Dealing with older parents

Discussion in 'Free Range' started by virgo, Nov 17, 2020.

  1. virgo

    virgo Chicken

    I didn’t see a good place to put this so I created a new thread. My mom is almost 76 and she’s having memory problems. It’s to the point where she tells me I’m wrong when I mention a conversation we had. This just happened again tonight. She’s been badgering me for a month about what we want for Thanksgiving (not eating with her but to stop by, hang out a bit with masks on and take food home). I told her I really didn’t care and whatever she felt like making is fine. Saturday, I was at her house doing laundry and she mentioned chicken enchilada casserole and I said that would be great. It’s easy to make. Tonight, she claims that conversation didn’t happen. She remembers mentioning the casserole but doesn’t remember the rest of the conversation where we both agreed that’s what she should make. She got upset and said she needed to go and then hung up. My grandpa had Alzheimer’s so I’m concerned with her memory loss and her reactions to not remembering. She gets upset and lashes out at me and then cries. I don’t really know what to do. I know if I bring it up with her, she’s going to get upset and deny having a problem. Has anyone else had to go through this with a parent or other close relative? How did you handle it?
  2. Lh718

    Lh718 Chicken

    I don't have any experience myself. What I've seen and heard about with patients is that it can be really helpful to have a third party present, like a good friend or even her doctor. Secondly, bring it up as a serious, planned convo together rather than having it pop up in conversation. Be calm, be honest, and be a little vulnerable yourself. You know your mom best, but maybe admitting to her that you're scared, too, might bring down her defensiveness.

    This is so hard. I'm sorry you two are at this point. Love and hugs <3
    Afishwish and virgo like this.
  3. virgo

    virgo Chicken

    Thank you Lh. <3
  4. Honey

    Honey Historian Staff Member

    I asked my grandma about this because she went through it with her mom. She said that she didn’t have to confront her mom with it because her mom was aware of what was happening. She says your mom likely is too, and that’s why the embarrassment, tears and oversized reactions to forgetting things. What she did advise is that, when you have the conversation, tread lightly when citing specific examples of your mom’s episodes. She says that could make her feel more embarrassed and defensive.

    Best of luck. This is such a difficult condition for a family to endure.
    Afishwish likes this.
  5. virgo

    virgo Chicken

    Thank you @Honey. <3

    I have no idea when I’m going to have the guts to have this conversation. I think my sister needs to be on board but last time I talked to her about it, she didn’t see what I saw (she lives in SoCal so she only sees my mom a few times/year. They talk once/week). This is the part of adulting that nobody ever prepares you for.
  6. Afishwish

    Afishwish Bramblebutt

    No advice, just sorry you’re going through this.
    virgo likes this.
  7. virgo

    virgo Chicken

    Thanks Fish. <3