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Regular Social Butterfly
Posts: 679
Registered: ‎01-23-2008

Re: Difficult Mother with Dementia

Message 1 of 2 (30 Views)

@rustawana I'm so sorry to hear of your family's challenges. Dementia can be so hard to deal with. Does your mother have a firm diagnosis and spedific type of dementia? Is it Alzhiemer's? That's the first step - to get that evaluation and get her on any appropriate medications which can help minimize some of the symptoms you are sharing. With dementia, people maintain their intuitive thought (or experiential thought) processes but rational thought is slowly diminished. That sets up some of the behavior you described - she's scared because she can't think rationally through things and doesn't feel safe. It makes people "paranoid" about what is or might be happening around them. So your goal is to make her feel safe and secure. Trying to convince her she is wrong can be fruitless. Validating her fears and confusion, comforting, doing things to help her feel more secure and protect her from situations she perceives as scary can be more helpful and make managing her care easier. 


Another thing is that anxiety often comes with dementia (think how emotionally upsetting it would be to not be able to understand what's happening) so anxiety treatments - natural and medicinal - might be of help. 


Your concern about getting her to move to a more protected environment is one of those challenges that people face often - and there is no one answer. Every situation is slightly different. A few thoughts though - who does she trust? Is there any family member, member of her faith community, lawyer, doctor etc she sees as authority and whom she will listen to? That person should be involved and talking with her about it. Also minimizing change is crucial - the stress and trauma of change can make symptoms worse at least temporarily. So orchestrating a move so that her furniture is there and it takes a minimal amount of time can be a big help. 


I'd suggest you 1) contact her local area agency on aging and ask about resources and facilities in her area (go to to find it) and 2) contact the Alzheimer's Association and the Alzheimer's Foundation for more info and resources and connections to local support groups (in your area - so you can go) so you and your family can understand what's happening. Also be sure to check out the AARP Caregiving Resource Center at


This article I wrote about the various levels of care might be helpful to you as well!  


I hope this helps - please feel free to contact me directly if I can be of more help! My dad has Alzheimer's and lives with me and I've worked in this field for 35 years and I'm happy to help!


Take care,

Amy Goyer, AARP Family & Caregiving Expert

Info Seeker
Posts: 1
Registered: ‎02-24-2013

Difficult Mother with Dementia

Message 2 of 2 (131 Views)

Hi, My Mom has dementia and lives alone in her home. She is occiasonally very delusional and combative and doesn't trust me. She belives I am stealing her money etc. and that people are coming into her house and moving things, even changing out the pipes behind the washer.  I am her only child and I live 800 miles away.  She refuses to come live with us. But I am fearful of her and what she isn't telling me.  She lives close to our family and they keep an eye on her for the most part, but feels that we are just out to get her. (we are not).  I don't know where to turn at this point. I want her to be taken care and feel that its going to be a fight to get her to go to an assisted living facility.  Any advice?