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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 - 09/24/13

 

I need help with my 94-year-old mother. I am sure she has dementia and has for the last 7-8 months. I need help with the dos and don'ts. So far, I must be doing everything wrong. She asked me to find assisted living for her. Then she got mad when I did. Since then, we just cannot talk without both of us getting upset. If I tell her something that she doesn't like, then I am mean and yelling at her. I just don't know what to do.

Jennifer

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Name: Amelia
Location: VA
Date: 10/07/2013
Time: 04:47 PM

Comments

Unless she was mean spirited before, please remember this anger she is displaying is the dementia talking and not your mom. It is frustrating to not know from one minute to the next how they will react, but it is very important for us as caregivers to remain calm, reassuring and not argue with them......that is for our benefit as well as theirs. I am not saying this is easy, but very important......breathe, then breathe again!


Name: Emma
Location: Boston, MA
Date: 09/24/2013
Time: 11:24 AM

Comments

I am dealing with a similar situation. I think a lot of the anger comes from fear, but that knowledge doesn't make it any easier to deal with. I have found Teepa Snow's youtube videos helpful in understanding a little more about dementia. It is not an easy condition.


Name: Carolyn
Location: Rockville, MD
Date: 09/24/2013
Time: 06:39 AM

Comments

In situations like yours, it can be helpful to talk to a neutral third party, such as a social worker or geriatric care manager, for advice. If your mother has had not a medical evaluation for dementia by a neurologist, that would be the first step, so you can find out the cause of her symptoms (which might be treatable).


Name: Bette
Location: Delco, PA
Date: 09/24/2013
Time: 06:26 AM

Comments

First of all, you are NOT "doing everything wrong!" Dementia affects various portions of the brain, in different people. It's not you: It's "IT" (the dementia!) Your Mom's personality may be affected by the disease. She may become impatient and argumentative at times. She may take out her frustrations about forgetting important things or not understanding things she previously knew very well, on YOU, the "safe" person in her life. Read up on dementia, but then, find a support group for others going through similar experiences. You may be surprised by all the people who used to think that they were ALSO doing it wrong! You can exchange info on what you've learned, and find useful ways to cope.



 







 

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