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CARENOTES | Past Carenotes | Let's Talk

Carenotes

Welcome to CareNotes. In this special section we will feature a reader's letter and provide an opportunity for an interactive exchange that will help find some answers and possible solutions to concerns. If you wish to respond to this letter, simple follow the link provided at the end of the letter and add your comments and thoughts to our CareNotes Board.

This Week's Carenote - 7/27/10

When reasoning is “out of the question,” sometimes I find that silence with a nod can be a quick cure all for an impending argument (disagreement?). Go out for a few minutes to catch a breather. Come back oblivious to whatever transpired before the breather, and see if things have indeed settled down. This has worked for me since my mother has started to show signs of dementia. She is good at evading certain things such as getting a sponge bath or shampoo, doing exercises, etc.

I am 52 years old and I am the only person that she will let get near her. She has fired every agency in town that could help me help her; and now while I am battling my illness on chemotherapy, I am alone with a vindictive, angry, confused mom. She likes to play the “blame game.” I have found that I don't have to stand there and take the abuse. I can do the chores, read a book (the Bible is my favorite), go for a walk, do the shopping, text a friend and tune her out as long as I can see that she is safe. I could also use some advice out there.

EA

 

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Name: Beverly
Location: Nationwide
Date: 10/19/2010
Time: 09:41 AM

Comments

Do you have a medical alarm for your mother? The reason I ask is that perhaps there are times you feel you "have to take it" because you don't have the ability to walk away. If that's the case then a medical alarm might benefit you and her. It would allow her to be able to get help if she needed it (we could even call you first if you wanted) in an emergency with just the push of a button. In addition it might provide her with a greater sense of independence and reduce some of her anxiety. For you...well, it would give you the peace of mind to be able to step out for a few minutes without worrying that she wouldn't be able to get help. If it sounds like something that could work for you please visit http://www.americanmedicalalarms.com for more information. They have a low price, no long term agreement is required and you can cancel anytime.


Name: Jody
Location: Minneapolis,MN
Date: 07/29/2010
Time: 06:56 AM

Comments

Your story is very similar to one I walked in on with a client. Her Mom was very demanding of her and wanted all her time which created problems with her work, husband,and children. She too fired all the people hired to help out. Not only was she getting dementia she also other mental health issues, she was deaf, and blind in one eye. Her daughter doing all she could was just not "good enough". I came over one day and sat right down next to Mom. She started ranting on. I listened, I nodded, I smiled, I found humor in some of the things she was saying. Slowly she started to relax. In the conversation she was saying how she liked to work. There was a pile of clean laundry on the sofa. As she was talking I got up and brought it over to where we were sitting. I started to fold it and gave her some to do also. When we were done with that I got up and got us some refreshments. Then we started another project of organizing her daughters buffet. All of a sudden Mom was having a nice afternoon. Then I decided she might like a little red wine here and there. So fridays after our "work" we would have happy hour together. Some fridays her daughter and son-in-law would join us. Note that introducing happy hour was all done with the okay of her doctor. I checked due to her medications. My point to you is this, the companies out there that provide home care don't always have the right people. She needs someone to be her friend. The same person needs to come each time. She needs to be able to count on that. She liked it when her home health nurses came also. They came on the same day every week and she started to look forward to it. An aging parent thinks all they need is their family. Not so , they need a friend. Most of their friends are deceased or not physically able to see them. They need someone to unload on in a different way then they would with a family member. Like we do with our girlfriends. Keep searching and interviewing people to help you with your Mom. There is someone out there that can help. May need to look at private pay. Do you live in the Twin Cities of Mpls. St.Paul? If so I could probably help you.


Name:
Location:
Date: 07/29/2010
Time: 05:25 AM

Comments

You truly have a difficult situation. My mother has dementia, and I've gone through the same frustration with trying to communicate with her, especially in the early stages of the disease when she is very verbal and can be argumentative and resistive. Try reading one of Naomi Feil's books on Validation. Whether or not you want to adopt the whole Validation theory, her communication tools alone are worth the price of the book. They are clear and easy to follow and will change the way you talk to your mother, and will definitely help with her abusive attitude. Simply allowing her to express what she's feeling does wonders, and you can do that by asking Who-What-When-Where questions: When she says "I don't want to take a bath now" you can reply "What is it about baths that you don't like?" or "When would be a good time for you to have a bath?" Give it a try -- it really works, I work in a dementia-care facility and I've been doing this for a year with great results. I started with The Validation Breakthrough, which you can get through Amazon or Naomi's Website vfvalidation.org. Good luck.


Name:
Location:
Date: 07/27/2010
Time: 08:36 PM

Comments

Why not have a friend or neighbor to come in to spend a few hrs. with your Mom. It will give you an opportunity to see about your own health, and to let her have an exchange with someone that may be of help to you both.You can always get referrals from others that have had caregiver's and from church members.


Name:
Location:
Date: 07/27/2010
Time: 04:42 PM

Comments

I so wish you could find some time to join a Caregivers Support Group. They could save your sanity. It surely did mine!! Some locally have a "sitter on site", a Sr. Daycare Service. Please look into it. Perhaps if you just take your Mom there, and escort her in, she won't put up too much fuss in public. Best of luck, and keep on reading your Bible!


Name: GINNY
Location: DEPEW,NY
Date: 07/27/2010
Time: 12:13 PM

Comments

DEAR EA, YOU ARE SO RIGHT TO "LET THINGS GO." THE BIBLE IS MY FAVORITE BOOK,TOO, AND WHERE I TURN FOR STRENGTH. I AM NOT ALWAYS SUCESSFUL IN NOT SPEAKING MY MIND, BUT I SEEK TO BE "QUICK TO HEAR,SLOW TO SPEAK." A BOOK THAT HAS HELPED ME IS "AMBUSHED BY GRACE" BY SHELLY BEACH. SHE KNOWS THE STRUGGLES FIRST HAND. GOD BLESS YOU.


Name: beverly jones
Location: south carolina
Date: 07/27/2010
Time: 10:58 AM

Comments

Just about every other person I bump into is a caregiver,especially to parents and they all have the same complaint and me. I do talk to my father the most of the time when I see him (twice a day. on the other hand me and my mother don't talk,that's her decision and I'm fine with it. As a eleven year caregiver I've found that if you don't say something they will think that whatever the problem is, it is perfectly alright. Some of the things that a senior may do if they have their mine is for attention and then those who don't you have to handle them like that of a child. Don't forget alot of them revert backed to their childhood as they are aging and this is extemely frustrating because they don't understand. Sometimes when my father gets out of hand especially with his mouth I simply tell him not to speak to me that way and I won't be back.I'm the only one who helps him,take care of the dog,my dogs and his business affairs. The consequences of me not being there on a day to day basis is not good for him and he realizes that.I'm not saying "blackmail" works all the time.But for your own sanity you have to find a center, a middle. That's where an aide could come in. I don't think it is a good idea to get your mother used to just one person. What if you become sick or something? You need a break too. She will get use to someone else,be FIRM.


Name: Barbara L. Kidder
Location: Gibsonia, PA
Date: 07/27/2010
Time: 07:57 AM

Comments

I think we could take advice from you! It sounds as though you've got coping with this down pat! I wish I had your resolve, and will work to follow your example, as I share pretty much the same story as you in dealing with my father. I have a crippling nerve condition that affects me, but I don't have to handle the health issue that I'm sure you're coping with. God bless you as you deal with your own illness and thank you for sharing your wise tips that will help the rest of us.


Name: teresa
Location: missouri
Date: 07/27/2010
Time: 07:46 AM

Comments

My mother is a game player as well. I am an only child. I have a high stress job, had a blood clot earlier this year that went into my lungs. I'm not 100%. I periodically check in with the caregivers at the assisted living facility to get their side of the story. I often find that mom is refusing their services. Yet when I ask her if she got her bath or pain meds, its always, I don't know what's wrong with those people. I'm going to fire them all. She also suffers from dementia, and I believe she is forgetting that they have been there and taken care of what she needs until she sends them away. I is exhausting. I find that I put in all my efforts toward her and I have nothing left for myself. You are not alone in this. I will be praying for you. Our Lord is often all we truly have at times. Hang in there.


Name: Roxanna
Location: Champaign, IL
Date: 07/27/2010
Time: 07:16 AM

Comments

Good for you. You have learned to let things slide off you. You cannot change her attitude but your reaction to her blaming you, you have learned to control. Focusing on your getting well is the most important thing.


Name: Ginni C.
Location: Connecticut
Date: 07/27/2010
Time: 06:24 AM

Comments

Hi. What a great daughter you are. It's hard to see our parent's suffering. Is it possible to become your mom's legal guardian? That way she can't fire anyone.


Name:
Location:
Date: 07/27/2010
Time: 06:01 AM

Comments

You must be an angel. For your own health, find another person to help. If you dont have a nearby family member or friend, hire an agency even if only for a half day weekly you can truly relax. Find an agency who will work with you to place the ebst possible match for your mom - even if the caregiver is mainly doing the household chores as your mom gets used to having her there. This could be a long road, by caring for yourself you will be in a better position to care for your mom. Wishing you strength and the best.


 







 

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