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How do I keep my son from being traumatized by Mom?

My mother was diagnosed with dementia about 2 years ago. Everything that she used to be interested in is gone. She has a caregiver and lives in a garage apartment. Before the caregiver I would have gone insane! My whole life was turned upside down. Now it is manageable. She is taking Aricept and a heart pill and is usually pretty compliant. However, today I went out to physical therapy for myself and my 12 year old had two friends over. She came over demanding to know where I was and sat there for 30 minutes berating my son! She called him an idiot, asked him if he wanted her to slap him, etc. She had two other episodes like this when my son was at school and I got her calmed down. However, he is somewhat traumatized by this. She looked at his friend and said "I'm going to call your mother and tell her where you have been!" and the boy was scared of her.
Status: Open    Jun 21, 2015 - 03:29 AM

Dementia, Relationships

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2 answers


Jun 28, 2015 - 03:20 PM

Explain to your son that his Grandma still loves him but she gets confused.
I am sure he knows this but it needs to be repeated, sometimes often.
It is not her it is the disease that makes her say things or act like that.
If your Mom is safe in your house tell your son if there is another time when he feels scared or threatend by your Mom he can leave the house and just go outside to play or go to a friends. He should call you however and let you know. This way you know where your Mom is and where your son is. This would also be a good way to monitor how often she is having these outbursts. This might be another decline that you have to watch and if it becomes apparent that she is wandering or becomes violent you may have to rethink living arrangements.
Or if your Moms caregiver is there your son could call the caregiver and have the caregiver come get Mom.
If the caregiver is there all the time I am wondering why the caregiver allows your Mom to wander off. Today might be just into your house but next week it might be the neighbors house or she just might walk away.

Jul 07, 2015 - 11:19 AM

If your son enjoys reading or being read to this helps open up the dialogue. This may also help him explain to his friends that while she still loves him sometimes she doesn't think through things rationally.
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By vikki15 on Sep 05, 2016 - 10:59 PM | Like (0)  |  Report

You do have some obligation to protect your children from verbal, emotional, and physical abuse. It could be that grandmom cannot be alone with them, and that might mean your/her living situation needs to change, This is hard - but don't let feelings of obligation to take care of you mom overweigh your children's needs if at all possible - and realize that though things seemed manageable at one point in time, they can unfortunately deteriorate as her dementia progresses. .

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