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My bloody mother!!!! <again>(89 Posts)
She is driving me nuts and i just don't know what to do to help.
She has the long running, what can only be described as obsession that her sister (who lives in australia) has damaged her property. I have posted about it lots im sure. Anyway, the latest thing is her cooker - her BRAND NEW
30 years old cooker, that is irreplacable apparently . Firstly she said that she had put chewing gum on the halogen hob and had basically spent entire nights (im not joking) scouring it off, thus destroying the hob - but this is only because her sister had covered it in acid never mind all the shit my mother has put on it to CLEAN it. It has now expanded to the inside of the BRAND NEW cooker that the woman has painted with acid - to what ends? maybe she was trying to poison her?? All this will have been done about 7 years ago, when she stole my mums photos (actually, she did do this and this is how it all started), pegs, duvet covers - if not stolen, swapped for lesser quality items for the charity shop, damaged her bedroom suit, which my mother has subsequently destroyed by scrubbing with bleach, rubbing with chisels etc because it had a few fade marks on it - its a fecking antique!
It has been a nightmare and gone on for years - most of the time I try to humour her as disagreeing with her just results in her a) not talking to me (now don't get me wrong, this would be a blessing) and i have to worry about her physical health and im an only child. b) causing scenes at my house etc and quite frankly my own mental health isn't up to it.
Her latest thing is that she is going to get the money together to go to australia and hope that the very sight of her standing there will cause her sister to have a heart attack and if that doesn't work, she will jump on her head I know it just sounds like a weird sort of comedy doesn't it, but she is deadly serious.
That is where my question is - she is 76 and in bad health (her sister is 85). Would that prevent her from flying? She reckons she will go one day, come back the next. I don't believe for one minute she would be allowed into australia on that basis, but what i AM worried that a flight company would still take her money.
No point in going to doctor, my mum wont have any of it, and wouldnt take ADs if she was dying.
How would she book a flight though - is she internet-savvy or would she be fit enough to go into a travel agents, for example?
I think she should go to the doctors tbh. AD's wouldn't necessarily be what the doc would prescribe, but she doesn't sound well.
Oh goodness. has she had a recent mental health assessment, LEM?
She sounds scarily like my father who had sub cortical vascular dementia which included paranoia symptoms. They were masked in his case by the fact that he'd always been paranoid so it was hard to pinpoint when the dementia kicked in.
I second what others have said, she needs to see her GP and be referred. Ideally speak to the doc yourself beforehand so they know what to expect.
Altzheimers society, Admiral Nurses and other organisations should be able to offer support and advice - they were a lifeline to me.
Sorry you're having to go through this.
She really needs specialist intervention. You realise this is all a very long way from normal behaviour, don't you? Call the crisis mental health team.
OP I'm really sorry but it sounds to me like your DM may have a serious mental health issue that needs to be addressed. Is there no way you could get the doctor to go to her house and see what he thinks? Her behaviour that you've described isn't normal at all...
As for the airlines taking her money if she bought tickets-they would,my nan is 80 and still flies once or twice a year with no issue or questions asked and my other set of grandparents are in their 70s (grandad has a history of heart problems) and they fly several times a year. Albeit neither grandparents have ever gone to Australia,only ever various parts of Europe and USA so not sure if it would be different for people wishing to go to Oz but FWIW I know a friend of mine bought his ticket to Oz months before he got the visa he needed to go there...
I think you need to speak to her GP and ask for some advice.
She is exhibiting signs of distinctly worrying mental problems, and dementia springs very strongly to mind. I have recent experience of a 72 yr old who thought her daughter was stealing from her, called the police repeatedly, accusing the poor woman of all sorts - current and historic.
I am so sorry that your mother is unwell OP, as this is very hard to cope with, but the first step is to get some good advice from professionals. Whether your mother approves or not.
...whoops, meant to say that the accused woman lived over 100 miles away from her mother at the time!
You really must get some help for your Mum. She is ill. My Mum is like this after having had lots of different infections. She needs help and quickly.
Sounds like dementia. She needs to be seen by her doctor to be referred for an assessment.
My sil took her dad to the doctor and sat in on the appointment. She explained why she would be doing this when she called to make the appointment. He was convinced his neighbors were talking to him through the walls and coming into his house. He would go and shout at them. Luckily they were very understanding. He is in supported accommodation now.
It sounds very similar to a relative of mine who is in her 90's & has dementia.
I am so sorry for you, but I think you do need to get her some help.
Paranoia and delusions are definitely something that need assessing by a psychiatrist. Could be the start of dementia or paraphrenia. The mental health services are well used to assessing people who don't want to see them! Speak to her GP as your first port of call. Sorry you are coping with this alone. I'm an only child too (since my brother died), it is a big responsibility.
Forgot to add, I am a GP and have done extra specialist training in old age psychiatry.
LEM she sounds ill. I think you may need to step in and get some help. It sounds really hard work. I'm so sorry.
Sorry to post and run, a friend came round - To those of you who have mentioned dementia, i really don't think it is this. This is because this is the sort of unreasonable behaviour that has been going on for YEARS with my mother, its always something and always has been. However i think it has got more pronounced. If i had to put my unqualified bet on it i would say that she is suffering from depression (i am too, but thats neither here nor there).
Gin - my mum also has addissons syndrome as a result of a bilateral adrenalectomy to treat cushings disease 50 years ago. This of course has affected her temper and ability to react to things rationally, but this is so convoluted if you see what i mean.
I know i need to talk to her doctor, who is also my mum's doctor, i have hinted in the past to the doctor as there have been some issues with her too, she is a brilliant doctor and i have a lot of faith in her but my mum isn't keen (she is new to my mum) as she plays by the rules regarding medication etc (my mum wants to stockpile her steriods as sometimes she has to double the dose but doesn't understand that they can't prescribe six months supply) the doctor has put it down to old age cantankerousness. I haven't mentioned any of the completely irrational behaviour though.
I just feel ike i am betraying her to be honest. I feel so sorry for her - i try to involve her with us, we only live in the next street but she is fiercely independent, yet dependent as well. The problem is that once she has this bee in her bonnet - this is ongoing and not a sudden behaviour change, she wont let it go. The other day we went to the town with her, me and DD (8) and she was talking about how she hoped her sister would have a heart attack and die in agony in front of my DD, i can't have that, plus the constant talking about it gets me down. She also wont come when invited out with us.
Gin - what will the doctor do if i go and talk to her? I thoguht she would have to wait until my mum made a request? My mum certainly wouldnt agree to a home visit or anything like that, she would hit the roof, cut contact and refuse the let the doctor see her.
I agree she sounds very ill and needs help. Could you speak to her doctors about how you can get her seen to if she refuses to go in? Would they do a home visit? Are they any people/organisations they can recommend to help support you and her?
Also, do i need to make an appointment in my mums name or one in my own name? I will need some new ADs in the next week or so (my mental health is very shite just now) so i can bring that appointment forward.
Would she actually go though? if you think she wont just say fine mum have a good flight, could she organise visa , flight ect? sometimes its better just to humour them, she sounds a bit like my nan my mantra now is don't argue just agree.
I have spoken to DP and he thinks that i should just leave it to blow over I know why he thinks this becuase, like me to a certain extent, he knows she has pretty much always been this unreasonable. The sad thing is that her sister has now took the bull by the horns on the other side of the world (poor cow i dont blame her) and is retalliating with nasty letters etc.
cross posts there with you teenage! To a degree i do just humour (we actually call my mum nana as in catherine tates nana!) her as if i dare to disagree with her she gets nasty. I find myself saying some horrible things about her sister and how that she will get punished etc and how lonely and sad she is so can't my mum just satisfy herself with that. The problem is that although there is no way she could organise the flights herself, she would be able to walk to the travel agents and let them do it for her. But its not just that is it, its the thought of her being up cleaning that fucking oven all night, all day - every time i go round there she is doing it, and being so sad and miserable and lonely when you know what, im miserable and lonely too, DD and I would love to have days out with her, but she wont come.
I agree on the dementia. My own mother has never been madly reasonable, but there was a big shift at one point, and years later when she had a major stroke they discovered she had already had a prior one, I am certain this was around the time she became less reasonable. She now has some level of dementia due to the stroke damage, but so far not enough that you would notice unless you knew her well. Your mother's paranoia and delusions sound very typical of certain forms of dementia, Lewy body for instance, and people with dementia can get more extreme versions of their existing difficult traits. How you get an assessment is another matter, and a diagnosis may not make any difference, my Mum is not on any meds, even though she may also be showing signs of lewy body.
This sounds so similar to an elderly relative who has dementia/delusions. Hers is all about burglary from her flat & there is one (lovely, kind) neighbour that she was always accusing. She took to ringing the police about this & they came round, to discover that she was complaining about her remote being stolen. When it was found she accused the burglar of bringing it back. She has paranoid delusions & dementia, she was assessed by a geriatric psychiatrist. I am no expert but the two are not necessarily related - the delusions are, on the whole, worse than the dementia.
Looking back, she's always been a bit paranoid about things but it has got worse with age - may be this trait of your mother's is being exacerbated by age?
I would certainly go & chat to your doctor - especially as you get on with her & respect her. I had to do the same when my Mum was ill & as my then GP said he was happy to talk about things as it impacted on my health as well as my mum's.
for you - It's bloody tough.
Can you tell your aunt that her sister is unwell and she is saying things that everyone knows cannot be true, and therefore not to retaliate? (or any cousins etc who you can tell so they can get message to aunt/not post the letters/whatever?)
Even if has been going on for years that doesn't mean it's not a problem to be glossed over now! I'd make a double appointment when you go for your appointment and explain you'd like to talk about your concerns about your mother. If that's not the way to handle it, the doctor can explain what to do
as to the oven, can you afford just to replace the bloody thing and tell her that her sister sent a new one? it does sound like a mental health issue, I do feel for you and your family, its not easy.
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