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How can I make my mother see that she is not well?

Answered by David Troxel

January 19, 2015

How can I make my mother see that she is not well? I am here to take care of her for a month as she cannot cope. She had spent $2000 on phone bills thinking mobile calls are free.

Late at night she will come into my room and starts at me.

She hated my father so she hates me and my children.

Last year she had a broken water heater tank that was boiling and whistling all the time and she ignored it for months.

She gave a $50.000 painting to a niece because the niece promised to open bank accounts and pay the money they would get from the sale of the painting into the account. The niece never did pay.

She thinks she is very normal. But she does not trust me.

I do not know what stage she is in and what she has but she is not well.

How can I make her see this?

I’m sorry that you are struggling with a very difficult situation. On top of the dementia it sounds like you’ve had a challenging relationship with your mother for years.

I can see you are deeply frustrated and challenged. My advice to you is to get some education and help. Contact your local Alzheimer’s Association or group and go to their office. Ask to meet with a staff member who can help you sort out issues and learn some new approaches. The group may also be able to identify some resources for further education or support.

I suspect your mother might be friendlier and more cooperative with in-home or program staff than she is to family members. Consider having a geriatric care manager or in-home worker begin to help. She might do more for them than for you.

Consult a lawyer to see if he or she can help you develop some strategies to get power of attorney and/or protect her remaining assets.

You won’t succeed trying to convince your mother that she is impaired when she is currently in such a state of denial. Her dementia has also led to poor judgment.

Based on your history with her, it might be best to step away from direct care and bring in whatever team or supporters you can. A support group can help you navigate your feelings and come up with a personal game plan for success.

A final word—as an adult child it’s very easy to become the “bad guy.” Step back and try to pick your battles. Be clever where you can—blame the doctor or lawyer instead of saying “Mom, I think you need to do this.” Sometimes you have to pull away for a while—there will be an inevitable emergency or opportunity for you to get back in there and make a difference.

Thoughts and stories from others

  1. February 8, 2015 at 04:36 pm
    Posted by Frank

    We are getting ready to for our 66 wedding and my wife has had A.D for about 4 years. we have tried all the medicine with no luck at all. She has displayed about every emotion that I have read about A.D and that's tough to see a loved one go thru all these trials and know at the end there is nothing to cure this terrible thing. Hopefully this new Namzaric which will be on the market in the second quarter of this year will give some people some relief. If you can afford it. Its a new word that spell check hasn't heard of.
  2. January 26, 2015 at 03:36 pm
    Posted by Christina Kay

    I am in the beginning stages of ALZ. My mother had ALZ several years ago & has since passed away. She was extremely cautious of many eyes and conversations as she became suspicious of others' behavior early on. Her conversations to anyone other than my father were extremely limited...she was always a very private person and shared little, even with my father. I am on Aricept now & have been a few months. I am almost 68 yo. I will need some reading material. Could you point me in the right direction, please?
  3. January 26, 2015 at 01:20 pm
    Posted by Lily

    I'm staying with this lady friend/Mom and just before her husband passed away almost 2yrs ago, they planned on having someone stayed with her who's on her early stage of dimentia. It all worked out good and life for everyone is normal without worrying.. we're both staying at her house no family, sons are executors for her, and if everything would be arranged it will make your life easier. Their denial part is normal thinking it's just part of aging they said... so just be positive with her and life is too short...just let her enjoy and start on getting her established!!!

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