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How do we get mom to understand that she has Alzheimer's?

My mom is now living at a retirement community...independent living along with assisted living. My mom has said such hurtful things to me and thinks I've ruined her life. I don't know where else to turn. It breaks my heart that my mom doesn't realize she needs that extra care and that she has Alzheimer's. Any advice would be greatly appreciated!!!
Status: Open    May 24, 2015 - 09:16 PM

Dementia, Relationships

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Expert Answers

Jun 01, 2015 - 08:34 AM

You can't, don't try. I know these are hard words, but I sincerely believe that you can find comfort in them. Ask yourself a better question. Is your mom at a senior community for a reason? Are her needs being met, physically, mentally and emotionally? Is she safe? Is she receiving care according to your expectations? If she were to move home, would she be in a dangerous situation? If she moved home, would she cook and eat well? Would she perfectly manage her medications? Would she be around people?

As an adult child of a parent with memory loss, you must reconcile the cornerstone of memory loss to find emotional peace. Namely, the person with memory loss is incapable of remembering that they have memory loss. Once you really embrace this, you can begin down the road to allowing negative criticisms to roll off your shoulders.

As always, use whatever stress relief tools that work for you also. Journal, meditate, repeat words, etc. This gives you that opportunity to get in tune with that emotion you are feeling to allow it to pass and be replaced by those confident answers to the questions you asked before.


APFM Staff Answers

Aug 20, 2015 - 10:50 AM

I am sorry that you are in such a difficult situation with your mom. You may find the article Tips for Dealing With People Who Don’t Know They Have Dementia helpful.

I wish you and your family the best.




May 31, 2015 - 01:09 PM

In my experience and in reading as much as I can about it, it's not ever likely she will acknowledge her dementia. Just do your best to let the hurtful things she says and does roll off you. She is sick and it's not really in her heart, it's the disease talking. Be grateful she's already in a care facility and you don't have to fight her to get her there. Be prepared to change the subject to things she loves, grandkids, gardening, decorating, childhood memories etc. Best Wishes.
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