No matter what I do, my mom will almost always find something wrong with it
My mother has Alzheimer's and she has become so nasty and mean to everyone and she always asks for unrealistic, silly or meaningless items. I get so frustrated and angry, but then I feel guilty because I know it probably isn’t her fault. How can I cope with feeling like this?
Image and Likeness Counseling
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There is some great advice here that can really help, but you need some direct support. Please find a caregiver support organization, a grief group and an individual therapist to help you during this trying time. Your mom may not know what she is saying, or mean the awful things she says, but that doesn't make it hurt less. Please take care of yourself and gt some help!
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It is hard to watch our parents age, especially when Alzheimer's is involved. I echo what others have recommended regarding the need for support for you as you deal with the changes that are going on physically and mentally for your mother. Alzheimer's steals so much, and when your mother is nasty or asking for things that seem nonsensical to you it can be hard to show love and patience. It is normal to feel anger, frustration, and guilt when you are faced with uncertainty, not knowing what your mother will be like or act like from day to day. I am not sure if you take care of her in your home or if you have placed her in a facility that cares for her. If the latter is the case, utilize the help of the facility's social worker. They are there to help you adjust to the changes you are experiencing while also helping to meet the psychosocial needs of your mother.
It is okay to take a break as a caregiver, give yourself permission to have time away from the frontlines of care. When you can connect with an Alzheimer's Support Group, allow the group to help you. Share your frustration, these will be people who are walking in similar shoes and can help you find peace with the role you play at this stage of your mother's life. When you do spend time with your mother, take time to prepare your heart and mind for what you may experience. Remember that what your mother says and does is not coming from a place of knowing the consequences any longer. That can help when it feels like she aims to hurt or to willfully be mean to you or others.
Finally, take time to make peace with anything that feels unfinished in regard to the life and memories you have shared with your mother. When Alzheimer's takes over a loved one's faculties I have seen many families struggle to try to find ways to make peace with this. No one plans for a parent to get Alzheimer's, how could they? Having an outlet to express grief, anger, and guilt can go a long way in helping you to cope with an uncertain future. I hope there is something in these words that encourages you as you care well for your mother.
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It's a good question man, and it must be terrible to see your mother in the state she's in.
Understand that Alzheimer's is due to under-performing function of kidneys, adrenals, and connective tissue strengtheners; all of which may be corrected with appropriate protocols that are inexpensive and generally simple to follow.
Imagine it like a flower that is not fed properly: A once, beautifully blossom flower APPEARS to be wilting, but it's life-force, spirit, and essence remain fully there and present. And your mom hears you.
Let's clean her out, and see her smile return.
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Make sure that you continue to treat your Mom with respect. However, you also need to make sure that you have time away from her so that the stress of caring for her doesn't overwhelm you. Balance is the key!
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You have the answer already. It is not your mom's fault. Always remember that in spite of the disease, that human being you call mom is still there. To cope with the feelings of frustration, anger, and guilt, practice accepting what is at this time. Bring peace to these feelings and commit to move on to provide your mom love. If you can, use mindfulness meditation to stay focus and calm your brain.
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It is very difficult to move from being the child to be the care giver as in your situation. Your mother's behavior as you describe it is a part of this disease. As the disease progresses and she is less aware of the present including her surroundings and who she is speaking to. Your response of anger and frustration are understandable. It is also a part of the grief process as you see you mother slipping away mentally. In the moment that you feel the anger step away, take some deep breathes and give yourself time to calm down. Then return to whatever you were doing with her. Caregivers of Alzheimer's patients need a lot of support themselves. There are support groups as well as respite services available in many areas that will help you understand the process that each of you is going through. You can get more information about Alzheimer's disease and local resources by going to www.alz.org
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Let me first say that I am sorry you are going through this. Yes, this is a symptom of an ugly disease, but that does not make experiencing it any easier. If your mother was a sweet and understanding lady, I am sure this change in personality feels awful! On the other hand, if your relationship with her has always been difficult this can definitely open up old wounds and anger.
I have walked alongside many families as they care for a loved one with Alzheimer's disease. It is unfortunately common to see mothers become cruel and mean toward their daughters. In your case, it sounds like she is not directing her anger at just you. While this may feel less personal, I am sure it makes finding supportive care for her very difficult. I have several quick tips that might help you cope with this situation.
1. Stay tuned in to your level of anger and frustration. If you can limit the amount of time you or anyone else is with your mother you can limit the caregiver burnout. It is completely NORMAL to feel what you are feeling!! However, these are the feelings that can lead to acting out and abuse when not acknowledged. It doesn't sound like this is the case for you, but healthy boundaries and exercising respite will help with your feelings of guilt as well. So, rotate care as much as possible.
2. If you find yourself arguing with your mom, STOP. Don't worry, we have all been there before. No need to feel guilty, but this only serves to agitate someone. None of us enjoys being wrong and getting into an argument. For those of us who are able to logically engage with others, sometimes this type of interaction is necessary. Alzheimer's disease has robbed your mother of her logic, therefore arguing with her will only make matters worse. Try redirecting her instead. For tips on how to do this check out Teepa Snow (teepasnow.com)
3. Take care of yourself and seek support. Support groups and counseling are a great way to tend to your needs during this long journey. Caregiving can be overwhelming, lonely and heartbreaking. You don't have to go through this alone. Check out Alz.org for support groups in your area.
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Yes, certainly your mom's difficulty in having meaningful conversations with people results from the Alzheimer's disease process which weakens her brain function.
Feeling a sense of guilt in relation to a parent, is pretty common for everyone.
This is because as little kids and babies, we had a strong reliance on a parent and believing every word they sad and wishing to follow each action they ask or demand, was for the benefit of our own survival.
One way of coping with your feeling of guilt is to examine it.
Ask what it is you're feeling guilty about?
Chances are that your sense of guilt is less due to what you're currently saying or doing to help your mom.
Very likely, your guilt feeling is awakening the sense of obligation that you and all of us feel toward a parent simply because parents seem to have unquestionable power when we are very young.
After all, you're thoughtful enough to write a question, so chances are great that you're already actively involved in caring for your mom.
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