Hi new to the forum just looking for some tips on how to stop getting angry with my mums behaviour. She’s 94 and just been diagnosed with vascular dementia. I bought her one of those day clocks but she doesn’t look at it so never knows what day or time it is. Consequently I’m getting calls in early hours asking what day it is!! Its getting really frustrated and I’m apt to loose my temper which upsets mum and then I feel awful!
I don’t know that there’s much that you can do, my mother had dementia and often didn’t know the day or the date, suggesting that she turned on the TV and checked Ceefax or Teletext (just Red Button available now) didn’t make any impact. When the brain is gone it’s gone.
I’d unplug/turn off the phone when I went to bed if it was me.
I’m sorry Val but the truth is no matter how many times you try and explain to your Mum she’s never going to take in the information or retain it. I had the same problems with my Mum who had Alzheimer’s Dementia; I tried lots of different things - whiteboard in the kitchen with notes about what day it was, what we were doing that day, special clocks etc, etc but nothing really worked. Eventually I had to learn to remember to feel sad that her memory had gone and not be angry with her for forgetting. It wasn’t easy but it was ‘doable’. I also had to realise that if I did get angry and allowed my frustration to show very shortly afterwards she would have forgotten so my anger really was pointless and in the end I was only upsetting myself.
I did find that learning as much as I could about dementia helped a lot - the Alzheimer’s Society has a very good website with lots of information and advice (they also have a very good forum called Talking Point) - https://www.alzheimers.org.uk/
(despite the name, the Alzheimer’s Society advises on all the different types of dementia - of which there are many !)
Hi thanks for the responses. I suppose I’m not really angry with mum more the dementia and what affect it’s having on her and with myself because I can’t do anything about it!! And you’re right she does forget not long after!!
Suppose I’m just having a rant at the injustice of it all and just needed to know what others thought.
It’s OK to say “I can’t do this any more” at any stage. There is no shame whatsoever, because inevitably many people with dementia end their days in residential care because they NEED more care than one person alone can provide.
When did mum last have her Needs Assessment from Social Services?
When was your Carers Assessment last updated?
Is mum receiving Attendance Allowance and claiming exemption from Council Tax?
Hi all yes she’s recently had an assessment and I’m up to date with mine. As far as know we’ve got all the benefits available (carers & attendance allowance + she gets council tax and housing benefit)
I remember only too well when my husband was hospitalised before the vascular dementia diagnosis. Constant phone calls during the night accusing me of all sorts. He had delirium, but it nearly broke me. Once diagnosed, it was at least the answer to such a change in personality. In the end, before he went into the nursing home, I took the battery out of his mobile, unbeknown to him. He thought it was broken and asked the family and me to get it repaired. We had to fob him off.
I’m not sure what you can do about the night time calls but I do understand that they alone can cause frustration, as everyone needs sleep! Hubby forgot, eventually that he ever had a phone.
I know this isn’t any help to you but wanted to tell you I understand. My lovely hubby was my soulmate, and would never have deliberately hurt me, but at the time it certainty did.
Consider putting a time clock on your phone, or taking the plug out at night. You need your sleep. Does mum have a lifeline pendant in case of a genuine emergency? Would she remember what it was for?
It is hard. I definitely went through an angry stage. But diagnosis has helped me to feel calmer about Mum’s behaviours.
Whilst the calls are not her fault, I would second turning the phone off at night if she has an emergency pendant she can use? My Mum has one and it gives me huge reassurance that she can get help if needed. You need sleep and being tired won’t help you feeling calm.