Unfair Judgement from Male Siblings RE: Mom 90yrs Old

by Carmen
(Ottawa, Ontario)

HI! My mother of 90yrs old, whom I love very much, was admitted to the local emergency, 2 weeks ago. We honestly , thought this was her last day, but like almost a "miracle" all was changed.

She was "supposed" to have had a heart attack about 1 month ago, but now, the doctor's were all puzzled, either it was her "cancer" in the intestine but with all the "tests" taken all is OK .

Now, she has returned to her apartment,(by the way, at the hospital she "refused" all help. Says she can manage on her own.. (but she forgot to say that my younger sister had started to bake for her, that I do her weekly laundry, buy her TV Bingo cards, my older brother does her groceries...

All to say, that I visited Mom last Sunday, (while bringing her, her "bingo cards". She had to go to the doctor's the next day, but my mother is a "very proud person" who normally has always had her hair done, no matter what.. So, I brought my curling iron, and asked her if I could "roll" her hair. She agreed,(even if she was weak, that day).

I took a comb and put a bit of water on it before starting to curl her hair.. Then ,Wow,, something happened, she thought I would electrocute her with the water in comb. She got up, ran to bathroom,and held her head, saying " OH, I can't breath, I will die, OMG, I ran to her friends apartment on the same floor, and asked her to come quick, as I thought my mother would be "DEAD" when I came back.. Well, NO, she was on the couch, slouching, with a wet towel on her head, and worst thing was that she told her "friend" My daughter almost killed me....

She was talking to herself "Oh my God , give me Peace, I want to be alone".. Her friend replied to me, that she
had visited Mom in the afternoon and she was doing so good.. I felt so guilty, and said to her , If this is the way she feels I will go. Trust me, I took a "Panic" attack on the way home, and I cried for almost 3 hours, without stopping.

My husband told my siblings not to talk to me , as I was in no shape or condition to do this..
My brothers whom I called to tell them, what had happened on my visit, started to tell me, that she never acts that way, with them & for me to "smarten up"..They even swore, so I told them that apparently, me & my younger sister get upset..

So, we decided NOT to go back & take a "break" for awhile. Now, they make us feel guilty, but funny that they don't deprive themselves , from going to their cottages or bring their wives of working "trips"..

I am the eldest of the girls, and was always very close to MOM.even felt like her 'MOM & SISTER
The Boys are viewed as almost GODS in her eyes, when they come, it is with gifts or bring her to a restaurant.

My oldest brother, whom is closest to me, told me that I should have NOT touched my Mom"s hair. and he was sooo upset with me. Said that we could cause her death, we should not talk or disagree with her in anyway. Then he said that, we can at least call her back , as she is doing better, even if she is still weak.

I am so, confused, DO NOT KNOW what to do, I LOVE MOM, but if it means to keep away, for her NOT to get upset, I will do this. ( I pray for her but in my heart I can't call her. How, can me & my younger sister deal with this matter.. Hope to hear from some of you! Thanks

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Be Strong
by: Marie

I agree that your mother at that age probably does have some degree of dementia, even if it hasn't been been officially diagnosed. Touching her hair may have been a negative trigger to something deep and buried in her memory. Don't let your brothers bully you into not visiting her.

Take her some flowers, something pretty for her apartment, a picture album to remind her of better times, or even just a slice of watermelon for a fond memory of younger days. I wouldn't recommend bringing up the hair incident, chances are that she won't even remember it. Be strong, be firm and trust in your love for her.

Siblings unfair
by: Anonymous

The comments from Dianne and Christine said it all. You were trying to do something nice for your mom. Something that she loved. How were you to know that she would respond in that way?

What you did was out of love, and you wanted to make her happy. Shame on your brothers for trying to make you feel guilty! Someone suggested that you tell your mom that you love her and you won't be doing her hair any longer. I agree with that 100%.

Also, one of the comments said that another person could approach your mom to do her hair and get the same reaction. That is also correct. I don't blame you for feeling apprehensive about visiting your mom again, but you might feel a little better if you did. One of my mom's doctors said that our roles are reversing and I can see exactly what he means.

Good luck to you, and keep being nice to your mom.

Get Help
by: Mary santa rosa ca

This is new to all of us. You may want to find a caregiver's self help group. I learn a lot at my group about how to handle different situations with our mom.

I only go to group once a month but always feel lighter when I leave group. Don't stop looking until you find the help you need For You! In helping yourself you will be helping your beloved mom. You will be emotionally stronger and wiser as to how to live around mom and family.
Mary Santa Rosa, CA

It's not Your Fault, go Easier on Yourself
by: Christine

My 82 year old mother had a rather severe stroke almost four years ago and my father and I care for her at their home. Emotionally, sometimes Mom's okay, sometimes she's not. Two days ago I practically got my head bitten off (along with getting to witness a lovely tantrum) because I removed a big piece of food from the side of her mouth that she obviously couldn't tell was there. Then yesterday Dad got the tantrum scene because he wanted to look at his own bank statement before she put it somewhere where he couldn't find it.

These outbursts are not reasonable but unfortunately they do come with age and illness. Give yourself some space, then just calmly tell her you're not going to do her hair again, but you love her and you'll do what else you can. Then just cut it loose and don't allow her to bring it up again. Remember that it's not you, it's her, and try to take care of yourself and your sanity. Be well.

You did the Right Thing - your Mother has Dementia
by: Anonymous

You did the right thing Carmen. Your mother has dementia; other members of your family can do her hair (with the same disastrous results): they'll get the same reaction from your mum. Stand your ground and do not tolerate being wrongly accused by your family.

I think it's time someone else did their bit in doing her hair and I'm sure she'll accuse them too!! Do not do her hair again! You can do other things for her; but tell her if she is not co-operative, you will not be in any hurry to visit her in the near future,


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