Full of guilt

My 94 year old Mum has dementia and today I got cross with her and I feel full of guilt. I explained and explained to her about a question she asked me and then she was telling me things were missing and even though I showed her the items and reassured her she insisted they were still missing. I know the thing to do is distract her or talk about something else but I couldn’t manage it today as she was going round in circles. I felt sad, cross, tired and frustrated. I know she can’t help it and thankfully she is not like this every day but I can’t imagine I will sleep soundly tonight.

She has probably already forgotten me getting cross but I haven’t. :sleepy:

Hi Penny
My Mum is starting to get that way too :frowning: She’s convinced she’s coming home ‘this’ weekend. This has been going on for weeks. We just agree. She doesn’t realise that weekend hasnt come yet. Its heart breaking.
I was talking to a neighbour the other day whose husband had dementia for 19 years! I asked her how she coped. She said,

  • never disagree, even if it means agreeing to something untrue or silly

  • say “oh” a lot. It’s a good neutral response to anything

  • join or start a local dementia carers support group where it’s ok to cry or laugh together

And, use a forum to rant or share
Try not to feel guilty about getting cross, we all do it at timess, we are all human and its just our upset coming out in a different form.
The belligerent phase (hers!) will pass


I echo Mrs A’s advice. Just agree Penny. Do not even try to argue. Also please do not beat yourself up re getting cross -none of us are saints and we all have breaking points. People with dementia are very demanding and it is normal to snap occasionally.

Hi Penny,

Mum is clearly getting more confused, and you are getting more tired.

It’s not just the parents that get older, it’s us carers too. My stamina nose dived about 10 years ago, a combination of my own health issues, when my carees were needing me more. Sadly, I realise that now, at the age of 67, I’m unlikely to ever get my old strength and energy back again, and have to learn to live with the “new me”.

Maybe now would be a good time to review the situation, and what you are doing?
Think if you would prefer to do more housework and less for mum, or vice versa. You CANNOT do it all now.

Make a list of what jobs you find most tiring, both related to mum, and general housework.
Everyone is different, so here are my personal favourites.
Wearing clothes that don’t need ironing, and using a tumble dryer for everything.
Using a dishwasher.
Flattening all the borders in the garden, no more weeding. My sons mow the lawn, but you could get a gardener.

Generally getting rid of anything you never use, don’t like, don’t want in the house. Things that relate to the past, not the future.
This sounds like even more work, but if you have a bag or a box in the garage that you fill up gradually and then take to the charity shop, it soon makes a difference.
I have given unwanted sewing patterns and fabric to the local secondary school. My largest casseroles have gone to my son’s day service, who are planning to do more cooking with the service users but needed extra large cookware.

Just sending ((hugs)) to Penny and MrsA. Penny, we have all been there and, as you rightly say, your mum will not remember. The only person you are upsetting is you. We all know the theory of what we should do in those moments but when you are tired, stressed, it is very difficult to remember.

thanks everyone. Xx

Today she was worrying about people taking all her toiletries and even her fruit squash. I know not a thing is missing and she has her own fridge where she keeps drinks and squash and she says the drink just disappeared but I know I brought it in over a month ago and she has used it all.
I just changed the subject as she kept saying “I’m not stupid you know. I know what I have and that its disappearing.” It is really hard to look at her face because she really does believe it.

At least she only thinks she’s going home. My partner is permanently convinced he’s got an MRI Scan on Friday. People that don’t know him well eg hospital staff always think it must be true because he only has a few things like this and is perfectly lucid at other times.