Integral relationship advice

Hi …I am the carer for my mum . She’s in the very late stages of dementia and is completely bed ridden also she’s completely incapable of looking after any of her needs , we are nearing the end of her journey with Alzheimer’s. I have a p.a who gives me respite in the day , we’ve worked together for 4 years looking after my mum. The p.a. Carer is quite good at her job and we have a close almost family bound. As with many family members she is very difficult to deal with and has a mass of personal issues that’s she’s never addressed.I feel she has a PTSD narcissistic personality disorder . She is very confrontational although says she hates confrontation and when ever i bring any issues up that I feel we need addressing she will often threaten to leave or veils the threat by saying I could get another p.a. or projects the issue on to me.Carers are very difficult to come by and changing horses mid river seems a rash move and it’s not something I can entertain and dealing with her has been a really useful opportunity to grow (maybe a pair of balls)plus she is part of the family. .I would be interested to hear from anyone with useful advice with any of the issues you think you can help with especially with dealing with people with PTSD narcissistic personality disorder :slightly_smiling_face::+1:

1 Like

Hello Jim,

I’m sorry about what your mum and you are experiencing as my dad passed in an Alzheimer’s ward of a nursing home and it was one of the most difficult things I’d ever experienced. The only advice I can provide is based on my experience as well as cutting edge neuroscience.

I’m a musician and play multiple instruments and the nurses would ask me to play for the 27 people, my dad being one of them, in the Alzheimer’s ward of the nursing home after we all ate lunch together. Everyone was at different stages ranging from severe dementia to completely catatonic. I played piano with my back towards everyone and when I stopped and turned around most were lit up and smiling and some were clapping and it was so overwhelming for me that I had to fight back tears. My dad wanted to go back to his room and asked me to play guitar for him, he liked blues. While I was playing for him many of the people walked over towards his room and hovered outside the door to listen to the music. They simply wanted to hear more.

Neuroscience has begun to realize that the parts of the brain that music lights up don’t deteriorate as quickly as the parts of our brains that language and functional memory do. Many nursing homes that have people suffering with Alzheimers will have music and/or live performance as often as possible because they can see the positive response that their patients have. I recommend getting some music that your mum enjoyed and playing it for her as often as you can. It may give her some comfort and a sense of orientation for at least a bit.



Thank you for that message it was really heart touching I have music on for my mum and myself for that matter most of the day . but your message will definitely reinforce the need for it in my mind and the image you painted in my mind and the emotions I felt were a delightful experience and thank all of the circumstances that brought them into my experience…much love jai siddhatma


My mother just reached the end of her journey with dementia a few days ago. You never know when a key component will fail. She was walking and talking then just decided to lay down and take a nap.
We have family in the caregiving business but even they couldnt handle her so she went to a home. She actually liked it. She liked socializing and all the activities.
What many consider the unthinkable sometimes turns out to be the better path.

Is there anything preventing you from interviewing and finding one or two people to fill the role without the current one knowing you are looking?

I think the bottom line is “how bad is it”? Which is hard to put into words or even be neutral about.

Is she literally family?

It wasnt clear if the caregiver has PTSD and NPD? The way it was written there is a possible interpretation you have PTSD and NPD. If its the caregiver it has the potential for an abusive relationship in the making.

Perhaps ask family friends or family to visit and observe the dynamics and see what they say.


Hi Jim, welcome to the community!

I am so sorry to hear of what you’re going through. It’s a very difficult experience to process even regular physical issues with aging parents never mind the psychological and spiritual challenges. How much, if at all have you learned about the different elements of Integral Theory?

Hi and thanks for the welcome, I know very little about integral theory, what I do know is that is that as I am is waking up i must cooperate with that process ,mother universe is demanding of me that I see and accept and dissolve attachments to ways of being that impede that process of evolution and that I become more and able and skilled to facilitate that universal process in all the ways possible .hopefully integral theory can offer the tools to aid in that process that is already occurring in myself and all of humanity in one form or another…

1 Like

I get the sense that care giver is being manipulative. You have a lifetime history with your mum, the caregiver has four years. You are in charge. I would be concerned about that persons resistance to your input - so you seem to be caring around two people, your mum with end-of-life needs and you are tiptoeing around a care giver with emotional problems. Have you hired privately or has this person being assigned to you through an agency? If it is an agency perhaps you can ask for help to resolve to personailty issues and your expectations for cooperation and courtesy. Rather thatn switch horses mid-stream can you bring on an additional caregiver you trust and have that person as a back-up or part-time plan? Do that without the other knowong. Slide to other person over abit and cross-train a new person? Its nice you say you have bonded and the person feels like family but it also sounds a bit toxic. I know you don’t want to be left short-handed if she walks away - but from some of the work I have done in the social feild - it is hard to lose a dysfunctional person. Her threats do not show compassion and are not in the best interest of your mum. Perhaps you could call her on that. The only priority is for her you serve your mum’s needs and by extension yours. My mom died recently at 94 and I know the emotional and physical strain - you might barely have energy for one more thing. See if you can find some back-up, then this caregiver will have less emotional and physical power. (Do you have any concerns about her ethics or integrity when it comes to your mom’s care or personal/financial affairs when you are not present? Have you considered a nanny-cam?) Wishing you peace and for your mum also as she journies on. Please recive what is useful here and ignore the rest.

Lots of great advice. My Dad also had Alzheimer’s and my daughter worked for a while in an Alzheimer’s home. She asked me to play the piano for them and they were delighted, too. So, yes, music is great. Finding good caregivers and good nursing homes is difficult at best, so I understand your struggle.

You might want to connect with other family members who have the same issues. They, like the people here who responded, know what it’s like and might have some good ideas.

Also, if you want to learn more about integral through an illness lens, I have a bunch of courses here: not expensive, or I’ll give them to you free if you like. I was teaching them, but I’m not into marketing and so I’ve made them self-paced.

Anyway, best of luck managing this very difficult situation.

1 Like