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How Do You Handle Stress?

Last post Mon, Jul 28 2008 9:26 AM by latenightleader. 25 replies.
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  • Sat, Jul 26 2008 10:38 PM

    How Do You Handle Stress?

    How do you handle stress when dealing with your relatives?

    I am finding it harder and harder to be around Mom when she starts saying really ugly, abrupt, and rude things to me.

    She treats the staff badly also.

    I do realize that it is because of the dementia and from the stroke, but it still does not make it easy to be receiving theses comments from her.

  • Sat, Jul 26 2008 11:53 PM In reply to

    Re: How Do You Handle Stress?

    If I have to be with an unpleasant relative, I try to make it short and pleasant, or at least tolerable.  If it gets too bad, I leave and come back another day.


    Edited to add:  I've been the nursing home staff for many years during college- they have seem it all!  I can't tell you the number of times I've been swung at, hit, and cursed at by seniors.  It is not the person, it is the stage they are in.  The staff will (should) take it with a giant grain of salt.   Wnen I was 19, the ones that scared me were the sexually inappropriate old men.  That would not phase me now. Then I would send in a male aide. 

    Beginning Debt Slayer

  • Sun, Jul 27 2008 12:09 AM In reply to

    • Raine
    • Top 500 Contributor
    • Joined on Tue, Jul 22 2008
    • Dallas
    • Posts 39

    Re: How Do You Handle Stress?

    I can only imagine how difficult it must be for you. 

    Perhaps she is lashing out because, like anyone else, she doesn't like losing control in her life.  We seem to lash out at those we are closest to.

    ....Poor is the man whose pleasure depends upon the permission of another...
  • Sun, Jul 27 2008 12:21 AM In reply to

    Re: How Do You Handle Stress?


    I know it's the health issues, but having her attack me verbally like she does is tearing me up inside. The new medicine does not seem to be working on her anger.

    The staff saw me counting outloud as I walked down the hall towards the door.

  • Sun, Jul 27 2008 12:25 AM In reply to

    Re: How Do You Handle Stress?

    She is furious because I signed the papers to admit her to the nursing home in 2007 after she had both a heart attack and a frontal lobe stroke. Frontal lobe strokes change personalities of people.

    I cannot get the 24/7 help for her if she were at home.

    I'm her Power of Attorney.

  • Sun, Jul 27 2008 12:46 AM In reply to

    Re: How Do You Handle Stress?

     V NW, It sounds like she is distressed.  Would it help to have her on a mild tranquilizer, like Valium, to help calm her nerves?  You can bet she would request it if she could.  If you are older and unhappy, it is up to relatives and doctors to consider emotional health as well as physical, and treat for depression, anxiety, and mood changes to help make people more comfortable and ensure that years at the end of life do not include needless suffering. 

    Currently my gramma has three teeth broken at the root.  I am concerned about pain, but she can eat ice cream with no visible discomfort.   She also moved last month, and was missing her friends, but is now getting used to her new place.  She moved from a memory house for residents with dementia to a hospice.

    Beginning Debt Slayer

  • Sun, Jul 27 2008 1:22 AM In reply to

    Re: How Do You Handle Stress?


    She is taking something for pain, stuff for hypertension, 2 different insulins for Type 2 diabetes, other stuff, and a brand new drug to keep her on an even keel (it is supposed to help with her anger issues and the dementia). You name it and she's on it.

    She was taken off the other drug to keep her anger under control. It put her to sleep 24/7.

    Wednesday afternoon I have a meeting with the dept. heads about her care. I'll ask about something like Valium then. That's when I will tell them that the new medicine is not helping her------she's still nasty to me.

    She's been at this nursing home since Feb. 2007.

    She yells at the staff. She hits the other residents. You get the drift..... . I get to have phone calls from the staff telling me about the latest incident involving Mom.

  • Sun, Jul 27 2008 9:09 AM In reply to

    Re: How Do You Handle Stress?

    my dh's aunt has alzheimers. She never married or had kids so it has been up to my mil to take care of her (my mil is 82).  She has had round the clock nurses, but they have run out of money and now she will soon be going to a nursing home. My mil said she was lashing out and saying mean things as well to her and the nurses. It really hurt my mil because they were very close. The whole thing has been such a stress for her as I'm sure it has been for you.  It is just part of the disease. I told my mil I hope I never get that because I would hate for the last memories my loved ones have is of me hurting them.

    Knowing its part of the disease really doesn't help YOU though!  Can't give any advice there. Maybe keep the visits short and plan something pleasant just for you following it. I'm sure there are meditation, deep breathing exercises that would be helpful.

    My mom has no health problems such as this, but is lonely and frustrated (lost her 2nd dh to cancer 2 years ago, dad died of cancer as well). She says insulting things to me all the time. Today is visiting day, joy. My 2 dd's go with me , ds can't take it. I just deal with it by eating sugar.

  • Sun, Jul 27 2008 11:07 AM In reply to

    • Mimi
    • Top 100 Contributor
    • Joined on Sun, May 4 2008
    • Posts 993

    Re: How Do You Handle Stress?

    I am SO sorry that you have to go through this--and for others going through similar situations!

    My grandmother's sweet personality drastically changed at the end of her life when she got brain cancer.  It is just hard!  There are support groups.  You might want to ask her nursing home if they know of any in your area.  It might help to talk to and see others who are going through something similar. 

    She has a lot of other things that are contributing to her situation, but you mentioned she's on something for hypertension.  Beta blockers are notorious for causing severe depression and grumpiness!  I started taking some for my heart and went from a relatively cheerful woman in my thirties to a crotchety old lady overnight!  The newest beta blocker on the market is a lot more expensive, but it causes quite a bit less depression and grumpiness.

    Hang in there!  I'm praying for you!

    "...for the happy heart, life is a continual feast. Better to have little, with fear for the Lord, than to have great treasure and inner turmoil." Proverbs 15:15b-16 NLT

    The pessimist sees difficulty in every opportunity. The optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty.--Winston Churchill
  • Sun, Jul 27 2008 11:52 AM In reply to

    • Walt34
    • Top 75 Contributor
    • Joined on Mon, Dec 17 2007
    • WV eastern panhandle
    • Posts 1,406

    Re: How Do You Handle Stress?

    Virginia Needlewoman:

    How do you handle stress when dealing with your relatives?

    Yell at my wife, kick the dog, drink heavily.... Oh, wait, you want a realistic answer.

    Keep the visits short, remember the person is changed from what they used to be, physical exercise - go for a walk, ride a bike, calisthenics, etc.


    Officially Recognized Stretchpert in Money Management
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