Reply
Newbie

Elder Caregiver Concerns

I have been caring for my 92 year old Mother for the last five years. She has been in relatively good health except for her knees. She walks with a walker and I clean and cook for her and I am her transportation. 

My Mother has always been paranoid about her possessions. When she can't find something, she is sure that someone has taken it. Lately it has become worse. She also can't take her meds. She forgets to take them or feels if one works then two will be better. She also remembers things that never happened ( recent) . When you confront her about these issues she becomes belligerent and refuses to discuss it. I took over her meds and she was mad!! She hated giving up control. She puts her foot down like a little child and stands her ground on everything even if she is wrong. This is not my Mom. 

I love her and don't know how to deal with this different lady. HELP!!

please!!!

Marmath
0 Kudos
2,006 Views
6
Report
Contributor

Hang in there, it will be okay. She is still your Mom but there are changes happening. She may be just as confused as you are regarding what is happening. Sometimes just talking openly helps.
0 Kudos
1,695 Views
0
Report
Contributor

Hi,

I think your mom is getting frustrated and does not know how to handle her emotions like she did when she was younger.  It's hard but please be patient with her and listen.  Maybe try to change the subject and get her mind on something more pleasing to think about. 

Beth

1
Kudos
9385
Views
0 Kudos
1,741 Views
0
Report
AARP Expert


@martiedeal wrote:

I have been caring for my 92 year old Mother for the last five years. She has been in relatively good health except for her knees. She walks with a walker and I clean and cook for her and I am her transportation. 

My Mother has always been paranoid about her possessions. When she can't find something, she is sure that someone has taken it. Lately it has become worse. She also can't take her meds. She forgets to take them or feels if one works then two will be better. She also remembers things that never happened ( recent) . When you confront her about these issues she becomes belligerent and refuses to discuss it. I took over her meds and she was mad!! She hated giving up control. She puts her foot down like a little child and stands her ground on everything even if she is wrong. This is not my Mom. 

I love her and don't know how to deal with this different lady. HELP!!

please!!!



@martiedeal wrote:

I have been caring for my 92 year old Mother for the last five years. She has been in relatively good health except for her knees. She walks with a walker and I clean and cook for her and I am her transportation. 

My Mother has always been paranoid about her possessions. When she can't find something, she is sure that someone has taken it. Lately it has become worse. She also can't take her meds. She forgets to take them or feels if one works then two will be better. She also remembers things that never happened ( recent) . When you confront her about these issues she becomes belligerent and refuses to discuss it. I took over her meds and she was mad!! She hated giving up control. She puts her foot down like a little child and stands her ground on everything even if she is wrong. This is not my Mom. 

I love her and don't know how to deal with this different lady. HELP!!

please!!!


Hi Marmath,

She is a lucky mom to have you with her.

I agree with Astraea. Everyone needs a checkup, or perhaps she's been on her blood pressure medication a loooooong time and it's time to review her meds. Whatever excuse you can come up with to get her to agree to see the doctor. What i used to do when i was assisting families with a person who had dementia is:

* Compose a quick, short note for the doctor, preferably hand written (for some reason humans notice handwriting before printed text) that says something like "My mother has been forgetful, even paranoid, about her medications and her belongings. Can you help? We see you on July ___, 2017 at 11 am." 

* Then fax it to the office of the doctor. It WILL get seen and put in her record. Get it to her or him a week in advance.

* When you see the doctor, let her do the talking. Direct the doctor to talk to your mom, but chime in. Don't negate what she's saying but add to it. She will pick up tone of voice. You can present as supportive and affirming, while directly countering her statements.

 

i once sat behind an opthalmology exam where my client had her back to me and the doc faced me, and he would ask, so are you still driving? And she'd say, Oh yes, and i would silently and vehemently shake my head NO. Are you still reading? Oh yes, and i would shake my head no.  

 

See what the doc says and offers.

 

Something about growing up during the depression that makes folks very frugal, kind of suspicious, really careful about belongings and purses and such. Women are taught to be careful, and keep things close to their bodies, to be vigilant. When the mind begins to go, there's a frantic quality to looking for things that have been lost. Really sad. But super common.

 

This IS your mom, said as it seems. Maybe she's taking meds that are interacting and making her strange. If that is the case, voila, there will be immediate improvement. On the other hand, the older she gets, the more she is likely to develop some cognitive deficits. 

 

Tell us more. What makes sense to you? As Astraea noted, things can change at times of day. Thank you so much for writing. We all learn from each other!

 

Jane

0 Kudos
1,964 Views
2
Report
Newbie

Hi Martiedeal,

 

I'm Ed.  I took care of my father the last seven years of his life, until 89.  What I tried to do is to figure a way to make whatever you are trying to do...Make it her idea.  I watched my mom do that to my father, masterfully!  I knew my father better than any of my siblings, and found that to be the most successful strategy.  It allows your Mom the dignity, and control she feels she is losing.  Secondly, you keep the atmosphere calm, serene, and peaceful.  Reverse phsycology

Community Concierge


@e365319o wrote:

Hi Martiedeal,

 

I'm Ed.  I took care of my father the last seven years of his life, until 89.  What I tried to do is to figure a way to make whatever you are trying to do...Make it her idea.  I watched my mom do that to my father, masterfully!  I knew my father better than any of my siblings, and found that to be the most successful strategy.  It allows your Mom the dignity, and control she feels she is losing.  Secondly, you keep the atmosphere calm, serene, and peaceful.  Reverse phsycology


Ed, what great advice! 

AARPJen
Caregiving Concierge
0 Kudos
1,767 Views
0
Report
Honored Social Butterfly

@martiedeal - It's great that your Mom's reached 95, but I've experienced the frustration you're facing now .. it sounds like she may be showing early signs of dementia. Do you notice a difference in her behavior different times of day; often they're better in morning hours, and that's when you could have more productive discussions with her, and change the subject later in the day.

 

Many elders become very defensive if you even mention it, and if you think that would happen, and you have a good relationship with her primary care physician, perhaps you can speak to the doctor first & describe your mother's behavior .. then set up a "routine visit" for the doctor to evaluate her (without her even realizing it).

 

My elderly aunt who lived with me, began waking up in the middle of the night, to bath & get dressed for the day .. she'd argue when I told her the time .. and showed her how dark it was thru the window. She said it was a conspiracy to keep her in bed! But in the morning she'd realize what happened, be embarassed & apologize for it. So after I spoke to the doctor, she prescribed something (for Alzheimer's) that would "help her sleep" .. and my aunt was accepting of that, and it helped a lot.


Registered on Online Community since 2007!
0 Kudos
1,992 Views
0
Report
cancel
Showing results for 
Show  only  | Search instead for 
Did you mean: 
Users
Announcements

Try the new AARP Perks browser tool! Get timely reminders about AARP resources, discounts, and other member benefits as you browse online. Install AARP Perks now.

AARP Perks

Members Can Play More

Membership unlocks free online games and puzzles including classic Atari Games. Join today for just $12 per year with Automatic Renewal.

AARP Membership

AARP Rewards

Activate AARP Rewards to earn points for games, quizzes and videos. Redeem for deals and discounts. Get started with AARP Rewards now!

AARP Rewards Badge

Music and Brain Health

From soft jazz to hard rock - discover music's mental, social and physical benefits. Learn more.

Music and Brain Health