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Complaining mom
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frogette posted:
Mom was diagnosed 4 years ago and when she was, I moved her in with me. I had her for 4 months before I couldn't take it anymore. She had me crying most of the time.My brother then moved her in with him which only lasted a couple of weeks and then he and my sister signed her into a assisted living home. She lived there up until a month ago. She starting falling and within two weeks, she broke her glasses twice and her front teeth twice. So I stepped in again and brought her home fearing if she stayed there, the next thing broke would be a hip or two. Things are better this time around as she's not so demanding as before but now it's the complaining. I try everything to please her. She needs a hearing aid but refuses one and she can't hear us so we speak loud and now she says we're yelling at her. It's a daily thing now that she ask who I am. I believe from her symptoms that she's in the moderate stage of this disease. And it's breaking my heart. But I want to do what's right by her. Sometimes though it just gets to be too much.
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Judith L London, PhD responded:
Hi frogette,
So sorry to hear about all of this aggravation you are going through.

This may be a good time for you to explore day programs and/or memory care facilities for your Mom before it gets even worse. The professionals there know how to help people with these issues. Check with your local Alzheimer's Assn. at www.alz.org or 800-272-3900. They will help you find some answers. Also find out about a caregiver support group in your area - either sponsored by the Alzheimer's Assn. or another local agency, the Senior Center, etc. It is so important for you to take care of yourself during this incredibly stressful time, and people who join support groups find relief as they go through this experience.

Keep letting us know how you're doing,
Judy
 
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frogette replied to Judith L London, PhD's response:
Thanks Judy, I appreciate your reply. After I wrote my message yesterday, I sat on the back step and cried until I thought there were no more tears but as soon as I walked in the house, mom asked me who I was and the tears started all over again. I drove into our Senior Center and asked about a support group. They told me they had one every second Tuesday a month so I have decided I would go. By the way, I think I should add that mom has not seen me crying. I manage to get out of the room in time. She does know that I'm sad at times and asks if it's her fault. She said she worries that she's in my way. I immediately set her mind at ease telling her it's a joy to have her with me. I'm going to go for now and take her for a ride and maybe a ice cream cone. Thanks for listening.
 
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cjh1203 replied to frogette's response:
Hi Frogette. I'm glad you found a support group. It would be nice if it met more often, but at least you'll get to meet people who are going through some of the same things you are, and who can help you navigate this tough road.

I'm really sorry that you're having such a hard time. There's no way to get through experience of a loved one with dementia unscathed, but knowing that you aren't alone can make a difference.

When she complains, maybe you could try just saying something like, "I'm sorry you're so frustrated" and then ask her if she'd like to help you with a puzzle or have a treat, to distract her.

I hope she enjoyed her ride and ice cream cone. It's great that you do those things for her.

Best wishes.

Carol
 
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Judith L London, PhD replied to frogette's response:
HI FROGETTE,

So glad you found a support group! It is OK for you to share some of your feelings with your Mom by making "I" statements such as, "I feel so sad that you are frustrated. I wish I could wave a magic wand and take aways all the confusion and anger you feel." People with this illness know something is very wrong, and they have unerring instincts. It's OK for both of you to cry together - and it validates her feelings as well since she knows on an unconscious level that you are upset, as is she. You both probably have similar feelings - only they get expressed very differently.

Keep up the good work,
Judy


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