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mark_barnes2000 posted:
I have been taking care of my mother-N-law now for 5 months. But I noticed that in the past few weeks she has not wanting to walk or get up on her own when her daughter is in the room. She acts like she can not get her legs to work. But if no one is looking or around she can get up on her own and walk around like nothing is wrong with her. Is she just wanting attention? We do all kinds of exercises with her each day to keep her limber. But it is getting to the point that I am going to have to do some thing to make her understand that she has to be able to be mobile in order to stay with us. She will listen to me and do what I tell her. She wants to be defensive with her daughter they both have a hard time getting along with each other. My wife works and we have some one who comes a helps out, so that we all are getting a break and are not getting stressed out. I dont know wether to place her in a home for a while to get her up and walking good again, I was just wondering if some times she likes to play little mind games with certain people or just trying to be hard to get along with when it comes to her daughter. I just had back surgery and con not lift any thing for a while, and I am afraid that if she would happen to fall I would try and help her and end up hurting my self. Does any one else have these kind of problems? How do you deal with it? I really dont want to place her in a home.
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kan12 responded:
Oh Mark! Boy do I have that problem!! I think it is really a litte bit of everything. A lot is attention, at least in my opinion. My thinking is...if she can do it for others she "can" do it for me.

My mother-n-law came to live with us 2 years ago. She has Alzheimers/vascular dementia, along with severe arthritis. She has been in & out of rehab about 3 times times. Each time she did well & did as she was asked. We have had therapists in & out of our home after each hospital stay she has had. At home,She always goes back to her previous ways.

When the therapist came she walked for them. When visitors come everything I try to get her to do and most of the time she don't, she will show them how she does it. It looks to me as if she is showing off. As soon as they leave, she goes back to doing nothing.

I quite my job 2 years ago to stay home with her. We too have told her she has to do the best she can to help us, so we can help her. I cannot care for her if she gets unable to move. She will not do anything if she can get someone, usually my children, to do it for her. She will not ask me nor my husband for help or to get her anything no matter how much we have pleaded, begged, gotten angry, etc...she has absolutley not problem buzzing nurses for help in the hospital or rehab...but at home we can't get anything out of her.

To say the least it is frustrating and I spend the majority of my days wondering why I am putting myself thru this. I"ve told her so many times I am the one who is here to care for her, I want to help her, but she has to let me. I get nowhere. She agrees and goes back to the same old routine.

The reason I say it's a little bit of everything is that my MIL always had a tendency to be lazy, she also always wanted others to do things for her she could have easily done "but didn't want to do". That has not changed in the least. Add dementia/alzheimers to it and that attitude is on steroids! With Alzheimers, lack of initative is a symtom...and when they already had that tendency, it gets much worse. Also there are times when the mind & body don't connect. They might really think they did something when they really didn't. We have that problem with MIL ringing her bell for us when she needed something or help. We would find her sitting wet, this is when she was weaker and needed to be watched to go to the bathroom. We would ask her why didn't she ring the bell and she said, she thought she did or "I don't know". The mind does play tricks on them. Also they do things and don't know why and can't explain why.

I explained all this to MIL's dr. just last week and she told me I was describing the symptoms of the disease. MIL can also be passive agressive. She is stubborn. If she does not want to do something she will not tell us, she just will not do it. Also she wants us to feel sorry for her at times. She acts more helpless with us than others. Will not even ask me or my husband for a drink refill but will my children.

Her sister sat with her a few hours Sunday. She did fine. She was walking to the bathroom fine, she saw me and my husband walk up and her sister said she suddenly started walking like she could hardly go.

I feel for you because this drives me crazy! It's a fine line between what they are doing intentionally and what they can't help. Unfortunately we can't always tell the difference. But when it changes that fast such as seeing us walk up & she changes-doing things for others and then won't do things for us...that shows she can. But they are not going to change. They, at least MIL, doesn't remember one lecture from another. The behavior just gets worse.

This post could have been written by me! You are not alone. FYI, MIL's neurologist told me he felt she would be better in a facility to be with others her age-she sees us as parents and no competition! It's hard really hard. Good luck! Kathy


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