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Why will my Mom not talk to me but still talk to everyone else?

My mom has never had to take care of herself or anybody else. My Grandmother was going to stay with them once for 2 weeks and my mom wouldn't allow it. I have taken care of all her needs for 10 years since my dad died. She will not talk to me. She won't even tell me what she wants but she will tell others I wont do anything for her. She too accuses everybody of stealing things like her rings,clothes, perfume etc. then the next day she comes out of her room with them on. It seems like she wants to be a victim in all ways. She told the neighbor I won't let her have ice cream when she has a bowl almost every night. She tells everybody I won't take her anywhere. She goes to daycare 4 days a week (just started recently) and we go out to eat at least 2 times a week. I take her for rides once a week. The main problem is how do I get her to talk to me? She acts like she can't hear me but can hear everybody else.

Status: Open    Aug 11, 2015 - 09:42 AM

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Aug 11, 2015 - 09:52 AM

I know taking care of a loved one, especially a parent, is very hard work, both physically AND mentally.

Although you didn't mention it I suspect your Mom has some kind of memory loss. This only add to an otherwise complicated situation.

My experience in helping families whose loved ones have dementia is that the unconditional love factor plays in hard with memory loss. Your mother KNOWS you love her (deep down I believe she does) & she TRUSTS you won't leave her. Therefore she feels your unconditional love. That being said she needs a scapegoat. Those with memory loss tend to use those closest to them who they trust and they know (whether or not the tell you or show you) you love them. It's sort of like a parent/child relationship. A child can become angry & frustrated lashing out at those closest (most often parents) with "I hate you, you don't love me.....etc" Yet when they wake up the next day they are often sweet as pie and ready to move on past the incident.

I often explain to families that working with someone with dementia is like working with a child of sorts. However, your mother (in her mind) still believes SHE is the parent and she is in charge, albeit adding more complications.

The simple answer to caring for someone with dementia is "Every day is a new day, you get to start all over again with a fresh slate." The difference is you remember the incidents from the day before, she doesn't. It's hard not to hold a grudge, it's human nature in a lot of cases, but moving past the verbal accusations, etc may help you have a better peace of mind. If someone confronts you about an accusation (such as withholding ice cream) sort of laugh and tell them "It's very hard caring for someone with dementia who doesn't recall one minute to the next, but I assure you her freezer is stocked with ice cream and she eats a bowl every night. I have to survive with laughter at times."

I hope this is helpful.
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