Out of my depth.

I simply can’t know how terrifying and wretched it must feel to live with Alzheimer’s, and I feel selfish for making things all about me but I’m struggling with Mum’s moderate stage Alzheimer’s.
My Mum will make the most cutting remarks that you could ever imagine. They are haunting and I go cold when they are said. Other times they are like corrosive acid running through my veins and that are eating me alive. I understand that sounds a bit far-fetched. What makes this more distressing is that with other people, including other family members in the same house, she is ok. I’m struggling with my mental health as my siblings simply don’t witness what I see and hear and I’m shouldering this alone.
I often wonder if mum is thinking these things but not meaning to say them or she does actually mean to say them? How can such a thing be known?
Thanks for reading.

Hi, Tina. My wife suffered with dementia at the end and it is very painful to watch someone who was so active mentally deteriorate so quickly. I don’t believe they mean what they often say. Their minds have virtually shut down as far as normal conversation is concerned. They say things they never would have normally said.
I was told about this condition by a kind neighbour who had gone through this with her father, and I became more understanding, Up to then I got annoyed at my wife because I thought she was just being difficult. How wrong I was. I found it best to just go along with them. If they see things that aren’t there then humour them. Trying to force them back to reality is futile. It’s the same with cutting remarks. You are right, we just don’t know what is happening, but we can cope if we realise that ‘they’, as we knew them, are unable to communicate as they did. It’s all so very sad.
Take care and give love and understanding, which I am sure you already do.
Kind regards and take care. John.

Dear Tina19,
It must be very hard for you to hear mean comments from your mum. My husband works as a carer and has looked after a lot of people with Alzheimer’s and some of them behaved like that towards their partners. We also looked after a neighbour together who had dementia and in the end he did lots of things he would never have done when we knew him before he had the disease.
There is lots of helpful information from organistaions like the Alzheimer;'s Society and on the internet. I found this article that you may find helpful, because it deals with your question:
https://dailycaring.com/7-ways-to-respond-to-mean-dementia-behavior/#:~:text=These%20mean%20comments%20and%20hurtful,helplessness%2C%20confusion%2C%20or%20frustration.
I hope that sometimes you see glimpses of your ‘old’ mum that help you to keep going. Looking after someone who has Alzheimer is a real labour of love and I admire any family that is doing this.
Jo

thankyou Jonathan. I really do appreciate your comments. I understand what you mean and am sorry you’ve experienced this as well. Sadly I’ve not been the most gracious during my mum’s illness and I’ve been snappy a fair few times. something I’ll have to carry with me. thanks again.

Thank you jo64 for your comments and links. I will surely take a look. the worst thing is that out of all 3 of us, mums comments are forever meant for me. I am in such a state of anxiety I feel as though somewhere along the line I’ve had some kind of breakdown. Family relations have splintered apart as well with the strain. it’s so very, very difficult. I’ve lost my composure now and again in front of mum and snapped at her. This I’m ashamed of, of course. Thanks again.

Tina. We are not saints. None of us are, and some situations can try even the most well intentioned people. Try not to flog yourself with guilt. These are pretty awful times for us all. Controlling emotions of any sort is nigh impossible. Take it as easy as you can. Blessings. John.

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thank you so much Jonathan.

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