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I have reached a point that it will be less stress on me if I just don't go visit. I am tired of the dirty looks she gives me as well as the minute she sees me she gets an attitude. If my brother visits occasionally she is all smiles. She blames me for her being in NH when my brother is the one who admitted her when I was out of town. She tells me that she is deeply depressed but never shares anything with him. All I hear is negativity. She has had two TIAs and diagnoses of frailty and dementia. I need to disconnect from her and the guilt for awhile but I don't want to have regrets as she is 92 and we don't have much time left. We used to be really close but the constant arguing is not worth it. Changing the subject just leads to another argument.

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Wow, I just thought about the difference in thinking. My brother worked and made a good bit of money, and his thinking is it is time to enjoy it. I worked and made a good bit of money, and I am thinking it will be enough to tide me over unless I have to go into a NH.

Sure wish our government would work on cost containment of human services.
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Retired to many brothers means "on permanent vacation." I have one of those brothers.
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My mother has such a small life now (I'm just about her only means for socialization, although she does talk with a few people on the phone...not sure how well that goes because she needs hearing aids!). But because I've heard a lot of her yammerings, I can usually figure out what she's jumped into talking about. Usually. I'm sure my brothers would have no idea. But, alas, they don't come around much (they are not local) and don't realize her decline unless I pointedly describe it to them.

One of my brothers retired this past spring, and his wife had already been retired since last year. I was hoping that would mean he would make it down here more often, but that hasn't been the case.
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CTTN, what you wrote made me think of something funny the other night. The news was on and there was talk of Trump. Mom said she didn't like him. Then she asked me if they ever convicted him of killing those two people. I told her I didn't think anyone thought he'd killed anyone. She said, "You know, that woman and the pizza delivery guy." Then I looked at the TV and saw there was a little picture of OJ Simpson that was going to be discussed later. Ron Goldman (one of the people murdered) had been converted into a pizza delivery guy.

It's hard to follow the leaps in conversation, but at least this one had a reason. If I hadn't noticed the little picture, I'd still be scratching my head about Trump killing a woman and pizza delivery guy.
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"Every conversation is a struggle, as there is no logic and problem-solving abilities. She begins to speak as if in the middle of a thought and I have no idea who or what she's talking about. "

My mother does this! She jumps from topic to topic, and expects people to know what she is talking about.

Are your siblings local? Do they ever do anything for and with their mother? Or is it all dumped on you?
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Minnesota, welcome!

Are there Adult Day Care programs that your mom could attend?
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Setting boundaries is a great thing in theory to do, but difficult to implement. My mother with vascular dementia moved in with my husband and I 8 months ago and am now seeing how I need to set some boundaries to save my own mental health. She wants to be with me all the time. I have no alone time. I feel obligated to take her everywhere with me since she no longer drives. Every conversation is a struggle, as there is no logic and problem-solving abilities. She begins to speak as if in the middle of a thought and I have no idea who or what she's talking about. You can imagine how this is going with a teen-age daughter in the house! It's very difficult to discern what is dementia and what is her existing personality. Easy for people to say "put yourself in her shoes", but the reality is that there is a lifetime of emotions and relationship dysfunction entwined in trying to help her and be a good daughter. Resentment towards my other siblings is an ever-present danger when I get super-frustrated.
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Javagirl,

First, I'm so sorry you've having to go through this with your Mom. It's awful to watch our LO's get caught up in the vortex of dementia; losing their minds, losing themselves, and our powerlessness to stop it. So much of what you shared struck a chord.

My mom lives in MC. She claims she hates it there, but I don't think it's so much the place she hates as the loss of control over her life and having to associate with "those people," as she calls them, i.e. her fellows with dementia. She feels misplaced, demeaned and diminished by living among her peers because she can't or won't accept the extent of her illness. She has absolutely no compassion for them and insists she's "not as bad" when in fact she is. When I go to her MC facility and she happens to be in the community area, she's laughing, joking and conversing with "those people." Go figure. Then, in private she says ugly things about them. Even though Mom freezes up when I touch her or give her hugs (always has), she's intensly jealous when I engage with any of her fellows at MC, whether its conversation or hugs. 've found that calling Mom out on her erroneous perceptions, distortions and fabrications is a big mistake and achieves absolutely nothing. It's just better to nod and say nothing. If that's not bad enough, she actively despises me because I won't move her from MC. I decided to go low contact with Mom, my rationale being that if my mere presence sets her off, I ought to avoid as much contact as I can, in the hopes that further along in her disease process she may forget what it was/is about me that made her angry in the first place, at which point I may be able to risk more contact. I know BTW why I make her angry but confident also that (a.) it wasn't my fault and (b.) I acted kindly and appropriately.

Javagirl, everyone's circumstances are different. I don't know if low or no contact is appropriate for you and your Mom. But I do know this: Victims of this terrible disease are like people drowning; as you try to save them they pull you down with them. Take care of yourself. You're no good to you're mom if you drown too.
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Poster says her mother has always been this way i.e. self isolating, a loner, a self-absorbed and depressive personality. Depressives don't necessarily need medication.

My FIL can be very negative and depressing to be around. Negative people are toxic. It's sad but true. I understand that we should try to step into their shoes but that's impossible when all they do is complain.

It's one thing to moan about something specific but your mother sounds like she finds things to complain about and complains about everything. When my FIL gets like that, I give it five minutes and if changing the subject doesn't work, I make an excuse and leave.
Be busy and make like your time is too valuable to be wasted complaining about nonsense. Be like a fresh breeze. Blow in, bring your sunshine, and breeze out.

Her nursing home residents obviously appreciate your visits. Perhaps you could bring your mother into common areas to socialize more with the residents you like?
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Cut back on the visits. Try to bring her something she would enjoy -maybe a family picture album going way back, or one of her treats. When she starts in, be gentle but firm, "mom, you hurt my feelings when you speak that way, i'll come back when you are feeling better, i love you" and then leave.
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Javagirl, your situation sounds exactly like mine, except my mom is 72. I have said more than once that I could bring my mom to a room filled with puppies, a rainbow and flowers. She would say the puppies were too cute, the rainbow too bright with too many colors and the flowers smelled too strongly. Should my brother bring her to the same room she would say it were heaven on earth. My mom is also depressed, but the relationship between mother and daughter and son is a complex one that began way before dementia ever set in.

Cut back on the visits for your own sanity. When you do visit, try and make them just with your mom as opposed to with the other residents, unless she engages them. I am sure she is feeling some jealousy about that.
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Java, I'm so sorry that you're going through this. I think you should cut back on your visits, at least temporarily, as much for your mental health. I wouldn't be able to take all that negativity either!

Your mom is no longer reasoning with an adult brain. When my daughter was 6, she was insanely jealous of a classmate with cancer. "Susie gets all the Teacher's attention. Everyone thinks she's so special because she has cancer!" All she saw was the attention, which wasn't on her. Same thing with your mom.

Get the geripsych in and see if meds might help. And cut way back on visiting!
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Javagirl, your mother has acute depression as a result of her vascular dementia. I thought you were talking about mine, there, for a minute - which is probably why I felt so hollowed out about your description.

Medications do help, but they take a while to work and they're not transformative. Still worth trying, though, if they can take the edge off her misery.

Her lighting up for your brother is merely the novelty. So she would if a new kitten jumped onto the bed.

You, and believe it or not this is good, get the truth. She feels safe to tell you the reality and she knows that you are the one with the working connection to her.

Things that helped.

My mother liked nice fragrances and arm massages. An aromatherapy volunteer came to the rehab centre one day, I'd never have guessed this. My mother was not a touchy-feely lady by any means.

Music helped. Nothing you have to concentrate on, just something for brain massage. Bach is good, and goes on a long time too.

When she starts up and you can't take it, sit and hold her hand and tell her honestly that her being so unhappy makes you unhappy. Then give her a big hug, check if there's anything she needs first, tell her you love her and go home.
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lavagirl, under the circumstances I am really surprised that you see her every day. Would you consider decreasing that, and keeping visits short?
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I just read your initial post and commenting: first things first. Stop arguing period. She is 92. No offense, but it takes one day to figure that out and a great epiphany: that you are not going to do that again. Once you get past that, you can focus on the remaining challenges. I only say that because the idea that anyone argues with anyone over 80 is probably a giant mistake, regardless of medical issues: idealism, I know. Looking for a reason not to go visit your parent is easy. Anyone can come up with a 100 reasons as to why it doesn't work this weekend or because of another reason. The key is: what kind of contribution do you want to provide. First, no more arguments. Period. Second: go see her, give her a hug when your first get there, no words, and tell her you love her. Do the same before you leave.

Stop getting caught up in what other siblings may provide or provided. They filled in gaps you were not able to provide on a given day. Navigate through the minutia and find common ground. I understand much of this can be remote, but what matters is in-person visit equals in-person memory. Don't go in to solve problems per se. Engage to continue the relationship you still have. Good luck!
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It sounds like you have the best plan, Java. There is only so much we can do. Mothers do tend to treat daughters with less favor, particularly women of our mothers' age. I think you should just be yourself and be content that you are caring for her the best way anyone can. We can't change the way they feel about life and we can't engage them if they don't want to be engaged. The best we can do is let them know we care, and that we are there for them.
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Thank you so much for the responses. My mom does not like to be around anyone or share in the activities at the NH. She is very suspicious if you try to be nice (like bringing flowers); she will complain that she doesn't want to water them or keep them alive and she would even ask "Why did you bring those?" There are several other residents at the NH that I enjoy and they love to talk to me. I go nearly every day and if I miss a day, those residents inquire about where I have been. She seems to get very jealous if I talk to others and not to her. Her roommate broke her hip a week ago and has been getting a lot of attention. I cannot believe my mom would be jealous of someone with a broken hip, but she commented that they have been bringing her food late because of her roommate. She never liked other people, cooking or traveling (which I love) and because she was an only child, it is all about her. Every thing she says is negative. No one can please her and she does not want a remedy for any of her complaints. It is exhausting on top of handling all of her financial issues which were not properly planned for even though I tried to get her to plan. I am the bad guy no matter what I do. I realize I am in a no win situation but I appreciate the comments and will keep moving forward. If she chooses not to enjoy my company then I will leave when the time is right to avoid arguing.
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My mother often sat in the nh dining room midafternoon, with 2 or 3 other women. It was a bright cheerful room, and the facility didn't really have a lot of common areas. Sometimes when I visited I'd take her outside for a wheelchair walk, but sometimes I'd sit and visit with all the women. I discovered they loved it when I brought a stack of cookbooks. They'd each take a few and look through them. Someone would say, "Oh this looks just like what my mother made!" and someone else would say they used to make that, too. And we'd have a conversation about cooking, or working in restaurants, or working and coming home to cook ... all kinds of things these dear old ladies hadn't thought about for a long time.

If you could visit your mom outside of her room, and possibly involve a few other residents, do you think that might calm her down a bit?
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It sounds like (from your post on a previous thread) that this is a long-term pattern of your mom's. You've tried everything you know to cheer her up. I think it's time to cut yourself some slack and visit only as often as you feel like you can emotionally handle it. In some ways, your mom trusts you more than your brother, since she shares with you and not with him. My mom was the same way with me and my brother. It's frustrating that you get to be the "dumpee" of all of her negative emotions about her situation. I got to hear and deal with all of mom's day-to-day life situations. She never shared those with my brother. But in the end, I knew I did what I could for my mom (just like you're doing). So just honor the work and care that you've put into your mom, whether she can appreciate it or not.

Hugs to you...
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In addition to the above suggestions, get her seen by the geriatric Psychiatrist who visits the facility.
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javagirl, one thing we need to do for a few minutes is to step into your Mom's shoes. Here she is 92 years old. She can't hop into the car and drive to the mall. She can't go out and see her friends because they have probably moved or had passed away. Her hearing might be fading, so with her eyesight, and walking isn't easy. And her mind isn't as sharp. Plus food doesn't taste as good because as we age we tend to lose our sense of taste. And what about all those aches and pains. Oh, and the love of her life is no longer around. It's not easy getting old, I would be grumpy, too.

So using that as your guide, you can see how your Mom is viewing life.

But I can understand your frustration when visiting Mom. You want it to be pleasant. Does she tend to be argumentative when she is in her room? What about when she is in the common area? Or outside? Bring her some flowers, the grocery stores have some very nice ones, and bring along a vase. Mom might be snippy with the flowers but I bet later on she will enjoy them, especially if other women on floor notice them in her room :)
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It's part of the illness. The daughter has always been considered the one who will be the caregiver so this is how u look to her. Arguing with her gets you nowhere. They got something in their mind and don't let go. When she disagrees just go with it. If it gets bad, leave. You don't have to work everyday.
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