, you can please some of the people some of the time, but never all of the people all of the time!! Now it's time to have a lovely break with your husband. Enjoy.
I think, too, there is perhaps an understandable fear that you will 'disappear' and 'never come back'......so when you do, after this break, hopefully that will reassure her that yes, her daughter can 'disappear' from time to time, but that you do come back, you don't 'abandon' her, so the next break you get (!) you may find her acceptance more ready. This break sets a precedent, and then it becomes a familiar thing in her life, and she won't get so agitated or worried.

Have a great time!
Thank you for your replies.

When we come back from Prague, I am going to book another break to Bath (one of the places on our tick list!!!)...Probably some time at the end of June. Hopefully, Mum will realise that we have not abandoned her and she will be more receptive to our going away again. I can only hope!!!.

Joan xx
Have a lovely time in Prague and its even better that you have booked a break somewhere else.
Dont be in too much of a hurry to tell your mum about going away again. When you are dealing with memory loss/dementia there is the feeling that if you keep on telling them something, or keep doing the same thing then it must surely sink in. Unfortunately it wont, because she wont be able to remember it and everytime you go away it will be exactly like the last time. So, you have to manage it instead. get things organised, but dont tell her till a day or so before, so that she doesnt have time to worry about it. I have heard of some people who put a chart up showing the days that they will be away and ringing the day they return - this only works if the memory loss is not too bad, but you could try it to reassure her, and definitely dont do this until the last time that you see her before you go.
:mrgreen:
I agree totally with the advice above, don't say anything about any trip until it's all arranged etc. My late mum didn't have dementia, but always got really worried about me going away, nevertheless. She had never left the UK herself, and so what would have been a big deal to her wasn't the same as me. When I was at home she knew that whatever happened, I could be there in 10 minutes. When I was away, part of her "safety net" was missing - although my eldest son was also nearby, even better in any crisis than me. In theory sending postcards when you are away is a good idea, just to show you haven't forgotten mum, but in reality they will probably arrive long after you get home!!
206 posts