I am not a doctor. I am providing information based on experiences that my mom has with natural remedies. The purpose of this blog is to help folks to educate themselves. Use this information with your own discernment.

05 June 2009

Shell Shocked in my Own Home

It's been a few days since I have blogged. I haven't been able to sleep very well since the incident where the police woke me up in my bedroom shining a flash light in my eyes. I haven't been inspired to write either.

Usually I've got several post topics in my head, the past few days? I've got nothing.

Something about having my personal space violated at 2am is a bit unnerving. I love my mother, but not more than I love myself.

Dementia is a truly crazy illness on so many levels. It effects everyone in a family. The patient has good days and bad days. The good days are usually awesome. The bad days, well... she called the police and reported me missing as well as told them that there was a strange man in bed with her... need I say more about bad days?

My mother definitely has abandonment issues that go back to her childhood when her dad died at age 6 and her mom was committed to a mental institution at age 14. Her and her siblings lived with relatives and other strangers that were kind enough to take them in.

Now, in her final years the old wound is resurfacing. I know I need to help her with this and have been working out a hypnosis script to help her to overcome the fear of abandonment.

It would be fabulous if my mom would socialize more with people her own age. This would definitely help her to have a happier life. Currently, she depends on me for everything. She gets mad at me if I don't take her out shopping when she wants to go. Usually, it's when I'm in the middle of some messy job and cleaning up before I can drive her anywhere is not always easy.

We've got her signed up so that she can call the ride bus for Seniors in town. She needs to give them 2 days notice and they'll pick her up and drop her off at times that she designates for $1 dollar. She is resisting using the service, she keeps telling me "I don't feel good." "What if the day comes and I don't feel good?" I told her to cancel the ride, but to just get going using it now because I need to get a job.

Instead she tells me that she's happy staying home. It's not good for her to sit and watch TV all day long. Her only social interactions are with me. She locks herself up in her room because she claims the rest of the house downstairs is too cold. In summer, she uses the heater in her room. I tell her that I'll move her upstairs where it's warmer and she says, "No, I like this room where I am." My mom has no social skills... neither does my mother-in-law for that matter.

Elderly people with dementia are difficult to deal with because their illness is mental. Illusions and visions where they can't distinguish between fantasy and reality take over. There's no reasoning with the demented mind. One needs to be calm all the time, even when the demented person is verbally abusing the caregiver. This is very difficult to take, even more so when it's coming from your mom!

Dementia causes the person to become someone else that you don't recognize. The smallest annoyance to them can and does escalate into a huge problem. Logic is out the window and comes through the backdoor. It's twisted.

My feelings can be hurt every day if I let it happen. Some days, when I'm worn down from caregiving, my feelings do get hurt. The thing that seems to bother me the most is my mom's apparent lack of appreciation for what my husband and I are doing for her.

For example, one day she'll tell me that she loves the food that I'm bringing her. The next day, I could bring her the same thing and she tells me it "sucks" while the rest of my family is raving about how delicious the meal that I prepared tasted.

My mom likes to tear me down and often says mean things as a "joke" when others are around in order to build herself up. It's definitely a sign of insecurity. I'm not sure that she'll ever stop doing this to me, it's been going on for a very long time. My husband doesn't like it when she knocks me down. Obviously, I don't like it either.

So, what do I do?

I need to find options. Today I am meeting with the Director at the Outreach Program for Seniors in our town. We've got lots of elder housing facilities. I pray that we have enough money to put her in a nice place, not too far from home where I can visit her often and take her out like I do with Uncle Al.

My mom always told her kids that she doesn't want to be a burden. She is a burden right now for me but she doesn't see it as a burden. She believes she's fine. She believes that she can drive a car and wants a car to replace the one that she gave to my sister.

I've got a new personal goal in life, to keep myself as healthy as possible and eat only natural organic foods with no preservatives. There's hope for my siblings and me to avoid a demented mind if we make modifications to our eating habits and lifestyle.


  1. i heart goes out to you... as you know i dealt with a similar thing with my grandfather for the past few years...

    its tough to deal with, exhausting, and there is no happy end to it. be strong..

  2. Thanks Slyde... caregiving is a life lesson that we were blessed to experience. Even as hard as it is, I'm grateful to have my mom show me what NOT to do with my own health. Threw here, I've learned that it's never too late to make lifestyle changes that will contribute to happy and healthy Golden Years.