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Dr. Z
Dr. Z, Psychologist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 10547
Experience:  Psy.D. in Clinical Forensic Psychology with a background in treating severe mental illnesses.
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My mother I believe is suffering from dementia, and is being

Customer Question

My mother I believe is suffering from dementia, and is being mean and rude to her granddaughter and my family. She talks to many people, but does not tell the truth of her mental condition. My daughter is now suffering, loss of weight and sadness. What can we do?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  Dr. Z replied 1 year ago.
*This website DOES NOT constitute treatment and only provides information and advice. For treatment (therapy and/or medications) you must go to a licensed professional in your area. Please note that anything said here is not private or confidential, as this is a public forum. Hello, I believe I may be able to help you with your concern. I am sorry that you are having this issue with your mother, I can understand how distressing this can possibly be for you. I would like to ask you a few questions to get a better idea of what you are looking for, so that I can better assist you. 1. Will your mother be willing to go to a neurologist for an assessment? 2. How long has your mother been behaving in this manner? 3. Can your mother take care of her daily needs without significant assistance (e.g. food, clothing, hygiene, shelter, etc…)? 4. Does your daughter understand that your mother is not well cognitively and that what she says is not really what she means? 5. Has your daughter considered seeking therapy to help her better cope with your mother’s behavior?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
My mom would not admit she has a problem. She throws the blame on me and my family. She has been getting worse ever since my dad died. My mom can take care of her daily needs. It is almost like she has 2 side, the sweet side, and the mean side I get to see. We try to explain to my daughter, but it is hard to have your only grandparent be so mean. We are thinking of having our daughter do some sort of therapy.
Expert:  Dr. Z replied 1 year ago.
Thank you for responses, please allow me 10-20 minutes to formulate my answer for you.
Expert:  Dr. Z replied 1 year ago.
Thank you for your responses as it helps me to better understand your situation. Unfortunately because your mother’s cognitive faculties are still relatively intact for her to take care of her daily needs, you cannot push for an evaluation or treatment for her at this time. Your mother at this point would have to volunteer for any assessment and treatment with a neurologist or psychiatrist given her behavior. So because she probably has most control over her behavior and knows that what she is doing when she behaves this way to you, your family, and your daughter then you should start to set up good boundaries with your mother to not let her overwhelm you and others in your family. This means that when she behaves in this way, try to neutralize it by either walking to another room in the house or by ignoring her until she agrees to speak to you like an adult. You do not have to raise your voice or anything like that, instead refuse to engage her or support her behavior until she makes the appropriate changes. Tell your daughter to do this as well because this way it gives you both some control because you can decide when to just leave a conversation with your mother if it becomes “nasty.” As for therapy with your daughter, that may be helpful for her to assist her in coping with this added stress. I can recommend a good relaxation exercise called Progressive Muscle Relaxation that your daughter can use to help her relax more and have a sense of inner calm.
http://www.anxietybc.com/sites/default/files/MuscleRelaxation.pdf
In addition, if your daughter would like to try natural supplements that can help lessen the impact of your mother’s behavior on her, than she can look at Valerian Root and Picamilon which can lessen stress and anxiety from this adverse situation.
I hope this answers your question and gives you some guidance on this issue. I truly wish you and your daughter all the best and I hope that you both will be able to get through this together. And I hope that your mother will one day see that her behavior is becoming problematic and requests an assessment by a Neurologist or a Psychiatrist very soon.
My goal is to provide you with excellent service, so if you ever have any further questions or concerns please do not hesitate to contact me at anytime. If I answered your question satisfactorily I would very much appreciate if you could rate my performance in helping you so that I can get credit for this question. Thank you very much
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thank you. Sometimes it is hard to walk away, because she manipulates where you want to defend yourself, but I do understand. I think she tells others of these situations, and makes us out to be the bad guys. It is hard and frustrating, but I try to forgive and forget, something she in not able to do.
Expert:  Dr. Z replied 1 year ago.
You do not have to forgive and forget...you can forgive her because your mother is not in the right state of mind due to the possible dementia, but you should not forget what she has done. Your mother will try to manipulate and control the situation, but that is why it is important you have to take control by walking away from her because if she will not treat you with the respect that you deserve than there is no reason for you to stay in that conversation. This is a good assertive technique to give you more control.
My goal is to provide you with excellent service, so if you ever have any further questions or concerns please do not hesitate to contact me at anytime. If I answered your question satisfactorily I would very much appreciate if you could rate my performance in helping you so that I can get credit for this question. Thank you very much

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