Mom at it again

lindajewellAugust 2, 2008

Hi, I am so upset and frustrated as my mom is once again pressuring me to bring her home. When I called today she really got on. "you could hire someone to help a little" Okay mom, how would you shower? There is no shower on the 1st floor and no place to put one. "I could do it" How mom, how would you get upstairs? Yes we have a chair glide but because of the stupid design of the stairs you have to walk up 2 steps to get on it. "I could do it" No mom you can't, you can't even stand for a short period of time. "I could do it with help" Mom, I can't help you to do that. "NO! YOU WON'T HELP!" "YOU COULD DO IT IF YOU WANTED BUT YOU DON'T WANT TO"

Okay, so she is and has always been a control freak, yes I can ignore this but not when it is an everyday occurence. It is starting to get to me. she thinks I can and SHOULD take care of her at home. What the heck can I say to her to get through her head that I am not capable of this.

I get so worked up as I hate to even call her or go visit because she keeps bringing it up. Then she tries to get my dad on her side, but mostly he can't understand her speech anymore so has no clue what she is saying! LOL!

Any suggestions...........keep in mind my brother is in this nursing home also, late stages of PD and even he knows I could not take care of him at home. And he would be my first choice if one was to come home to live.

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I know where you are coming from. Believe me when I tell you that there is nothing....absolutely NOTHING you can say to her that will get through. She doesn't want to hear something that disagrees with what she thinks, therefore, she doesn't listen. So save your breath.

My mother was like that as long as I can remember. There was never anything else but what she wanted would do. My wishes or needs or those of others, were of no value whatsoever. It had nothing to do with age, but a stubborn, controlling personality. It was a relief when her dementia finally got so bad that she couldn't carry on a conversation.

I have no advice except stay away from her. If she asks why, then tell her over and over again that if she would quit bugging you about coming to live with you, you would visit more often. It might get through to her. Probably won't, but it might be easier on you. Every time she starts up about it, leave and tell her why. She's operating on a child's level. You may have to treat her as if she were a spoiled brat.

Linda, I know it's hard. I wish I were there so you could unload, I could nod, pat you on the shoulder and say, "yeah, I know." So consider me there and listening. I understand.

    Bookmark   August 2, 2008 at 12:45PM
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Thanks! I also think I might just remind her that when my brother and I were babies SHE never had anything to do with us. She had a full time maid to change us, feed us and bathe us..............

I was planning on bringing mom and my brother here by wheelchair van before the weather gets nasty, but am now rethinking that idea! Not sure if it would help her to see or just make it miserable for me to the point I blow up at her. Or worse yet, a royal battle when it would be time for the van to take them back to the nursing home!

    Bookmark   August 2, 2008 at 1:31PM
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If you bring her to the house, she'll see only what she wants to see. She will see how things could be arranged (no matter how impractical) so that she could stay. And then she will use her version of the facts to keep at you about moving her.

You have yourself and your father to think about. Your brother also needs his sister. Right now, those two have to come first. I think your mother wants someone she can control. She can't do that where she is. The staff isn't going to let it happen. Please don't push your luck by letting her visit. You're right, she probably wouldn't want to leave.


    Bookmark   August 2, 2008 at 3:38PM
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Not much to add, Aileen pretty much summed up what I would say. Don't try to bring her home for a visit. It would create more problems. You've got enough to deal with and need some limitations on taking on extra responsibilities. When she starts harping on coming home, change the subject or just leave. I know it's hard on you emotionally. Good luck and keep us informed. We're all thinking of you.

    Bookmark   August 2, 2008 at 7:27PM
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Don't argue with her and don't try to be "logical". It's unfortunately a waste of time and will merely stress you out.

She will not change her mind, and you should not change yours. You're letting her "push your buttons" and your emotional reaction merely re-confirms her power over you; e.g., her power to upset you.

Hmmm...maybe bring a book to read aloud to her? When she starts arguing with you, just look up and say, "Oh, you aren't interested in listening to any more? Well, I'll just say good-bye then and go see Brother. Bye, Mom, I love you!"

Then give her a kiss and leave.

By getting upset you are playing her game and it is a game you can never win. My mother was an alcoholic and absolutely Machiavellian at doing this to my sister. She tried it on me after my sister died and the moment I realized what she was doing, I put my foot down and wouldn't allow her to: 1) upset me, or 2) criticize any of our family, including my DH. When she tried to lay the guilt trip, saying, "Well, maybe I'll never speak to you again, then!" is when I replied, "Fine with me. Just know that it will be YOUR fault, not mine!"

She accepted it and by the end we had established a much better relationship. But I absolutely would have cut her off without ever seeing her again if she had tried to continue her malicious little games.

Dementia can make some people aggressive and change their personality. This, you can't do anything about. But if your mother is in full command of her faculties, then you have to learn to say no, and stick to it without guilt. Yes, it is very difficult, but it is HER problem that she is trying (and succeeding) in pressing upon you.

It's a waste of time venting at her, of course; but at least you can always come here and vent with all our sympathy!

It may sound odd, but I'd recommend some hard and vigorous exercise. Cardio-kickboxing comes to mind - great for working off steam and aggression, LOL.

    Bookmark   August 2, 2008 at 8:17PM
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Thanks for the good advice. Yes, I know she is "pushing my buttons" and on most things I can ignore but this is becoming a constant with her, and it is getting to me. I did call her in the afternoon,, she was still upset with me. I made the call short, told her Congressman Tim Murphy was going to be visiting her nursing home on Wed. and that I would be there then, but did not say anything about coming before then!

I am upset also because I really wanted to bring my brother to our home for a short visit, have the neighbors over for a little get together. It would be cruel to bring him and not her, not sure what to do.

Today is Sunday, I have to grocery shop and then I have to get mom and brother's laundry done. Yes, nursing homes do laundry, but they both have some really nice clothes that would be ruined if the home washed them.

    Bookmark   August 3, 2008 at 6:43AM
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Why can't you alternate visits? There's no law that says you must have your mother over when your brother visits. In fact, it would be twice the stress and care needed, which means your loved ones get half the attention they need. Have your brother stay for a short while, and then when you feel up to it again, bring your mother over or take her out for a nice outing.

    Bookmark   August 3, 2008 at 5:30PM
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I don't see why you can't bring them home for the afternoon. If you are using non emergency transport she can't really say much when they are putting her in the van to bring her back. She is just trying to control you and you have to not let it stress you or at least not let her see it. I do feel for you as you are in a tough situation.

    Bookmark   August 3, 2008 at 10:23PM
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I went to the nursing home today, took my dad to mom's room and left him with her while I went to see my brother. I told him what mom is trying to do to me and he agreed to try and talk with her. He understands that I cannot care for her at home.

I also talked to the social worker and she is going to consult the psycologist (sp?). I feel mom needs consuling to deal with her current situation. The social worker was very nice and told me she could see that "controling" nature in my mom and I should just do like ALL OF YOU SAID and walk away/leave when she starts her stuff.

So all in all we were there for several hours, but I hardly said two words to mom. When I did sit down to talk to her she started in on something in her room that was "missing". I just said, I'll go look for it.......walked away and never did go look for it.

Hopefully between my brother trying to help out and mom getting counciling she will settle down a little.

    Bookmark   August 4, 2008 at 6:07PM
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My heart goes out to you- why are so many older ladies such nasties? My mom has just made all her staff quit- second time in a month. I am getting so burned out w/her.

    Bookmark   August 4, 2008 at 11:16PM
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Linda, I hear you. When I put my Mom in a board and care home two years ago, she was so upset with me and would threatened suicide. Every time I would be with her she would tell me she was going to go out into the street and get hit by a car, etc. She too wanted to "go home", have someone help her, etc. I finally took her to a psychiatrist and told him how distressing it was for me. He did put her on a medication that I think helped her, but also he told me that when she starts talking like that, I am to say to her, "Mom, I'm leaving and I will be back when you decide not to talk like that any more". He told me to then get up and leave, don't do any more talking, just walk out. I did that a few times and it all ended. It worked. It was not helping matters when I would try to reason with her because she was beyond reasoning with. You might try it. Good luck to you. Shar

    Bookmark   September 2, 2008 at 7:25PM
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I was so lucky, my husband thought he was home when I admitted him to a care home. That sure made it a lot easier on me. When he was with me toward the last he would stand at the bedroom door and when I asked what was wrong, he would ask "who's suppose to go home". The only problem he had at the home was, he didn't know what they were doing when they needed to take his pants off. Then he would hit them.

    Bookmark   September 2, 2008 at 10:12PM
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Shar, thank you for your input and I will do that if she starts up again. I think it must be very hard on her as her mind is still relatively sharp inspite of the stroke. Therefore she is fighting an internal battle, part knows she has to be where she is and the other part says she could be at home. It has to be hard...........
However I know there is no way I could handle her at home and would have to help in for most of the day........which could end up being more expensive than the nursing home.

Since getting my brother moved to the same nursing home things have settled down a little bit and when mom brings up coming home I can now say "what, you come home and leave your son here?" That gives her pause!

I am feeling overwhelmed myself due to repairs that need done on their home and all the paperwork that needs done to get mom assistance so her bills will be paid. I feel like I am drowning but I also know that this too shall pass, just not quick enough! LOL!

    Bookmark   September 3, 2008 at 7:20AM
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Linda, hi, been a while but I do think of you often.
I was hoping maybe things had calmed down. Why not go to the Council on Aging or a similar organization and get help doing her paperwork? You just have so much to deal with and you need to lighten the load. Surely there is someone that can help with the paperwork.
On the house repairs, do you know or does a friend know someone that is a "jack of all trades" ? Make a list of the things that have to be done OR go with them to the house and do the list there. Sometimes a retired person that was in construction or similar field does things like this to keep busy and make a little money. Maybe your minister knows of someone.
Wish I could help. I'm still trying to keep my sanity with Phil.
Take care of yourself, there's only one of you !!! YUP that's right, just one and you can only stretch yourself so far. Let's just go to the beach and eat all we want and end up sick. Sad isn't it that we can't be sick, too much to do.
4am and I think he's asleep where I can go to bed now.
Take care

    Bookmark   September 4, 2008 at 5:07AM
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Hey Lynn, I think of you often also and pray your load is not too heavy. As for the house repairs the little things are slowly getting done, but the one that has had me on edge is a bathroom job. My dad, bless his heart, tried to get out of his shower chair by using the soap dish which was integrated in to the tile........he never got his butt out of the chair when the soap dish and a lot of tiles came tumbling down. Now it all has to ripped out and replaced, which means I had to pick new, then because I need to think of resale value of the home, had to make the decision to go ahead and update the entire thing. I think I am finally to a point in my choices where the work can start.
I have our attorney helping with the paperwork but there are still things I have had to deal with, but hopefully that too will be done soon.

Wish we could go to the beach, I love the beach and would love to get away........maybe someday when our lives settle down some we could meet..........

How is Phil doing? You too need to heed your own advice, don't stretch yourself too thin! Do you have any help at all to give you a break?

    Bookmark   September 4, 2008 at 8:00AM
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Glad things are starting to come together. I have to redo the guest bathroom from Phil playing Indy 500 with his electric wheelchair.
My youngest daughter helps me some but she has her own family and work. I'll be fine. Go to the doctor tomorrow for my checkup that was to be months ago. I'll probably get chewed out good. Not looking forward to that.
Take care

    Bookmark   September 4, 2008 at 8:01PM
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Dealing with my Mom's depression and dementia took it's toll on me. After two years of dealing with it, and neglecting myself, I decided to go on a major diet. I also joined a gym and got a trainer. I have lost weight and am in such better shape today than I was 8 months ago. I go the the gym 3 days a week and I find it is easier handling my Mom because I'm feeling better. I guess what I'm saying is that anyone taking care of a loved one has to think of their own health. Be sure to take care of yourself.

    Bookmark   September 4, 2008 at 11:01PM
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I can't even do that because I won't leave my dad alone in the home and don't trust strangers.......just too many valuable things in this house to allow strangers the run of it. I am planning on going out Sunday to weed the yard, that will be a total work out! I have pots of dead flowers to deal with since we have been so dry. I know a full day in the gardens will give me a good nights sleep and a much needed work out.
Once things are settled with my mom and I see where we are at money wise, I may just pack a bag for dad and I and take off for a few days, a nice resort with an indoor pool and a good bar! Maybe Nemocolin if there is enough $$$, if not then I have lots of other choices that are only about an hours drive away.

Mom is still getting upset at everything in the home, the aides do nothing right anymore...........which is pretty much the way she treats me also that is in the norm for her. Difference is she does not let loose on them like she does me because she knows there could be retribution. Sigh, I just try to ignore most of it and now at least I can leave dad to visit mom and I can go grab my brother and visit alone with him!

    Bookmark   September 5, 2008 at 10:04AM
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Linda, keep that chin up. I think you getting away is a great idea. I'm going to a plant swap next saturday for the day. People around central Alabama go to it and get to trade for some real nice plants. They are all just really nice people.
Take care

    Bookmark   September 6, 2008 at 1:07AM
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I know where your coming from. Friday dad was fighting mad and ready to bust out of the home. He told me to get him out NOW. He even yelled at two of the workers there. Dad is not going to be easy he'll fight it all the way and he'll even blame me for putting him in the home not his illness or problem with over medicated himself. It hurts really bad because you don't want them in there but you can't do thing's they need. Dad wouldn't be happy here with us and I sure wouldn't be happy with him here cause he's the type to get on my case for going outside and being to long coming back in. Oh yeah he's that bad. Friday when I got to the home I stopped off at the office and he came bursting into the office yelling ...What took you so long...reminded me of my childhood ...then he said I was scared you were kidnapped yeah right he was ready to let me have it about being in the home. I'm thinking I will not be able to see him for sometime and I'll have to hire someone to take him to his doctor appointments for I will not be able to handle him. He just might bolt on me and then were will I be. At least with hiring a BIG MAN to handle him he'll have to behave.

Dad didn't call today, I'm sure he's now mad at me casue he asked who's keeping him there and I said it was me. What was I to tell him, I'm not equipped to handle this part of life, I feel as though I have know ideal of what I'm doing.

Sorry I don't have any suggestions only thing we can do is what's being done.
Hug's to you from someone now going through the same, Barbara

    Bookmark   October 4, 2008 at 10:42PM
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Barbara, most nursing homes have transportation available to transport residents to outside doctor's appointments. I always meet my brother at his neurologist appointment as it is easier on me. you should check in to this before hiring someone and if you can't be there, as POA, you can have the doctor call you with a report, or you can call in for one. Plus the outside doctor should be sending his report to the nursing home, in which case you can read it there.
All nursing homes have a list of doctors that come in house so families can choose one for their loved one. These doctors are generally GP's.
Linda J

    Bookmark   October 5, 2008 at 9:14AM
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Barb, one thing that I have noticed is that you say things like, "I am afraid he'll be angry with me..." Well, so what if he is? It doesn't matter one whit as to what is best for him. His anger isn't going to hurt you now as it did when you were a kid. He is no longer the "Daddy" that you have to obey. He is now the parent whose safety is your obligation.

He's angry at life in general and you are the one that he directs this anger at. Let him rant and rave. It will give him something to do. Don't take it personally.

The way you speak of this nursing home leads me to believe that it is not a large one, or else it's not used to patients such as your father. How large is it? The larger ones usually have regular visiting doctors for routine care and it's not necessary to take a patient out to see the doctor. Unusual specialized treatment that requires a certain expertise, such as LindaJewel's brother, would require going outside, but they should be able to provide for anything like that.

Remember that not every patient has family.

    Bookmark   October 5, 2008 at 11:05AM
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