Seeking Advice Become Verbally Abusive to Elder Parent
I am hoping someone here can give me a little advise.
I am living with a senior mother mid 70s who is slowing loosing her short term memory has become extremely stubborn with a subtle lack of living zest and not taking care of her health(we have to continually push her to get the least bit of exercise and she not obese).
She needs a knee replacement because he mobility has become dysfunctional and although she can walk she uses chairs, tables, shopping carts as crutches. She still drives which also worries me because the leg thats used for the gas pedal and brake is the one she needs replaced and I am worried she will hurt someone because of slow reflexes. I am also afraid this will lead to a slip and fall because of balance issues.
To make a long story short I have had verbal altercations with her as I am extremely frustrated. I am telling her terrible things I do not mean because she refuses to get help both for the knee and her obvious depression. Some of these things are downright vicious hence my visit to this site as I am embarrassed to be acting this way as a human being.
I am afraid of becoming an abusive sibling(verbally as I would never hurt her physically) and I want to know what I can do to remedy the situation. In addition I am living with a mentally abusive sister and her husband in the same domicile of which I will be hopefully moving out of.
Any help/feedback would graciously be appreciated!
Hi Miles! Welcome and thanks so much for joining us. I'm so grateful you reached out for help.
Just a couple questions: Has your mom received a diagnosis for her memory loss?
I also wonder if perhaps her memory loss and her mobility challenges are just making her self-care more difficult. She may need more suggestions and guidance in order to take care of herself. Would it be possible to hire help for her, even a few days a week?
I totally understand how scary it is to lose your temper. I think of fear as the source of our anger and it sounds like your worries about your mom's future are the fear behind your shouts. I wonder if you could post here when the anger and worries begin to surface? You can share here with us and get it out rather than taking it out with your mom.
I also wonder if both of you have the same fear in common -- you both worry about what the future will bring for both of you. That fear may bring out your mom's stubbornness while it brings out the anger in you.
I look forward to hearing back from you. 🙂
I hope all is well with you. I know that it's been a while since you last received feedback on your issue. Reading through your post, I think back at all the times that I was really frustrated with both my parents. My mom used to wrap her medication pills in a napkin and hide them. My dad would constantly complain about pain but resists the physical therapy offered. There were quite a few times were I yelled at my mom and dad, telling them things like they're being inconsiderate for not following their home care protocol and for making my "job" more difficult. I finally realized how incongruent that was with what I believe to be my responsibility of taking care of my parents. I had to step back and really figure out what my purpose was when my dad told me that he didn't want to be a burden.
As caregivers, our fear and frustration comes out in anger most of the time, I think. It's a defense mechanism when we sometimes don't have the knowledge or skill or resources to help our loved ones. I understand that sometimes when we say things in anger, shame fills our mind. It's not that we don't want to take care of them. Maybe, we just need a break.
Conversations where we can make them think about their actions my ease the frustrations. Asking them if they think what they're doing benefits them or help ease the pain or make things a little better. Research into your mom's diagnoses or having a dialogue with her doctors may help you understand what's really going on with her. Take a break - there are agencies or places that offer respite care. There are home care agencies that offer private duty care - and when they're able to gain your trust at leaving them with your mom - you can go for a ride or take a walk. It's best to leave the environment that's stressing you out. That quick breath of fresh air may release some tension and give you a bit of clarity.
I don't really know what your situation is - but understand that you're not alone. There are others here that you can talk to or get some feedback. I hope you that you find clarity in your thinking and some peace in your soul while taking care of your mom.
Please reach out whenever you can. I know personally that it does help ease our pain.
Hi Miles, I just read your message and I am new here also. I hope you have a chance to read these messages and that they make a difference. My husband has had four strokes and he also has short term memory issues. One the outside to everyone else he seems fairly normal but I know there are things wrong because I live with him. It can be extremely frustrating. Early on, I didn't know what was wrong but I found a great ally in my husbands doctor. We were able to sign up for the portal with the Drs office and it allows me to ask questions of the doctor. Before his visits, I often will post behavioral things that I want the Dr to address during our visits. I don't want to say these things in front of my husband but the Dr is able to bring them up and remind my husband that he has to listen to me and take care of himself. I also use a lot of leading questions. For example I ask "Do you think that is a good idea?" If he doesn't want to take his medication or something I will ask him if he thinks that is a good idea so that he can think about it. I might ask, what do you think will happen if you don't take your medication? If he doesn't think anything bad will happen, I'll suggest we call the Dr. and ask the Dr. since the Dr prescribed the medication; that's usually all it takes. After doing that a couple of times, he will realize its easier to just take the medication.
Lastly, when my Aunt was getting almost too sick to drive I sat down and told her as calm and lovingly as I could "One day, I'm going to have to tell you that you can't drive. One day, I'm going to have to take your keys away. Not today, but when that days comes, how do you want me to do it?" Then we talked about it. About a month later she handed me her keys and said "I think I need to stop driving".
This approach may not work for everyone but maybe something I said can help a little.